132 YEARS OF SERVICE to Southern Minnesota
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Genie and I attended the funeral service of Marilyn Nelson at Bayview in Albert Lea on Sunday, June 29. Her mother was Thora (Haug) Sunde. Thora was my godmother. My grandmother Hanson was a sister of Thora’s. Thus, many of the Hanson, Haug, and Sunde relatives plus friends from the New Richland area were there. Marilyn was also a graduate of New Richland High School.

We arrived at Bayview just before the service started – thus not many open seats. Genie sat in one row of seats and I in another. The row I sat in was five chairs. The first three seats were occupied by Haug relatives, a vacant seat and then a young lady whom I didn’t recognize. I introduced myself and asked if she was a relative on the Nelson side as I sat in the vacant seat. She informed me her name was Tracey and she was a nurse at Wellsted of Rogers, MN, and was with Marilyn as Marilyn left this earth for a room prepared for her.

I asked Tracey if she knew my old fishing buddy Floyd, of the AAL Fishing Team, for about 30 years, who was now a resident at Wellsted in Rogers. The answer was yes. She had been a nurse for Floyd until he moved to another building. She told me it had been a pleasure to know Floyd and be his nurse. Small world, isn’t it?

Tracey Cushing, you are definitely cut from the bolt of cloth that says: “For comforting, caring nurses only.” Marilyn’s family thanks you, Floyd’s family thanks you, and I thank you.

At the fellowship afterwards, I promised the cake server I would put in my column that he served the cake. Funeral Director Todd Dumke, I have now kept that promise.

Genie and I had a very enjoyable July 4th celebration. We talked smart, ate hot dogs, and drank pop while watching the July 3rd parade in Albert Lea. The NRHEG Marching Band, as usual, did a good job representing my old alma mater.

Thanks to Zion Lutheran Church for the food stand in front of their church on Bridge Street in Albert Lea during the parade. They even let you sit on the stops, so Genie and I ate their food and sat on their steps!

The night of July 4th, we listened to the Community Band and then watched the fireworks while sitting in Fountain Lake Park in Albert Lea. It was very enjoyable music, especially when they played all the military anthems. When the branch of the service you were in was played, you stood up. At the playing of “Anchors Aweigh,” I stood up, clicked my heels, gave a snappy salute and with a tear in my eye said, “I’m proud to be an American.”

From an old Navy buddy, who when he was alone looking for a place to sit would sit by someone he didn’t know, I learned to do the same.

While Genie was getting popcorn before the band and fireworks, I looked for a place to sit. I didn’t see anyone sitting alone, but I did see three ladies and a guy on one side of a picnic table and nobody on the other side. I introduced myself and sat down, and we were talking as Genie arrived with the popcorn. One lady says, “Genie” as Genie says “Susan.” As nurses, they worked together at St. John’s in Albert Lea about 35 years ago and hadn’t seen each other since. Small world, isn’t it? (Genie is retired and Susan is the school nurse at the Wells school district.)


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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