Howard Lawrence Nelson

Mar 20, 1920 – Dec 21, 2019

Howard Lawrence Nelson obituary image 1



Howard, age 98 of Des Moines, WA passed away Dec 21, 2018. He was born Mar 20, 1920 near Kathryn ND to the late Selmer and Lillie Nelson. He was baptized and confirmed in the Nordheim Lutheran Church. He attended the Sand Prairie School near Kathryn. He did farm work at home and on other farms.

He left for Seattle and started to work for the Boeing Co. in Nov 1941. He was a World War II veteran, serving time in the Pacific, and was honorably discharged from the Army Air Force in Nov 1946. Howard returned to Seattle to work for the Boeing Co. Howard met Ruth Gjendem at the Norselander dance hall in Seattle and they were married Jan. 7, 1956, at Denny Park Lutheran Church.

Howard loved to go salmon and trout fishing. He retired from Boeing in July 1984 with 42 years of service. From 1989 to 2013 Howard and Ruth were “snow birds” in Yuma, AZ. He loved to play shuffleboard with all his friends and was champion 7 times in the Palm Desert Estates tournaments. They were members of Lakeridge Lutheran Church, in Seattle, since 1959. Howard and Ruth moved to Huntington Park (Des Moines, WA) in 1994.

Howard is survived by his loving wife, Ruth, of 62 wonderful years; two sons: Kenneth (Anita) of Gig Harbor, WA, Gary (Sherrie) of Glendale, CA; six grandchildren: Timothy (Sonja) of Seattle, WA, Kelly of Oakland, CA, Kyle (Rena) of Las Vegas, NV, Christopher of St. Louis, MO, Suzanne of Chicago, IL, and Bryce of Bellevue, WA; one great granddaughter, Lilith of Las Vegas; 7 nieces and nephews: JoAnne Weber of Marshall, MN, Bonnie (Gary) Stewart of Sioux Falls, SD, Darrell (Tish) Mennis of Fort Ransom, ND, Debbie (Rick) Gillund of Enderlin, ND, Danny (Sandy) Nelson of Sand Prairie, ND, Janice (Don) Olafson of Valley City, ND and Dennis (Shelly) Nelson of Litchville, ND; and many grand and great grand nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Selmer and Lillie Nelson, sister Stella (Clifford) Mennis and brother Vernon (Shirley) Nelson.

Military Honors at Tahoma National Cemetery on Friday Feb 1, 2019 at 11:00 AM. Memorial service will be held Saturday, Feb 2, 2019 at 2:00 PM at Lakeridge Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Lakeridge Lutheran Church or favorite charity.


Cindy Schrum Ramsdell
Kent, WA
Feb 6, 2019

Sending my prayers to the entire Nelson family.. Howard is now with my Dad (his good friend) in Haven having a good old time talking about their days together at Boeing and him and Ruth visiting my parents in Bryn Mawr..

Howard was one of the nicest persons I knew growing up..


Cindy Schrum Ramsdell

Doug & Lisa Holm
Gig Harbor, WA
Jan 30, 2019

We are so sorry for your loss. We have enjoyed hearing about your families fun activities through the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.