It is with great sadness that the family of Pastor Sidney Nelson, of Medicine Hat, announces his death on Sunday May 30, 2021. He died peacefully in Medicine Hat Hospital with Elaine at his side.
He is survived by his wife Elaine (Iversen) Nelson who shared his life and ministry for 66 years. He is also survived by six children, twelve grandchildren and three great grandchildren: daughter Riva Nelson and son-in-law Randy Smith, grandchildren children Nicole Smith (and Serge Lansiquot) and Eric Smith; daughter Santhy (Nelson) Yeager and son-in-law Les Yeager and grandchildren Graeme Good (and Ashley (Sparham) Good) and Michael Yeager; son Dean Nelson and daughter-in-law Kateri (Bechard) Nelson and grandson, Daniel Nelson; daughter Maren Nelson and son-in-law Stephen Miller and granddaughters, Laurie Ann Miller, Meagan Miller and Swathish Ayyappan; daughter Kirsti (Nelson) Anderson and son-in-law Mark Anderson and granddaughters, Gillian Anderson (and Ken Smith) and great granddaughter Kiyla Anderson; Melissa Anderson (and Marek (Koch) Anderson), Sarah Anderson and great-granddaughters Tayah and Alaynah Anderson; son Erik Nelson and daughter-in-law Susan (Mayer) Nelson and grandchildren children, Janay Nelson and Tory Nelson. He is also survived by his sisters Helen Gilbertson (Leon Gilbertson) and Evelyn Martin (Bruce Martin) and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Peter Emilius and Dena (Robertson) Nelson, parents-in-law Fred and Nora Iversen; his siblings (and their spouses) Nora Nelson, Robert Nelson (Esther (Schroeder) Nelson), Mary Nelson Block (Daniel Block and Dwaine Pattison), Eleanor Nelson, Daniel Nelson, Edward Nelson (Helen Sinclair Nelson), Bertin Nelson, Ruth Nelson (Joseph Hample), Myrtle Frostad Cooper (Harold Frostad and William Cooper).
Sidney was born in 1928 in Meckling South Dakota, the l0th child (of 12) of Dena (Robertson) and Peter Nelson. He attended public school in Naicam, Saskatchewan and LCBI Bible School, Outlook, Saskatchewan (1946-47), University of Saskatchewan and Luther Seminary (B.Th. 1947-52.) He had post-graduate education at the University of Saskatchewan (B.A. 1967-68), Lutheran Seminary Saskatoon (M. Div. 1969) and McGill University (M.A. 1969-70).
He was ordained to ministry in the Lutheran Church on May 25, 1952. He was proud to be in the third generation of pastors in the Nelson family, following after his grandfather, Rev. Daniel Nelson (ord. 1890), a missionary in China, his father Pastor Peter Emil Nelson (ord. 1914), and his uncles Bertin Nels Nelson (ord. 1917) and Daniel Nelson (ord. 1928).
Pastor Nelson served in several Lutheran congregations and in national church offices during his career: Frontier Parish, Frontier SK (1952-55); Youth Director of Canada District of the American Lutheran Church, with office in Saskatoon, SK (1955-56}; Mission Developer, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Lethbridge AB (1956-60); Joplin Lutheran Church in Joplin Montana (1960-63); Youth and Parish Director, Canadian Region of the ALC with office in Saskatoon SK (1963-66); St. Ansgar Lutheran Parish, Montreal PQ (1968-81); Grace Lutheran, Medicine Hat AB (1981-88} and Unity Lutheran Church, Medicine Hat, AB (1988-93}.
During his time in Medicine Hat, Sid was involved in various community organizations including the United Way, Santa Claus Fund, Medicine Hat and District Community Foundation, local chapter of the Alberta Care Association, and member of the Alberta Press Council (1993-99) where he received a Distinguished Service Award in 1999. He also wrote a regular column for the Medicine Hat News.
He volunteered on many other committees and organizations: President of Swift Current Circuit Luther League (1952-55) Youth Director Canada District Luther League (1955-56), Ministerial Associations in Lethbridge, Montana, Saskatoon, Montreal and Medicine Hat. Co-chair of Luthercon '67 a national youth event of the main Lutheran Churches in Canada. Montreal Interfaith Advisory Committee to the CBS 1969-81. Founding member of "Interfaith Task Force for Soviet Jewry" in Montreal; Church Council of ELCC; National Board of Trustees, ELCC; National Board of Parish Life, ELCIC and Alberta Synod.
Sid's retirement years were busy and happy. He continued to do pulpit supply in vacant parishes and pastoral care in hospitals while enjoying their grandchildren and their many activities. Sid and Elaine also travelled frequently to Europe, the Middle East, China, Mexico and to visit family members scattered across North America.
He was fond of a good joke and understood how to use humour in his ministry and life to relieve tension, ease grief and give life perspective.
Favourite Bible Verse: Hebrews 11:1-3: "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible."
The family is very grateful to the physicians, nurses and staff of the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital for their compassionate care.
A celebration of Sidney’s life will be held in the future when all his family and friends are able to be together. The date and time will be announced. To e-mail an expression of sympathy, please direct it to: email@example.com subject heading: Sidney Nelson.