Carla Bouchier Nelson, age 70, of Browerville, MN died in the loving presence of family at home on December 29, 2021.
She is survived by her devoted husband Robert Nelson; two children, Charlotte and Derek; three stepchildren: Jamie, Jody, and Alicia; a brother and sister in-law, Mark and Linda; eight grandchildren: Anna, Claire, Emmie, Nolan, Braden, Sophia, Logan, and Brooke; and four nieces and nephews: Niki, Alex, Nissa, and Brian.
Funeral Services will be held at Faith Lutheran Church, 430 12th Street NE, Staples MN on Saturday January 8, 2022. A visitation will be at 10:00 AM, and the service will begin at 11:00 AM. More details and a recording of the service will be available at www.brenny.com
Carla was known for her artistry; her love of children, the elderly, and animals; and her loyal dedication to friends and family. She was a strong, industrious, independent woman of faith.
She was born on March 31, 1951 in Sioux City, Iowa to parents Eugene (Gene) and Marilyn. At age 4, Carla’s parents settled the family in Crystal, MN for the duration of her childhood. She then attended E.J. Cooper High School in Robbinsdale, MN where she participated in the Cooperettes danceline and in DECA leadership. As a young teen, Carla volunteered at the Camden State Hospital. In 1966, she received her confirmation from First Lutheran Church of Crystal. She graduated from Robbinsdale Cooper High School in 1969.
Carla spent her 20s raising her children. She was a dedicated mother for 10 years before joining the workforce, where she applied her organizational and people skills first in Texas and later in Minnesota, advancing to the role of Administrative Manager, and eventually retiring from Bosch Pharmaceuticals.
Throughout adulthood, Carla spent countless hours honing her artistic skills in the family tradition of her mother and father. She sewed and painted all manner of surfaces, from canvas and paper to glass and porcelain and even gourds! Carla became a master of her craft, exploring many mediums to satisfy her creative passions.
One of Carla's dear friends called her “industrious” because she never met a research project she didn’t love. Whether it was an online inquiry, a trip to the local library, hours on the phone, or driving from place to place, once she had a mission, Carla was relentless in her pursuit of information or in solving a problem. Carla applied this industriousness when she and husband Robert designed and built their retirement home in the country near Browerville, MN to fulfill Carla’s lifelong dream of living on a lake. Carla began the project in 1998 by pursuing this dream along with Bob, searching for the perfect, wooded, lakefront property. The pair lived in the house together for the duration of her life, her final days spent in the comfort of their home with the picturesque lake in view, surrounded by her children and, as always, a pair of dogs.
During every chapter of Carla’s life, she acted as a loyal and devoted mother, wife, and friend. Although fiercely independent, Carla developed deep relationships. Her friends and family describe her as “always being there for everyone”, “a dear and loyal friend”, as “never saying a bad word about anyone”, “open, friendly and easy to talk to”, “gentle”, “compassionate”, “genuinely kind and caring”, and as “the person you call first in crisis”.
As a mother and stepmother, Carla was unconditional in her support and love. She raised her own children with a clear focus on kindness, patience, and goodness. She taught them that what made a person attractive was on the inside: character. As a young mom, Carla even opened her home to neighbors, providing childcare for working mothers and caring for their children as if they were her own. As a stepmother, she touched her stepdaughters’ lives with her creativity and kindness. And later, when her adult children and stepchildren, daughter’s friend, or her niece needed a place to live and some “motherly” support, Carla eagerly offered.
Carla was also an extraordinary animal lover. Her dear friend testified to “several memorable and successful animal rescue adventures together” over the years, and her children refer to her as “the real dog whisperer”.
Her compassion extended to the elderly as well. She worked post-retirement as an Activities Director in the Memory Care department at the Staples Nursing Home and even volunteered preparing tax returns for seniors.
Carla was clearly compelled to serve and nurture--the elderly, animals, children, and her dear friends and family. For the love, loyalty, and kindness shown throughout her life, we pay tribute. We say goodbye, for now. Until we meet again . . .
Arrangements are entrusted to Brenny Family Funeral Chapel, Staples