Gertrude W. Nelson - Yankton Press & Dakotan: Obituaries

Gertrude W. Nelson

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Monday, July 26, 2010 12:00 am

Gertrude W. Nelson, age 94, of Yankton, South Dakota, and formerly of Mission Hill, South Dakota, died Tuesday, July 20, 2010, at Avera Sacred Heart Hospital in Yankton.

Memorial services will be 10:30 AM, August 23, 2010, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Yankton.  Inurnment will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery.  Visitation will be August 22, 2010, from 5:00 to 8:00 PM at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home with a rosary at 7:00 PM and a vigil service at 7:30 PM.

Honorary pallbearers are Don Novotny, Denise Novotny, David Novotny, Dan Novotny, Brandy Swena, Corey Gunderson, Vaughn Davis, Robert Hanson and Sister Kevin Irwin.

Gertrude was born June 2, 1916, to Thomas and Alma (Payne) Brennan in Jefferson, South Dakota.  She graduated from Yankton High School in 1934.  She married Paul Nelson on October 3, 1940, in Yankton.  After their marriage they lived in several places due to Paul’s military career and when Paul was sent overseas Gertrude moved back to her parents’ home in Yankton to raise their daughter Paula. After Paul’s discharge and return to Yankton, their son Charles Thomas was born in 1946.  In 1951 Gertrude and Paul moved to their home in Mission Hill where Gertrude devoted her time to raising their children and taking care of their home.  Shortly after moving to Mission Hill her parents moved in with them, so Gertrude could care for them.

She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Gertrude and her beloved Paul shared a life and love that was an inspiration to us all.  She was a gentle soul who quietly tended and cherished her family, nurtured her friendships occasionally providing taxi service and driving lessons, and she lived her religion.  She was a quiet and shy woman, who did not seek attention and was known to say she wasn’t a “mixer”.  Besides her family, her joys were many……her rose garden, a bounteous vegetable garden, baking, canning, auction sales and game shows.  She made beautiful quilts and was an awesome cook.   She missed her home in Mission Hill, but quickly came to love her home at Autumn Winds and was grandma to staff and residents alike.  She so loved her twice daily visits with her furry friend Curly. We will miss her sweet presence in our lives, but rejoice in her reunion with her soulmate.

Survivors include her daughter, Paula (Larry) Jones of Yankton; six grandchildren, Don (Dana) Novotny, Denise Novotny, David (Erin) Novotny, Dan Novotny, Brandy (Vaughn Davis) Swena, and Corey Gunderson; ten great grandchildren, Jamie, Brian, and Catherine Novotny, Nathan, Emily, and Allison Novotny, her namesake Alexandra Brennan Foxhoven, Leigha Hangman, and Davian and Tori Gunderson; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 68 years, Paul on August 20, 2009; son, Charles Nelson; two sisters, Helene Weverstad and Kathryn Peschl.

The family would like to thank the staff at Autumn Winds Assisted Living for the care they have given Gertrude.  They would also like to extend a special thank you to Katie Renner, Jessica Eversole and Julie Mann for their tender and capable care after her fall, Betty Walter, Kendra Vennard and Linda Holden for always making sure she had her coffee, Tammy Sternhagen for the “whee” rides to lunch and Carol & Steve Vande Kop and Collette Broekemeier for simply being the caring individuals they are.

To send an online sympathy card, please visit

Follow us on Facebook