Jess Edward Nelson June 14, 1925 - July 27, 2016
Jess was born June 14, 1925, at his parentís home in Seward County, NE to Carl H. and Margaret J. (Baker) Nelson. He attended grade school at Utica, then moved and attended Beaver Crossing High School starting in the 9th grade. He and his nephew, Norman Hohnbaum, were the only uncle/nephew pair to attend all 12 years of school together and graduate from Beaver Crossing.
After graduation, he worked on farms in the Waco, McCool, and York areas, and drove a semi-truck. In 1946, he started work as a mechanic at the Ford garage in York. He was promoted to Service Manager in 1960 and maintained that position until 1974.
Jess married Donna Beth Elenora Blum June 22, 1947, in York. They moved to Sturgis in 1974 and Jess assumed the Service Manager position at Jacobsen Ford-Mercury. He held that position until he retired in 1990. He continued to exchange cars between Ford dealerships for a number of years.
Jess spent his spare time through the years remodeling their first old home and then finishing the home they built in Blucksberg near Sturgis. He volunteered in Blucksberg doing road maintenance, organized the Blucksberg Homeowners Board and served as president, was a member of the Blucksberg Paving Board, and was a source of information for new and old homeowners in the development.
He was a baptized member of the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in York. He was a charter member at Faith Lutheran Church in York and served on many boards and committees until they moved to Sturgis. Jess was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Sturgis where he also served the church and participated in Bible studies. He also served on an ushering team. He was a member of The Westerners International. Jess was always there to help a friend or stranger in need.
Cherishing memories are his wife of 69 years, Donna, Sturgis; three daughters and their families: Linda (Rev. Phillip) Hannemann, Lincoln, NE, Heather (Rod) West, CA, Christopher (Elizabeth) Hannemann and their children, Gabriel, Isabel, and Ava, IA, and Timothy (Johanna) Hannemann and their children, Joella and Broderick, NE; Eileen (Bruce) Ness, Albert Lea, MN, Brent (Katherine) Ness and their children, Lydia and Cecilia, NY, Stuart (Christie) Ness and their children, Travis and David, MN, and Scott (Meghan) Ness, MI; Beverly (Philip) Seifert, Oregon City, OR, Victoria (Alex) Duffey, WA, and Ryan Seifert, OR; sister-niece Gwen (Dean) Pankoke, Beaver Crossing, NE, other nieces and nephews, and many other relatives and special friends.
Jess was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Fay and Albert; and three sisters, Mae Hohnbaum, Lula Nelson, and Ruth Smith.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you do a kind deed for a friend or stranger, as Jess always thought of others before himself. He donated his eyes to optic research so others may see.
Memorials will be distributed by the family to organizations that Jess supported.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Sturgis.
Burial was at the Utica Cemetery in Utica, Nebraska on Friday, August 5, 2016.
Condolences may be emailed to Metz Mortuary Messages will be given to the family.