Nanbeth NelsonNanbeth Nelson passed away Monday, March 12.
Our beloved mother, grandmother and friend, Nanbeth Nelson passed away Monday, March 12 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth at the age of 68, following a lengthy illness.
Nanbeth was born Oct. 10, 1943 in Highland Park, Mich. to Nan Helena (Hakala) Saari and Thomas Martin Saari. She was born into an extended family of Finnish immigrants that came to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the late 1800s, settling in Ironwood.
Nanbeth’s father Martin was a bricklayer, and his family traveled with him to work sites across the country. Nanbeth lived in and attended school in cities such as Detroit, Madison, Chicago, Nashville and Washington D.C., before her family settled in Superior. Nanbeth graduated with honors from Superior East High School in 1961, and went on to graduate from St Luke’s Nursing School in Duluth. She worked at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth as a nurse and nursing supervisor for more than 26 years, retiring in 2001.
Nanbeth was married to Timothy Nelson in 1965, her high school sweetheart. They lived for a short time in Machias, Maine where Tim was stationed in the Navy, and in Grand Forks, N.D., as Tim completed his Master’s degree. They moved back to Superior, and together, raised six children. Tim was diagnosed in 2001 with lung cancer, passing away in June 2002.
More than anything, Nanbeth’s life was devoted to her children. She raised them to be independent and involved, and took great pride in their accomplishments. Whether it was music, theatre, sports or politics, she encouraged and supported all they were involved in. She was often parked in her favorite spot at the baseball field, spent countless hours in hockey rinks and gyms, and never missed a concert. She lived by the family calendar, and missed this most as her children grew up. She loved family gatherings, especially Christmas, and enjoyed the decorating, cooking, shopping and gift-giving of the holidays. She loved warm weather, vacations and sun, summer weekends at the family cabin, and annual trips to Mexico.
Mom will be remembered for her quiet nature, and how much she shared in the joy of her children and grandchildren’s adventures and successes. She so very much wanted to be here for more of them.
Nanbeth is survived by her six children: Lisa Beth Nelson (Randy) of Thorp, Wis., Brita Ann Nelson of Superior, Timothy Mark Nelson (Kerri) of Superior, Greta Nan Rath (Philip) of Monroe, Wis., Thomas John Nelson (Ivette) of Tracy, Calif., and Ted Martin Nelson (Rachel) of Superior. She is survived by 19 grandchildren; Derek, Emerald, Eden, Calvin, Carsten, Maggie, Ryan, Rebekah, Anikah, Roderick, Dominick, Maryskah, Maverick, Kendrick, Tyler, Adelie, Caleb, Drew, and Jasper. She is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, neices, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents Nan Helena and Martin Saari, her husband Timothy Martin Nelson, her brother Martin John Saari, and an infant granddaughter Allee.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. on Friday in the Downs Funeral Home, 1617 N. 19th St., Superior. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday at the Finnish Apostolic Lutheran Church in Esko. Inurnment will be in Greenwood Cemetery.
Memorials may be made in honor of Nanbeth Nelson to Senior Connections Nutrition Program, 1805 N. 16th St., Superior, WI 54880.
Sign the online guest book or send condolences at www.downs.com.