Gordon Victor Nelsen died unexpectedly on a family walk in Snohomish, WA on May 8, 2022, at the age of 80.
Gordon was born February 14,1942 in Williston, ND to Hans and Harriet (Nyquist) Nelsen, one of five children. He graduated from Poplar High School and then served four years in the Air Force in Vietnam. After the military, he attended Montana State University and graduated in 1972 with a degree in agricultural business and a minor in agricultural economics. Upon college completion, he followed in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps and managed a John Deere dealership for four years in Poplar, MT before purchasing his own dealership in Chester in 1976. You could say “John Deere was in his blood”.
He started dating the love of his life, Karen, in 1983. They had a long courtship where they enjoyed traveling around the world, dancing, and spending time with family. He embraced Karen’s two daughters, Jessica and Michelle, and relished in the opportunity to be a father. They married in 1996 celebrating 25 years of marriage. Once he retired in 1996, he began donating his time to various local organizations including Senior Golf Association, Pondera HealthCare Foundation, Marias Valley Golf Course, and the Pondera Valley Lutheran Church. They were blessed with wonderful grandchildren: Jacob, Ryan, and Grace Griffith, and Kyle, Brett, and Natalie Hanson, with whom he enjoyed spending time with throughout the years.
Gordon’s unwavering faith in God only grew stronger in his final years of life. He thoroughly enjoyed the special bond he formed with his two men’s Bible study groups. He had a passion for politics and was never shy about sharing his views or debating the issues. Using his business expertise, he dabbled in the stock market with his Gopher Broker friends. There weren’t many sunny days where he wasn’t spotted mowing the lawn on his John Deere tractor or practicing his golf swing for the upcoming senior golf tournament. When the leaves turned, he focused his attention on the Benchmark cabin with his hunting friends.
He was a man of integrity, humbleness, and forbearance, who brought so much love, happiness, laughter, adventure, and spiritual direction to all those around him. He lovingly guided his family and friends through life with all the energy and compassion he possessed. Gordon was a rock for his family, weathering all the trials, fears, tears and triumphs. Not only was he a pillar of his family, but also his beloved community. He never hesitated to lend a helping hand for a friend in need.
Gordon is preceded in death by his parents Hans and Harriet Nelsen, sister Judith Nelsen, and sister-in-law Kay (Robert) Nelsen. He is survived by his wife Karen Nelsen of Conrad, MT; children, Michelle (Scott) Griffith of Snohomish, WA, and Jessica (Kirk) Hanson of Oregon City, OR grandchildren Jacob, Ryan, and Grace Griffith and Kyle, Brett, and Natalie Hanson; his brothers Robert Nelsen of Bozeman MT, Charles (Elizabeth) Nelsen of Albuquerque, NM, and sister Alice (Jeff) Keane of Sun City West, AZ. As well as numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.
A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, May 19th at 11:00AM at the Pondera Valley Lutheran Church, 6th Ave SW, Conrad, MT 59425. A reception at the church will follow the burial. A viewing will be offered on Wednesday, May 18th from 6-8pm at the Asper/Pondera Funeral Home, 302 S. Main St, Conrad, MT 59425. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Gordon’s life. Contributions may be given to the Pondera Valley Lutheran Church, Pondera Healthcare Foundation, and Liberty County Foundation.