Cover photo for Ernest "Ernie" N. Nelson's Obituary
Ernest "Ernie" N. Nelson Profile Photo
1931 Ernest 2010

Ernest "Ernie" N. Nelson

January 26, 1931 — January 22, 2010

Ernest "Ernie" N. Nelson, 78, of Coon Valley died Friday, January 22, 2010 at Bethany St. Joseph Care Center in La Crosse.

He was born January 26, 1931, at Lutheran Hospital in La Crosse to Elmer and Nora (Mahlum) Nelson. He was baptized February 22, 1931 and confirmed on May 27, 1945 by Pastor H.O. Bach, at Coon Valley Lutheran Church. He was a 1948 graduate of Westby High School. Ernie served in the United States Army from January 29, 1952 until January 28, 1954, in Korea. On December 3, 1966, he married Audrey J. Gronvold at Coon Valley Lutheran Church by Pastor R.J. Vevle.

Ernie was the band leader of the 'Colonial Playboys,' organized in 1975, and they played throughout the area for 25 years. He named his band in memory of his father, who played with the 'Colonial Orchestra' in his younger days. Ernie was an active member of the Coon Valley Lutheran Church, serving on the church council, of which he was president for 2 years. He was a member of the Coon Valley American Legion Post 116 for 57 years, serving as local post commander for several years, as well as Vernon County Commander, and also holding several offices at the district level. He was a lifetime member of the Coon Creek VFW #10532, also having served as commander. He was a 32nd degree Mason for 36 years. Ernie was a lifetime member of the Coon Valley Conservation Club, a past member of the Coon Valley Volunteer Fire Department, past president of the Erickson Community Club, past president of the Coon Valley Business Association, and former board member of the Coon Creek Ambulance Service. Ernie worked at Allis Chalmers, Continental Can, Nelson Texaco in Coon Valley, Cenex in Chaseburg, Sears, and Ace Hardware in La Crosse. Ernie enjoyed spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren. He enjoyed immensely playing music and entertaining his dance crowds, as well as 'jamming' with other musically talented family and friends at his house, in the garage, or anywhere the opportunity arose.

Surviving are his wife, Audrey; three children, Mark (Marilee) of St. Paul, Minn., Charles (Kim) of Coon Valley, Julie (Gary) Grethel of Coon Valley; 6 grandchildren, Michelle and Joseph, Devin and Bianca, and Madeline and Margaret; one great-grandchild, Nicklaus; 2 brothers, Dale (Kay) and Monte (LuEtta) Nelson, all of Coon Valley; 1 sister-in-law, Corrine Nelson, of Coon Valley; and many sisters and brothers-in-laws, nieces and nephews. Ernie was preceded in death by 1 son, SPC Scott Nelson, on July 1, 1989, which was extremely hard on him. Ernie was also preceded in death by his parents; 1 brother, Roger Nelson; and many other extended family.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday January 26, 2010 at the Coon Valley Lutheran Church with Rev. Mitzi Miyamoto officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery with military honors by the Coon Valley American Legion Post #116. Friends may call on Monday from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley and at the church on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until service time.

A special thank you to the staff at Bethany St. Joseph Care Center for their excellent care and compassion. Also thank you to the many family and friends who visited Ernie and kept him in your prayers. In lieu of thank you notes, Ernie's family plans to use all memorials towards organizations of his choice, including the Coon Valley First Responders, Coon Valley Fire Department, Coon Valley American Legion and Coon Valley Lutheran Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ernest "Ernie" N. Nelson, please visit our flower store.


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