Cover photo for John E. Nelson's Obituary
John E. Nelson Profile Photo
1943 John 2024

John E. Nelson

May 8, 1943 — May 28, 2024


John Nelson, 81, passed away May 28, 2024, in Sauk Rapids. A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, June 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Brenny Funeral Home in Staples.

John was born May 8, 1943, to Ernest and Albena Nelson in Bertha. He spent most of his life in Staples. He graduated from Staples High School in 1961 and married Dodie Fread. Together they raised five children. John worked as manager of Batcher’s Department Store, a mail carrier and at the Staples Off Sale. As a young man he enjoyed golf, basketball, tennis and an annual fishing trip to Canada. He had a lifelong interest in restoring antique cars. He was a member of the Staples Fire Department for 25 years. John’s kids remember piling into the station wagon with dad to go to the little south side store to pick out their nightly junk food treat. Grandchildren have fond memories of eating bags of jellybeans on grandpa’s lap and throwing candy from the rumble seat of his old car in the Staples parade.

John is survived by two daughters, Cathy (Mike) Bengtson and Jodie (Tom) Wendt; three sons, Rick (Boom) Nelson, Rob (Sue) Nelson and Mark (Katherine) Nelson; seven grandchildren, Sarah and Maria Bengtson, Sam and Ben Nelson, Jonah and Davis Wendt and Megan Nelson and one brother, Gary Nelson.

He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Dodie; one infant child and one brother Lloyd.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Staples Fire Department.

Arrangements are entrusted to Brenny Family Funeral Chapel, Staples.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John E. Nelson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Memorial Gathering

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Brenny Family Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services - Staples

309 N Fourth Street, Staples, MN 56479

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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