Cover photo for Wilbur Nielson's Obituary
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1919 Wilbur 2014

Wilbur Nielson

November 11, 1919 — October 1, 2014

Wilbur Nielson, age 94 of Payson, AZ and formerly from Erskine, MN passed away on Wednesday, October 1st at his daughter's home in Payson. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 8th at 11:00 AM at Faith Lutheran Church in Mentor, MN with Rev. Michael Sletto officiating. Visitation will be held for one hour before the funeral at the church on Wednesday, and interment will be at Faith Lutheran Cemetery, Mentor. The Carlin-Hoialmen Funeral Home of Erskine is in charge of the arrangements. Messages of condolence may be sent to www.carlinhoialmen.com.Wilbur Edwin Nielson was born November 11, 1919 to Jens Peter and Inez (Voss) Nielson in Poplar River Township, Red Lake County, Minnesota. He was the only surviving son in his parents' marriage. Inez (Voss) Nielson passed away when Wilbur was just 3 years old. His father remarried Bessie Pearl Crosby a few years later. They had 3 surviving children. Wilbur graduated from Erskine High School and went on to study at Northwestern Bible School in Minneapolis for one year. He then was drafted into the Army Air Force in 1941 serving in the west pacific, including Iwo Jima and Saipan. He was discharged in 1945. Wilbur married Evelyn Lee April 2, 1946. They had 3 daughters - Marilee Steele (Tom), Sharilyn Walters (Mark) and Janine Nielson. His legacy continued with 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. The 15th great-grandchild is due December 2014 and will be Great-Grandpa Nielson's namesake. After discharge from military service, Wilbur worked at various jobs including farming and road construction before being appointed as a rural mail carrier which he continued 6 days a week for 26 years, retiring in 1986. Following retirement, Wilbur enjoyed gardening and woodworking. He and Evelyn were active members of their congregation, Faith Lutheran Church in Mentor, serving as a lay minister, Bible Study leader, Sunday School teacher, and chairperson of various committee's over the years. Wilbur served as a lay minister to many other area churches, as well. A dream was fulfilled for Wilbur when he moved to Arizona in 2013. While there, he enjoyed the cowboy culture, the climate, new friends and family. His favorite past time was going for car rides through the AZ mountains and canyons. He loved the AZ countryside! On Wednesday, October 1, 2014 Wilbur passed away at his daughter's home in Payson, AZ at the age of 94 years.Wilbur is preceded in death by his wife, Evelyn, his parents Jens Peter and Inez Nielson, infant sister, Elsie Nielson, step-mother Bessie Pearl Nielson, infant brother, Dwayne Nielson, and sister Bess (Nielson) Olson. Wilbur is survived by his 3 daughter's, 10 grand children, 14 great-children, brother, Lee Nielson, sister, Nellie Mack, and several nieces and nephews.
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