Obituary Record

Don Albert (Thompson) Nelsen
Died on 1/30/2021


Published by Omaha World-Herald on Oct. 9, 2021

Nelsen, Don Albert (né Thompson)

August 20, 1927 - January 30, 2021

Don Albert Nelsen (né Thompson) was born on 20 August 1927 on a farm near Fontanelle, IA (Canby area). His parents were Mae Avoila Carlson and Albert Eugene Thompson. His birth-father died in a farmhouse fire on 8 March 1928, so Don was raised by his mother and adoptive step-father, Clyde George Nelsen, and he grew up in Blair, NE. He graduated Blair High in May 1945 and immediately enlisted in the US Navy, during WWII.

Don served from September 1945 - November 1947 onboard the USS Collett, a destroyer, in the Pacific theater, during kamikaze raids and the Chinese civil war. On leave from overseas, Don married Barbara "Bobbie" Ann Fulton on 16 August 1947 in Omaha at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church.

He worked as a salesman for Omaha Printing Company for 10 years, then became a life insurance salesman and regional manager for American General Life (now AIG), first in Omaha, and in later years in his beloved Hawaii. Don could speak and sing in Hawaiian.

In the 1950s, Don was very active (State Director) in the Jaycees, and was on the committee that brought the College World Series to Omaha. He was a founding member of Morning Star Lutheran Church. He was also well-known as a talented tenor in Church and community choirs, an actor in numerous community theater productions, and a very talented landscape artist. He was a Master Freemason, and a member of the American Legion and the VFW.

Don died in Council Bluffs, IA on 30 January 2021, from complications of the COVID virus. His wife Bobbie died in 2004. Don is survived by his son, Don A. Nelsen Jr. (Susan) of Magnolia, TX; daughter, Cheryl C. Nelsen of Park City, UT; son, Mark E. Nelsen (Tammy) of Grand Island, NE; and daughter, Lori Kauai. Also surviving are his brother, Ron Nelsen of Onalaska, TX; 6 grandchildren; and 2 great-grandchildren.

A service will be held in Don's memory. Please contact the family for details. Charitable donations may be made to

~~~ Obituary courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska.~~~

Printed in the Omaha World Herald on 10/9/2021