Don Roderick Nelson, 90, Valley City, ND, died peacefully in his home on June 7, 2024.  Visitation will be Tuesday, June 11 in the Lerud Mathias Funeral Home Chapel, Valley City, beginning at 1:00 PM.  The funeral service will be Tuesday at 2:00.  Burial with military honors will be in Memory Gardens Cemetery.  The service will be live streamed, then archived, on a link provided along with his obituary on his tribute page at  An online guestbook is available there as well.

He was born in Litchville, ND in 1933 to Walter and Freda Nelson. He attended Litchville school and graduated in 1951. He enlisted in the U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy, where he served his country with pride until 1956. He served in the Korean war as a corpsman. 

Upon completing his service, Don returned to Valley City to attend college. He obtained his teaching degree and started his career in Sykeston, ND. This is where he met the love of his life, Dorothy Cruchet. They were married in November of 1961. In 1962, they welcomed a daughter, Nancy, into the world. A year later in October of 1963, they welcomed a son, Tyler. In 1966, he received his Master’s in Social Work. He worked for Barnes County Social Services for 35 years. The last 20 years as the director. He then retired in 1999.

After retirement he spent many years traveling to Arizona during the winter months. Don cherished the time he spent with family, especially his granddaughters and great-grandchildren. He enjoyed golfing, dancing, playing cards, and going to AA meetings. Anyone that knew Don knew that you could go to him for anything. He always had a good story to tell. One of his greatest accomplishments was recently receiving his 50-year sobriety medallion. He as well as his family are very proud of him for this.

Don is survived by his daughter, Nancy (Kevin) Tougas, Valley City; his son, Tyler Nelson, Valley City; three granddaughters, Heather Tougas, Valley City, Heidi Tougas, Valley City, and Kelci Nelson, Hannaford, ND; two great-grandchildren, Kyler and Ember, Valley City; one brother, Jack (Marcia) Nelson of Apache Junction, AZ; and many nieces, nephews, and in-laws.

He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Stuart and Sherwin, as well as an infant brother; and his wife Dorothy Nelson.

The family will miss his sense of humor and watching his favorite game shows with him. Remember when Jeopardy is on…be quiet as grandpa would say.

The Lerud Mathias Funeral Home is assisting the Nelson’s with arrangements.