Elsie M. Nelson

(Aug. 10, 1924 - Jan. 26, 2019)


Elsie Nelson passed away peacefully in her sleep Jan. 26, 2019, from Alzheimer’s, at Moorberg Cottage on the St. John’s Lutheran Home campus in Billings, Montana, at the age of 94. 

She was born Aug. 10, 1924, to Edwin and Josephine Stylen in Stoddard, Wisconsin, and was one of five children. She grew up on the Stylen farm in Hunder Coulee near Stoddard and completed her education in La Crosse, Wisconsin. In 1943 she married Harold L. (Lev) Olson of Westby, Wisconsin, and moved to Bryan, Texas, for the duration of WWII, where Harold was stationed and their son, Johnny was born.

After the war she and Harold resided in Westby until moving to Powell in 1955, where they owned and operated the Dutch Mill Cafe for several years. She and Harold later divorced and in December 1967 she married R.A. (Bob) Nelson.

Elsie and Bob spent many wonderful years together, taking many trips to various parts of the world. She loved spending late winters in Hawaii and summers at their cabin in the Hunter Peak area of Sunlight Basin. 

Elsie was a kind, caring and gracious lady who loved being a homemaker. She was a great cook and loved to sew — making many of her own clothes. She was active in her Bridge Club, the Red Hat Society and a Patron of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

Elsie was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Bob; her brother Clayton (Jim) Stylen; her sister Palma (Polly) Tollerud; her brother-in-law Woodrow (Woodie) Tollerud; her brother-in-law Raymond Umberger; her brother-in-law R. B. (Richard) Nelson; and her sister-in-law Pauline Nelson, both of Palo Alto, California.

She is survived by her son Johnny (Deb) Olson of Billings; stepson Dick (Jeanne) Nelson of Powell; stepdaughter Julie (John) Sullivan of New York; very special niece Rena (Jim) Beukelman of Powell; sisters Janice (Burt) Lee of Coon Valley, Wisconsin, and Ardelle Umberger of Stoddard, Wisconsin; grandsons Jeff (Tristan) Olson of Roseville, California, Ty (Brandi) Nelson of Cody, Andy (Brenda) Nelson of Powell, Jonathan Sullivan of Salt Lake City; and numerous nieces and nephews and great-grandchildren.

As per her request and wishes, cremation has taken place, and a memorial will be held for her later this spring “when the world is warm, lush and renewed,” at Hope Lutheran Church in Powell. Donations in her memory can be made to the Elsie M. Nelson Scholarship at Northwest College in Powell.