Cover photo for Richard Donald Nelles's Obituary
Richard Donald Nelles Profile Photo
1936 Richard 2020

Richard Donald Nelles

May 16, 1936 — January 11, 2020

Richard D. Nelles, age 83, of Outing and formerly of Princeton, passed away on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at Sterling Pointe Senior Living in Princeton from complications of Alzheimers.  He was born on May 16, 1936 in Dayton, the son of Clemens “Clem” and Leone (Batterberry) Nelles. 

He graduated from Elk River High School in 1954 and served in the U.S. Air Force for 5 years.  In the service, he worked as a boom operator on a KC 97 inflight refueler.  Richard married Joan Johnson of Elk River on December 28, 1955 and they were married for 25 years.  Together they had 5 sons, Bryan, Brad, Bruce, Dave and Cary.  After the service he began a long career as a State Farm Insurance agent in Princeton.  He retired after more than 30 years and moved to Washburn Lake in Outing.  At his home on Washburn Lake, he was most often in the woods “managing the forest for timber and wildlife”.  Richard was active in Firearms Safety Training for area youth for 40 years and was honored twice as Firearms Safety Instructor of the Year.  He was also active in the Lions Club for nearly 50 years along with other organizations.

During retirement, Richard enjoyed volunteering for the MN Dept. of Natural Resources – Forest Wildlife Populations and Research Group out of Grand Rapids.  He assisted with the trapping and radio collaring for research purposes of whitetail deer, fishers and wolves.  He did this for many years, making many friends and very much enjoyed working with the interns, graduate students and biologists.  During his life, he enjoyed flying his 1969 Cessna 150, hunting, fishing and taking trips to Canada. 

He is survived by 4 sons, Brad (Dawn) Nelles – Milaca, Bruce (Patti) Nelles – Milaca, Dave (Kim) Nelles – Cambridge and Cary (Becki) Nelles – Ashland, WI, 7 grandchildren, Michael (Andriea) Nelles – Plainwell, MI, Emma and Zachary Nelles – Milaca, Matt (Ashlee) Nelles – Watertown, SD, Ashley (Tyler Madill) Nelles – Duluth, Savannah and Kaleigh Nelles – Duluth, 2 great-grandchildren, Thea and Asher Nelles, 3 sisters, Kate Whitney and Ellen Leger both of Emily, MN, Maureen McNaughton – St. Cloud and numerous nieces and nephews. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, eldest son, Bryan, former wife, Joan and many good hunting dogs. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 A.M., Thursday, January 16, 2020 at the Christ Our Light Catholic Church, 804 7th Ave South, Princeton, MN  55371, with Fr. Kevin Anderson officiating.  Visitation will be from 10:00 – 11:00 A.M., Thursday at church.  Casual dress is preferred.  Burial will take place at the MN. State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls at a later date.   

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred and will be used towards Youth Firearms Safety Training programs in Minnesota.  They can be mailed to Cary Nelles, 61318 Olby Rd., Ashland, WI  54806. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Donald Nelles, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, January 16, 2020

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Christ Our Light Parish - North

804 7th Ave S, Princeton, MN 55371

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Christ Our Light Parish - North

804 7th Ave S, Princeton, MN 55371

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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