Benjamin Arthur (“Art”) Nelson, 80, of Glidden, Wisconsin passed away on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, MN with his family at his side.
Art was born in Chicago, IL on May 1, 1934. As a young teenager, he moved to Glidden, Wisconsin, graduating from Glidden High School in 1951. Shortly thereafter, he enlisted in the U. S. Army and proudly served his country in the Korean War. On June 19, 1954, he was united in marriage to Janice Schmidt of Glidden. Recently, they celebrated their 60th anniversary with their family and friends.
Art worked in Chicago in the early years but eventually settled permanently in Glidden where he worked his way up to foreman of the Glidden Mill until he left to work as an athletic director and coach with the Job Corps in Clam Lake until its closing. Then he was hired as an electronics technician at Project ELF in Clam Lake, WI eventually transferring to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Baltimore, Maryland. When that job ended, he returned to Glidden to take over his father-in-law’s business, Schmidt’s Bar which then became Nelson’s Bar. Being a business owner enabled Art to become actively involved in sports and coaching again. Nelson’s Bar sponsored many highly successful basketball, softball, and pool teams under Art’s leadership. After selling the bar, Art’s last major employment venture was as a carpenter, primarily in the Clam Lake area.
For over 35 years, Art served his community as a volunteer EMT and became the director of the Glidden Ambulance Service for several years. He relinquished this position in the late 2000’s due to health reasons. The highlight of Art’s EMT career was when he helped deliver a baby girl in the ambulance halfway to the hospital; 15-17 years later he officiated this same girl’s basketball and volleyball games. Art was also deputy coroner for southern Ashland County for 35 years.
Art loved sports. He played, coached, and officiated many games in his lifetime and was a member of the W.I.A.A. for many years. The last baseball game he umpired was July 11, 2008 in the Minneapolis Metrodome; he was 74 years old. He was a lifelong fan of all Chicago sports, particularly the Cubs and the Bears. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, and fishing at his cabin in Clam Lake. Art was a strong person who was a rock to lean on for people in their time of need. He had a great sense of humor and liked to tease and have fun with people.
Art will be greatly missed by his wife and family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Janice, of Glidden, WI, his sons, Cliff Nelson of Hayward, Dave (Nancy) Nelson of Hayward, his daughter, Linda (Rick) Peckels of Hartford, WI, and a cousin, Pat Carroll of Orland Park, IL.
He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Anna and Bill Nelson, an uncle, Eddie Kus, an aunt and uncle, Helen and Bill Carroll, and his father-and mother-in-law, Clifford and Evelyn Schmidt.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church in Glidden, WI on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. with visitation from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. that day.
Novitzke Funeral Home in Park Falls, WI is in charge of arrangements