David Allen Nelson, a beloved resident of Burnsville, Minnesota, peacefully departed from this world on November 22, 2023, at the age of 77, succumbing to complications arising from Alzheimer’s. Born just after midnight on September 20, 1946, to Raymond and Dorothy (Hanson) Nelson, his unique entrance into the world saw his twin brother Daniel born just before midnight, granting them separate birth days.
In his formative years, David's musical talent shone as he played 2nd soprano bugle in the Cottage Grove marching band, while his brother Daniel showcased his skills on tenor and bass drum. The duo later joined the Hamm’s Indians Drum and Bugle Corps, contributing until their 21st birthday when they aged out of the Corps. During this period, David also took on the role of teaching flag twirlers, overseeing the VFW Thompson Grove Thomsonettes alongside his father.
In 1969, David embraced a new chapter in his life by marrying Peggy Nelson, celebrating their union with a honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. In the early years of their marriage, David not only managed Grove Shoe Store at Southtown Shopping Center but notably opened and managed another Grove Shoe Store at Valley West Shopping Center in Bloomington. In his free time, he cultivated a passion for bowling, maintaining an impressive average between 180-200. Transitioning into the insurance business with Lutheran Mutual in the early 1970’s marked another pivotal point in his career.
A significant event in David's life occurred in 1974 when a collision on an icy road between his beloved Fiat Sport Spider and a larger Chevrolet left him unconscious for four weeks and in the hospital and rehabilitation centers for three months. It took the jaws of life to remove him from his crumbled car. This life altering accident led him to reassess his career path, leading to enrollment in courses at Metropolitan State University culminating in a Marketing degree in 1981. Subsequently, he engaged in part-time work driving for the State Services for the Blind and found roles at Camp Snoopy and Nickelodeon Universe in the Mall of America.
As a hands-on father, David cherished his role in raising his daughter Abby Kate, born in 1978. David wholeheartedly cheered for Abby in every endeavor, whether grand, minor, or somewhere in between. His dedication to support her in her soccer journey was unwavering. David joyfully assumed the role of the unofficial scorekeeper, not merely attending every game but establishing himself as a consistent and indispensable presence for the Burnsville Bandits, the Stars, and the Giants traveling teams.
Despite his divorce from Peggy in 1981, their enduring closeness saw them living together again in 2006. During this period, they took pleasure in savoring the day-to-day joys of retirement and wholeheartedly embraced their grandparenting roles together until Alzheimer’s required David's move to Emerald Crest Memory Care in 2018. Even after David's move, Peggy continued to convey her affection through daily visits. Together they shared meals, watched Vikings games, puzzled, enjoyed time outdoors, and sparked conversations with other residents.
David's journey was adorned with a deep love and gratitude for life's simple pleasures. From delighting in his cherished cat, Packer, to his loyal devotion to the Minnesota Vikings, to his contentment in watching golf, and his fondness for twice-daily camaraderie over coffee and conversation with fellow regulars at Denny’s off HWY 13 and Cliff Road, every moment held a special place in his heart. Even in the later chapters, cruises with Peggy became treasured moments, with one of their final trips retracing the beautiful beginnings of their life together in Puerto Vallarta.
David is survived by Peggy, his daughter Abby (Marcus), and four grandchildren – Selah, Sage, Havilah, and Elsie Andrusko. Additionally, his sister Pat Nelson, niece Alexis Nelson-Sivertson, sister-in-law Melanie McCarthy, and his Meissner stepfamily continue to carry his memory forward.
The family expresses sincere gratitude to the caregivers at Emerald Crest, acknowledging their exceptional care over the past five years.
In memory of David, a memorial service will be held on January 4, 2024, at 2:00 pm in the Chapel of Christ Presbyterian Church, 6901 Normandale Road, Edina, MN, with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages memorials to the Emerald Crest (Burnsville, MN) Campus at www.emeraldcrest.com/donate or the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org.
David will be remembered as a laid-back, gentle soul, with a huge smile that made his eyes sparkle. We are comforted knowing his spirit will linger with us and that we will be reunited with those we have cherished.