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Published June 26, 2013, 12:00 AM

William Arthur Nelson

William (“Bill”) Arthur Nelson, 75, of Ames, Iowa, died June 21, 2013, at Bethany Manor, after a seven-year struggle with prostate cancer.

Bill was born April 17, 1938, at his family homestead near Rutland, North Dakota, to Ole and Leona (Buetow) Nelson, and was second of six children. He attended Rutland Consolidated School, and then Forman High School, graduating in 1957. His father passed away when Bill was nine years old, and his mother was hospitalized with respiratory illness during much of his childhood. Though these circumstances created personal and financial hardship for the family, Bill was determined to continue his education. He attended North Dakota State School of Science, in Wahpeton, North Dakota, for two years, then transferred to North Dakota State University in Fargo, and graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering in 1961. After graduation, he moved to Ames, Iowa, where he was employed at the Iowa Department of Transportation. He worked at the DOT as a highway engineer until his retirement in 2000.

William Arthur Nelson

William (“Bill”) Arthur Nelson, 75, of Ames, Iowa, died June 21, 2013, at Bethany Manor, after a seven-year struggle with prostate cancer.

Bill was born April 17, 1938, at his family homestead near Rutland, North Dakota, to Ole and Leona (Buetow) Nelson, and was second of six children. He attended Rutland Consolidated School, and then Forman High School, graduating in 1957. His father passed away when Bill was nine years old, and his mother was hospitalized with respiratory illness during much of his childhood. Though these circumstances created personal and financial hardship for the family, Bill was determined to continue his education. He attended North Dakota State School of Science, in Wahpeton, North Dakota, for two years, then transferred to North Dakota State University in Fargo, and graduated with a B.S. in civil engineering in 1961. After graduation, he moved to Ames, Iowa, where he was employed at the Iowa Department of Transportation. He worked at the DOT as a highway engineer until his retirement in 2000.

Bill was a lifelong Lutheran. He was baptized and confirmed at Nordland Lutheran Church in Rutland, North Dakota. The pastor of that church, knowing Bill had little adult supervision, would find Bill at the local pool hall and escort him to confirmation class. During his high school years, he attended Trinity Lutheran Church in Forman, North Dakota. After moving to Ames, he participated in events at the University Lutheran Student Center, where he met Kay Rutenbeck, a chemist at the Ames Lab. They became active members of Bethesda Lutheran Church in Ames.

Bill married Kay on December 14, 1963, in Ames, Iowa. They had two children. In his spare time, Bill liked to garden and to travel. He especially enjoyed traveling to visit relatives and to attend Christian camps and conferences. After retirement, he volunteered at the food pantry at his church.

Survivors include his wife, Kay Nelson of Ames, Iowa; his siblings, Al Nelson of Moorhead, Minnesota, Inez Olson of Fargo, North Dakota, Irene Meyer of Oakes, North Dakota, Marvin Nelson, of Granbury, Texas, and Loretta Nelson of Odessa, Texas; his daughters, Lori Nelson of Iowa City, Iowa, and Kari Clore of Cincinnati, Ohio; a grandson, Ethan Nelson-Moore, of Iowa City; and many nieces and nephews.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents.

No public services are planned. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Bethesda Lutheran Church Food Pantry.

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