Nels J. Holmberg, 96

Thief River Falls – Nels John Holmberg, of Thief River Falls was called home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sunday, April 29, 2018 at the Villa St. Vincent in Crookston.
Funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls with Jeff Gustafson Officiating. Burial will be held at Greenwood Cemetery in Thief River Falls. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service on Saturday at the funeral home.
Nels John Holmberg was born on May 3, 1921 in Ovansjo, Sweden to Johan Simon and Beate Maria Holmberg. Nels came with his parents from Sweden at two years of age and spent his early childhood in Crookston. The family moved to Thief River Falls where Nels lived the rest of his life. Simon Holmberg owned the Holmberg Meat Market and Nels worked there for many years happily serving customers until it closed. He then was employed by Dwight’s Hartz Store until he retired.
During World War II Nels joined the Army on December 5, 1942 at Ft. Snelling, and served his country until his honorable discharge on January 25, 1945. He fought in France until he was severely injured. While in the service he became a US Citizen on May 22, 1943.
Upon Nels’ recovery, he returned to Thief River Falls and married Edla Erickson in 1947. A son, Allan was born in 1949. Nels and Edla faithfully served their Lord through the Mission Covenant and Evangelical Free Churchs as well as with Gideons International as a member for 75 years.
Nels was loved by many for his cheery greetings, clever nicknames, strong character, and dedication to God.
Nels will be dearly missed by his son Allan and his wife, Joanne River Vale, NJ, his grandchildren Jenna (Alex) Tahbaz of Cedar Grove, NJ, Nissa Holmberg of Phoenixville, PA, Allison Holmberg of Portsmith, NH, Kaitlin (Charles) Seaman of Rochester, NY, Eric Holmberg of Hoboken, NJ; and his great grandchildren Liam, Avery, Remington, Kaja, Korinne, and Otto.
Nels is preceded in death by his parents, wife Edla Holmberg, brother Gunnar Gustin.
Condolences may be sent to the family at


  1. Mr. Holmberg was my neighbor and father to my childhood friend Allen. He was energetic and always had a kind, cheerful greeting to all us neighborhood kids in the 1960’s. (there were a lot of kids- Larry Olson and I counted; over 50 lived there then) He knew them all. My thoughts are with you Allen- He was a great man and his life brought joy to us.

  2. My best Al. Wow….what a great, long life. As young people, we really never understood what our parents went through. Hope I see you again at another reunion. Al Shirley

  3. My sympathy goes out to you Allen. My Mother Anna, was a sister to your Grandmother, Betty Holmberg. We lived in TRF until Bob and I retired. We were married in 1947.After we retired we moved to Arizona. Have been here for 34 years.
    Nels and I saw each other when ever they came to TRF to visit his Grandma Holmberg. We both are 92 now, and have been married for 70 years. We tried to reach your Dad a number of years ago but never could make a connection.
    God Bless Him, He is in Gods hands now. Bob and Jo Ann

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