Obituaries
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February 3, 1976 – Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Service Information
St. Francis Catholic Church in Buffalo, MN
Thursday, February 11, 2016
11:00 A.M.

Visitation Information
Peterson Chapel in Buffalo, MN
Weds, February 10, 2016
5-8 P.M.

Christopher Nelson, age 40 of Maple Lake, Minnesota (formerly of Buffalo, Minnesota) passed away un-expectantly at his home.

Christopher was a good person with a heart warming smile. He is remembered for his fierce passion for life and love, his keen sense of adventure, and his strong compassion for his friends and family.

Christopher enjoyed motorcycles, classic cars, the great outdoors and the animals in it. He was an excellent self taught musician who sang and danced like Elvis and could pick up a guitar and play it like Eric Clapton.

Christopher is survived by his parents Alvin and Katherine Nelson; siblings Daniel (Kristen) Nelson, Nanci (Patrick) Wells, and Teresa (Jed) Bastyr; nieces and nephew Molli (Tyler Seydal) , Margaret, Grace, Colgan, Kinley & Griffin.

He is preceded in death by his grandparents Harry and Irene Nelson and Marshall and Winifred Snyder.

Visitation on Wednesday 2.10.2016 at The Peterson Funeral Chapel in Buffalo, MN from 5-8 pm.

Mass of Christian Burial 11 am Thursday 2.11.2016 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church Buffalo, MN. Further visitation 1 hour prior to Mass at the church.

37 Guestbook Entries

  1. Steve Hites

    Chris was one of the most talented people I ever met. He was a genius of humor and insight, and an amazing judge of human nature. I never met a man like him anywhere, ever. He made me laugh until I cried. He sang beautifully, and could play a guitar beautifully, and we could talk all night, for hours, about everything in the world. I always wanted him to be happy, and to find his place in the universe. I will miss him very much, and I will think of him whenever The Day the Music Died rolls around each year. Gayla and I love you, buddy. May you finally find the peace you were trying so hard to find.

    Reply
  2. Brandy Sutton aka Maple Lake Floral

    The monarch butterfly is a symbol of “free spirit”. They guide us on the journey of freedom, freedom from past through the ascension process of becoming higher ourself. P.S. I too feel empathy, for I have lost a son at a young age.

    Reply
  3. Allison WIlson

    You will be sadly missed Chris. RIP I am sure you are playing guitar in a better place. Loving thoughts and prayers to your family and friends.

    Reply
  4. Lee Johnson

    My deepest condolences to Chris’s family. Chris was a wonderful human being with an infectious personality. I am grateful for having known him.

    Reply
  5. Stephanie (Swanson) McNutt

    You are dearly missed by all who knew you. I cannot express truly the deep sadness I feel for your loss. “No man is an island unto himself…do not ask for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” Donne. We are all less because of your death.

    Reply
  6. Amy Guerra

    My sincere condolences to the family of this person whose smile could fill any available space. Rest in peace, Chris, you gave much to many and will be remembered.

    Reply
  7. Curtis Scott Ginn

    My heart goes out to your family. You were a wonderful man and a great person to know.

    Reply
  8. Jenell Valerie Scherbel

    Blessings.

    Reply
  9. Dawnell Smith

    Chris shared his smile and heart with so many Alaskans, and we with him. Through his life, he deserved more heart and smiles than he got. Dear Chris: We carry you in us; and through us, your heart carries on.

    Reply
  10. Michael Crumley

    Chris was truly an awesome person and words cannot express the sadness I feel for your loss. I consider myself blessed to have known him. May God give you the comfort and peace that you seek and may the soul of Christopher rest in peace.

    Reply
  11. Tammy Taylor

    I was deeply saddened to hear the news of Chris’s passing. He was a friend and co-worker that I truly enjoyed being around, and will never forget. My heartfelt sympathy to his family. May he rest in peace.

    Reply
  12. Susan jabal

    I am grateful to have known you Chris, you brightened a room when you walked in, and played a role in many people’s fond memories.

    I wish your journey forward to be peaceful and fulfilling.

    Reply
  13. Nanci wells

    We love you forever. Rest in peace.

    Reply
  14. Nanci wells

    We love you forever. Rest in peace.

    Reply
  15. Natalie Jones

    I am deeply sorry for your loss. I knew Chris from a fun-filled summer season in Skagway, Alaska. It is rare to come across a person so jovial and with such a magnetic personality. He brought smiles to many faces and will truly be missed.

    Reply
  16. Heather Luikart

    I didn’t get to spend much time with Chris, but the moments that I did were memorable. His classic voice, his charm, his passion, his amazing heart. I recall Chris exposing me to Elvis movies during my summer in Alaska, and him speaking passionately of The King’s talent. Or introducing me to “The Champagne of Beers” on the roof of his camper on a warm summer day, while discussing important matters, like the ins and outs of Cosmopolitan magazine surveys. I will miss his laugh.

    Reply
  17. Ann Gale

    An amazing friend that will be missed by so many.

    Reply
  18. Tim Wille

    My thoughts and prayers for the Nelson family during this difficult time.

    Chris and I knew each other from high school, and lived together for a year in Duluth. We really bonded during that year, had some really deep late night conversations and listened to his Beatles, Doors, and other many vinyl records. His appreciation, love, passion, and pride of his classic automobiles, I will not forget. He would meticulously hand wash and clean his car on a weekly basis. He would also get up early some mornings and go and have breakfast and take long scenic drives. These are memories I think of at times and have shared with my kids. I’m saddened that I didn’t keep in touch with him over the years. He is and will be missed.

    Reply
  19. Bob and Jenny Polsfuss

    Our deepest Sympathy to Chris’s family.

    Reply
  20. Darla Dolphin-Przeczewski

    Chris was one of the kindest hearted people I know. His beautiful smile, sarcastic wit and warped sense of humor kept us laughing. He had a great love of the outdoors, playing his guitars and listening to music. He truly was an incredible man with so much to offer. He will be missed tremendously by his Alaska “family”. Rest in peace Chris and know you were loved by many. Heartfelt sympathy for Chris’s family as they suffer with their loss.

    Reply
  21. Angi (Gruber) Bitzan

    My heart is so broken since hearing this devastating news of Chris’s death. I remember him from school days and he was one that everyone always loved being around! I happen to just come across his Facebook profile last week and sent him a friend request. I was so excited and looking forward to reconnecting with him. Chris, I’m so very, very sorry for the pain you endured and even more so for not knowing how loved you were and how much just your presence touched and affected so many people!! And how heartbroken we all are now that you are gone.

    Reply
  22. Linda Schmitz

    Dear Kate, Alvin and Nelson family;
    My deepest sympathies to you all for your loss. My heart and prayers go out to you all. I pray God lifts you up and comforts you during this difficult time.
    Sincerely,
    Linda Schmitz, Activity Director

    Reply
  23. Lanette Paumen

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I recently got to meet Chris and the few times I was around him he was so friendly and nice. The first night I met him was at our house and he just loved our labs, he sat right on our living room floor and played with them. My kids also thought highly of him especially my daughter Kayla, who told me some of the funny things he would do. He was always so nice to them. My thoughts and prayers are with Chris’s family at this time of sorrow.

    Reply
  24. Shannon & Wes Asleson

    We were lucky enough to know Nelly from Buffalo High School, during college at UMD, and after. He saw and felt things on a deeper level than most of us. His incredible intelligence was just barely overshadowed by his tremendous musical ability. Chris (along with his guitar & occasional harmonica) easily stole the show at many open mic and karaoke nights he played at. He loved old cars, sports, nature, history, women, and song lyrics. Chris was a great friend, an old soul, and truly authentic. He was beyond hilarious. His quick wit and charm was infectious. We will never forget your creativity, knowledge, jingles, stories, contagious smile and sense of adventure. We love and miss you.

    Reply
  25. Heather P.

    My deepest condolences to Chris’s family, my sister Nicole and too all those that loved him. Losing someone is never easy. Losing someone in a way that you can’t fully understand is even more heartbreaking, but nobody’s fault. We all want to bring him back to this Earth, give him a hug, and tell him it will be okay. I pray that everyone who loved him finds comfort in the memories they shared with Chris. Chris is no longer in pain and I pray that Chris has found the love of God and is finally at peace.

    Reply
  26. Amy Nelson Alfarone

    Chris was an amazing man that I had the pleasure of working with in Alaska. He gave so much of his heart to those he worked alongside with. His red VW bug in an Alaska winter and his passion for the Minnesota Vikings football team along with his love for his family and friends. Chris was beyond selfish in our world. May you rest in peace and find peace Chris you so longed for. And to his family may he always be present in your days. You were blessed to have such an admired son, brother and friend. With my greatest sympathy. Amy

    Reply
  27. Brett Daniels

    Rest in peace my friend. You will always be in my heart. BD

    Reply
  28. Paul Murray

    Chris had such a big and generous heart for the people in his life that he truly loved. I have so many fond memories of Chris (jamming on his front porch in Anchorage with the moose walking through the yard, or him yelling “hey you jive turkey” at a wild turkey out the car window (I’ll try to see if I can find the video of him recording himself with that turkey, anyone have it?) for example. I guess I just wish we all had the possibility to create more of those great memories with him. You will definitely be missed my friend.

    Reply
  29. Nicki Bunting

    I met Chris in Skagway, Alaska. He was my coworker, my confidant, and quickly, my best buddy and little brother from another mother. We were so different in so many ways, perhaps an unlikely duo, but we were united in our quirkiness, and our passion for love, life, and the pursuit of happiness. Pursuing happiness was easy for Chris-holding onto it was more elusive. We worked in the ‘theater department’ together and dressed in period costumes. Chris would roller-skate, not rollerblade, roller-skate down Broadway, bedecked in his 1920’s black suit, bowler hat, and umbrella. And he would sing and wave at people-oh that beautiful voice! He brought a smile to all who saw and heard him, locals and tourists alike. For years, we’d meet up after work in my ‘hillbilly heaven’, our safe place behind the bus barn, decorated with flowers I’d planted in makeshift planters from old buckets, teapots, tire rims, and hubcaps. We decorated the ‘garden’ with odd pieces of rusted metal that we’d found and collected on our hikes. We drank beer, played music, sang, shared, and maybe overshared our ‘deep’ thoughts, while we watched the Cessna Caravans taxi, land, and takeoff on our small Alaskan runway, 30 ft from my front door. You did not repeat or mix metaphors, you invented them. I would often look at you in awe. How did THAT just enter your brain and come out of your mouth in 5 seconds flat?!?! My God you made me laugh! I thought you were unique, brilliant, inimitable, and nuts, and I adored you. When I was feeling rundown, you just knew it intrinsically, and showed up unexpectedly with a coffee in hand. When I had a tough day, a decadent dessert in a paper bag was waiting for me on my doorstep. And when you left Skagway, you said you wanted to give me your prized possession. You handed me your favorite Minnesota Twins baseball hat. Later I received the coolest Boston Red Sox t-shirt a gal could ever own in the mail. I treasure them both. You are the kindest, gentlest, most generous friend I have ever had, may ever have. I held your hand through several tough break-ups. They were all tough. While in Anchorage, you’d call me in the wee hours. I talked you off several ledges, and once, literally, out of a ditch where you and your motorcycle were ‘laying low’ ‘outta sight’ on the side of a highway in Minnesota. You had an enormous heart, perhaps too big for a human body, and as we know, oversized enlarged hearts are fragile. I always thought, hoped, your heart would win when pitted against your beautiful, brilliant, but oft tortured mind. I know how long and hard you fought. And I am so sorry that you felt you fell into a hole so deep and dark, that no ladder was long enough to reach you, that there was no way to climb out. Our lesson is that this is not a time for anger and blame, but only for big, big Love, kindness, and compassion. Chris, I hope you know that you are so deeply loved and missed my friend-my life, our lives feel less whole with you not in it. Your death is our huge loss. I hope you can finally find the peace you so desperately sought and deserve. Lastly, I hope you, Buddy Holly, Elvis, and Jim Morrison all find each other in the Great Hall of Music, play guitar until your fingers bleed, and sing your hearts out, uncensored and unplugged. We’ll be listening… Love you man.

    Reply
  30. Nicki Bunting

    Dearest Chris; It is with inconsolable tears and the heaviest heart that I write this. In advance, I apologize for its length, but there was nothing abbreviated about Chris Nelson. Chris, you were 1st my coworker, next my confidant, and then, quickly, my best buddy and little brother from another mother. We were so different in so many ways, perhaps an unlikely duo, but we were united in our uniqueness, our quirkiness, our passion for love, life, and the pursuit of happiness. Pursuing happiness was easy for you-holding onto it was more elusive. We worked in the theater, and we all remember when you would roller-skate, not rollerblade, roller-skate in skates right outta a 50’s diner down Broadway, bedecked in your costume, a 1920’s black suit, duster, bowler, and umbrella. You were inimitable, crazy, wonderful, awesome. And that beautiful voice, oh that voice! You brought a smile to all who saw and heard you, locals and tourists alike. For nearly a decade, we met every day in my ‘hillbilly heaven’. We drank beer, played music, sang, shared, and maybe overshared our ‘deep’ thoughts, while we watched the Cessna Caravans and Piper Cherokees taxi, land, and takeoff on our small Alaskan runway, not even 30 ft from my front door. You did not repeat or mix metaphors, you invented them. I would often look at you in awe. How did THAT just enter your brain and come out of your mouth in 5 seconds flat?!?! My God you made me laugh! I thought you were brilliant and nuts and I adored you. When I was feeling rundown, you just knew it intrinsically, and showed up with a coffee in hand. When I had a bad day, a decadent dessert in a paper bag from ‘The Merc’ was waiting for me on my doorstep. Since I was in a long-distance relationship with Paul, also from Minnesota, whom you adored, you would call him and say, ‘Hey man, don’t worry, I’m taking good care of my sister.’ And when you left Skagway, you said you wanted to give me your prized possession. You handed me your favorite Minnesota Twins baseball hat. Later I received the coolest Boston Red Sox t-shirt a gal could ever own in the mail. You were and are the kindest, gentlest, most generous friend I have ever had, may ever have. I held your hand through several tough break-ups. For nearly a year, I went to work on very little sleep, because you would call me in the wee hours. I talked you off several ledges, and once, literally, out of a ditch on the side of a highway in Minnesota. You had an enormous heart, perhaps too big for a human body, and as we know, inflated hearts are fragile. I always thought, hoped, your heart would win when pitted against your beautiful, brilliant, but oft tortured mind. I know how long and hard you fought. And I am so sorry that you felt you fell into a hole so deep and dark, that no ladder was long enough to reach you, that there was no way to climb out. Our lesson is that this is not a time for anger and blame, but only for big, big Love, kindness, and compassion. Chris, I hope you know that you are so deeply loved and missed my friend-my life, our lives feel less whole with you not in it. Your death is our huge loss. I hope you can finally find the peace you so desperately sought and deserve. Lastly, I hope you, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Jim Morrison, and Hendrix all find each other in the Great Hall of Music, play guitar, and sing your hearts out, uncensored, unplugged. We’ll be listening… Love you man.

    Reply
  31. Kari Kramer

    My sincerest condolences to all of Chris’ family and friends. He was a very special person who touched many lives. RIP Chris.

    Reply
  32. Linda Stroback

    Stacy Eaton from New Hampshire told us how Chris was so thrilled about Zimmy’s which we created in Hibbing, MN. We hope that Bob Dylan & our hospitality brought him those magical moments. He will stay forever young in the hearts of other who loved him. Here’s to Chris, fine musician & wonderful human being.

    Reply
  33. Paul Murray

    Chris was a dear friend and will be missed. I’ll never forget playing music on his porch in Anchorage with the neighborhood moose as our only audience or him cooking me the largest hamburger I have ever seen. I hope his love for others will inspire us all to be better to our friends.

    Reply
  34. Nanci Wells

    Our family wants to thank everyone for your memories & stories of Christopher, gifts you gave and the love you gave to our little brother. He has touched many lives in one way or another – Christopher will be with us in our hearts, in the sunrise, sunsets that we see each day – until we see him again he is in the hands of God. God will keep him safe, loved and free –

    Reply
  35. Julie Lebakken Wenzel

    I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to Chris’ family and friends. I knew Chris as an 8th grader – and he was an absolute joy. His interest in music was clear even then. He loved anything, absolutely anything, ‘Elvis’ and had great fun lip syncing songs with his best friend Pete. I especially remember them regaling our class with their rendition of ‘Rawhide.’ I have fond memories of that time of my teaching career. It saddens me tremendously to think that Chris’ wit and humor is no longer here on earth with us, but I have great faith that Chris lives on in a better place. I can not imagine the pain of your loss. You are in my prayers.

    Reply
  36. Jaime Ferguson

    I spoke to Chris a few weeks ago and we laughed and spoke about life, something we did often. He always held a special part of my heart and I love him dearly. My love and prayers go out to his family, especially his mom who I know he adored more than anything. God Bless you Chris and I’ll forever miss you. Until we meet again….

    Reply
  37. Sarah D Fraser

    It’s coming up on three years. And I still am at a loss for words and can’t control my heavy heart and sadness. I never wrote anything here when you passed, I wanted to, I couldn’t find the right words that would adequately express how devastated I felt and still feel today.
    I’ll never forget you Chris. What you were to me, who you were, your beautiful soul and heart. I’ve never met anyone like you, and I know I never will again. I’m just so thankful to have met you and for the memories and adventures we shared. Our weekends at the Russian lodge, our long road trips where you showed me hidden treasures all over the state of Alaska. Teaching me how to ski and the patience you showed with each fall. Jam sessions in front of the little stove eating tomato soup with a splash of hot sauce. Your ridiculouslu delicious meals you’d whip up in a hot minute. Our hikes up all the mountains with our meals cooked on the little jet boil always accompanied by a summit beer. All the weekends youd come to the princes lodge in copper center to spend with me and all of the crew. You embraced all of our craziness and it wasn’t long before you were part of our family. That one time you woke me up before work to show me the sky lit up green and my first and only time seeing the northern lights. Chopping up strawberries and bananas to dehydrate and have for road snacks. Spreading my uncles ashes in bird creek, because you knew how important he was to me and how much he wanted to visit AK before becoming sick. I’ll never forget my first time meeting you either, on the other side of the counter making you that americano, and the conversation we had, how I didn’t know how or why but I needed to know more, who you were. A line of people behind you but that didn’t matter. You were so genuine, kind and your vulnerabilies and joy seeped out of every inch of you. Im so glad you came back. And that we have our time. Even just a snippet of your life and mine, it was ours. And it was magical. We didn’t work out, but I know your love for me and mine for you far surpassed any distance and time. You will forever have a piece of my heart. You pushed me to be a better version of myself. Just by being you. With all the people in this world, there was never a spirit like you. I felt honored to be in your life. I always will too. Reading all these stories and words your friends and family wrote here.. it’s truly special. Your contagious zest for life and love and loving each moment with intent- you were the most worthy and loved so deeply and hard by so many. I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry. And to anyone who still feels this raw deep pain reading this, I’m so sorry for you too. Know you’re not alone. I pray you are up there jammin’ on your guitar with bob dylan blasting and are at peace. And above anything else know how unbelievably loved you were. How many lives you touched and changed forever. What you meant to me. I’ll see you again one day.
    Little Saro

    Reply

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