Daniel Nene Nelson, 66, Magnolia, died Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at the Sanford Luverne Hospice Cottage.
A funeral service was Tuesday, March 12, at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Luverne. Burial followed at Maplewood Cemetery in Luverne.
Daniel Nelson was born on March 20, 1952, to Harry and Annabelle (DeBooy) Nelson in Adrian. He was raised in Magnolia. Dan attended school in Magnolia and graduated from Magnolia High School in 1970.
Following his graduation he attended and completed the culinary program at Mitchell Vocational School in Mitchell, South Dakota. His professional career included working as a chef at Izaty’s at Lake Mille Lacs, the Matador Supper Club and Lounge in Ortonville, Calumet Inn in Pipestone, Green Lantern in Hardwick, Holiday Inn in Worthington, University of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Country Kitchen in Luverne, and lastly, making pizzas at Casey’s General Store at the eastside location in Luverne.
In 1991 Dan met Debra (Staeffler) DeRoo and on June 22, 1996, the couple married in the backyard of their home, Dan’s childhood home, in Magnolia. Later in life Dan began losing the control of his fine motor skills in his hands. As a result, Dan became a counselor at Southwestern Youth Services in Magnolia. This job resulted in much more than a paycheck in return and he felt blessed to help the boys. In September Dan was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.
Dan was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Luverne. For many years he served as a volunteer on the Magnolia Fire Department. He continued a love for gardening, both vegetables and flowers, and mowed many yards in Magnolia. He enjoyed traveling and going for drives in his El Camino. He was known as a jokester and loved to sit, visit and reminisce about old times. Dan enjoyed fixing food for the Nelson family reunions, and favorites by many were his prime rib and a chocolate dump cake.
Dan is survived by his wife, Deb, of Magnolia; five stepchildren, Tracy (Greg) Branderhorst of Half Way, Missouri, Terry DeRoo of Beaver Creek, Daniel (Beth) DeRoo of Round Lake, Amy (Joe) Cernohous of River Falls, Wisconsin, and Jessica (Chad) Barnett of Hardwick; 14 stepgrandchildren; a sister-in-law, Carol Nelson of Luverne; and other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two siblings, Myrna Nelson and Norman Nelson.
Memorials may be directed to Southwestern Youth Services or Sanford Luverne Hospice.
Arrangements were provided by Hartquist Funeral Home of Luverne, www.hartquistfuneral.com.