Cover photo for Walter Nelson's Obituary
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1944 Walter 2024

Walter Nelson

July 23, 1944 — May 4, 2024

Walter James Nelson, 79, passed away peacefully on May 4, 2024, in Urbandale, Iowa. A graveside service with Military Honors will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at the Bancroft Cemetery in Bancroft, NE.  A luncheon will follow at the Bancroft Community Building from noon until 3:00 p.m. Memorials and cards may be sent to: Suzet Nelson (4006 69th St Urbandale, IA 50322). Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Bancroft, NE.  

Walt was born July 23, 1944, to William and Rose (Beutler) Nelson in West Point, Nebraska. Walt was a 6’5” High School basketball star taking the Bancroft Bulldogs to State in both 1961 and 1962. After high school, Walt proudly served in the US Army from April 26, 1967-April 25, 1973.  He arrived in Vietnam on Monday, December 18, 1967. Despite battling Malaria during his 347 days of service and enduring the effects of Agent Orange, Walt's spirit remained unbroken. On Thursday, November 28, 1968 (Thanksgiving), Dad flew home to the USA and enjoyed two bologna and cheese sandwiches and orange soda in the airport.  He often referred to this as the “Best Thanksgiving Meal Ever”.

Walt will be warmly remembered as a man of many talents, with a deep love for farming and a personality that lit up the room as an auctioneer with Witt, Nelson, and Movig. Despite life's twists and turns, Walt's adventurous spirit led him to welding and across the country, installing refrigeration and freezer cooling units in packing plants. Settling in Texas with his partner of 30 years, Barbara Glass, Walt found fulfillment in his work with the U.S. Army at the Red Rock Munitions Depot, where he served faithfully until his retirement in 2010.

Walt was the very proud father of two daughters; Shanan (Nelson) and Rob Roling of Edgewater, Florida and Suzet Nelson and Ryan Ellsworth of Urbandale, Iowa. Walt was extremely proud of and quick to share a story about one of his 5 grandsons all in Iowa; Xyander Zuhlke; Philip Zuhlke (Elizabeth); William Roling (Samantha); Jack and Sam Larson. Walt’s extended family in Texas include Barbara Glass, Clyde and Marcie Glass, Patrick, Lynda, and Selena McCoart. Walt’s extended family in Nebraska include his brother, Don Nelson (Barb); Nieces; Robin Nelson, Kellie Reil (Doug), Angie Hawk (Scott), and Nephews; Mark Nelson (Tami), Nels Nelson (Erin); and all their families. 

 Walt is preceded in death by his parents.

 Walt loved Bancroft. He was so proud of his hometown. Dad, you are finally home!

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