Martha Swanhild (Olson) Nelson, the daughter of Ole H. and Julia (Ramberget) Olson, was born in New Rockford, on Jan. 22, 1916. She died at the age of 96 years on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2012, at Elm Crest Manor Care Center in New Salem.
Martha was raised in the home of her parents and graduated from New Rockford High School, the class of 1933. She completed her education at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn.
On Nov. 24, 1940, she was united in marriage to Farrel Nelson at a country church near Sheyenne. The couple started their married life and family on a farm near Minot, and in 1951 moved to a ranch near Towner where they ranched and raised their family. Martha continued to live on the ranch after Farrel died in 1983. Due to health problems she moved to Edgewood Vista in Minot in 2002 and resided at Elm Crest Manor in New Salem for the past year.
She was a lifelong member and tireless worker in the Lutheran Church, North Dakota Farmers Union, Homemakers Extension Club, and was well known and loved across the state for the numerous inspirational and humorous talks she gave. She enjoyed reading, reciting poetry, baking bread, sewing, visiting with friends and rodeos.
Martha is survived by: her sons, Orrin (Donna) Nelson, of Towner, and Rodney (Teri) Nelson, of Almont; daughters, Genevieve (John) Skogberg, of Belle Fourche, S.D., and Julie (Charles) Cannon, of Minot; grandchildren, Cody, Todd, Chris, Neal, Paul, Lafe, Cari, Susan, Marybeth, and Annika; great-grandchildren, Katy, Riggin, Bridger, Dori, Abby, Mataya, Claire, Karly, Benjamin and Haakon; sisters, Dora Birkeland, of Sherwood, Ore., Venoie Amey, of Lancaster, Ohio, and Metta McDowell, of New Rockford; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband; sisters, Inga Martin and Lula Olson; brothers, Orin, Raymond, Clifford and Rolf; and her parents.
Funeral Services: Will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, at Zion Lutheran Church in Towner, with private burial in Rosehill Memorial Park cemetery in Minot, with Mr. Wally Fretland officiating
Visitation: Will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today, Oct. 25, at the Anderson Funeral Home in Towner, and will continue for one hour prior to the time of services at the church on Friday.
Organist: Martha Larson.
Casket Bearers: Cody Skogberg, Todd Nelson, Christopher Nelson, Lafe Nelson, Paul Cannon, Neal Cannon
Arrangements with the Anderson Funeral Home of Towner. Online registry: (www.funeralsbyanderson.com).