Carol E. Nelson, 81, of Rochester died on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at Mayo Clinic St. Marys campus.
Carol Nelson (née Lockwood) was born to Charles and Evelyn Lockwood on May 25, 1939 in Frankford Township, near Grand Meadow, Minnesota. As a child, she enjoyed making music, 4H projects, and raising her many farm pets. She graduated from Austin High School in 1957, first attending Concordia College-Moorhead. On Feb 6, 1960, she married Loren Nelson, of Adams, MN at Grand Meadow Lutheran Church. After their wedding, they moved to Italy, where Loren was stationed at a US military base where Carol also taught school. Upon returning in 1963, she completed her BS degree in primary education from the University of Minnesota, and taught elementary school for several years in both Caledonia and then in Rochester. She was an active and devoted mother to her three children, Sonia Ellsworth (née Nelson), Barry Nelson, and Bryce Nelson. Carol was a leader in the American Association of University Women, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, the Northwest Notables 4H Club, and a women's investment club. She later became a member of Zumbro Lutheran Church. In her later career, she was owner and Director of the Kids Tree House childcare center in Rochester for eleven years. Carol shared her positive attitude, laughter and warm hugs with friends and family, who brought her much joy. Grandmother to nine (Jonathan, Kirstin, Stephanie, Madie, Reece, Keziah, Zane, Brea, and Brooke), she was preceded in death by her father Charles Lockwood, her mother Evelyn Lockwood, her brother Darrel Lockwood, and her daughter, Sonia.
A funeral service will be held on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at Zumbro Lutheran Church. Carol's service can be streamed live over the internet or viewed later. Go to www.zumbrolutheran.org There you will find a button to click to watch livestream. You can also watch later on YouTube using the same link. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be at Oakwood East Cemetery. Masks are recommended by the church for the services.
Memorials for Carol can be directed to the Zumbro Lutheran Memorial Fund or to the American Association of University (AAUW) Fund for Women Student Leaders through a designated donation to AAUW Rochester. Contact the family for more information.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Nelson family; to share a special memory or condolence please visit www.ranfranzandvinefh.com
Rochester, MN 55902
Rochester, MN 55902
Rochester, MN 55902
My prayers and sympathy for your family. She is with her daughter now. Chuck
October 1998. Carol in front of her business, "Kids Tree House" with her daughter Sonia and grandson, Jonathan
Carol was my mother-in-law. As her only son-in-law I told her it was in my job description to tease her. She would giggle -- and she had a great giggle. She would laugh when I would annually play, "Grandma got ran over by a reindeer". We would especially giggle when remembering the one Christmas there was freezing rain and her shoes had no grip. Driving the car up the steep driveway would not help since she would likely fall trying to get to it. So, we thought outside the box -- and grabbed a sled. Loren and I gently lowered her onto it and gave a push. In her Christmas outfit she let out a "whoop" that broke the still air as she sled down into the cup-de-sac. She would remember how it was both Thrilling/Terrifying as she took her last sled ride of her adult life. We got a lot of giggles from that story. (Especially after we realized I could have pulled her car up into the garage and had her get in from there. "Next time." We would joke.)
For decades she would cook us all holiday meals with her classic WildRice dish and Cranberry Fluff. She enjoyed feeding us all and hugging her grandkids.
I will miss her. But, am glad she is with Sonia and our Lord in Heaven. God Bless you Carol, my mother-in-law. I look forward to hearing your giggles again....