Cover photo for Gerald Nelson's Obituary
Gerald Nelson Profile Photo

Gerald Nelson

d. March 11, 2021

Gerald “Gerry” Duane Nelson of St. Paul, MN, passed away unexpectedly on March 11, 2021, at the cabin he built at his boyhood home in Cass County, homesteaded by his grandparents Carl and Anna Nelson. He was such a good man. We will miss you Bupee.

Gerry was born in Pine River, MN, on April 30, 1937, to Clarence and Esther Nelson. He grew up on a farm in Moose Lake Township and walked to a single room country school near his home. He lived on the farm until his dad died when he was 15, when he and Esther moved into Pine River and where Gerry worked for the Pine River Journal while in high school. He worked at the US Steel Corporation in Duluth from 1955-1960 while attending the University of Minnesota at Duluth and received Bachelors of Science, cum laude, from UMD. He then received a Masters in Math/Physics from the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. He worked most of his career as a computer engineer in the defense division at Honeywell. In later life, Gerry became fascinated with flexible polyhedron, a geometric construction. He later became aware of the beauty of these constructions and was constantly on the alert for finding new ones. He wrote several papers on the topic which can be read on and was editing two new papers at the time of his death. He enjoyed the eagles nesting this spring in their long flights over the Mississippi with food for their young.

Gerry was a loving husband and father. He married Verla Huisken on June 29, 1962, in the Lutheran Chapel near the UM campus, after they met while Verla was his nurse at the UMN hospital. They were married for 58 years.

Gerry is survived by his wife, Verla; and daughters, Heidi Ries (Dan) and Karin Nelson Jewitt (John). He was an endlessly proud grandfather to Samantha, Jennifer, Willa and Katherine.

A private family service will be held at the Moose Lake Cemetery. Please send memorials to Second Harvest Heartland (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gerald Nelson, please visit our flower store.


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