Clyde Nelson, 97, Tamarack passed away Friday, June 4, 2021 at Riverwood Healthcare Center in Aitkin.

Clyde was born the second of two sons to Albert and Ida (Jacobsen) Nelson on June 24, 1923, at their home north of Tamarack. After graduating from McGregor High School in 1941 Clyde enlisted in the Navy in May of 1943 and was trained as a medical corpsman and assigned to the First Marine Division in the South Pacific theatre. He was wounded and received a purple heart for his efforts at the battle to capture the island of Peleliu in 1944. After his return from military service he drove truck, worked at a hardware store and was a bookkeeper for a mining company for a time. On May 14, 1949 Clyde married Helvi Rinta who would become the love of his life for the next 72 years. Following in his father’s footsteps, Clyde became a carpenter and built or remodeled many homes and cabins in the Tamarack and McGregor area. In the 70s he had a bit of a career change and took a job as a teacher at the Wright Co. Vocational Center in Buffalo, Minnesota, where he taught the homebuilding construction course. After his retirement from the teaching profession Clyde and Helvi began spending winters in Mesa, Arizona, a tradition they continued for 17 years. During this period he also became involved in the real estate business sometimes selling some of the same cabins he had worked on years before. Clyde was an avid woodworker and his famous lamps with the jack pine shade are scattered around the globe. He also loved working in the woods, hunting (hunting deer until he was 96), fishing, sharing history through writing and spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Clyde was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Donald and a great-grandson; August.

He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Helvi; sons, Gary (Cindy) Nelson, Tamarack; Ronald (Lynette) Nelson, Phoenix, Arizona and Bruce (Heidi) Nelson, Tamarack; grandchildren: Susan (Luke) Schoenfeldt, Zimmerman; Pamela (JD) Anderson, Ham Lake; Kara (Evan) Giovanni, Mayer, Arizona; Korry (Lupita) Nelson, Peoria, Arizona; Nathan (Wulan) Nelson, Tucson, Arizona; Andy (Janell) Nelson, Shakopee; Lisa (Matt) Roberts, Bemidji; and 13 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be 12 p.m., Saturday, June 26, 2021 at Round Lake Presbyterian Church in McGregor. Pastor John Yingling will officiate. Visitation will begin at 11 a.m. at the church. Interment with full military honors will be in the Round Lake Cemetery. A luncheon at the church will follow. Arrangements are with McGregor Funeral Home & Cremation Services in McGregor. To leave a message of condolence please go to

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