Curtiss Nelson

First post: Jun 14, 2019
Curtiss Nelson was born to Carl & Hulda, his life started on a small dairy farm near Freedhem Minnesota. He grew up there, worked the farm enjoying the beautiful woods and lakes of Minnesota. After graduation from high school he soon went into the Marine Corp which instilled a work ethic that became part of his life from that point on.

Following his time in the marines Curtiss returned home to the farm and soon fell in love with Diana, wife and partner of 60 years. They made a home on the family farm. Their first son Jeff became part of that home.

A farm accident 3 years into this farm life changed the course of this family forever. Left with a physical impairment that made it impossible to work the farm. The family faced a long period of recovery, but not to be deterred [a theme that will be repeated] the family moved to the Fargo-Moorhead area where Curtiss took a job with the John Deere dealership there. A period of growth and multiple houses [each one flipped for a profit]. During this period of growth the family grew with first Todd then Jill and Julie making a family of six, final home there was living on the banks of the Red River. Family vacations, trips back to the farm and the addition of a lake cabin near Detroit Lakes, Minnesota. Life was good. The houses made money. Additional houses flipped made money.

Now for a period of more growth. Curtiss buys a John Dealership in Elk Point, South Dakota. The family moves south. Business was good and Elk Point became home. All four of the kids graduated from Elk Point High School. The cabin was gone but the love of camping and water continued. There was usually a boat and camper, many trips most often to Lewis and Clark Lake.

In building the business it became clear that Nelson Implement would need a bigger place to be. A new location was built just across the interstate. The business grew and was a mainstay of the community. Years of seeing Nelson Implement present at county fairs, parades and farm shows.

While in Elk Point an extreme love of trees and civic mindedness caused him to plant 1,000’s of the little critters. They are now big trees and can be found from one end of town to the other.

In the middle of this the family moved to another new “OLD” house in Elk Point. A house that got placed on the historical record and is now a museum in Elk Point.

The mid 1980’s brought the farm crisis. Hard. It became increasingly difficult to do business in this very harsh environment. Farmers were going out of business all over the country.  They made the decision to closed the dealership and again life changed. The kids were all on their own now, Curtiss and Diana moved to Sioux Falls and a new chapter with John Deere started in Madison, South Dakota with nephew Mark.

A new life begins again on Lake Madison to again get close to the water. Grandkids start to become part of the scene. Many great memories from this time at the lake [three houses worth, each flipped for profit]. The houses got bigger and so did the gardens!

Healthcare started to become more and more important to be around. A big move back to Sioux Falls and a condo provided a comfortable place to be and close to the healthcare and family.

Lots of houses, lots of memories and lots of love. 

There have been many highs and lows in this story. There have been many times when Curtiss could have given up. He never has. His comebacks are legendary. His body is no longer cooperating with his drive and still he hasn’t given up. 

Keep Curtiss in your prayers as he writes the next chapter of his story.

Diana,  Jeff & Dori, Todd & Brenda,  Jill & Kelly and Julie

CaringBridge is a nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey. Learn more about CaringBridge.

To interact with Curtiss’s website, sign in or register today.

By registering with CaringBridge, you will join over 300,000 people a day who are supporting friends and family members.

Sign In Or Register