Thelma F. Nelson, age 80 of Grafton, North Dakota, passed away Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at the Unity Medical Center of Grafton.
Thelma Faye Watkins was born June 17, 1940 in Drayton, North Dakota, the daughter of the late Willis and Marion (Uggerud) Watkins. She grew up in rural Drayton attending Herrick School in rural Walsh County and Grafton High School, graduating in 1958. She started working at Earl’s Shoe Store while in high school and continued working for Herbel’s Shoe Store and the Shoe Box until it closed. Thelma was united in marriage to LeRoy Nelson on February 18, 1961 at the Grafton Lutheran Church of Grafton. Thelma worked as the librarian for the Grafton Public Schools until her retirement in 2005.
She was a member of the Grafton Lutheran Church, church circle, a Luther League advisor and a Sunday school treasurer. She was also involved with the Girl Scouts. Thelma loved being with her family and friends. She enjoyed baking, cooking, gardening, canning, sewing and crafting. When she worked at the school she would often bring in bundt cakes on Thursday’s, which the teachers dubbed “Thelma Thursday”. She also made caramel rolls for the city shop crew.
Thelma is survived by her husband of 59 years, LeRoy Nelson, Grafton, ND; daughters: Monica (Chris) Olson, Braham, MN; Marcia (Chris) Olson, Grafton, ND; Melinda (Burrell) Nadeau, Andover, MN; grandchildren: Melissa (Kevin) Hopke, Cory (Melissa) Blanchard, Sydney (Jesús Flores) Will, Lily Nadeau and Claire Olson; brothers: Robert (Marilyn) Watkins, Raymond (Kathy) Watkins and George (Darlene) Watkins; sisters: Mary (Everett) Wheeler and Renae (Lynn) Fredrickson; sister-in-law, Ann Marie Estad and brother-in-law, Bennie Nelson. Several nieces and nephews also survive. She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters: Helen Louise Watkins and Doris Thomasson and mother and father-in-law, Everett and Stella Nelson.
Funeral services will be Monday, September 21, 2020 at 10:30 A.M. at the Grafton Lutheran Church of Grafton. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at the Grafton Lutheran Cemetery. Masks will be required and social distancing guidelines will be followed.
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