Mankato – Eugene “Gene” E. Nelson, 79 of Mankato, died August 14, 2018 at Ecumen Pathstone Living in Mankato.
Funeral service was held on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Mankato. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery at a later date.
Gene was born October 19, 1938 to Wallace and Nellie Nelson in Greenbush. He grew up on a small farm in St. Hilaire and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1957.
Gene entered the Air Force after graduation and served at the base in Fairbanks, Alaska. He married his high school sweetheart, Loralea Larson, in 1959. Together they raised one son, Greg.
Gene was a natural mechanic and he honed his skills working in auto repair shops and dealerships in Minneapolis. In 1972 he moved his family to Mankato where he started Nelson Motors of Mankato, Inc. with his brother Ron and brother Joe, thus marking his first foray into entrepreneurship. It would not be his last, he next started Pneumat Systems, Inc. a manufacturing business in Mankato that ships products around the world, and for his retirement he started Accu-Rite Powdercoating from nothing.
Combining his passion, fearlessness, vision and skill Gene created thriving businesses that provide livelihoods for a lot of good people. That was very important to him. He was able to travel across this globe, mostly in his motor coach, where the adventures were great, and the friends made, meant the world to him.
Gene is survived by his son, Greg (Sarah) Nelson of Mankato; grandson, Noah (Molly Butler) Nelson of St. Paul; sister, Marcia (Orin) Ramstad; brother, Ronald (Shirley) Nelson; sister-in-law, Laura Nelson; and many nieces and nephews.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Loralea “Lolly”; sister, Virgene; and brother, Jonas.
The family prefers memorials be given to Mayo Hospice, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, or Connections Ministry Homeless Shelter. More info at connectionsmankato.org.