Cover photo for Gwendolyn Jean Nelson "Gwen"'s Obituary
Gwendolyn Jean Nelson "Gwen" Profile Photo
1931 Gwendolyn 2022

Gwendolyn Jean Nelson "Gwen"

July 11, 1931 — November 6, 2022

Duluth

 

Gwendolyn Jean Nelson (“Gwen”), 91, of Duluth, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 6, 2022 with family at her side. Gwen was born on July 11, 1931 in Duluth, the only child of William and Gertrude (Langlee) Peterson. She graduated in 1948 at the age of 16 from Denfeld High School and was anxious to put her typing and bookkeeping skills to use, working at the Courthouse and Coolerator, where she made several lifelong friends. She married the love of her life, Donald Nelson, on September 20, 1952, and together they owned and operated Don’s Swirly Top (an ice cream shop) during Don’s college years. They enjoyed 40 years of love and laughter together before Don died of cancer. Gwen was a homemaker who prided herself on a neat and tidy home, earning her the affectionate title of “White Tornado.” Gwen was a member of Christ Lutheran Church, where she was active with the Dorcas Circle, sang in the Choir, and served on the church council. She was a member of the Duluth Woman’s Club for many years where she enjoyed playing bridge. She was an avid UMD Bulldog Hockey and Minnesota Twins fan.  Gwen’s home was a family gathering spot. At Christmas and Easter, she prepared delicious holiday meals with an endless array of cookies and bars. Her glittery wardrobe resulted in the nickname “Mrs. Sparkles” and she would beam with joy whenever someone mentioned her fashionable look. She was generous and compassionate. She enjoyed camping, gardening, reading, crossword puzzles, playing SkipBo and cribbage, watching Jeopardy, and traveling with friends. Spending time with family was very important to her, and you could always count on her to support her kids and grandkids at their sporting, music, and theater events.  She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, two sons, David and William, and son-in-law, David Kent.  Gwen will be dearly missed by her three daughters: Cindy Kent of Duluth, Julie (Charlie) Plys of Duluth, and Pamela (Toby) Peterson of Fargo, ND; eight grandchildren: Elizabeth (Ben) Webber, Ryan (Ramona) Kent, Samuel (Nikki) Plys, Sarah (Nick) Juberian, Hannah (Luke) Borchardt, Joshua Plys, April Peterson, and Zachary Peterson; three great-grandsons: Arthur Webber, Asa Borchardt, and Brooks Plys, and many other beloved family and friends.  The family would like to thank the staff at Elysian Senior Homes and Kindred Hospice for the kind and compassionate care they provided to Gwen.  A celebration of Gwen’s life will be held at Christ Lutheran Church, 2415 Ensign St., on Thursday, November 10, 2022, with visitation at 10 a.m. until the 11 a.m. funeral service, Pastor Michael Main officiating. Lunch will be served. Burial will be in Park Hill Cemetery. Arrangements are by Williams Lobermeier Boettcher Funeral Home.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, November 10, 2022

10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)

Christ Lutheran Church

2415 Ensign St, Duluth, MN 55811

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Celebration of Life

Thursday, November 10, 2022

Starts at 11:00am (Central time)

Christ Lutheran Church

2415 Ensign St, Duluth, MN 55811

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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