Lillian Jean Nelson, 69

Lillian Jean Nelson, age 69, of New Prague, died peacefully, with her family at her side, on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2022 at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.  Jean was born on December 6, 1952 in Aberdeen, South Dakota to Donald Paul and Betty Jean (Johnson) Katz.  She grew up and attended schools in Huron and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, until she met Donald Wayne Nelson at a drive-in movie and fate intervened.  It was love at first sight and Don knew that very night that Jean would become his bride; 6 months later, they married on June 29, 1968 in Sioux Falls.  The couple moved to Minneapolis not long after marrying, spent some years in Bloomington, and finally settled on Cedar Lake in New Prague in 1988.  Don partnered with the Pomije’s at Strike Force Bowl, which fed Jean’s love of bowling; she was a member of numerous leagues over the years.  Jean worked in management positions in various endeavors while raising their three children, and was most recently a long-time employee of European Roasterie.

 Jean was a woman of many talents, most of which brought out her creative side.  She was an accomplished ceramic artist.  She was proficient in crocheting, needlepoint, and sewing and was responsible for her family’s “award-winning” dance and Halloween costumes;  she made all the granddaughters’ dresses for her daughter’s wedding.  She loved gardening and cooking and was a voracious reader of romance novels, always ending her day with a book before going to bed.  Jean was a strong woman, rising to any challenge (having born three children by age 21) and yet possessed a kind, caring heart, that saw her generous to a fault.  She embraced life and it’s challenges and taught her family how to meet them with grace and determination.  Her fierce but gentle spirit will be missed by her family and all who knew her.

 Jean is survived by her loving husband of 54 years and best friend, Don, of New Prague; children, Alan (John Finney) Nelson of St. Joseph, MI, Mike (Candie) Nelson of New Prague, Chantel (Dustyn) Nelson of New Prague; grandchildren, Alycia (Josh) Kocina, Lindsey (Brad) Weiers, Natalie, Madison, & Emily Nelson; great-grandchildren, Brock, Kelson, & Kaisley; siblings, Connie (Harold) Fiferlick of Sioux Falls, SD, Nita (Ted) Mandery of Sioux Falls, SD, Kelvin (Twila) Katz of Reno, NV, Christy (Charles) Vallas of Elizabeth City, NC.  She is preceded in death by her parents; step-dad, Erwin Rans.

 A celebration of life visitation will be held Monday, November 28, 2022 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Bruzek Funeral Home, with a brief service at 1:00.



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