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Joan Nelson, 81, of Redby, MN died Sunday, January 28, 2018 at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.
Memorial services will be 3:00 p.m., Thursday, February 1, 2018 at St. Antipas Episcopal Church, Redby, MN. Family will greet friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Inurnment will be in St. Antipas Episcopal Church Cemetery, Redby. Arrangements were entrusted to the Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home, Bemidji.
Joan Eleanor Pemberton was born September 13, 1936 in Red Lake, MN to George and Eleanor (Workman) Pemberton. She graduated valedictorian from Red Lake High School in 1953. She was active as cheerleader, band, chorus and FHA during high school. Joan wanted to join the Navy but had to be 18 years old. While waiting to enter the service, she worked as a NW Bell Telephone operator in Minneapolis and later for the State of Minnesota in Moorhead as an administrative assistant. Joan joined the Navy and completed boot camp training in Bainbridge, MD in 1955. After completing boot camp she was assigned to St. Albans naval Hospital, Long Island for a short time before being transferred to 3rd Naval District Headquarters in downtown Manhattan. Joan met Russell Nelson in New York City and they were married on March 8, 1957. He was also in the Navy. She had the honor of being elected the 1st woman senior warden for St. Antipas Episcopal Church for approximately 20 years. Joan attended many arts and crafts classes, was an avid reader and enjoyed going to casinos. She worked as medical records secretary for the Red Lake Indian Hospital for 30 years. She then went to work in the same position as administrative assistant for Red Lake Comprehensive Health for 16 years. She finally retired at 77 years old in 2013.
She is survived by her husband, Russell of Redby; children, Russell (Jennifer) Nelson of Bemidji, Cathy (Quinten) Good of Trail, Lori (Roger) Good of Gully and Eric Nelson of Redby; grandchildren, Liam, Tris, Kellen, Lucas, Jade Ann, Regina, Rylie Jo, Micheal, Blake, Wyatt, Sarah, Little Russell, Gabriel and Tyler.
She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Eleanor Pemberton; brothers, Leo, Louis, Duane “Red”, Donald and Arnold “Shiekie”; sister, Nancy Ann; special grandson, Ryan George Nelson; special daughter, Janet Gail Beaulieu and sisters-in-law, Alberta Pemberton and Lorraine Pemberton.
Online guestbook at www.OlsonSchwartzFuneralHome.com