Carmen L. Nelson

Carmen Lou Nelson, age 63, of Fergus Falls, made her triumphal entrance into heaven on Palm Sunday, April 9, 2017, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
She was born on April 16, 1953 in Springfield, MN, the daughter of Clifford and Viola Nelson. She enjoyed growing up on the family farm.
For 35 years Carmen taught art and Spanish in the Fergus Falls School District. She loved being a teacher and cared deeply for her students and fellow staff. She enjoyed seeing former students in the community as she valued the friendships that had developed.
Carmen’s pride and joy was her beautiful daughter, Lilliana, who she often referred to as her “gift from God”. Together they enjoyed traveling to many countries, but her heart always took her back to Mexico because of her great love for the people and the orphanage where she got her “little coffee bean” a name she affectionately gave to Lilly.
Anyone who knew Carmen realized that she lived her faith out loud. She found great joy in helping and praying for other people. It didn’t matter if it was in a store, on an airplane, or in a hospital. Carmen loved people.
Carmen had a great sense of humor and managed to have fun wherever she went. She loved the staff at the Lake Region Healthcare Cancer Care & Research Center, which she affectionately called “chemo-land.” She brightened everyone’s day on her many visits there. On her numerous trips to the doctor she was routinely asked if she felt safe at home to which she responded, “Yes, I feel safe at home. I have two dogs and two guns.” Carmen is now safe in the arms of Jesus.
A woman of many interests, she loved and lived life to the fullest through hunting, fishing, the arts, classic cars, downhill skiing, and travel. Carmen loved her family and her many friends; she had a flare for connecting with people from every walk of life.
During her years of health challenges, she never slowed down, and always maintained a positive attitude. She chose to live each day with purpose. Each day was a gift she cherished. Life was an adventure, and she refused to miss out on anything. Carmen always managed to maintain a thankful heart. She was truly a warrior.
Preceding her in death were her parents, Clifford and Viola Nelson.
She is lovingly remembered by her daughter, Lilly of Fergus Falls; brother, Charles (Sally) Nelson of Chaska; a niece, Christina (Jakub) Dajc and their daughter, Helena of Ottawa, Ontario; and nephew, Michael Nelson and his fiancé, Jessie Sydnes of St. Paul; along with countless friends who she always identified as family.
At her request, memorials will be given to Conecalli, an orphanage in Xalapa, Mexico which was very close to her heart. Please make checks payable to “Cash” and on the memo line designate for “Conecalli orphanage”.
Visitation: One hour prior to the service at the church
Service: Sat., April 22, 11am at Life Church of Fergus Falls
Clergy: Reverends Patrick Herzog and Don Suiter
Burial: Sundown Cemetery in Springfield, Minnesota at a later date
Condolences can be sent online to

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