Leona (Hall) Nelson, the daughter of Harry E. and Sarah (Forrest) Hall was born on December 30, 1922 in the rural farm home of her parents near Willow City, North Dakota. She died at the age of 92 years on Saturday, August 8, 2015 at the Heart of America Care Center in Rugby, North Dakota.
Leona was reared in the rural home of her parents and received her education in a country school near her home. Following her schooling, she started waitressing in a local Towner caf. After a short time, Leona and one of her sisters’ moved to Rugby where she continued in the restaurant business. She soon would meet the love of her life, Orris Nelson and they were united in marriage on November 2, 1944 in Rugby. The couple made their home on the Nelson family farm east of Rugby for 2 years, where he was engaged in farming and later moved into Rugby. A loving wife, mother, grandmother and homemaker, she returned to waitressing when her boys got older. Later she switched from waitressing in the restaurant to waiting tables in the local taverns, especially known at Lee’s Bar. She retired from full time work in 1985, but often would help her husband with his job as custodian at the Memorial Hall until he retired in 1988. Orris died June 3, 1991. Leona continued to live her own home following his death and returned to waitressing part-time at Rose’s Caf and would eventually retire once again a few years later. In November of 2007, she moved to the Haaland Estates Assisted Living. Needing more care, she had made her home at the Care Center since January of 2013.
Leona was a lifelong member of Bethany Lutheran Church and its Ladies Aid and when her boys were young she and Orris where active in Boy Scouts and assisted at meetings and social events. She enjoyed fishing with Orris, embroidery, cooking and her flower beds around her home, and playing bingo was a favorite past time at the Haaland Estates and the Care Center.
Survivors include one son, Gerald and his wife, Lyn of Surry; granddaughters, Annette (Alan) Wright, Nichole (Jayson) Baros, Jodi (Fred) Chu, Tammy (Carlos Leon) Urhammer and Brenda (Kevin) Iverson; twelve great grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Marion Nelson of Rugby; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband; one son Dale; one brother, Fred Hall; five sisters, Dorothy Leslie, Elizabeth “Lizzy” Whalen, Eva Wesby, Daisy Hall and twin sister, Lovilah Engeland; and her parents.
Funeral services held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, August 13th in the Anderson Funeral Home Chapel in Rugby with burial in the Persilla Watts Cemetery, Rugby. Mr. Wally Fretland officiate.
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Rugby. Online registry: www.funeralsbyanderson.com
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