By Ryan Gueningsman
MONTROSE, MN A very well-known and passionate figure from the community of Montrose passed away Dec. 6.
Former Montrose Mayor Charlie Nelson, 71, died at his residence.
“I am stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the untimely passing of my mayoral predecessor, colleague and friend Charlie Nelson,” said former Montrose Mayor Andy Kauffman.
Nelson was formerly employed for 27 years as a deputy for the Wright County Sheriff’s Office. He retired in May of 1998 as a detective.
Nelson also gave back by serving on the Wright County Fair Board as a director, as a Wright County Emergency Center staff member, and as a member of the League of Minnesota Cities “Improving Local Economies” committee.
“He always thought things through before he talked,” said Wright County Fair Board Secretary Dennis Beise. “He had a lot of good ideas, and was a good worker on the fair board.”
Nelson was passionate about everything he chose to become involved in his friends; the Wright County Sheriff’s Office; Boy Scouts; his church; Montrose Days; the town of Montrose; Wright County Fair Board, and Goldberg Bail Bonds. He had great hope for the city to fulfill the potential he felt it has.
“Charlie’s contributions to Montrose as a deputy, elected official and scout leader spanned many decades and were of immeasurable value to our community,” Kauffman said. “We are all better for his time among us and he will be sorely missed.”
Nelson worked his way up from laborer to manager for Lundsten Lumber Company, according to a candidate profile from when he ran for Wright County commissioner.
Nelson joined the Wright County Sheriff’s Office as a reservist in 1963, went part time in 1969, and full time in 1973. He was a patrol officer, as well as field training officer for new recruits.
At the sheriff’s office, Nelson was instrumental in helping form the Explorer Scout program, and conducted the bicycle training and many bike rodeos.
As a detective, Nelson said he “investigated everything imaginable.” He also served as the assistant county coroner.
Another area of his life Nelson was proud of was his involvement in Boy Scouts. He was a leader in Boy Scouting since he helped start Troop 312 in Montrose in 1965, helping train boys and leaders on the local, district, and council levels.
Nelson had a great belief in youth, and thought each and every one had potential. That’s where he put his focus. Often, Nelson would be thanked for various things he had done that had changed a person’s life.
The voice of calm and reason, Charlie thought through his words before speaking. He lived and breathed by a Scouts’ oath . . . “Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”
Most especially, Charlie cared for his family. He enjoyed each and every moment spent with everyone; whether it was for one minute or a day.
Funeral services took place Thursday, Dec. 12 at 1:30 p.m. at the United Methodist Church in Montrose, followed by interment at Kreidler Cemetery. A complete obituary can be found on page 11A of this week’s Delano Herald Journal.