University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Remembering Edward Olaf Nelson


Edward O. Nelson, professor emeritus of mathematics, died Oct. 26 in Altru Hospital.  He was 86.

Edward O. Nelson was born Oct. 3, 1924, in Ellison Bay, Wis., to John and Anna Nelson. He graduated from Gibralter High School. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II in both Europe and Asia. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

After his military service, he graduated from Luther College with a degree in mathematics. He earned his master's and doctorate in mathematics from the University of Minnesota in 1959. In 1956 he married Barbara (Bobbe) Gretter.
He was a member of the UND mathematics department for more than 35 years, retiring in 1993.

Ed was fond of gardening, fishing/hunting and spending time with his family. Playing cribbage and working crossword puzzles were favorite pastimes. He enjoyed his many travels, including his yearly trips to the Door Peninsula of Wisconsin.

Survivors include daughters Julie (Rik) Getty of Boulder, Colo., Gail Nelson of Northfield, Minn., and Teresa (Doug) Bearrood of Woodbury, Minn.; grandchildren Lauren Getty, Thomas and Anna Bearrood. He is also survived by his brother, Gordon Nelson, of Ellison Bay, Wis.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Bobbe Nelson, and siblings Robert Nelson and Agnes (Nelson) Smith.

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