Bruce Allan Nelson, Age 85, of Luck, Naples, FL and previously of Babbitt, Minn., Grantsburg, and Star Prairie, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020 at Cerenity Care Center in St. Paul, Minn.
Bruce was born on Feb. 11, 1935 in Barron to John J. And Esther M. (Thompson) Nelson. The family lived in California for a few years and then settled in Bruno, Minn., where he graduated from high school in Askov, Minn., in 1953. Right out of high school he went to work at Elliot Meatpacking Company as an Order Filler for a year. He enlisted in the US Army in 1954 and was honorably discharged in 1956. He was stationed in Germany and Private-1 Nelson attended Army Security School for Morse Int. He was a Marksman (M-1 Rifle) and a Sharpshooter (Carbine) for which he received a good conduct medal. In 1956 he went to work at Reserve Mining Company in Babbitt, Minn., as a Boilermaker and after a year he was promoted to Machinist Apprentice and Journeyman Machinist. He left Reserve Mining in 1968 to pursue a position with WITC as a teacher. He introduced the CNC (Computer Numeric Control) program to the District teaching Machine Tool Engineering at their Grantsburg location, Advotech 18, from 1968 to 1976. The program was moved to the New Richmond Campus in 1976 and he remained there until his retirement in May of 1995. Bruce was admired for his intellect, teaching style, truly caring for his students, his wit and storytelling which left you literally hanging on his every word!
Bruce was not a man to remain idle. He built and designed a cabin, two houses, an airplane hangar, a teaching facility and a garage/machine shop at his home in Luck. After retirement he represented CADKEY software utilizing CAD/CAM techniques and built a school to teach companies how to use the programs within their businesses. He had a very impressive personal machine shop of his own doing many odd and interesting jobs through his business, Third Dimension Technology, right up to the end. There were also many friends and family members who were very lucky to receive exquisitely crafted items throughout the years! He also built a beautiful pulpit for his mother’s Lutheran church in Bruno.
Bruce married Janet (Campbell) Nelson on March 12, 1960 in Cloverdale, Minn. They were married for sixty years and had two daughters, Lynn Cynthia in 1961 and Janice Anne in 1965.
He had been a proud Masonic Lodge member since 1966 in Grantsburg and then in New Richmond. He also joined the Shriners in 1977.
Bruce had his private pilot’s license and he and his wife would fly to different airports most weekends and enjoy breakfast with fellow pilots and friends. He also enjoyed running marathons, camping with family and friends, bicycle rides, pontooning on their lake in Luck, tinkering in his shop, creating projects on his computer, watching the Twins practice in Florida, hanging out at the airport with his friends, playing cards, the Minnesota State Fair, driving on back roads, fish fry’s, animals, snowmobiling, and eighteen wonderful years of retirement in Naples, FL with his wife.
He is preceded in death by his parents, John and Esther (Thompson) Nelson; brother, Douglas Nelson; sister, Georgia Burg; brother-in-law, Robert Burg; and infant twin granddaughters.
He will be forever missed by his beloved wife of sixty years; Janet (Campbell) Nelson; daughters, Lynn (Mark) Gabriel and Janice (Keith) Belisle; grandchildren Aimee (Dan) Omdahl, Anthony Gabriel, Alexander Gabriel, Jason Belisle and Tyler Belisle; great grandchildren Mason, Ava, Amelia and Colton; brother Scott (Carol) Nelson; sisters-in-law Anita (Sparky) Nelson and Margie (Robert) Patzoldt; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Blessed be his memory.
A graveside service will take place next spring, 2021 at Vilstad Cemetery, Bruno. Arrangements are with the Grandstrand Funeral Home Osceola. Condolences may be expressed online at www.grandstrandfh.com.