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January 4, 1928 – Friday, December 21, 2012

Service Information
United Methodist Church in Buffalo
Saturday, December 29, 2012
11:00 A.M.

Visitation Information
Friday, December 28, 2012
5-8 P.M.

James (Jim) Nelson was born in Buffalo, Minnesota on January 4,1928 to Dr. F.O. and Ruby (Anderson) Nelson. He was baptized and confirmed in the Buffalo Covenant Church. Jim attended Buffalo Public School and graduated from High School in 1945. Shortly after graduation, Jim was drafted into the United States Army and following his Basic Training was deployed to the Philippine Islands where he completed his military service.
Shortly after returning to Buffalo, he enrolled at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis and graduated as an electrical mechanic. While attending school, he worked nights as an ambulance driver for Olson Ambulance Company which he found very fulfilling.
In 1949 Jim and Arlene Posthumus were married in the Buffalo United Methodist Church and they were blessed with three daughters.
After working in Hopkins for a brief time, Jim was offered a job in Buffalo and he returned to the town where he grew up. In 1960 he started his own business, known as Nelson Auto Service, located in Soo Town. He operated a very successful business for 35 years. Following his retirement, Jim drove school bus for District 877 for 12 years which allowed him to spend the summer months at his cabin.
Knowing that he wanted to give back to his community, he first volunteered as a Boy Scout leader, guiding the boys and helping them grow into responsible adults. He always had the dream of becoming a firefighter and he fulfilled that dream by serving on the Buffalo Fire Department for 43 years, 19 of which he was Chief. He was asked to fill an open seat on the City Council and then successfully ran for two more terms. Jim was invited to join the Buffalo Rotary Club and was honored to receive the Paul Harris Award presented for his service to the community. In 1998 Jim and Arlene were selected Honored Citizens of Buffalo which they humbly accepted with pride.
Jim was a faithful member of the Buffalo United Methodist Church which he joined in 1950, serving wherever he saw a need, be it driving members to church, delivering Meals on Wheels, singing in the Choir or serving as a Trustee.
His greatest loves were his God, his family, his “boys” on the Fire Department and Mille Lacs Lake. He was happiest when he could go north to the cabin, have his children and grandchildren around and catch walleyes.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Dr. F.O. and Ruby Nelson, sister and brother-in-law Vannie and Norris Olson, and nephew, Eric Anderson. He is survived by his wife, Arlene, three daughters, Lynn (John} Staloch, Barbara (Kenneth} Bakke and Jane (Loren) Van Dorp, nine grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, brother Robert (Avis}Nelson, sister Sallie (Gerald) Anderson, foreign exchange student son, Ron Tragter, and many nephews and nieces.

3 Guestbook Entries

  1. Mark, Karey, Laura, Stacey Lambert

    Jane & family,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  2. Eileen Erickson

    Jim was one of the nicest guys around! Always willing to step in and help whenever he could – we will miss him!!

  3. David and Kaye Pramann

    We were so sorry to hear about Jim. He was such a blessing to have him as a part of our lives at church. We know that he is blessed in the presence of our God. Maybe, just maybe, he and our Lord are out there cathing walleyes together.
    Please know that we hold you in our hearts and in our prayers. Blessings to all of you.
    Love, Dave and Kaye Pramann


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