Clayton Eugene Nelson “Without hard work nothing grows but weeds.” Clayton Eugene Nelson, age 85, of Mondovi worked his final day as he peacefully passed on February 17, 2019, while surrounded by the loving family he "grew". Clayton was born February 5, 1934 in Modena, WI to Ole and Anna (Sandberg) Nelson. Clayton was the only brother of Adeline, Morrell, and Susan. Clayton’s parents and siblings were an important part of his life as he spent many hours visiting with them, talking on the phone, having coffee, and even making trips to the casino. Clayton was a proud graduate of Mondovi High School in 1951. He married Betty Staats at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Augusta, WI on August 16, 1958. They went onto have 41 amazing years of marriage. During those 41 years they became proud parents to three sons, Dale, Paul, and Charles. Clayton and Betty were a perfect match for one another and it was evident to anyone that ever had the fortunate opportunity to interact with them. They laughed together, they traveled together, they cooked together, they danced together, and most importantly built a family together. Clayton’s heart was broken when Betty passed away on January 23, 2000. He had lost his wife, his companion, and his best friend. They are now reunited together and can laugh and dance once again. Clayton served in the Army and was called to active duty during the Berlin Crisis in 1961. He was a member of the National Guard and retired with 22 years of service to our country. Clayton was a proud veteran and served as Past Commander of Legion Post 154. He was a life member of the 32nd Enlisted Association and the 32nd Old Timers Club. He enjoyed regularly going to Fort McCoy for the yearly reunion and often would talk about the good times he had there with friends and those he served with. Clayton was also a member of Trinity Norden Lutheran Church where he served as a member of the Church Council. Clayton was the epitome of hard-work and was never deterred by a challenge. During his lifetime he worked as a milk and lime hauler for 13 years. Following that he retired from UW-Eau Claire where he was employed for 22 years. While working at UW-Eau Claire he also simultaneously worked for the United States Postal Service as a rural mail carrier for 23 years until he retired. In addition to his work in these areas, Clayton was also a proud lifelong farmer up until his final days. While Clayton enjoyed his time as a mail carrier, an employee at UW-Eau Claire, and as a milk and lime hauler, he most enjoyed the countless hours he invested in working the fields, managing the cattle, harvesting the crops, and teaching his sons and grandsons the many lessons learned growing up on a farm. Clayton and Betty purchased what would become the family farm, C n B Nel Sons Farms, in 1961 and have spent the nearly six decades since making it home. When he wasn’t working, Clayton enjoyed the many simple things in life. He particularly enjoyed watching his sons and grandsons compete in sports. Clayton also enjoyed spending time at family events as he never missed one. Clayton had an exceptional memory which served him well as we loved to tell stories. He also never missed an opportunity to offer up one of his infamous “Clayton-isms,” which could serve as advice, a greeting, or the source of a good laugh. Clayton was particularly fond of his three dogs-Dodger, Macey, and Hadley and even the cat he took into his home so that it had a warm place to stay. What really brought a smile to Clayton’s face during the last years of his life were his five great-grandchildren. It was these young faces that clearly melted his heart.
Clayton is survived and will be deeply missed by his three sons: Dale (Julie) Nelson of Mondovi, Paul (Karolyn) Nelson of Eau Claire, and Charlie of Mondovi; four grandsons, Ryan (Ann) Nelson of Eau Claire, Tyler (Ashley) Nelson of Eau Claire, Lance (Alexandria) Nelson of Oakdale, MN, and Bryce (Jenna) Nelson of Oshkosh; five great-grandchildren: Ava, Camden, Maxwell, Paige, and Damon, plus two on the way; long-time friend Doris Prissel; sisters Morrell Heck of Mondovi and Susan (Charles) Parent of Tylertown, MS; and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Clayton was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; parents, Ole and Anna Nelson; his sister, Adeline Bauer; and by other relatives and friends.
A visitation will be held at Talbot Family Funeral Homes, Mondovi on Wednesday February 20, 2019 at 4:00PM to 7:00PM and again at 10:00AM until the hour of his funeral service at 11:00AM on Thursday February 21, 2019 at Trinity of Norden Lutheran Church. Burial, with full miltary honors, will follow at the church cemetery.