Verne Nelson

Resided in Gladstone, MI
Died November 28, 2007

Verne L. Nelson, age 65, of 7432 Lake Bluff 19.4 Road, Gladstone, died Wednesday morning November 28, 2007 at the Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo.
Verne was born February 10, 1942, in Chicago, the son of N. Lawrence and Gulli (Rybeck) Nelson. Verne was raised in Chicago until his 8th grade year, at which time, he and his family relocated to Perkins. Throughout his high school years, Verne participated in various sports, graduating from the Perkins High School in 1959. Following high school, Verne continued his education at Northern Michigan University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1966.

On August 19, 1972, Verne was united in marriage to the former Barbara Farrell and together the couple made their home in Gladstone where they raised their two children.

Throughout his career, Verne taught government, civics, and history for the Perkins Public School System and later for the Mid-Peninsula Public School System. In addition, Verne coached basketball and track and served as the school Athletic Director for several years. He was honored as the Upper Peninsula Athletic Director of the 1997-1998 school year. Verne retired in 1998 and enjoyed spending the winter months in Florida with his wife Barbara.

Verne was a member of the Gladstone Masonic Lodge 396 F&AM, Gladstone Golf Club, Gladstone Lions Club and the Perkins Lions Club where he served as the club President. His hobbies included golfing, reading, running and traveling all over the country.

In addition to his wife, Barbara, survivors include:

Son: Erik (Maria) Nelson of Richland, MI

Daughter: Karin (Lionel Ramos) Nelson of Denver, CO

Brother: Roger A. Nelson of Kalamazoo, MI

5 grandchildren: Kirsten, Halle, Kara, Layla Nelson and Joshua Barclay

Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins

Verne was preceded in death by his parents, N. Lawrence and Gulli Nelson, nephew, Gregory Brusoe and brother-in-law, Wayne Marmalick.

Masonic services, conducted by the Gladstone Masonic Lodge #396 F&AM, will be held on Sunday, at 2:00 PM, at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Verne

0 Tributes for “Verne Nelson

    Verne Nelson’s family,
    I was deeply saddened when Mom told me of Mr. Nelson’s untimely death. Not only was he a family friend, he was also instrumental in molding the lives of many of his students…including myself. When Mr. Nelson would talk about famous battle scenes, I felt as though I was actually there. He was the sole reason I chose education as my profession. I will always remember your dad and husband.

    Debbie (Stevenson) Miller
    Waupaca, WI

    To the Nelson Family,

    Mr. Nelson was a great role model, teacher, and coach. I still use the knot he taught me as a kid when I wear a suit (Friday was Tie-Day). He always made things enjoyable and I looked forward to seeing him at the golf course to talk about old times. He will be greatly missed, but never forgotten. Our thoughts and prayer are with you all.

    Mikko Aalto
    Hawley, MN

    Mr. Nelson was my favorite teacher in school. Always kind and a very caring person. I was so sad to hear of his sudden passing at such a young age. My prayers and good thoughts go out to his family and close friends.

    LeeAnn (Verbrigghe) Pratt
    Escanaba, MI

    Barb, Erik, Karin and family

    Verne was such a wonderful man and I am sure an even greater husband, father, and grandfather.

    To me, he was such a dedicated teacher/coach and most importantly a loyal friend. So many fond memories of Verne including our bowling team (we always claimed we were better golfers but I’m not so sure about that either!!), coaching basketball together at Gladstone, golfing, and our trip to Europe and the Scandinavian countries in the summer of 1970. We sure had some great times together. Most recently, we enjoyed our breakfast visits and shared about our lives and families. I am going to miss him greatly.

    May God’s love embrace all of you.

    Dave, Dianne, Tara and Tiffany Lahtinen
    Gladstone, MI

    To Barbara, Erik, Karin and families,

    In the stars that shine, the flowers that bloom, or in a gentle breeze.
    May you feel the presence of your loved one, and be comforted by treasured memories.

    Extending our deepest sympathy in your loss.
    Les and Linda Delvaux,
    Dawn and Scott Hanson,
    Darren and Jennifer Delvaux and families

    Linda Delvaux
    Gladstone, MI

    Barb & Family,

    I just want to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Verne was such a good friend to my dad. When he was sick this summer and in the hospital and nursing home he could always count on a visit from Verne. My dad really looked forward to those visits. Even when we got him home, before he passed away, Verne called wanting to come and see him. I only knew him through my dad but I could tell he was a very special person. May your good memories help you through this time.

    Diane ( Richards) Amann
    Gladstone, MI


    Bev an I are so very sorry to here of your loss. We do feel your pain, we lost one of our family last year. Our hearts go out to you. We’ll put you in our prayers, asking the Lord to give you strenth during your time of need.

    Al Dabney
    New Haven, IN

    I was so fortunate to have had the opportunity to begin my teaching career at the Rock and Perkins Schools. What awesome mentors I had. Not only was the Supt., Gene Dekeyser, a great man, who actually scared most of the younger teachers to death at the time, but the high school teachers were wonderful also. Verne was one of those. He was loved and repected, not only by the students he molded, but by his peers as well. He always had the good of the school as his primary focus. Although it was, and still is a small district, it was more that an educational setting. It was a home and the staff was family. Verne’s life is a tribute to what an educator can do.

    To many of the elementary teachers, Verne was known as , “Mr. Magic Fingers”. He was in charge of the technology equipment- at that time it consisted of televisions and vcrs. He would make sure they were delivered to the classrooms when the teachers needed them. Of course, with all equipment comes glitches, and when the teachers had trouble operating the vcrs they would quickly call Mr. Nelson, who in turn got everything functioning properly. Pretty soon he was known as the Magic Man, and later as “Mr. Magic Fingers.” Everyone loved him.

    His memory will live on forever in the lives of the students that he influenced, and in the friends and family who love him. Although saying good bye is very difficult, I somehow know that Gene and Lydia are welcoming Verne to his new home, and that they are making lesson plans up for all of the little angels in heavon. He will be missed, but he will never be very far away.

    My sincerest sympathies to the Nelson Family.

    Ann Savage
    Escanaba, MI

    Barb, Erik & family, Karin, Roger. I am so saddened at Vernes passing. He was so much fun to be around and always had an opinion on everything especially my golf game and the Packers. The memories go way back to Coach taking us to his parents house for something to eat after practice to his jogging in the plastic track suit to maximize his workout. In the late 1960’s I always enjoyed sneaking into his home room and writing the Packer-Bear score on the board. He would remind me in the mid 80’s he did the same thing when my boys were in his class. Golfing at Gladstone will never be as much fun with out coach there. Although I can’t be there in person for his services I keep him in my heart as a wonderfull teacher, role model, Coach and best of all a great friend. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless,

    Bob VanDamme
    Ramadi, Iraq

    Hello, I was a student of Mr. Nelson and seen him often at the Mid Pen school throuout the years. I just wanted to let his family know that he was a very nice teacher and a kind person to be near no matter where he was. I am catholic and will extend my prayers to him and the entire family. God Bless.

    Millie McNally
    Rock, MI

    Verne was always a joy to visit with and never at a loss for words. I enjoyed talking sports and Da Bears with him. I’ll miss him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all of your family Barb. God Bless in this difficult time.

    Mark Hager
    Gladstone, MI

    Barbara, Verne was one of my teachers at Perkins High School back in the late 60’s early 70’s. Very careing guy. Every now and then, when visiting family up their, we would run into verne at the golf course. We would talk about old times. And he always had a big smile on his face. Were going to miss him. God Bless You and your family.

    Gary & Liz Lauscher
    West Palm Beach, FL

    Verne was a special person in my life. He was my teacher, coach and mentor. Mostly he was my friend. He will be missed by many people.

    Dale Schneider
    Perkins, MI

    Dear Barb,

    I want you to know I am thinking of you during your very difficult time. I will surely miss Vern’s presence around the golf course as he was such a prominent figure, especially during league and senior events. He will be remembered and deeply missed by all.

    Wally Patterson
    Rock, MI

    Dear Barbara & Family,

    We were so saddened to learn of Verne’s death. Please know of our presence with you in spirit and prayer. We pray, too, for Almighty God’s blessings of strength, peace, and blessing to you all during this difficult time.

    Bill and Chetti Green
    Wausau, WI

    He was a great mentor that I could go to whenever I needed guidance either playing sports or for school. He was full of love and support and I will never forget him. My prayers are with his family.

    Steve Koski
    Melbourne, FL

    Dear Barb,

    My heartfelt sympathy is with you as well as my prayers and love…..


    Betsy Gasperich Miller
    Richton Park, IL

    Mr. Nelson was a favorite teacher of mine (we history geeks have to stick together). I am so sorry to hear of his passing. I wanted his family to know how much I appreciated his commitment to teaching. I actually sing a song to my daughter that he taught us in our 8th grade Michigan History class….every time I sing that song to her I will remember him fondly.

    Becky (Tomblinson) McIntyre
    Escanaba, MI

    A Great Guy! We all will miss him. My sympathies to Barb & Family.

    Onalaska, WI

    Although I knew Barb through church and our children, I didn’t really know Verne until I started teaching at Mid Peninsula School. He was retired by the time I started teaching there, but he came to school often. We would talk both at school and at the golf course about our common Mid Pen family. Through colleagues who still work at school and through parents of my students and who were students of Verne, I have learned that he was an admired and respected teacher. My husband commented this week how Verne went out of his way to attend a boys’ 7th/8th grade basketball game at Rapid River on November 1. My first thought when I had heard that Verne had died was that Gene DeKeyser would be one of the first people in line to welcome Verne at the Pearly Gates.

    Our prayers and thoughts go out to Barb, Eric, Karin, and the rest of the family.

    Rick and Judy Ebbesen
    Gladstone, MI


    Holding all of you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Jodi and Helen
    Atlanta, GA

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