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home : obituaries : obituaries May 2, 2016

6/17/2014 9:42:00 AM
Bertha A. Nelson

Bertha "Buddy" Ailie Saari Nelson, 80, passed away on Monday, June 9, 2014, at Cokato Manor, Cokato, with loved ones by her side.

Buddy is survived by her loving and devoted husband Donnie; sisters, Kathryn Gomez and Ruthe Saunders; 18 Saari nieces and nephews and their spouses; sisters-in-law, Mildred Nelson and Shirley Tyni, along with 17 Nelson nieces and nephews and spouses; and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews.  

Buddy was preceded in death by her parents Elizabeth and William Saari; baby girl; son Scott; sisters, Ethel (Bernard) Solberg, Dorothy (Henry) Lehtola and Ferne (Harold) Hansen; brothers, Harry and Willard (Ruth). 

Bertha Ailie Saari was born on June 26, 1933, to Elizabeth and William Saari of rural Annandale, the youngest of eight children. Bertha was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, French Lake. She was a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Cokato. She graduated from Annandale High School in 1951. 

Bertha married the love of her life Donald Nelson on July 12, 1952. Don served in the United States Army, stationed in Germany from 1954 to 1956. During this time they traveled extensively throughout Europe. Once Don was released from duty, they returned to their farm north of Cokato and continued to work the land for many years to come.

Their baby girl was born May 10, 1957, and died May 10, 1957. Their son Scott Donald was born Jan. 2, 1959. Tragically, Scott was lost in a farming accident on July 2, 1960.

Buddy always kept herself busy being a farm wife, helping Don on the farm and working full time. She worked at 3M, Gilmer Monuments, Buffalo Courthouse and lastly Dassel- Cokato School District for 27 years, retiring in 1994.

She was a faithful loving wife to Don for over 61 years. They enjoyed extensive traveling (China, Alaska, Mexico, Hawaii, Canada, most of the 50 states, Finland and Europe). She and Don enjoyed their daily ritual of cribbage games, never getting the elusive 29 game after more than 60 years of trying. She was an avid golfer and swimmer. 

In 1995 Don and Buddy bought their winter home in Apache Junction, Ariz. There she could be found making teddy bears, attending the computer club, swimming, walking or golfing. Unfortunately, she could not travel the past few years due to health reasons. In 2002 Don retired from farming and they built their retirement home on a portion of the land they had farmed for over 50 years.

Buddy was dearly loved.

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