Patricia Renée Nelson, 81, passed away peacefully at home on Oct. 10, 2019, surrounded by her loving family.

Patricia was born Sept. 22, 1938 in Duluth to Patrick and Seretha Hobbins. She was a graduate of Aitkin High School, class of 1956. She married Vernon Nelson on Jan. 4, 1957. After living in Houston, Texas for two years, they moved back to Aitkin and made their home. Patricia had many different jobs and hobbies while raising her family, including cooking, baking, drawing, sewing and painting. Patricia truly was considered a “Jane-of-all-trades,” but found her true passion in nursing. After raising her children, Patricia graduated with honors from Central Lakes Community College as a Licensed Practical Nurse. Patricia steered her career into surgery and became an accomplished surgical nurse with Riverwood Healthcare in Aitkin, where she worked for 32 years. Patricia discovered a great love for the Haitian people on her first mission trip in 1989, and helped establish Project Haiti, Inc., thereafter. She was instrumental in building a state-of-the-art hospital in the plateaus of Haiti, in the small village of Pignon. Patricia traveled to Haiti every year, most times twice a year, to help what she called the poorest of the poor. She worked tirelessly throughout the year on her off time from work collecting donations and coordinating hundreds of mission trips to the region.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Patrick Hobbins and Seretha Goslin Hobbins; sisters: Jeanine Hawkins, Bonnie Montero and Nancy Cummings; brother, Joseph Hobbins; and her loving grandson, Luke Weitnauer.

Patricia is survived by her loving husband, Vernon Duane Nelson; her four children: Debra (Richard) Zimmerman, Kenneth Nelson, Thomas (Jennifer) Nelson, Paula Weitnauer; grandchildren: Anna (Thomas) Garske, Natalie (Andrew) Kruse, Jeremy (Hayley) and Nicholas Nelson, Patrick (Amy), Angela and Carissa Nelson, Michael (Lauren) Weitnauer; great-grandchildren: Luke Zimmerman, Samuel and Madeline Kruse, Madison Nelson, Leo and Max Nelson, Scout and Luke Weitnauer.

The funeral service will be 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019 at Saint James Catholic Church, Aitkin. Father David Forsman will officiate. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will be in Saint Thomas Cemetery, Aitkin. Sorensen-Root-Thompson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Aitkin assisted Patricia’s family.

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