Bernard Anton Nelson was born December 21, 1922 in Oelwein, Iowa, the son of Anton Bernard and Mary (Sonnenberg) Nelson. Bernard died at his home Sunday evening, October 28, 2007, at age 84, after a short battle with cancer.

His services will be November 1, 2007 at 10:30 am at Zion Lutheran Church in Oelwein, with visitation on Wednesday, from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Geilenfeld Funeral Home in Oelwein and one hour before services at the church on Thursday. Burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery with full military rites led by American Legion Ross Reid Post #9.

Bernard grew up in Oelwein, graduated from Oelwein Community High School in 1940 and attended Wartburg College. When the World War II started Bernard joined the Air Transport Command with Eastern Airlines, flying to South America and later the Merchant Marines, where he made numerous trips to England. In 1948 he was inducted into the U. S. Army and later served in Korea.

On June 11, 1950 he was united in marriage to Adelia (Dee) Marie Martens at the Zion Lutheran Church in Oelwein. He worked for over forty years with Interstate Power Co. in Oelwein, retiring in 1986 as operation manager.

Bernard was baptized and confirmed in Zion Lutheran Church in Oelwein and was a member there all his life. He was also very active in his church, serving as a Sunday school teacher, a Deacon, on the church choir, sang many solos, and serving on various other committees. He was active in the community, teaching first aid and serving on the South Fayette Red Cross Board for over twenty years and Chairman for five of those years. He helped with the United Way, Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.

He was a member of Zion Lutheran Church, the American Legion and VFW in Oelwein.

Bernard loved to play bridge, earned master and bronze membership in Duplicate Bridge. He enjoyed going to the lakes fishing with his family, traveling and for the last twenty years wintering in San Juan, Texas. Barney was a regular fan of the Chicago Cubs, Iowa Hawkeyes and Minnesota Vikings. The telephone lines were always busy during the games with the boys and friends.

He is survived by his wife of fifty-seven years, Dee, three sons, Steven and his wife, Linda of Denver, Colorado, William and his wife, Denise of West Union, Iowa and James and his wife, Ruth of Clinton, Iowa. He has eight grandsons, Chris Nelson, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Andrew Nelson, Peter Nelson, Tom Nelson and Chris Grocholski, two granddaughters, Kerry Nelson and Cassie Nelson, and two great grandchildren, Abigail and Spencer. He also is survived by a sister, Elaine Hamilton of Hiawatha, Iowa (formally of Maynard, Iowa), Also several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Anton and Mary, a brother, Leroy Nelson, brother-in-law, James Hamilton and a sister-in-law, Jean Nelson.

Barney put up a terrific struggle with Melanoma. He will always be remembered as a fun loving-gentle husband and father. He will be greatly missed by his devoted family and friends.

A memorial fund has been established for Hospice (a great caring organization), Cancer Research and the Zion Lutheran Church.