CHINOOK - Olaf R. "Ole" Nelson, 86, died Wednesday, April 21, 2004, at a Havre care center.
A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday at the Northern Montana Care Center with Ila McClenahan officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at the Highland Cemetery at Havre.
Ole was born on Sept. 7, 1917, at Landeau County, S.D., to Henry and Olga (Negaard) Nelson. His early years were spent with his parents at their homestead in Landeau County. He later moved with his parents to Minnesota, where he worked at a variety of jobs.
On Sept. 4, 1941, Ole enlisted in the U.S. Army and was trained as a flight surgeon's assistant. He later served under Gen. George Patton in the Ninth Armory of the European-African-Middle East Theater in World War II. He was honorably discharged on Dec. 5, 1945. After the war, Ole returned to Beardsley, Minn., and his family.
In 1947, he married Betty Reed and had a business catching, smoking and distributing fish in western Minnesota. In 1952, Ole and Betty moved to Montana, where Ole worked for Mountain Bell in various communities as they upgraded telephone systems. His primary job for the telephone company was working as a lineman and cable splicer until he retired from AT&T in 1982.
Ole enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, camping, collecting rocks, traveling and gardening. Later in life, Ole and Betty learned to square dance and enjoyed traveling to square dance conventions far and wide.
Due to illness, Ole was cared for at the Northern Montana Care Center for the past five years.
Ole was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters and two grandsons.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Betty; daughters, Charlene (Arlen) Arneson of Whittier, Alaska, Vickie (Greg) Clouse of Havre and Linda Nelson of Havre; three grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.