NLJ Staff


Nov. 9, 1935–Feb. 10, 2022

Yvonne Jeanne Nelson (nee Johnson) passed away Feb. 10, 2022, in Nampa, Idaho.

She was born at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Nov. 9, 1935, to Melvin Harvey Johnson Sr. and Helen Fern Johnson. The family moved to Aurora, Colo., for several years before relocating to Moorhead, Minn. She was schooled at the Moorhead Campus School, part of the then Moorhead State Teachers College.

At 16, she met the love of her life and later married Ronald C. Nelson in 1954. They went on to have seven children over eight years, one at a time.

She worked at the Glyndon Grill in the early 1960s, then at Silverline Boat Co. when the family moved to Georgetown, Minn. She was later employed for years at Steiger Tractor Co., all while juggling her large family. Retirement took her and her husband to Edgemont, S.D., and after his passing she went to Kamiah, Idaho, and finally Nampa.

Yvonne was a devoted reader and fierce defender of the underdog. As union steward at Silverline, she brooked no nonsense and abuse of employees from management, but at the same time told her union co-workers to expect no help from her if they were goofing off or otherwise not doing their jobs. Her sense of justice and compassion cut both ways. She was also the glue that held the family together during the checkered years, the good times and bad.

Yvonne was preceded in death by her husband, Ronald C. Nelson Sr.; son, Ronald C. Nelson Jr.; and daughter, Jeanne (Jeannie) Renee Lebacken.

She is survived by her children, Ross Nelson (Charlene), Karl Nelson (Stephanie), Kent Nelson (Soledad), Kathy Pope, and Keven Nelson (Carol) – the latter son and daughter-in-law especially doing so much for Yvonne in her final years; as well as 21 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

Her family said, “Our hope is that she has rejoined her beloved husband and hugged again the children who left
before her.”

Services will be held on Saturday, April 30, at 11 a.m. at Ward Chapel, LDS Church, in Newcastle, Wyo.


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