Richard A. (Dick) Nelson, 83 of Ansley, died Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at Bryan LGH Hospital in Lincoln, surrounded by his family, after a month long battle with pneumonia. Dick was born July 23, 1930, in the Algernon township near Mason City, to Ernest E. and Blanche A. (Thorn) Nelson.
A celebration of his life was Monday, March 10, 2014, at First Christian Church in Ansley with the Rev. Mel Shepherd officiating, with Elks rites following. Burial was at the Ansley cemetery. Govier Brothers Mortuary of Broken Bow was in charge of the arrangements. Memorials are suggested to the family's choice.
Survivors include his wife, Marcia of Ansley; son, Randy and daughter-in-law Joan of Ansley; daughter, Debbie and son-in-law Pat Kelley of Burwell; sister, Lois Mills of Albuquerque, N.M.; six grandchildren, Crystal of Ansley, Kent and Michelle of Anselmo, Cassie Nelson and Matt Hansen, and Penny of Ansley, Katie Nelson and Tanner Crisp of Minden, Kami and Cody of Ansley; and four great-grandchildren, Caitlin, Ty, Kali, and Kaycee all of Anselmo; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by parent's, Ernest and Blanche; infant brother, Benton John, and a niece and nephew-in-law, Janet and Ben Satterfield.
Dick spent his first few years of life in the Algernon Township. Being born in the dirty 30’s, his childhood was not easy. At a young age he had a bout with pneumonia and thanks to his Aunt Mary Crist as his savior she brought him out of it. At the age of seven his family moved to what was know as the BJ Tierney headquarters west of Ansley, now known as Twin Mills Angus Ranch, named by Ernest based on the two windmills on the hillside east of their home. The windmills were later destroyed by a tornado.
During Dick's childhood through his high school years he enjoyed shooting pool, playing cards, football, and baseball. He graduated from Ansley High school in 1948. Upon graduation his dad, Ernest, told him to go out and see the world. This is when Dick and one of his cousins traveled to Colorado to pick peaches. It didn't take long for Dick to figure out that he didn't want to work for anyone and returned to the ranch.
May 23, 1951, he married the love of his life, Marcia Luth in Ravenna. Before and after marriage he worked along side his dad until Ernest's health forced him to retire. Then Dick continued feeding cattle, and building the Black Angus cow herd. Dick marketed his fat cattle at the Omaha Stock Yards and was one of the last shippers to market there before they closed. Dick had the first load of fat cattle to market to IBP in Lexington after the construction of the new plant.
A few highlights during his livestock career were: searching the country side for the best Angus bulls he could find, which he found from Gretta Heckett in early 1950's, followed by bulls from Ankony Angus in the 1960's and 1970's, and in the 1980's, he made news by purchasing the entire grand champion carload of bulls from Ken/Caryl Ranch, at the Denver Stock Show to currently buying bulls from the Krebs Ranch. Dick also marketed several pot loads of cattle to the Japanese. The Japanese bought the cattle live and flew them by plane to Japan where they continued fattening them for another 60 days.
He furthered his love of livestock by working and attending livestock and registered Angus sales. One of Dick's enjoyable times of his life was traveling and working around the United States and Canada with auctioneer Jim Baldridge to various registered Angus sales.
Throughout his life Dick was a member of: BPOE Elks Lodge 1688 for 51 years, he was a life time member of the Nebraska and American Angus Associat-ions, he was an avid bowler competing in local, state, and national tournaments for many years and had been inducted into the Broken Bow Bowling Hall of Fame, he was a 4-H leader for numerous years always looking for a way to help youth.
Dick and Marcia loved to dance and travel all over the country. Dick loved to go watch his son, daughter, and grand and great-grandchildren play sports, sing in concerts, and show cattle. If any of them were in a competition you could find him sitting in the stands. One of the number of ways he showed his love was by giving you a nickname.
Dick's hobbies included collecting pens and pencils, and driving truck up until the day he passed away. Dick loved to use his wit to tell humorous stories and never met a stranger. His stories included historical and life experiences. The changes Dick saw in his life were picking corn by hand with a team and wagon to using his cell phone, which he grew to love.
Dick will be greatly missed by everyone who knew and loved him especially his family.
Published in Custer County Chief, March 13, 2014