John Nelson Profile Photo
1927 John 2016

John Nelson

December 28, 1927 — January 11, 2016

John Arthur Nelson, 88, of Atlantic, Iowa, passed away Monday, January 11, 2016, at Mountain Vista Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona.

He was born in Omaha, Nebraska, on December 28, 1927, the son of Johan (Gus) and Mable (Lundquist) Nelson. John's family moved to Red Oak, Iowa, where he attended school and graduated from Red Oak High School. Following high school, he joined the United States Army and served from 1946 to 1948, during World War II. John was united in marriage to Kathryn Mumm on June 17, 1951.

John returned to Iowa after serving in the United States Army and attended the University of Iowa. He left college and returned to Red Oak to help on the family farm due to the death of his father. He then took a job with General Motors in Des Moines, Iowa, which then took him to Oskaloosa to a Chevrolet Dealer for a short period. While in Oskaloosa, he began working for Bloom Builders selling Pole buildings for a few years. John then moved to Harlan, Iowa, and started Harlan Builders in 1961. He also started the Gateway Harvest Store in Harlan in 1965. In 1968, he purchased the John Deere Store in Atlantic, Iowa, known as Nelson Equipment. In 1971, John moved to Atlantic and started Pyramid Builders, within Nelson Equipment, a post frame building company. John and Kathryn then moved to Washington, D.C. in 1985 when John went to work for the Farmer's Home Administration, under President Ronald Reagan's administration. John started selling real estate in 1988 while in Washington, D.C. He later moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the Lake Okoboji area and continued to do real estate. In 2012, John and Kathryn moved to Atlantic and John continued with real estate until 2015.

He was always very active in the communities in which he lived. John was a member of the Mason's, Elk's, Shriner's and several other business and professional organizations. He was most recently attending church at the First United Methodist Church in Atlantic.

John had many interests and hobbies. He loved to fly airplanes and was very proud to own his own airplane. He enjoyed playing golf and cards. John was an avid and proud Iowa Hawkeye fan, as well as a season ticket holder for over 30 years. He loved to farm and John's biggest regret was leaving the farm, however, pleased that the family still owns it.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Johan and Mable Nelson and his parents-in-law, Harry and Elsie Mumm.

John is survived by his wife, Kathryn Nelson of Atlantic, IA; his children, Cynthia (John) Heckel of Cedar Rapids, IA, Jeff (Pat) Nelson of Grimes, IA (formerly of Atlantic, IA), Pam (Dave "Arch") Auerbach of Atlantic, IA and Laurie (Dan) Ray of Okoboji, IA; his grandchildren, Katie Heckel, C.J. Heckel, Josh (Livia) Nelson, Joe (Ariana) Nelson, Doug Auerbach, Jake Auerbach, Kaitlyn (Dillon) Green and Kolton Ray; his great-grandsons, Jett Nelson and Hudson Green; his brother, Norman (Rita) Nelson of Mesa, AZ; his sister-in-law, Joyce Lenon of Omaha, NE; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Visitation will be held from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m., with a Masonic service at 4:00 p.m., on Monday, January 18, 2016, at Hockenberry Funeral Home in Atlantic, Iowa.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 19, 2016, at the First United Methodist Church in Atlantic, Iowa, with burial in the Atlantic Cemetery.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Nelson, please visit our flower store.


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