Eugene (Gene) Arlan Nelson, 78, of Roswell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Roswell, GA, passed away on Thursday, November 24 from complications of colon cancer, under the care of hospice.

Gene was born July 31, 1938 in Lake Park, MN to Henry Nelson Sr. and Edna (Paulson) Nelson Dunham.  He was baptized in Audubon, MN. He was confirmed at Augustana Lutheran Church in Detroit Lakes, MN. He was active in Golden Glove boxing along with his three brothers.eugene-nelson-obit-web

Gene was married to Jeannette Vizenor on December 27, 1959 at Bethel Lutheran Church in Pelican Rapids, MN. Two girls were born to this union: Renita Michelle Moschita, and Lynette Danielle Martin.

Gene later married Thelma Burdine in Salt Lake City, Utah. They later lived in Underwood, MN.

Gene worked as a heavy equipment operator and a mechanic for his half-brother’s construction company. He was a sought after diesel mechanic as “he could fix anything.” He later worked for other construction companies in different states. He was most proud of his last job before his retirement as an Alcohol/Drug Rehabilitation Counselor at Hastings, MN.

Gene is survived by Thelma Burdine, Salt Lake City, UT;  daughters, Renita Moschitta of Phoenixville, PA and Lynette Martin of Kenesaw, GA; grandchildren, Brittany Tompkins of Phoenixville, PA and Ashley (Kenny) Rivers of Atlanta, GA; great grandchildren, Kyrie and Khali of Phoenixville, PA; step-children, Phil and Karen Burdine, Gino Burdine, Forrest and Denise Burdine, Bob and Susie Kelsey and BJ and Angie Mills, all of Salt Lake City, Utah; brothers, Jerome (Connie) Nelson of Detroit Lakes, MN; sisters, Ellenmaye (Richard) Habberstad of Underwood, MN, Anne Marie (Lanny) Worner of Branson, MO, and Mary (Dave) Backora of Chaska, MN;  and sister-in-law, Gloria Nelson of Guadalajara, Mexico.  He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.

Gene is preceded in death by his parents, Henry and Edna Nelson; brothers, Henry (Gloria) Nelson Jr. and George Robert Nelson (Bob); nephews, Ronald Nelson and Marty Cusey; half-brothers, Elmer Nelson and Harvey Nelson; and half-sister, Helen Christopherson.

A memorial service will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church, rural Underwood, MN at a later date. Pastor Tim Collins of Messiah Lutheran Church will be officiating.