Cover photo for Wayne Nelson's Obituary
Wayne Nelson Profile Photo
1927 Wayne 2020

Wayne Nelson

March 20, 1927 — November 14, 2020

Wayne Delno Nelson, 93 of Niles, passed away on Saturday, November 14 in his home with his family by his side.

Wayne was born on March 20, 1927 in Portland, North Dakota to the late Hartvig and Amelia Nelson.   He spent his early years farming with his Father.  On January 28, 1951 he married the former Betty Molenaar.   In 1953 they moved to Niles where he was employed by Kawneer for many years and later retired from Modineer.

Wayne was a very busy man - always active doing something.  He enjoyed wood working and construction - numerous examples of which can be seen in the family home.  He was the ultimate "Handyman" who could fix just about anything.  Wayne enjoyed collecting John Deere tractors and belonged to the "2 Cylinder Club".  He had spent a lot of hours on those tractors in his youth.  He also enjoyed days on the lake boating with his family and time spent at his lake home.  Wayne loved his motorcycles.  He and Betty traveled the "Lower 48" states on a motorcycle, usually camping and often with friends or family.  In retirement, they continued to pursue their love of travel with visits to Hawaii, Alaska, Australia, Europe, Asia and South America.  They also became snowbirds, spending 24 winters in their motor home in the southern US and Mexico.

Wayne was a member of Christ the King Lutheran Church in South Bend.  He was also a member of the Masons, the Scottish Rite and the Shriners.

Wayne  is survived by his loving wife of 69 years, Betty and their children: Renee (Mark) Moretz of Hampden, MA, W. Dudley  (Wendy) Nelson of Buchanan, MI and Janis (Gregory) Exner of Niles, MI; grandchildren: Douglas, Stephanie, Erica, Sean, Tracy, Derek and Brian; great grandchildren: Tyler, Emma, Adriana, Aubrey, Olivia, Madelyn,  Holly, and Memphis.  He is also survived by his sister, Donna Mae Vigen of Fargo, North Dakota.

Because of current COVID restrictions, cremation has taken place and there will not be any services at this time. Arrangements have been entrusted to Halbritter Wickens 615 E. Main St. Niles.

Memorials in Wayne’s name may be made to Michigan Masonic Charitable Organization 1200 Wright Ave. Alma, MI 48801 or at

Online condolences and messages to the family may be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wayne Nelson, please visit our flower store.


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