John Nelson

John Nelson, 81, passed away May 28, 2024, in Sauk Rapids.

A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, June 18 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Brenny Funeral Home in Staples.

John was born May 8, 1943 to Ernest and Albena Nelson in Bertha. He spent most of his life in Staples. He graduated from Staples High School in 1961 and married Dodie Fread. Together they raised five children.

John worked as manager of Batcher’s Department Store, a mail carrier and at the Staples Off Sale. As a young man he enjoyed golf, basketball, tennis and an annual fishing trip to Canada. He had a lifelong interest in restoring antique cars. He was a member of the Staples Fire Department for 25 years.

John’s kids remember piling into the station wagon with dad to go to the little south side store to pick out their nightly junk food treat. Grandchildren have fond memories of eating bags of jelly beans on grandpa’s lap and throwing candy from the rumble seat of his old car in the Staples parade.

John is survived by two daughters, Cathy (Mike) Bengtson and Jodie (Tom) Wendt; three sons, Rick (Boom) Nelson, Rob (Sue) Nelson and Mark (Katherine) Nelson; seven grandchildren, Sarah and Maria Bengtson, Sam and Ben Nelson, Jonah and Davis Wendt and Megan Nelson and one brother, Gary Nelson.

He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Dodie; one infant child and one brother Lloyd.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Staples Fire Department.

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Staples World

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 100 Staples, MN 56479 Telephone: (218) 894-1112 - Fax: (218) 894-3570 Toll Free: 1-888-894-1112 E Mail:;

Deadline: Friday, noon


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