Loren Noel Nelson, age 76, of Long Lake, died from complications of the flu, along with recent struggles with cancer and small strokes. Funeral services will be at Calvin Presbyterian Church 177 Glendale Drive, Long Lake, on Wednesday Jan. 16 at 11 a.m. with visitation at church beginning at 9 a.m. Interment will be at Mount Hope Cemetery in St. James.
Born in a March blizzard in 1936 to Emil C. and Myrtle Nelson, Loren grew up on his parents’ farm south of St. James. He loved to hunt, fish, work on cars, compete in skeet shoots, and be part of the great outdoors. He learned to play a mean cornet in his high school band (St. James Class of ’54). He later performed in area dance bands, and after joining the Air Force, he played in the Air Force Band, touring with the Blue Angels shows. Trained to maintain electronics for NATO radar stations, he was transferred to northern France for about three years, where his crew was based at a nearby inn. There he met his future wife on a blind date. They celebrated their marriage with Annie’s family in Charleville, near the Belgian border. Tour of duty complete, the couple moved to Minnesota, where they welcomed a baby daughter, Corinne, in 1964, and settled in Long Lake. Loren worked as an electrical engineer for Control Data for over 25 years, often traveling for business. He completed his career working with Lotto equipment for several years, and retired at age 65. Absorbed in family life, he took pride in their lawn, compost, and supporting Annie’s garden, and he was always ready for a family feast at the Panda Garden Buffet. In October, 2012, he began to experience falls and confusion due to strokes, and was admitted to Haven Homes in Maple Plain, minutes from his beloved home in Long Lake.
A quiet, private man, Loren enjoyed a close family life with his surviving wife, Annie, and daughter, Corinne. They would have celebrated their 50th anniversary in March, 2013. Loren is also survived by; sister, Ellein (Ralph, deceased) McDaniel, Ron (Leona) Nelson, and Marilyn (JB) Andersen; by a niece and two nephews; by Annie’s family in France, and by many cousins.