July 3, 1923 – September 4, 2021

 

Services celebrating the life of Eileen Nelsen, age 98 of Sartell, will be 11:00 AM, on Monday, September 13, 2021, at Atonement Lutheran Church in St. Cloud, burial will follow at the North Star Cemetery. There will be a visitation after 10:00 AM, on Monday at the church in St. Cloud. Arrangements are being made by the Miller-Carlin Funeral Homes.

Eileen was born July 3, 1923, in St. John, ND to Carl and Mary (Summers) Bethke. In 1927 they moved to the Bethke family farm near Parkers Prairie, Minnesota, where she attended a one room schoolhouse through the eighth grade. Eileen went to live with her Aunt Evelyn and Uncle Dutch in Egeland, North Dakota, to attend high school and work for them. Her uncle Dutch had a threshing rig and cook car; she worked on the cook car for four years while she was attending school. After graduation in 1941, Eileen moved back to the family farm to help her parents. In 1942, her family moved to Brainerd. While in Brainerd, Eileen worked at Woolworths, a machine shop making airplane parts, and had a potato chip truck route.

Eileen married Gaylord Nylund in 1946 (they later divorced). They had four children, Gaylene (Francis) Taylor, Little Falls; Burnett (Pat), St. George Utah; Larry (Sheila), Aurora, CO; Julie (Thomas) Gieske, Sauk Centre, MN. Eileen moved to Little Falls and married Elman Nelsen. They had four children, Janie (Kim Lucas), Waite Park; Cindy (Bob Haehn), Randy (Sheri), Maple Lake, MN; Karen (Tim) Schreifels, St Cloud. Eileen and Elman lived most of their married life in the St Cloud area.

Eileen cherished her family, loved gardening, cooking, dancing, singing, playing games with family and friends. She and Elman loved traveling to Spain, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the Carrabine, Hawaii and much of the United States. Spending many winters in Las Vegas. After Elman passed in 2000, Eileen became a senior Companion for Lutheran Social Services in Sherburne County. After five years, she became the leader of the Stearns County group. In 2009, Eileen was nominated the Senior Companion of the year and flew to Seattle Washington for four days for the National Convention. She retired from the program in 2012. Eileen resided in the Country Manor Committee in Sartell for 9 years. Eileen loved spending time with her children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren.

The family wants to thank the staff at Country Manor for their amazing care over the years for Eileen.

Eileen is survived by her children, Gaylene Taylor, Little Falls; Burnett (Pat) Nylund, St. George, UT; Larry (Sheila) Nylund, Aurora, CO; Julie (Tom Gieske) Nylund, Sauk Centre; Janie (Kim Lucas) Nelsen, Waite Park; Randy (Sheri) Nelsen, Maple Lake; Karen (Tim) Schreifels, St. Cloud; 16 grandchildren, and many great-grandchildren.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Elman, her daughter, Cindy Nelsen in 2014, Elman’s son, Ron Nelsen, and son-in-law, Francis Taylor.