Brett Deuel Nelson, 83, was welcomed into His Savior’s loving arms on Sunday, May 7, 2023.
Brett was born on August 6, 1939, in Harvey, Illinois to Edwin and Beatrice (nee Kilbourn) Nelson. He was the oldest of three sons, grew up in Mequon, Wisconsin, and graduated from Shorewood High School. On December 29, 1961, he married Roberta June Schrotenboer. He loved her deeply and faithfully for 61+ years before he died of natural causes, with Roberta at his side, at their Chosen Valley Care Center residence in Chatfield, Minnesota.
Brett and Roberta created a nurturing home where they raised three children together – Deb, Lori, and Paul. Brett’s family was always his priority – working hard to provide for them, giving them hugs and kisses when he returned home from work each night, supporting their pursuits, encouraging their potential, and loving them unconditionally. He submitted his life to the Lord Jesus Christ, lived with integrity, displayed humility, offered grace, gave sacrificially, demonstrated patience, and shared kindness and joy.
After 30+ years of working loyally for AAA Pet Supplies as a route supervisor, Brett worked at the Haus of Prime Meats in Thiensville, and then at a Ford dealership as a salesman and parts driver. He loved his Fords! His free time was spent relaxing in his recliner as well as helping others. Brett served in the church (gave announcements, choir member, usher, greeter, board member), visited people confined to their home, hosted missionaries, and reached out to neighbors. He lovingly listened to fellow patrons at the local YMCA and at the Prime Minister restaurant in Thiensville, his and Roberta’s favorite Friday date spot, often offering a gentle hug or caring prayer. He stocked up on “Jesus Calling” devotional books at Costco and gave them away to those who were hurting and needing encouragement.
Brett was uplifted by Bill and Gloria Gaither songs and videos. He collected a tower of their concert DVDs, and for a while Brett and Roberta hosted three couples at weekly home Gaither viewing parties. Brett also started a ministry called “First Friday” where he brought one of his videos and hosted an evening of worship on the first Friday of each month at their church. One of his favorite Gaither songs was “Because He Lives,” which proclaims: “God sent His Son. They called Him Jesus. He came to love, heal, and forgive. He bled and died to buy my pardon. An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives. And because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.” Brett has just sung this final verse: “And then one day, I’ll cross the river, and I’ll fight life’s final war with pain. And then, as death gives way to victory, I’ll see the lights of glory, and I’ll know He reigns.”
During his life, Brett also enjoyed spending time with his family, listening to Paul Harvey, camping, golfing, belly laughing with his brothers, playing with his grandkids, and doting on his wife. He was even on a bowling team for a time. He built a beautiful grandmother clock, which Roberta has in her room to this day, and priceless wood wall chiming clocks for each of his children – a gift of love and craftsmanship so cherished.
He will be missed greatly but, because of Christ, we do not grieve without hope – we will see him again!
Brett is survived by his wife Roberta, his three children and their spouses: Deborah (Douglas) Huffman, Lori (Paul) Langmade, Paul (Sandy) Nelson; four grandchildren: Joshua (Anna) Langmade, Jacob Langmade, Rachel Langmade, Brett P. Nelson; his brother Dan (Melissa) Nelson, and six nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Edwin and Beatrice Nelson, brother Bruce Nelson, sister-in-law, and one nephew.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Brett’s name to Living Hope Community Church (PO Box 501, Chatfield, MN 55923).
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Joy Ridge Event Center in Chatfield, Minnesota on Saturday, August 5, 2023, at 2:00 p.m.
Riley Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the Nelson family with arrangements.
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