Catherine Nelson, age 95, of Marshall, Minnesota, and formerly of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, died peacefully on Wednesday, May 24, 2023, at the Avera Morningside Heights Care Center in Marshall. Memorial Services are 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 10, 2023, at First Lutheran Church in Marshall, Minnesota. Following a reception, interment will be at 3:00 p.m. in the Woodlawn Cemetery, Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Visitation will be held one hour prior to her service, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m., on Saturday, at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials be directed to the First Lutheran Church in Marshall or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (www.michaeljfox.org)
Service recording available here at the church's YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/FirstLutheranChurchMarshall
Catherine Lorraine Johnson was born on a farm in Clark, South Dakota in 1927, the eighth of nine children to Abel and Clara (Fjelland) Johnson. She shared a close relationship with her siblings: Lester, Doris, Cora, Alvin, Ordean "Pete" & Carol; Anton and Katherine passed away during infancy. Many Johnson reunions were filled with fun and laughter.
Growing up on the farm, Catherine's early memories included sneaking into the kitchen with her sisters at night to use up her parents' sugar and butter rations to bake cakes and puddings.
After completing her education to become a teacher, Catherine taught in a one-room schoolhouse outside of Clark. During the summers she worked at the local cafe where she became known for her amazing chocolate malts. It was there that Catherine met her future husband, Rudy, and together they attended many Saturday night dances in Clark.
Rudy and Catherine were married on April 19, 1947, in a double wedding ceremony with her brother, Lester and his wife, Helen. They filled their home with love and laughter. They spent their early years together on a farm where she and Rudy worked alongside her older brothers, Lester and Alvin. Later they moved to Watertown, South Dakota, where their five children, Sandy, Pam, Rex, Tom, and Jody were born. Catherine remained at home with the children while Rudy worked at Watertown Sash and Door.
Despite her love of fancy things, Catherine never lost touch with her roots. She could be found in high heels and pearls one day and hunting boots the next. Catherine was proud of her Norwegian heritage and kept strong traditions - making lutefisk, lefse, krumkake, and rommegrot for Christmas dinner. Rudy and Catherine maintained their relationships with several relatives in Norway and Sweden.
Later, Rudy and Catherine moved their family to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where they were known for their social graces, and always had something going on. They loved hosting friends and family. Catherine enjoyed playing games, often hosting Bridge and MahJong games. She had a zest for life and enjoyed staying active in tennis, bowling, hunting, and golf - she even made a hole in one at age 80. Catherine was an avid sports fan, always rooting for her kids' favorite teams. She was always very involved in her church and was a charter member of Chapter CI PEO in Sioux Falls, where she served in all leadership roles and was later honored as a 50-year member.
After Rudy passed away, Catherine moved to Good Samaritan’s Prairie Creek, and later Touchmark where she continued to live a full life. She stayed busy with graduations, weddings, birthdays, and spending time with family and close friends.
Catherine moved to Marshall, Minnesota, in 2022 to be closer to her daughter, Pam and son-in-law, Tom, granddaughter, Elizabeth (and Mitch) Maxwell and great-grandchildren: Cora, Thomas, and Evelyn. She enjoyed outings to ball games, fishing spots, patio visits, and attending church in Marshall at First Lutheran.
Catherine Lorraine Nelson’s legacy is one of love for family, always happy to host impromptu and planned guests and a strong faith in God. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
Catherine is survived by her five children, Sandra Kingslien, Pamela (Thomas) Odland, Rex (Pamela) Nelson, Thomas (Lynell) Nelson, Jody (Patrick) Berry; 16 grandchildren, Carrie (Edward) Copeland, Christina (Dustin) Amy, Daniel (Stacey) Kingslien, Catherine (James) Garvey, Elizabeth (Mitchell) Maxwell, Paul Odland, Laura (Kevin) Allen, Andrew (Jennifer) Nelson, Charles (Alison) Nelson, Molly (Josh) Kukowski, Micheal (Kaitlyn) Nelson, Erik (Adrienne) Nelson, Kayla (Cameron) Capper, Allison Berry, Payton Berry, Olivia Berry; 36 great-grandchildren; special friend, Elmer Burgers; and many other relatives and friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband, Rudolph; parents, Abel and Clara Johnson; eight siblings; and her son-in-law, Myron Kingslien.