August 23, 2022

Gerald L. Nelson

Gerald L. Nelson, 92, of Watford City, N.D., passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born Oct. 8, 1929, at the farm home of his parents Arthur C. and Mabel (Skoglund) Nelson in Garden Township, McKenzie County, 12 miles northeast of Watford City, N.D. When Gerald was in first grade, Feb. 15, 1936, (in Parshall) still holds the record for being the coldest temperature in North Dakota with 60 degrees below zero. Gerald kept warm with a sheep skin aviator type hat, a sheep skin coat, mittens on his hands, and scarves around his face and neck.
Gerald attended Nelson School and graduated from Watford City High School in 1946. He attended the State School of Science, Wahpeton, N.D., 1947-1948 where he learned the electrical trade, a skill which has been useful all his life. Gerald then started farming full-time northeast of Watford City.
 In 1952 when Gerry was conducting business with Arne G. Bob Sanford, owner of S&S Motors, Bob introduced Gerry to his new accountant, Idella Kusler from Kulm, N.D. Gerald LeRoy Nelson and Idella Esther Kusler were married May 9, 1954, (Mother’s Day) in the First Congregational Church in Kulm, N.D. The couple lived on the Arthur C. Nelson farm for a number of years. In 1965 Bill Brown was hired to build a house for the couple, which he did with Louie Hanna as his assistant. After a few months the shell was finished and the Nelsons took over. After a few more months the house became a home.
In addition to farming Gerald and Idell started Nelson’s Ranch Supply in 1972 selling cattle equipment. The business grew over the years, but after 20 years Nelson’s Ranch Supply closed to allow more time for travel. Also in retirement Gerald enjoyed restoring over 20 antique farm tractors.
While still in high school, Gerry started a lifelong hobby of photography. The pictures he took are enjoyed and treasured by family and friends.
Gerry was active in various church and community organizations. He served on the state board of directors for both the North Dakota Farm Bureau and Nodak Mutual Insurance Company from 1973 to 1980.
Together, Gerry and Idell enjoyed and helped their children and grandchildren. They frequently went south for part of the winter, often to Deming, N.M., and then to South Padre Island, Texas.
Gerry is preceded in death by his wife, Idell Nelson; his parents, Arthur C. and Mabel Nelson; and sisters and brothers-in-law, Phyllis and Leslie Thorland and Arlene and Wesley Wold.
 Left behind to treasure his memory are his children, Cindy (Wayne) Sorenson of Williston, Craig (Julie) Nelson of Watford City, Kevin (Julie) Nelson of Milton, Ga.; grandchildren, Jeffrey Sorenson, Brent Sorenson, Philip Sorenson, Adam (Jalyssa) Sorenson, Meghan (Jamie) Jellesed, Heather (Eric) Kwan, Janelle (Cody) Ceynar, Owen Nelson and Gavin Nelson; great-grandchildren, Mary Rolfson, Asia and Alex Dutke, Restan and Emrys Sorenson, Elin and Benjamin Kwan, Aksel, Demi, Odin, and Henry Jellesed.
Funeral services were held Aug. 21, 2022, at the Living Faith Church. Pastor Roger Olson officiated. Gerry was laid to rest next to his wife, Idell at the Schafer Cemetery in Watford City. Visitation was held Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, at Fulkerson Stevenson Funeral Home of Watford City. A family service followed at the funeral home.
Friends may sign the on-line register and give their condolences at