Kenneth W. “Ken” Nelson, age 88, died peacefully on March 19, 2021 surrounded by family. Born on March 1, 1933 to Walter and Hildegarde (Froemming) Nelson in Tigerton, Wisconsin, Ken grew up on a dairy farm on the Frank Settlement in rural Gillett. He graduated from Gillett High School in 1951 and enlisted in the United States Army. He was deployed to Germany. After his discharge from the service, he settled for a time in Milwaukee, working for the Miller Brewing Company. There he met Sharon Hischke, and the two married on December 13, 1958. The couple had two children. The family moved to Appleton where Ken worked as a union laborer in both the paper (Appleton Wire Works) and dairy (Galloway Company, Neenah, Wisconsin) industries until his retirement at age 62. Ken was an avid golfer throughout his life and enjoyed both Packer and Badger football, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Bucks, playing cards, and music, particularly the polka music for Romy Gosz and his Orchestra, and Hank Williams (“the sadder the better,” Ken used to say). The family were active members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and later Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, both in Appleton. Ken will be missed for his kindness, his dry sense of humor, and his sly smile.
Ken is survived by his son, Jeffrey Nelson (Curt Bennett) of Denver, Colorado, and his daughter Julie (Paul) Lehmann of River Falls, Wisconsin; grandchildren Haleigh Kuchera (Brandon Warrick) of River Falls, Brhett Lemberger of Helena, Montana, Katherine Nelson (Evan Christopher) of Washington, D. C., Anna Nelson (Xinrou Tan) of Union City, New Jersey, Payge Lehmann (Dylan Kusilek) of River Falls, Kurt Nelson of Broken Bow, Nebraska, and Justice Lehmann of River Falls; great-grandchildren Ryder Kuchera, Maesa Kuchera, and Declan Warrick of River Falls; and numerous extended family. He was predeceased by his wife, Sharon, and his parents.
Funeral services will be at Zion Lutheran Cemetery in Mosling, Wisconsin. The time and date are pending. In lieu of flowers, please direct memorial gifts in Ken’s name to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Appleton, Wisconsin (www.popappleton.org), or the Dementia Society of America (www.dementiasociety.org).