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Ethel E. Nelson passed away at the age of 99 on December 12th, 2023, at Mayo hospital in Eau Claire, WI. She was born on February 17,1924 to Hiram and Tilla (Tweed) Cutting in the town of Grant, Dunn County, WI where she was raised and attended the Popple Creek Country School.
Ethel married Spencer Fjelstad on April 1st, 1942. In the early years of Ethel and Spencer's marriage, they enjoyed searching for crystal dolomite rocks together in Dunn and St. Croix Counties. Many of those rocks would go on to decorate their yard and flower gardens. Today, those same rocks decorate the gardens of her grandchildren in Wisconsin, Montana and Texas.
On June 4, 1958, one of the worst tornado outbreaks in Wisconsin history devastated the town of Colfax. The tornado destroyed the family home and Ethel lost her beloved husband Spencer. In February 1966, Ethel married Conrad Nelson. Ethel worked for many years as a store clerk at the Coast to Coast in downtown Colfax. She also provided daycare services to many families from the Colfax area until her retirement.
She enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, gardening, quilting, baking and Sudoku. Ethel earned bragging rights as her handmade quilts and homemade Lefse won multiple blue ribbons in local and county fairs in Wisconsin and Montana. Ethel was also a gifted gardener. For many years, her little house on the corner of Sletten Street and University Avenue in Colfax was a haven for hummingbirds, bees and butterflies as they frequented her immaculate flower beds. Ethel especially loved and took pride in raising and providing shelter to the many Monarch caterpillars that hatched, transformed, and took flight from her house every summer. Her grandchildren will miss her homemade Lefse, Fattigman, strawberry jam, pies and other baked goods, but they will continue many of the traditions that she passed on to them.
Ethel is survived by her son, Ronald (Roseann) Fjelstad of Chippewa Falls and two daughters, Emily Bowe of Cadott and Jeri Ann (Hugh) Erickson of Mosinee, WI. She is also survived by ten grandchildren: Ron (Tricia) Fjelstad, Reshell (David) Fischer, Rick Fjelstad, John Bowe, Elizabeth (John) Irish, Olivia (Louis) Pujols, Trevor and Collin Erickson, Brennan and Nathan Booth. In addition, she is survived by five great grandchildren: Janna (Tyler) Krula, Camryn Fjelstad, Jack Fjelstad, Natalie Bowe, Taylor Bowe along with numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives, friends and neighbors. Ethel was excited to learn that she would become a great-great grandmother of a baby boy in April 2024.
She was preceded in death by her parents: Hiram and Tilla Cutting, both of her husbands, Spencer Fjelstad and Conrad Nelson: one son, William Fjelstad, one daughter, Jodi Nelson, one grandchild, Adam Booth and siblings: Reuben, William, Francis, Warren, Grant, Sherman, Wallace, Eldred and Ella Lundequam.
Ethel's family would like to thank the doctors and medical staff of the Mayo hospital and ER department for her care. We are especially grateful to Dr. Daniel Kincaid from Mayo Clinic Cardiology and Dr. Abdulla Akfaly from Internal Medicine for the wonderful care they have given to Ethel over the years along with the Colfax Police Department and First Responders from Dunn County.
A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 am Friday, December 22 at Sampson Funeral Home, 1017 Railroad Ave., Colfax with Pastor Jordan Herrick officiating. Visitation will occur 1 hour prior to service. Burial will be at the Popple Creek American Cemetery in the town of Grant, Dunn County. Online condolences may be shared at www.sampsonfuneralhome.com.