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Edwards Funeral Home - Chinook, Montana


Elsie Nelson

Elsie Nelson
Born: Feb 03, 1913
Died: Aug 10, 2016

Elsie K (Gilbert) Nelson, 103, passed away of natural causes at Sweet Memorial Nursing Home in Chinook on August 10, 2016.  Elsie was born February 3, 1913 in Benkleman, Nebraska to Millard and Emma Gilbert.  Elsie was number five of fourteen children in the family.  Elsie and her family lived in various places before settling in Havre, MT.  She graduated from high school in 1932 at Hood River, OR.  Elsie then attended Northern Montana College and graduated with a teaching degree in 1934.  She taught in Kremlin where she met the love of her life, Sigrud (Sig) Nelson.  They became one on March 2, 1935, and were married for 35 years before he passed away in 1970.  Elsie and her husband farmed about five years and then moved to Havre. They bought the Glacier Motel in Havre in 1942. During the war effort, they moved to Portland, OR and got jobs at the Oregon shipyards.  Elsie was welding materials on supply ships with acetylene torches.  The shipyards could complete a football field-long ship in sixty days.  Elsie’s family is very proud of our own “Rosie the Riveter”.  After the war they came back to Havre and continued to operate the motel.  Elsie enjoyed reading autobiographies that her sister Iris would send her on a regular basis.  When not reading, she spent her time writing many cards and letters to all of her family throughout the states.  Elsie kept the family up to date on what everyone was doing.  She was their life line. Her greatest joy in life was helping her family.  Helping became her creed.  Elsie established an “Earnest Endeavor” for the many nieces and nephews that wanted to attend college.  Her desire now and in her demise is to help each one to succeed in their endeavor in life: whether that would be a teacher, nurse, astronaut, diesel mechanic, welding mechanic, missionary, or their own business.  Elsie’s spirit lives on in each one she helps.  Survivors include sister’s Lily Kretchmer of Havre, and Iris Hay of Hood River, OR and brothers Kenny (Betty) Gilbert, Chester, Gaylord (Lola) Gilbert, Helena, and many nieces and nephews.

Elsie was preceded in death by her parents, Millard and Emma, husband Sigrud Nelson, sisters Flossie, Lucy, Louisa and brothers Charles, Andrew, Lewis, Quentin, John and Calvin.



Edwards Funeral Home  ♦  500 Indiana Street, Chinook, MT 59523   ♦  406-357-2529