Akkerman-Ingebrand • Mora, MN

Rock-Ingebrand • Braham, MN

Mora, MN • 320-679-1933

Braham, MN • 320-396-2121


F. Nelson webphotoFranci Nelson, of Mora, passed away on Sunday, April 27, 2014 at her home in Mora. She was 66  years old.

MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, May 17, 2014 at Grace Lutheran Church in Mora.  Dr. William Ankerberg will officiate.

MEMORIAL VISITATION will be from 4:00-8:00 P.M. on Friday, May 16th at Akkerman-Ingebrand Funeral Home in Mora.

After a courageous 3-year journey with breast cancer, Franci Nelson died Sunday, April 27 2014, at the age of 66 surrounded by love and family at her side.

Franci was born on August 23, 1947, in Mora, MN to Thelma and Norman De Witt. She attended the Mounds View school district until her junior year when the family moved back to Mora. Franci graduated from Mora High School in 1965 and then trained as a dental assistant at the University of Minnesota. Her marriage to Pete Nelson on June 11, 1966 in Mora, MN was blessed with two children, Matt and Sara. 

She worked with her husband in the Nelson Variety family business for over 20 years. Her experience in the retail world equipped Franci for a new sales career and she hit the road as a sales rep. She thrived for over 15 years on the challenge of sales and the adventure of being on the road. She then moved into the travel industry and enjoyed a few years as a tour host.

Franci then hung up her travelling shoes. She grounded herself in her gardens with Pete at their riverfront home to start “Francine’s Flowers”, a business growing and selling lilies and hostas.  Her love of gardening and especially lilies led her down many paths and she became active in the Town and Country Garden Club, North Star Lily Society, the North American Lily Society, and the Hosta and Iris Societies.  She enjoyed competing in various Lily shows and her efforts paid off with many awards for the beautiful Martagon Lilies from their garden.  She was recently given one of the highest honors through NALS, the Slate McDaniels Award.  Franci’s passion for gardening and thorough knowledge of plants and flowers continued to bring her and others enormous joy until her very last days.  Hospitality was at her core – the “hostess with the mostess”, Franci enjoyed nothing more than showing her love by cooking delicious food and taking care of family and friends wherever she found herself. 

Franci’s faith and walk with God were an integral part of her entire life and over the years she served in numerous ministries within her church and the community.  A highlight for Franci was her involvement in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) as a “mentor mom”. Investing in the lives of young moms with her life experience and faith brought Franci great meaning. 

Franci’s kindness and thoughtfulness never missed a moment to give back to someone in need.  She touched many lives along the way and left her fingerprints on the hearts of many people. 

She is preceded in death by her father Norman DeWitt, her parents-in-law, Ed and Alice Nelson and her grandparents Willis and Ruby Trupe and Marion and Ruby DeWitt. 
Franci is survived by her husband, Pete; children, Matthew Nelson and fiancé Darcy Turner of St. Cloud, MN and Sara and Steve Caputo of Santa Barbara, CA; mother, Thelma DeWitt Olds (Elmer) of Mora, MN; sister, Arlie Ankerberg (Bill) of Whittier, CA; brother-in-law, Leonard Nelson (Janet) of Boynton Beach, FL; grandchildren Ben and Zack Caputo, and Morgan Turner; step-sisters Carol Reynolds (Randy) and Jo Ellen Kastenbauer (Jim); nieces and nephews, Beth (Chad) Miller of Whittier, CA; Becky (David B) Ankerberg of Menlo Park, CA; Peter (Amy) Ankerberg of La Habra, CA; and great nieces and nephews Avery, Grant, and Noelle Miller, and Courtney and Alyson Ankerberg.


24 thoughts on “FRANCI K. NELSON”

  1. In our thoughts & prayers – May precious memories shared with family & friends give you comfort -Franci was a special gal – always considerate of others – Ron & Judy Kadlec

  2. Peter and family: Sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you as you celebrate Franci’s life and all she meant to you and those that knew her. She will be sorely missed. I wish I were there to give you a hug and offer support in some way.

  3. Franci’s memory will hold strong in the hearts of family and friends. She always shared a warm smile and a kind greeting when we met our busy paths. Her fingerprints are truly on the hearts of many.

  4. Franci’s memory will hold strong in the hearts of family and friends. She always shared a warm smile and a kind greeting when we met on our busy paths. Her fingerprints are truly on the hearts of many.

  5. We are so sorry for the loss of this wonderful wife, mother and daughter. We remember her working at Nelson’s Variety before we left Mora. She was a very special gal. Pete and Thelma, we are praying for comfort for you and the rest of the family during this difficult time.

  6. We have known Franci since the first month of her life as we were friends of her mom and dad. Franci had many talents enjoyed by many people. She was a great person and now our thoughts are with you, Pete. She left a big space in your life as well as her children and the rest of her family.

  7. So wanting to wrap our arms around you and offer love, comfort, compassion, sympathy, support and tender loving care. You are so in our thoughts and hearts. Franci offered so much to so many. She made a big difference in our lives.Her footprints will be so remembered.
    Steve and Linda Halverson

  8. Carpinteria will never be the same without Franci’s radiant smile and contagious laugh. Many people have died in my life. Never have I shed a tear until the day Franci passed. Franci you are totally worth it.

  9. I know the memories and love from your dear Franci will hold you in times you need it most. Her impact on the lives of others will live on for many years. I am thinking of you and praying the peace of God will be yours every step of the way

  10. Thank you, Franci, for your presence in my life. I have always admired your faith, and trust in the Lord. How joyous for you to return home to Him. I shall miss you!

  11. Thelma Pete Matt and Sara plus families. Words don’t seem to come easy. I can only say she left way too early, too fast and god bless her soul, her memory and her many people she touched over those 66 years. She was a gifted woman. She was a blessed woman. She will be truly missed by all. Hugs of support and love especially to her mom, her husband and her children

  12. So sorry to hear of Franci’s passing. I remember her as a sweet, beautiful teen-ager and remember when she and Pete married. My prayers are with you.

    Gerrie & Jack Harman

  13. Franci was a gift that was taken far too soon. Blessings and comfort to her family and those who loved her.

  14. So sorry to hear of Frances passing. Our condolences to Pete and the family. Blessings also to Thelma Oles and husband.

  15. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you Sara. I only met your mom once but it was such a nice evening (we we went to Carpenteria – my first time!).

    I am so happy for you and for her that you were with her. at her side in her final moments That is the best gift of all.

    Love to all of you.

  16. I am so sorry to hear of Francis passing. I remember her as a bright light in my childhood, well loved by my family, (Richard and Vivian).She is gone too soon. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

  17. So sorry to hear of Franci’s passing. We only met her once, in 2010, when Viktoria, Uno & Lisbeth were here from Sweden. We drove up from Carver County, MN to meet some of the Mora relatives the day you celebrated the Swedes. I viewed her as a lady very full of Life. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family. May God’s love give you Peace & strength at this time. Cherish your memories. Marilyn & Arne

  18. Pete and family, so sorry to see that Franci lost her courageous battle. I’m sure I can speak for my family, Dick and Jean Roethe, all the customers she called on who still ask about her, and everyone she worked with at the mart, when I say you are in our thoughts and prayers. Franci brought a lot of joy and class into our lives. She was so much fun to work with and a huge inspiration to me especially in these last few years. She will be missed. If I can be of help in any way, please let me know.

  19. How we loved and appreciated Franci, she was such a tropper and one of the best sales people we had.
    Thanks Pete and family for sharing her with us. We will always cherish her memory and will be thankful
    to the Lord that our paths were able to cross.

    May the confort of friends and family bring you peace & strength at this time. God is very close to the broken
    heart, she was such a joy in our lives.

    Blessings to all of you as you heal.

  20. To know her is to love her. That’s the words that come to me about Franci. Also that’s how she treated everyone that she met. We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends as the Nelson family.
    We are there for you, Pete. Just give us a call. Or Ken may pop in on you every once in a while.
    We are praying for you.
    Love in Christ,
    Ken and Marie

  21. I remember growing up my Mom & Dad (Stan & Joyce Erickson) would frequent Nelsons Varity Store. It is a memory that will last with me. My prayers and thoughts go to your family may God heal your hearts. Thank God that one day we will all see our loved ones who are in heaven again!

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