Donald Nelson

Donald D. Nelson, 80, of Hildreth, passed away on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 at the Good Samaritan Society – Colonial Villa in Alma. Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 16, 2022 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hildreth with the Rev. Caroline Keenan officiating. The service will be live streamed to the church’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Interment will be held later that day at 2:00 p.m. at the Bethany Lutheran Church Cemetery near Axtell. Visitation was held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 15, 2022 at the Craig Funeral Home – Jelden Chapel in Hildreth. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Don’s honor are kindly suggested to the family for later designation. Arrangements are under the care of Craig Funeral Home in Minden.

Don Nelson was born October 7, 1941. He was the second of six children to Leverne and Virginia (Juhl) Nelson of Axtell, NE. Don received his diploma from Axtell High School and attended Kearney State College.  During high school, he met Mary Potter of Wilcox and on August 6, 1961 they were married at Bethany Lutheran Church in Axtell, NE.  In 1969, the couple moved from Axtell to a farm south of Hildreth. Together, they had four children. Don farmed in the Hildreth and Wilcox area for over 20 years and proudly owned and operated Nelson Lawn service for over 25 years. 

Don was very talented and had many hobbies. He was a skilled woodworker, welder,  loved tending to his own garden and helping with harvest.  In his younger years, Don was well-known throughout the community for his volunteer services.  If there was something that needed to be built or fixed, he would go above and beyond to help.  He was very active in the Hildreth Lions Club and loved the annual Hildreth Tractor Pull.  He was a member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church and later Trinity Lutheran church, and enjoyed singing in small groups for special events and in the church choir.  Don was a proud father, and enjoyed attending his children’s, grandchildren’s and neighbor kids’ sporting events. He loved collecting tractors of all sizes. In his free time, he looked forward to annual antique plow-fests and driving his dad’s Super M tractor in parades.  Don took pride in Hildreth keeping the lawns looking sharp and the cemeteries looking perfectly groomed for weekends, and holiday weekends such as Memorial Day. After his brother Jerry passed away, he found joy in helping at Christmas events dressing up as Santa Claus.   

Those left to cherish his memory include his wife Mary Nelson of Hildreth; daughter Lynette Jelden and her husband Todd of Omaha; son Brent Nelson and his wife Erin of Minden; son Kent Nelson of Kearney; daughter Kahla Mathewson of Sidney; brother Jim Nelson and his wife Dora of WaKeeney, KS; grandchildren Brooke Richardson and husband Brent of Elkhorn, Chase Jelden and wife Stevie of Kearney, Damian Merryman and special friend Jessie, Draake Taylor, Lucas Mathewson, Alexis Merryman, Bryce Nelson, Cauy Nelson, Rozie Nelson, Kali Nelson, Robert Nelson and Braidyn Nelson; great-granddaughters Ava, Emma, and Isla Richardson, CoraLouise and Primrose Jelden;  as well as a host of extended relatives and close friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Bob Nelson and Jerry Nelson; and sisters, Jane Robinson and Joyce Vahle; son-in-law, Beau Mathewson; and granddaughter, Dana Jelden. 

Tributes and memories can be shared with the family at