Orville Paul Nelson, 86 of Thief River Falls, MN, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at Oakland Park Communities in Thief River Falls, MN after visits from his loving family.

A 2:00 PM viewing and 3:00 PM memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 25, 2019 at the Johnson Funeral Service, 420 LaBree Ave N, Thief River Falls, MN with Larry Myhrer officiating.  Private interment will be Monday, August 26 at St. Pauli Lutheran Church cemetery in Thief River Falls.

Orville Paul Nelson was born November 14, 1932 in Thief River Falls, MN the son of Edwin and Evelyn Nelson.  He was confirmed June 22, 1947 at St. Pauli Lutheran Church. After attending old Washington School District 221 near Hazel, MN Orville attended Agricultural College in Crookston, MN. In the early 1950s he worked various jobs such as rolling logs at a Bemidji sawmill, repairing radios at the TRF Montgomery Ward radio department, and working for a TRF sign company making signs such as the TRF Bridgeman Dairy Company’s neon sign. He then served in the Army in the mid-50s before marrying Doris Mae Mackereth in Moorhead, MN on January 10, 1959.  The couple made their home in Golden Valley where Orville worked for Golden Valley TV Repair and where their four children were born.  In Spring of 1968, Orville and his family returned to the Nelson farm in rural Thief River Falls where he farmed, drilled wells for Davidson Well Drilling, and later established O&D TV repair business.

As a young father he would often sing and play guitar and accordion for his children. Orville was an avid ham radio enthusiast whose call signs were “Cold Toe” and “Barefoot Swede.” With the advent of the Internet, he greatly enjoyed chat rooms and connecting with people around the world. He liked reading about geology, geography, genealogy, and history. His television favorites included war documentaries, Perry Mason, and Hee Haw! Orville faithfully attended the annual Tractor Festival in Rollag, MN.

Survivors include his children Jean Marquis, Denise (Roger) Johnsrud, Bradley (Darcy) Nelson, and Patricia (Walter) Maurer; 12 grandchildren Dustin (Katie Jo) Marquis, Jason & Brandon Johnsrud, Matt (Jessica) Johnsrud, Shelly (Jason) Kruchowski, Holly Johnsrud, Timothy (Christine) Nelson, Travis (Ashlee) Nelson, Brady Nelson, Alyssa (Nathan) Hersey, Andrew & Shane Maurer; and 8 great-grandchildren Kenley & Gabe Marquis, Ruby, Grace & Maverick Kruchowski, Ethan, Keira & Declan Nelson.

He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Doris Mae (Mackereth) Nelson; sister Lois (Nelson) Ofstedahl; and grandchild Ariel Johnsrud.

He delighted in putting a smile on anyone’s face with his stories or a joke or two. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.

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