Elaine Marie (Wendlandt) Nelson, the third daughter of Edward A. and Helen E. (Brandt) Wendlandt, was born June 24, 1927, in the family farm home in St. Croix County, Town of Cady, Wisconsin. She attended local schools and graduated from Spring Valley High School in the spring of 1945. That fall she moved to Northfield, Minnesota where she was employed at St. Olaf College as a secretary for several years.
In the fall of 1949, she moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she was employed by Radio Station KVOR, Army Antiaircraft Command, Palmer High School and Immanuel Lutheran Church over the years. This is where she also met her husband, James A. Nelson, and where their three children were born: David A. Nelson, who was killed in an auto crash in 2002, Pamela M. Avila, and Brenda J. DeBolt. In 1975 the family moved to a ranch outside of Colorado Springs, where they raised horses, cattle, chickens and other poultry. Elaine loved living in the country again and even though she had a full-time job, thoroughly enjoyed the ranch work and life. In January of 1994, Elaine and her husband moved to Durango, Colorado to be near family.
Elaine loved the out of doors, animals, birds, gardening, oil painting, sporting events, photography, scrapbooking and needle crafts. She especially loved flowers and always had her deck and yard filled with blooming plants in the summer and blooming plants indoors all year long. She loved all kinds of music and dining out with relatives and friends. She especially loved her family and her mainstay in life was her Savior, Jesus. Elaine was a volunteer and helped many places in Durango: the Senior Center, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Fort Lewis College Concert Hall, Mercy Hospital and Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 46 years, James Nelson, in 1999 and a son, David Nelson, in 2002.
She is survived by daughters, Pamela Avila and Brenda DeBolt both of Durango, 8 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, 2 nieces and sister, Eleanor Liebmann of Escondido, CA.
A celebration of life will be held at Hood Mortuary on Thursday, December 30, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. and burial will follow at Greenmount Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be sent to The Lutheran Hour and St. Paul's Lutheran church.