William Nelson, 78, Minot, died Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, in a Minot nursing home.
William was born Jan. 4, 1934, to Earle and Evelyn (Kimball) Johnson, in Minot. He was adopted by Harry A. Nelson and was raised and educated in Minot, graduating from Minot High School in 1953.
On Aug. 13, 1953, William enlisted in the Army. He proudly served his country, receiving the National Defense Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged as a corporal on June 14, 1955.
In 1954, William was united in marriage to Germaine Smith. To this union three children were born, Anita, Margaret and William. They later divorced.
On Aug. 11, 1972, William was united in marriage to Elaine (Bechtold) Olson in Minot. They made their home in Minot, where William worked at the Minot Air Force Base in the Civil Service department for the 862nd Communications Squadron. He retired in 1994. Elaine died May 17, 2000. William continued to live in Minot and in 2001, met his longtime companion Vera Broker.
He enjoyed tinkering in his garage, hunting, fishing, gardening and spending winters in Mesa, Ariz. William was a lifetime member of the Parent Teachers Association, a member of the Eagles and American Legion, all of Minot.
William is survived by: companion, Vera Broker; dog, Buster; daughters, Anita (Jayme) Severson and Margaret Winkler; stepchildren, Audrey Grosz, Lisa Schilling, LaVern Olson and Andy Olson; three grandsons; one great-granddaughter; 12 stepgrandchildren and 10 stepgreat-grandchildren; two brothers, Leonard (Maria) Nelson and Michael (Lana) Nelson; one sister, Susan Thompson.
William was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Elaine; son, William G. Nelson; stepson, Cyril Olson; a brother, Kenneth Nelson; and a stepson-in-law, Arnie Grosz.
Funeral service: Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at 10 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Minot.
Burial: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Today, Nov. 16, from 3 to 7 p.m., at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).