Edward "Red" Nelson, age 85, of Yankton, South Dakota, died Thursday, August 20, 2015, at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 AM on Tuesday, August 25, 2015, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Yankton with Reverend Larry Regynski officiating. Burial will be in the Sacred Heart Cemetery in Yankton with military honors provided by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791 and the Patriot Guard Riders. Visitation is from 5:00 to 8:00 PM on Monday, August 24, 2015, at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton with a rosary at 7:00 PM and a vigil service at 7:30 PM.
Edward "Red" Nelson was born March 27, 1930, in Zell, South Dakota, to Russell and Agnes (Jungwirth) Nelson. When he was four years old his family moved to Gettysburg, South Dakota and then to Pringle, South Dakota when he was six. Red attended the first grade in Hot Springs, South Dakota, second grade in Custer, South Dakota, third grade in Sioux City, Iowa and then moved to Yankton in 1939. His father died when Red was 13 years old. Red began working with Dave Waldner making sweeping compound and working on cars. He later began working at the box factory making "Big Bucks" at $0.44/hour. He married Clara Kozak in Yankton in 1951 and together had one daughter, Linda May.
Red was drafted into the army in 1952 where he scored perfect scores in Auto Maintenance at Fort Knox, Kentucky and in Truck Vehicle Mechanic while in Japan. Red spent 14 months serving his country in Korea and returned to Yankton after the war, where he completed his GED. He bought water trucks in Yankton and operated Kozak Station. He moved to California for a short time working as a mechanic fixing transmissions. He returned to Yankton and began working at Rambler Garage, Gamble's and at Frank Smith Garage, until starting his own business, Red's Automotive. He later started his own house moving business, which he operated for 22 years. He married Patricia Roberts on December 14, 1968 in Yankton and adopted her three daughters: Patty, Penny, and Linda, later adding one more daughter, Donna.
Red was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, the Yankton Antique Auto Association for 24 years and was President for five years. He won 3rd Place last year in the Riverboat Days Parade with his 1930 Buick- same age as him. Red loved working on cars and before electronic age he could listen to a car and usually tell what was wrong with it. He also was a 50 year Lifetime member of the VFW. He had a love for education always stating that it is something no one can take away from you. He loved to travel and never took the same road twice. He hit Garage Sales, Antique Stores and Auctions where his family reaped the benefits, now he will be filling up God's house. He enjoyed dancing, reading, and visiting with his friends, but especially loved his family above all else.
Thankful for having shared his life are his four daughters: Linda (Dick) Fox of Yankton; Penny (Rick) Addink of Winslow, Nebraska; Linda (Wally) Ackerman of Mission Hill, South Dakota; and Donna Nelson of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Grandchildren: Carl (Tina) Nelson, Justin Goeden, Eric (Marie) Kieffer, Travis Goeden, Amber Vanderwalker, Nathan (Sara) Nelson, Cory Kieffer, Tyler Morgan(Emily Barta), Lisa (Brett) Claussen, Teri Kreikemeier (Josh Gideon) , Adam Kreikemeier, and Logan Nelson; Great grandchildren; Tiffany, Blane, Emelia, Jordan, Makenna, Makenzie, Dakota, Dagan, Kayleen, Seth, Koby, Jaxson, Alexander, Levi and one on the way; sister, Rosemary (John) Mackeen of Shell Beach, California; brother, Don Nelson of Kingman, Arizona; special friend, Ruth Ann Dickman of Utica; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Patricia on December 28, 1994, daughter, Patty Kay Morgan; granddaughter, Kelly Nelson; sister, Ruth Eckhardt; two brothers, Dick and Vernon Nelson and Grandson-in-law, Jason Vanderwalker.
Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.
Linda and Dick, and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Linda I know you cared for your father greatly and he will be missed, but he will always be in your heart. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
My deepest sympathys. Marv and I stopped and visited you at your home years ago. Marv and Ed were cousins.
judy jungwirth Watson
To the Nelson family, our deepest sympathies to all of you at this time of loss. He was such a nice person, always ready to joke around with anyone around him. We will miss him. May he rest in peace now. Prayers to all of you.
You have our sympathy in your loss. Prayers to the family.
Loran & Kathy Tramp
So sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.
Roy and Frances Soukup
Our deepest condolences...Red was a good friend
Jack and Tammy
Red was one of the earliest supporters of South Dakota Magazine. He was a true South Dakotan through and through. He always helped us keep the magazine truck running. And everything he did, and everywhere he went, he spread some good cheer. Yankton is a poorer place without him.
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