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Mary Jo Nelson

December 9, 1939 January 16, 2019
Mary Jo  Nelson
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Obituary for Mary Jo Nelson

Mary Jo (Benson) Nelson, age 79, was born December 9, 1939, in Worthington, MN, the daughter of Harold and Lorna (Rydman) Benson. She grew up in Worthington and attended St. Mary's Catholic School and graduated from Worthington High School in 1958 and Worthington Community College in 1960. Mary Jo was baptized, confirmed, and married at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Worthington. She was a member of St. Gabriel's Catholic Church in Fulda.
Mary Jo married Mervin Nelson on June 25, 1962. They made their home on the Nelson family farm near Kinbrae, MN. Together they raised 3 children, Jim, Nancy, and Lorna.
Despite having very poor eyesight and declining health, Mary Jo led a full, productive, and happy life. Because of this, she was a very good role model. Her very strong faith in God gave her the confidence to live life to the fullest to the very end. She was a farmer’s wife, always had a meal ready in the house or fields, and always had coffee and a cookie for anyone who stopped by. She did an immense amount of gardening and then canning and freezing with Merv by her side, generously giving away the fruits of their labor to anyone who asked for some, or they felt may need it. She was widely known for making specialty candies for any occasion she could think of, including weddings and graduations. She was an avid crocheter, she made an incredible number of beautiful afghans, quilts, and other items for all friends and family in her life. She always maintained a positive attitude, not letting pain or disability be a hindrance. She loved spending time with friends and family, especially around the holidays. She meticulously archived the family tree for the Bensons and Nelsons, along with many indexed and categorized full photo albums. She loved watching the sunrise and having coffee every morning with Merv.
Mary Jo is survived by her husband, Mervin Nelson of Dundee; son, Jim Nelson of Fulda; daughters, Nancy (Jeff) Oberloh of Slayton and Lorna (Randy) Donahue of Fulda; grandchildren, Emily (Mark) Barbaro, Kyle Donahue, Sophia Nelson, and Josh Oberloh; brothers, Jon (Judy) Benson, Bob (Jane) Benson, and Bill (Nancy) Benson; sister, Margaret Benson; sister-in-law, Bonnie Nimmerfroh, and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Lorna Benson; sister-in law, Joyce Benson; niece, Amy Benson; mother and father-in-law, Lena and Ed Nelson; brother-in-law, Henry Meinders; sister-in-law, Sharlene Meinders, and brothers-in-law, Kenneth Nimmerfroh and Charles (Chuck) Nelson.
Memorial mass will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Worthington, MN, with Father Jim Callahan officiating. Visitation will be held prior to the service from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the church. Private family burial will be held at a later date.
Benson Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, Mary requested donations to either St. Mary's Catholic Church or Sanford Hospice of Worthington.

Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

19

Jan

11:00 AM 1/19/2019 11:00:00 AM - 1:00 PM 1/19/2019 1:00:00 PM
St. Mary's Catholic Church

1215 7th Ave
Worthington, MN 56187

St. Mary's Catholic Church
1215 7th Ave Worthington 56187 MN
United States

Service

Saturday

19

Jan

1:00 PM 1/19/2019 1:00:00 PM
St. Mary's Catholic Church

1215 7th Ave
Worthington, MN 56187

St. Mary's Catholic Church
1215 7th Ave Worthington 56187 MN
United States
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