CURTIS -- Ernest Tyre Nelson was born July 14, 1924, on a farm south of Curtis, to Alvah and Rissena (Jorgensen) Nelson. He died Sunday (Jan. 26, 2003) at the McAllen Medical Center in McAllen, Texas.
Ernest was baptized as a baby and became a member of the Curtis Methodist Church, August 1935, and remained a member for 67 years.
He attended a country school and then graduated from the Nebraska School of Agriculture in 1942. Ernest served in the U.S. Army Field Artillery during World War II. He was a 50-year member of the American Legion Post No. 95 in Curtis.
Ernest farmed for 18 years then, because of health reasons, moved to Curtis and became an agency manager for Farm Bureau Insurance Co., where he served for 25 years until retiring in 1987. He was a 55-year member of Frontier County Farm Bureau.
After retirement, he took great interest in woodworking. He created many wooden pieces for his family and friends and was always willing to try to "fix" things for anyone. For several years, Ernest taught woodworking skills to residents of Sunset Nursing home and he assisted many 4-H members with their woodworking projects.
Ernest was an active member of the Curtis Chamber of Commerce and helped organize the Curtis Rural Fire Department. He also spearheaded the drive to purchase and develop the Curtis Mill Park and Ball Diamond.
He and Florence loved to camp with friends of the Forks of the Platte Good Sam Camping Club. After retirement, he and Florence spent winters in Florida, Arizona and Texas. For the past 12 year they have returned, each winter, to Alamo Palms RV Park in Alamo, Texas. Ernest became actively involved in mission work there. He spent 10 years with Mabel's Mission in Progresso, Mexico, building homes and distributing food and clothing to the needy in Mexico. Four years ago, he became involved in Mexican Outreach, Hands of Hope at Reynosa, Mexico, where he was actively engaged until the morning of his fall. For the last eight years, Ernest was also involved with Habitat for Humanity in Kearney and North Platte, as well as Donna, McAllen and Edinburg, Texas.
He was united in marriage to Florence Hansen on May 21, 1944, in Red Cloud. To this union was born three children, Stanton, Cheryl and Cindy.
Ernest is survived by his wife, Florence of Curtis; son, Stan and wife Jackie of Curtis; daughter, Cheryl and husband, Randy Jurgens of Lincoln; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Rick, Deb, Tyler and Jordan Nelson of Silverthorne, Colo., Peggy, Kevin, Courtney and Devon Fritsche of Maywood, Julie, Scott, Cody and Cole Walther of The Colony, Texas, Jason Jurgens of Phoenix, Ariz., Chad Softley of Kearney, and Craig Softley of Gillette, Wyo; special nieces and nephews, Bob and Diane Brand and family of Pine, Colo., Ron and Mary Brand and family of Pittsburgh, Pa., Julia and Bob Holscher and family of St. Cloud, Minn., Randy and Juanita Brand and family of Kirkland, Wash.; brother-in-laws and sister-in-laws, Don and Winnie Hansen of Franklin, Lester and Dorothy Hansen of Red Cloud, Cecil and Lia Hansen of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Rex Blackstone of Superior; aunts and uncles, Mildred Heath, Dorothy Nielsen and John Nelson; and many beloved family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Cynthia Nelson Softley; parents, Alvah and Rissena Nelson; sister and brother-in-law, LaVaughn and Marvin Brand; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Ray and Bonnie Hansen; sisters-in-law, Winifred Hansen and Doris Blackstone.
Memorial services will be Thursday, 10:30 a.m., at the United Methodist Church in Curtis with the Rev. Rick Sykes officiating.
Visitation is today until 9 p.m.
A memorial will be established in his name.
Blase-Wetzel Funeral Home of Curtis is in charge of arrangements.