Empowering Communities, Celebrating Minnesota Locally

Steven Nelson

Steve Nelson, age 70 of Donnelly, Minnesota, passed away on Monday, June 24, 2024, at his home near Donnelly, MN.

Celebration of Life and Time of Fellowship for Steve Nelson will be held Monday, July 1, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at Kongsvinger Lutheran Church, rural Donnelly, MN.

There will be a private family burial in Kongsvinger Lutheran Cemetery, rural Donnelly, MN.

Steven Howard Nelson was born on August 13, 1953 in Morris, Minnesota to Howard and Margaret (Kleinhaus) Nelson. Steve was raised in the surrounding area going to country school and graduating from Hoffman High School in 1971. Following high school, Steve worked construction which took him to Streator, Illinois where he met and married Connie Allen in 1980. Connie had three boys that she brought with her to this union and in 1981 they moved to Minnesota, where they welcomed a daughter, Amber to this union.

Steve had a dream of owning his own gas station. In the mid 1980’s, Steve and Connie purchased the Dew Drop Inn Restaurant and Sinclair Gas/Service Station, later renamed Steve’s Independent Oil in Hoffman. Steve enjoyed visiting with people who would come into the station and offered full pump service. You could get your car gassed up, windows washed, and be sure to spend 20 minutes visiting with Steve. All that knew Steve, knew he liked to visit and there would be the stereotypical long Minnesota goodbye.

The early 90’s closed down Highway 27 which impacted the traffic and customers at the gas station that made the decision for a career change. Steve then began working in Alexandria at Standard Iron and later Douglas Machine as a welder. In 1998 Steve went back to tech school to pursue a change in careers. In 2002, Steve graduated with two degrees, a Paramedic and Radiology Technologist (x-ray tech). Steve worked as a Radiology Technologist until he retired from the Appleton Hospital in 2015. On April 8, 2006 Steve married Sue Erdahl from Donnelly. He became a member of Kongsvinger Church and was on the Church council for several years. Steve and Sue lived on her farm near Donnelly, Minnesota, where Steve lived until his death.

Sue enjoyed being outside while Steve preferred to be inside. They compromised by purchasing a camper. They enjoyed several summers of camping near Ashby, MN as well as an unforgettable trip to the Black Hills in South Dakota with Amber, Patrick, and Max. That trip is where they purchased their first vehicle together after Sue’s van broke down in the middle of Bear Country. The camping trips improved from there. Steve spent his retirement being home as much as possible. He would always say “there is no place better than being home.” He did enjoy watching TV or rather listening to it as he fell asleep on the couch. He did venture out with Sue on several trips to Park Rapids, MN for potato picking with friends the past several years.

Steve enjoyed being home with his dog Holly and would talk to her as if she were human and understood everything he said, which most of the time she probably did. Over the years he dabbled in Rhode Island Red chickens, and his pride and joy, Brown Swiss cows (Riley, Q-Tip, and Big John). Anyone that talked to Steve knew about the cows and his knowledge of them was impressive. Steve also had a knack for 70’s music knowledge. Any song played on KXRA 92.3 classic rock he could name the song, artist, and year. This was talent that was taught to Amber and her friends. Amber has maintained this talent over the years.

Steve is survived by his wife, Sue of Donnelly, MN; daughter: Amber (Patrick) Nelson of Barrett, MN; step-sons: Richard (Jean) McLaughlin of South Korea, Michael (Jennifer) McLaughlin of Hoffman, MN, and Tom McLaughlin; brother: Wayne Nelson of Barrett, MN; sister: Barbara (Dennis) Michels of Yankton, SD; grandchildren: Maxwell and Mason Nelson, Samantha (Migdalia) McLaughlin, Morgana McLaughlin, Alayna (Troy) Mehlhaf, Lauryn (Mason) Ostenson, Michael McLaughlin; great-grandchildren: Zara and Brenna McLaughlin, Dakotah Mehlaf and Wyatt Ostenson; step-sons, Brian (Ann) Erdahl, and their children, Kellen, Corrie, and Charli of Morris, MN, Josh Erdahl, and his children, Beckett, Faith, and Bryer of Alexandria and Aaron (Kayla) Erdahl, and their children, Bruce, Royce, and Randy of Donnelly, MN.

He was preceded in death by his parents.


Arrangements are with the Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris, MN.