Norman L. Nelson, 87, passed away on February 18, 2022, at his home in Kalispell with his loving wife and family by his side after a long and brave battle with COPD. Norm was born March 1, 1934, in Dunseith, North Dakota to Gunvald and Ida Nelson.
The Nelson family moved to Kalispell, MT when Norm was young. He always enjoyed being outside and for extra money to help his family, he would hunt rabbits and sell them to local stores. Norm met the love of his life, Marilyn Meldrum in Somers, MT. They got married and looked forward to starting a family of their own. Norm and Marilyn would have celebrated 70 years of marriage in August.
In 1951, Norm began working for the Montana Highway Department, then in 1956 he was drafted and spent two years in the United States Army. During his service he was stationed primarily in Germany and Marilyn was able to join him for ten months. While there, they enjoyed traveling throughout Europe. One of their highlights was visiting Venice, Italy. Once Norm was honorably discharged from the Army, he returned to the Montana Highway Department and worked there until his retirement in 1983, after 32 years. Norm then started a second career working as the head of maintenance at the Immanuel Lutheran Home for 18 years. Norm, not one to be sitting around, started doing various maintenance jobs for the Montana Mental Health Agency. After working 75 years at many jobs, he fully retired in 2011.
In 1973, Norm was a founding member of the South Kalispell Volunteer Fire Department. He served first as a SKVFD Firemen and then as a District Trustee for a total of 37 years.
Norm was a Montana Hunters Safety Instructor for 20 years, mostly in Somers, MT and taught both of his children, several nephews and nieces and many other youth.
Norm was an easy going man and always a hard worker and the first one to volunteer when someone was in need. Norm being an avid outdoorsman, enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping in northwest Montana with family and friends. He loved his coffee with cream and always wore cowboy boots and a western shirt. Norm enjoyed cutting firewood with his brother Bruce to heat his home and shop. Norm was always up for a game of cards and was hard to beat him at whist and cribbage. He was very proud of his yard and garden. Norm always had a sharp pocket knife and a penny in his pocket, so he was never broke. He loved animals and had several pets and enjoyed playing with them and sneaking them treats. His eyes would light up when his kids, grandkids and great grandson would come by for a visit.
Norm was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Alice (Jim) Wittlake and Irene (Ned) Drake. Survivors include his loving wife, Marilyn; son Terry Nelson (Rea Thomas) of Great Falls, MT; daughter Trina Thomson (Bob) of Kalispell, MT; grandchildren Kaylee Buswell (Ryan) of Kalispell, MT, Justin Nelson (Kelsey) of North Tonawanda, NY and Alexis Nelson of Las Vegas, NV; great grandson Broadus Buswell of Kalispell, MT; siblings Bruce Nelson (Nita) of Somers, MT and Betty Sommers (Roy) of Whitefish, MT; numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
The family would like to thank Hospice for their valuable support over the last months.
There will be a grave side service on Thursday, February 24 at 9:30 AM at Glacier Memorial Gardens, to be followed by a memorial service at Eidsvold Lutheran Church at 1:30 PM.
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