Cover photo for Norman Dale Nelsen's Obituary
Norman Dale Nelsen Profile Photo

Norman Dale Nelsen

d. April 9, 2016

November 29, 1935 ~ April 9, 2016


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

3:00-8:00 PM

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Harlan, IA


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The family will be present to greet friends from 5:00-7:00 PM at the church.


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

11:30 AM

Immanuel Lutheran Church

Harlan, IA


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Burial will be in the Harlan Cemetery, Harlan, IA


Wife – Sandra Nelsen of Harlan, IA

1 Son – Mark Nelsen of Woodland Park, CO

2 Daughters – Joni (Clay) Dille of Woodland Park, CO

Christina (Adam) Koch of Omaha, NE

1 Brother – Melvin Nelsen of Shelby, IA

1 Sister – Darlene Arnold of Cridersville, OH

3 Grandchildren – Brandy Nelsen

Alyssa Koch

Joel Koch

Other Relatives & Friends

Norman Dale Nelsen, son of Harvey and Pearl Irene (Cunningham) Nelsen, was born on November 29, 1935, in rural Minden, Iowa. He attended Shelby (Iowa) schools and graduated from Shelby High School in 1954. Norm entered the United States Army in June 1954, and served until June 1956. Upon returning home, he held various jobs, including working for the Harlan (Iowa) Post Office for 14 years.

On June 1, 1976, Norm married Sandra Sue Carlson in Harlan. In 1985, he opened Norm’s Cabinets and TVs in Harlan, and continued running this business until his retirement in 1998. He became a resident of Avoca Specialty Care in Avoca, Iowa, in August 2012.

Norm established the Nishna Valley Antique Tractor Club, and organized antique tractor shows at the Shelby County Fair for many years. He greatly enjoyed taking his prized restored John Deere 1935 B tractor to area shows and driving it in parades. Norm enjoyed fishing trips to Canada with friends, and traveling with family. He took a special trip to Denmark with his father and other family members to meet relatives and see where his father grew up. Woodworking became a hobby after retirement. Norm especially loved spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Norm was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan, where he had served on the Church Council. He was an active member of the Helmer-Reyelt American Legion Post #150, and had served on the Veterans Memorial Auditorium Commission. A past president of the Jr. Chamber of Commerce, Norm was also a member of the Lion’s Club and Kiwanis Club, as well as a lifetime member of the Shelby County Historical Society.

Norman D. Nelsen died on Saturday, April 9, 2016, at Avoca Specialty Care in Avoca, Iowa. He had reached the age of 80 years, 4 months, and 11 days.

Preceding Norm in death were his parents; one granddaughter, Anna Dille; one sister-in-law, Myrna Nelsen; and one brother-in-law, Wayne Arnold. He is survived by his wife, Sandra Nelsen of Harlan, Iowa; one son, Mark Nelsen of Woodland Park, Colorado; two daughters, Joni (Clay) Dille of Woodland Park, Colorado, and Christina (Adam) Koch of Omaha, Nebraska; one brother, Melvin Nelsen of Shelby, Iowa; one sister, Darlene Arnold of Cridersville, Ohio; three grandchildren, Brandy Nelsen, Alyssa Koch, and Joel Koch; and other relatives and friends.

The funeral service was held on Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Harlan, Iowa, with Pastor Phillip Nielsen and Pastor Brian Arnold officiating. Marge Ahrenholtz served as the organist and Diane Kastens was the soloist. Casket bearers were Mark Nelsen, Dan Nelsen, Mark Pilkington, Steve Nelsen, Mark Schechinger, and Jay Pilkington. Burial was in the Harlan Cemetery, Harlan, Iowa, with graveside military rites conducted by the Helmer-Reyelt American Legion Post #150. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan, Iowa, was in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be left online at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Norman Dale Nelsen, please visit our flower store.


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