Paul Dean Nelson, 73, of Gettysburg, died in a tornado accident north of Miller, SD, Sunday, August 30, 2020, while driving his motor coach.
Funeral services will be 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, September 2, 2020 at Grace Bible Church, Gettysburg, with Pastor Scott Crook presiding. Burial will follow in the Onida Cemetery. Visitation will be 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 1, at the church.
Paul was born July 5, 1947 in Aberdeen, SD to Lyle Arthur and Jessie Mason Nelson. He graduated from Gettysburg High School in 1965 and the University of South Dakota in 1969. He had nearly completed his master’s degree when his dad became ill and he knew he needed to return to the family farm.
He married Cheryl Ann Eggers April 3, 1971 in Sioux Falls, SD at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. They moved to Sully County and Paul started farming and dreaming.
Paul bought and raised cattle- building up a 3,000 head feedlot. As he explored other cattle feeding operations in other locations, he concluded he could not truly compete with bigger operations in warmer climates. He sold all the feedlot equipment, tore up miles of fence and began purchasing additional farm ground.
In 1992 he decided that harvesting pheasants in addition to crops would just maybe work. Thus began a 30-year building project culminating in The Paul Nelson Farm. Paul loved new and big ideas. He was the ultimate salesman and promoter. He believed “his prairie” was the most beautiful place in the world. He loved hosting clients from around the world who shared knowledge of their incredible businesses and expanded his horizons. His latest idea was “The Range” where he brought in the best military trained snipers in the world to teach guests how to hit a target a mile away.
The last 25 years, Paul and Cheryl travelled this great country in their motor coach and finally decided Outdoor Resort in Indio, CA was the best 4 -5 month winter destination for them.
Entrepreneurs see things differently. He was always exploring and creating. He truly appreciated and respected the people who worked so hard to make his dreams come true. He cherished his lifetime Gettysburg friends and was challenged by the wide range of interests his clients and RV friends brought to his life. He knew he was blessed.
Paul loved his family and is survived by his wife, Cheryl; two sons, Ryan Paul (Carmen) Sioux Falls, SD and Erik Lyle (Tami) Gettysburg SD; four grandchildren: Parker, Mitchell, Teagan and Cooper Nelson; and one brother, Dwayne (Juanita) Nelson, Longmont, Colorado. His passion was attending his sons’ and grandchildren’s events. No one was prouder!
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Avera Gettysburg Hospital, 606 E Garfield Ave, Gettysburg, SD 57442. Paul realized how vital this was to the community and to his business.
Luce Funeral Home of Gettysburg has been entrusted with Paul’s arrangements. (www.familyfuneralhome.net)