Shirley Lorraine Christian Nelson, age 94, died Wednesday, November 10, 2021, at Good Samaritan Society in Albert Lea, MN. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, November 19, 2021, at Clarks Grove Baptist Cemetery, Clarks Grove, MN. Pastor Kent Otterman will officiate. This will be an outdoor graveside service. The service will be live-streamed through Bayview Funeral Homes' Facebook page.
Shirley L. Nelson was born March 1, 1927, in Clinton, IA. In her mid-teens, following the death of her mother, she moved to Albert Lea with her father and brother where she graduated from Albert Lea High School. Shirley married the love of her life, Wes Nelson, on January 12, 1947. They were married 72 years! Wes and Shirley were longtime residents of Albert Lea. They lived in their house on E. Eighth Street for 68 years. In that home, they raised three children, Craig, Judy, and Brian.
Shirley worked a number of support and service jobs in the Albert Lea area. Her main calling was being a great wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Shirley loved family camping, quilting, and tending her flowers. She treasured friendships, most notably friends since childhood. Given her strong Christian faith, Shirley was very active in her church, Calvary Baptist Church (now Bridge Community Church). She served on church committees, loved singing in the choir, helped with youth groups, church camp, and the church’s quilting group.
For two years, Wes and Shirley resided at Bancroft Creek Senior Apartments and Shirley for an additional two years following Wes’ death. At Bancroft Creek, Shirley fully enjoyed and greatly appreciated the staff and residents. She especially enjoyed bible study and hymn sing with Pastor Kent Otterman.
While living to a ripe old age of 94 and being slowed by the physical infirmities of her years, Shirley was sharp as a tack to her dying day. Visits with Shirley were always interesting and informative. In her final days, Shirley wanted one thing…..to join Wes in heaven. Now their love story will continue eternally.
Shirley is survived by her daughter, Judy (Paul) Dilling; son, Brian (Cathy) Nelson; grandchildren, Jeanne Dilling (Jake Fielstra), Susie (Troy) Neist, their children, Sadie and Levi; Zachary (Alisha) Nelson, their children, Reese and Avery; Hilary (Jason) Haddad, their children, Alex and Jake; sister-in-law, Florence Christian; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Shirley was preceded in death by son and daughter-in-law, Craig and Phyllis Nelson; parents, John Travis and Esther (Carlson) Christian; parents-in-law, Nels and Mabel (Larson) Nelson; brother, Robert Christian; sister-in-law, Zola (Bob) Utzke; brothers-in-law, Carroll (Margaret) Nelson and Manford (Deloris) Nelson; nieces, Gayle Lyon, Virginia Sandquist, Luetta Hinkle; nephew, Gary Christian.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Youth for Christ or the donor’s choice.