Official Obituary of

Richard "Rick" T.D. Nelson

March 24, 1956 ~ May 27, 2023 (age 67) 67 Years Old

Richard "Rick" Nelson Obituary

Rick passed away at home on May 27, 2023, after a lengthy illness. Rick was born in Granite Falls, MN in 1956 and shortly after moved with his family to the St. Anthony Park neighborhood of St. Paul, MN. 
In 1963, the family moved to Willow River, MN, where Rick attended elementary and high school. After graduating from Willow River High School in 1974, Rick attended the University of Minnesota.  He graduated in 1979 with a Bachelors Degree of Science Biology in Entomology, Fisheries, and Wildlife.

Rick had a long career with the Minnesota DNR Section of Fisheries from 1979 to 2016, when he retired. Throughout his career, he worked in various Minnesota locations, such as Finland, living on the shores of his beloved Lake Superior, Brainerd, Lanesboro, and Rochester. Rick met his wife, Jane, while working with the DNR and they married in October 1992, with daughter Kayla arriving in May 1995. Being a dad was very special to him. Rick had a true love for the outdoors from an early age and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He had a special interest in the culture and art of Indigenous Americans and created many beautiful crafts inspired by Natives that required meticulous work. He was proudest of his intricate beadwork and hand-carved stone pipes. Woodworking was another favorite hobby that he excelled at.
He was also a wonderful cook and especially enjoyed Szechuan Chinese food, taking time to research recipes and cooking techniques. Those who were lucky enough to enjoy these meals knew they were truly special. Rick also had a love of music, playing guitar with his brothers and friends. 
Over his lifetime, he has spent many hours listening to his favorite musician Neil Young. Rick is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Helen Nelson, brother Robert and his pets Peta, Kippy, and Dippy. He is survived by his wife Jane, daughter Kayla, and step-daughter Jenny Hicks. Sisters Carol Taylor and Ellie Strock (Dave); brothers David Nelson (Jazan), Jim Baker (Barbara), and Steve Nelson (Nancy), and many nieces, nephews, and relatives. Rick made many friends throughout his life. He will be missed.

A Celebration of Life for Rick will be 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at Riley Funeral Home in Chatfield, with visitation from 12 – 1:30 P.m. before the service.
Memorials are preferred to the Nelson family. Riley Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the Nelson family with arrangements. Online condolences are welcome at

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June 17, 2023

12:00 PM to 1:30 PM
Riley Funeral Home
800 S Main St
Chatfield, MN 55923

Celebration of Life
June 17, 2023

1:30 PM
Riley Funeral Home
800 S Main St
Chatfield, MN 55923


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