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Samuel J. Nelson, 72

Samuel J. (“Sam”) Nelson, age 72, of Delano, died unexpectedly Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009.

A celebration of Sam’s life will take place Saturday, Oct. 24, at 11 a.m. at Delano United Methodist Church, 3310 County Line Road, Delano. Pastor Matthew Sipe will officiate, with private family inurnment at Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.

Gathering of family and friends will take place one hour prior to the services in the church Saturday, Oct. 24.

Sam was born Nov. 28, 1936, in Goff, KS to Claude Merritt Nelson and Vera Peret Nelson.

He attended Whiting High School, where he was active in sports.

After graduation, Sam entered the Air Force and served in England. He began college while still in the Air Force, and continued at Kansas State and University of Missouri/KC after being discharged.

Sam married his high school sweetheart, Jo Ann Williams, July 2, 1960.

Sam had a very successful career in the electric utility business.

A special husband, father, grandpa, great-grandpa, and friend, Sam was generous and kind to everyone he met.

He loved baseball and fishing, and was a voracious reader.

After retirement, Sam was very active in the Delano community. He was a member of the Delano United Methodist Church.

Sam was a Delano Utility Commissioner and Delano School Board member. He volunteered at Community Education, Dream Team, Boys’ State, Initiative Foundation, Delano American Legion, Delano Library, Youth As Resources, Meals on Wheels, the food shelf, and the Delano Library, as well as many others.

His passion was mentoring at the Delano schools. He also enjoyed his “troublemaker’s” meetings Wednesday mornings.

Sam was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Glenn and Donald; and sister Jane and Marvin “Bud” Cox.

Sam is survived by his loving wife of 49 years, Jo Ann “Jody;” sons Jeffrey and Rebecca Nelson and David and Lana Nelson; daughter Linda and Eric Lindstrom; brothers Raymond Nelson, and Robert and Sandi Nelson; sisters Anna Lee and Don Pille, Marlene Bunger and Faye Tindle; grandchildren Katlyn and Kelsie, Christopher and Adam, Josh and Angeline Lindstrom, Erin and Ryan Eyler, and Andrea and Stuart Maxwell; and six great-grandchildren.

Arrangements are being handled by the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.