Rose Mary Nelson of Annandale, Minnesota passed away on Jan. 25, 2019, at the age of 71 following a courageous battle with cancer.
A wake will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 30 from 3-6 p.m. at Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel in Annandale. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 3 p.m. at St. Ignatius Catholic Church with visitation at the church one hour before.There will be a celebration of life reception after the funeral at Classic Hall Event Center in Annandale.
She was born in West Concord, Minn. on Sept. 13, 1947 to John and Catherine (Lambert) Wilson as one of eight siblings.Following high school graduation, she took business courses at the University of Minnesota that prepared her for a successful 32-year professional career in the telecommunications industry.
Rose Mary married the love of her life, Don Nelson, on July 10, 1970.Their partnership was a perfect union in marriage, as well as in business, community leadership and volunteerism.Throughout their life together, they treasured time at a cabin on Lake Sylvia outside of Annandale. In 2002, they moved permanently to Lake Sylvia, starting a successful marine business, Anchor Dock and Lift.
Providing “world class service” in her work as well as championing the communities she lived in was central to Rose Mary’s life. Always the “promoter and booster” she loved to share the accomplishments of friends, family and community, always making connections. She and Don loved to provide hospitality to friends, neighbors, family and business associates. Their home, patio and dock were always open to gatherings, meals, bonfires and lively conversation.
Rose Mary believed in and lived a life of civic engagement. She was a member of the Twin West Chamber of Commerce, Twin Cities United Way Fundraising Chair, Junior Achiever supporter, participant in the Community Service Team Leadership Program, and a founding member of U S West Minnesota Management Women. Rose Mary was recognized in the 1980’s as a staunch advocate for equal pay and rights for women working in management.
That civic engagement continued when she and Don moved to Lake Sylvia, where she was a founding member and former chair of the Annandale Area Community Team (ACT), a group that planned and facilitated community visioning sessions and leadership teams to work on projects to achieve community goals. Those many projects improved the quality of life for area residents and included the creation of the Clock Tower Park, development of the popular Field to Feast community dinners that support locally grown food, a farmer’s market and an opportunity for hundreds to gather for a meal on Main Street. She was an active member of the Annandale Chamber of Commerce and the Annandale Improvement Club. Her passion for the lake brought her to work on the Greater Lake Sylvia Association with a focus on the battle against invasive lake species. Rose Mary and Don were recognized for their outstanding volunteerism in 2014 with the Honorary Aquatennial Commodores award for community service.
Rose Mary loved kayaking with her friends, attending her book club, traveling and entertaining. Her ever positive spirit and attitude were contagious and resulted in making others appreciate life’s blessings.Her continuous work to serve her family, friends, business and community will leave a lasting legacy. Rose Mary always made people know how important and special they were and promoted their potential to do good in the world.
Rose Mary was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Rose Nelson and Carolyn Jorgensen, and brother Dick Wilson. She is survived by her husband Don Nelson, sister Mary Rosati, and brothers Mike, Lynn and Grant (Tammy) Wilson. She loved her nieces and nephews Cheryl Rosati, Steve Rosati, Angie Hubert, Jeff Jorgensen, Jennifer Cowan, Shelly Wilson, Jessica Larson, Catherine Wilson, and Laura Wilson.Her great nieces and nephews, Patrick and Bobby Cowan, Finnegan Jorgensen, and Annabelle Hubert brought her great joy. She is also survived by her Aunt Nancy Lambert and many cousins. Rose Mary was godmother to Jennifer Cowan, Catherine Wilson, Bjorn Wangensteen and Lindsey (Moore) Oldre.She will continue to be held in the hearts of her family, friends and community as we carry on the positive attitude and good will toward each other, always striving to make the world better.
Arrangements are being handled by Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Annandale. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution to the Greater Lake Sylvia association toward the efforts to prevent invasive aquatic species at www.lakesylvia.org.