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Donald K. Nelson

Donald K Nelson passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of June 7th, 2024, at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. Don was born June 25, 1934, to Archie and Bonnie Nelson in Britt, Iowa. The family moved to Kanawha, Iowa where Don grew up. He graduated from Kanawha High School in 1952. Right after graduation, he joined the Marines, one month before his 18th birthday. Don was a Corporal in the Weapons Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division. He fought valiantly in the Korean War and was there for the final battle at Boulder City before the ceasefire took effect. After the war, Don attended and graduated from the University of Iowa. This is where he met Sue Smith. They married in August 1958 and moved to Des Moines. They had four children together and raised them in the Des Moines area as Don worked for several businesses including Proctor and Gamble, Onthank, A. A. Schneiderhaun, Dahl’s, Menards, and the West Des Moines School District. In 2021, Don moved to the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown. 


Don loved sports. His favorite baseball team was the St. Louis Cardinals, and he loved his Iowa Hawkeyes. He also loved to watch his children and grandchildren play school sports over the years. Even though the war took a considerable toll on him, he was always an extremely proud Marine. 


Don was preceded in death by his parents, Archie and Bonnie Nelson, his wife Sue, and his son, Michael D Nelson. He is survived by his three daughters, Nancy Fischer, Julie Williamson, and Rebecca (Harmony) Nelson, as well as nineteen grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They were the light of his life and what kept him going all these years. The family would like to thank the staff and residents of the Iowa Veterans Home. He was very happy there in the last years of his life. Don will be interred with military honors in a graveside service at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery on July 26, 2024, at 11 a.m. 


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