Gary Leonard Nelson passed away at the age of 81 peacefully at home on December 3rd, 2021, after a long battle with Alzheimers and other medical complications. Gary was born in St. Paul, MN on February 3rd, 1940 to Ethel (Quicksell) and Arvid Nelson. Gary grew up with his five siblings Jackie, Dennis, Cherry, Rick, and Dale. From a young child, Gary developed a love for the outdoors including hunting, fishing, skiing, snowmobiling, basketball, and tennis.
After graduating from Mahtomedi High school in 1958, Gary served for two years in the United States Navy. Gary was loved dearly by his children Todd, Wendy, Libby, Troy, and Tim. In 1982, Gary married Susan (Olson) Nelson, and they built a wonderful life together. They enjoyed traveling all over the world. Adventures took them to the Caribbean, Aruba, Japan, Manitoba, and more. Eventually, they found their dream place in Maui, Hawaii where they spent winters together along the beaches, watching beautiful sunsets, and gathering with amazing friends.
Gary purchased Nelson Marine from his father Arvid and ran the business for many years until he retired in 1999. If Gary was not at Nelson Marine, he would be found working hard or playing hard. Gary enjoyed building and remodeling homes and cabins. He built a home in Stillwater, renovated a hunting cabin in Manitoba, built a cabin on Lake Superior, and built a hunting “shack” in South Dakota. His passions for the outdoors led him into his amazing talent of painting. After painting for a bit, he entered his first ever Minnesota Duck Stamp contest which was awarded a place in the top ten. Even though he enjoyed painting wildlife, his talent developed into painting gorgeous Hawiian sceneries, southwestern scenes, and even portraits of a couple of his grandchildren. In his younger years, Gary could be seen ballet skiing on the slopes of Birch Park, Snow Crest, and annual trips to Vail, Colorado with family.
Gary’s true passion was hunting and fishing. HIs hunting took him all over the United States, Canada, Argentina, and Africa. Eventually, he spent the majority of his time hunting and fishing on Whitemouth Lake in Canada and in Tabor, South Dakota. Family and friends were always welcome, and his love of the outdoors has been passed down to generations.
Gary will be missed dearly, but his family and friends find peace knowing he is finally whole again and flying with the ducks in heaven.
Gary is preceded in death by son, Todd; parents, Ethel and Ron Quicksell and Arvid and Maxine Nelson; brothers, Rick Quicksell and Dale Nelson. Gary is survived by his wife, Susan; children, Wendy (Chris) Kapisak, Libby (Mike) Wagner, Troy Wojtas and Tim (Lori) Wojtas; 18 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; siblings, Dennis Nelson, Cherry Bartholmy and Jackie Lallier.
His memorial service will be held at 4pm on Tuesday, December 14 at Mueller Memorial, 4738 Bald Eagle Ave., White Bear Lake with visitation 1 hour prior.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Gary’s honor to the Alzheimer’s Association at https://www.alz.org/
Age 81 of Mahtomedi
Passed away peacefully on December 3rd
Preceded in death by son, Todd; parents, Ethel and Ron Quicksell and Arvid and Maxine Nelson; brothers, Rick Quicksell and Dale Nelson. Gary is survived by his wife, Susan; children, Wendy (Chris) Kapisak, Libby (Mike) Wagner, Troy Wojtas and Tim (Lori) Wojtas; 18 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; siblings, Dennis Nelson, Cherry Bartholmy and Jackie Lallier. Memorial Service 4pm on Tuesday, December 14 at Mueller Memorial, 4738 Bald Eagle Ave., White Bear Lake with visitation 1 hour prior. Memorials are preferred to the Alzheimer’s Association