Bernard Oscar Nelson (Smokey)
1937, 793, Hill City, F-9
Bernard O. "Smokey" Nelson, 90, Redfield, died Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009, at Eastern Star Home, Redfield.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at United Methodist Church, Redfield, with the Rev. Stephen Perry officiating. Burial will be in Greenlawn Cemetery, Redfield. Visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Thelen Funeral Home, Redfield, with a 6:30 p.m. prayer service.
He was born on Aug. 20, 1918, on the family farm east of Redfield to Ole Bernard and Anna Johanna (Petterson) Nelson.
At 17, he joined Civilian Conservation Corps and worked on projects in the Black Hills.
When he was in his early 20s, he purchased the homestead where he was born.
On Aug. 8, 1945, he married Ruth Elaine Johnson of Doland.
He built the buildings on the farm, including their home and barn.
He was a member of the Lodi Township Board, Redfield School Board, Redfield Rural Fire Board and the United Methodist Church.
He was a pilot who did crop dusting and flew in stunt shows.
He also owned and operated a Massey Ferguson dealership.
In 1984, they moved into Redfield.
He had spent the last four years in the Eastern Star Home.
He is survived by his wife, nine children: Linda Nelson, Fayetteville, Ark.; Wilbur and wife Janelle; and David and wife Leah, all of Redfield; Debbie Harmening and husband Dennis, Casa Grande, Ariz.; Susan Warns and husband Marty, Madison; Don, Sturgis; Steve, Mitchell; Mary Himmler and husband Bruno, Carlisle, Pa.; and Karen Swindler and husband Lee, Friendswood, Texas; 30 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren; two brothers: John, Orange Park, Fla.; and Carl, Redfield; and a sister, Betty Johnson, Plymouth, Minn.
He was preceded in death by two sons: Richard and Jim; three grandchildren, his parents and a brother, Al.
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