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Bernice M. Nelson

October 2, 1923 ~ July 5, 2018 (age 94)
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Bernice Nelson, age 94, of Madison, died Thursday, July 05, 2018, at the Bethel Lutheran Home in Madison. Funeral services will be 1:30 PM, Tuesday, July 10, 2018, at First Baptist Church in Madison. Burial will follow at Sunnyside Cemetery at Trent. The family will be present for visitation from 5-7 pm with a prayer service at 7 pm, Monday at the Ellsworth Funeral Home in Madison.

Bernice Mae Nelson was born on October 2, 1923 on a farm near Canistota, SD to Claud L. and Maud E. (Arnold) Staley.   At eighteen she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior during church bible school.  Bernice graduated from Montrose High School in 1941 and then Nettleton Business College.   She worked as a bookkeeper in Sioux Falls, SD until she married Norlan T. Nelson on January 23, 1949 in Salem, SD.  They had six children and farmed in the Trent and Dell Rapids area until purchasing a dairy farm near Madison in 1971.  Bernice became Norlan’s farm hand after all their children left home.  She loved her flower gardens, and canned numerous meals from her large vegetable garden.  They moved into Madison in 1994. 

Bernice was an active member of the First Baptist Church serving on women’s circle, board of education and financial/missions committees.   And having a heart for missions she also served on the board of Church Women United Madison.  She was recognized As A Valiant Woman in 2009.  Her family lost count of the number of church and family shut-ins she would visit.   She enjoyed time with her family, a game of Scramble, and reading. 

Survivors include four daughters, Karen (Jon) Benson of Norfolk, NE, Rose (Tim) Birgen of Madison, SD, Susan Nelson of Sioux Falls, SD and Peggy (Dale) Hora of Olivet, SD ; two sons, Larry (Connie) Nelson of Sergeant Bluffs, IA, and Gary (Glenda) Nelson of Lincoln, NE; eight grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren;  two sisters-in-law, Joyce Witherow of Seal Beach, CA and Betty Railsback of Belmont, MI, three brothers-in-law, Wendell (Barb) Nelson of Orlando, FL, Curt (MaryAnn) Nelson of Dell Rapids, SD, and Wyman Card of Brandon, SD.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Norlan, two brothers, Clifford (infant) and Marion (Mary) Staley, and three sisters, Opal (John) Dryer, Vada (George) Smith and Izora (Edward) Puetz, and one sister-in-law, Erma Card and two brothers-in-law, Tom Witherow and Reg Railsback.

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