In memory of

Donald "Larry" Nelson

March 5, 1944 - November 6, 2023
From: Lake View, IA
Donald "Larry" Nelson

Donald "Larry" Nelson

Born: March 5, 1944
Died: November 6, 2023
Age: 79
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IN LIEU OF FLOWERS memorials may be directed to the family who plan to disburse amongst Larry’s favorite causes/organizations/charities.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial for Donald "Larry" Nelson, age 79 of Lake View, IA, will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 18, 2023, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Wall Lake, IA, with Father Joe Dillinger and Deacon Butch Stone officiating. Visitation will take place Friday, November 17, 2023, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at the church. Larry passed away peacefully on Monday, November 6, 2023, at his home surrounded by his family.

   Donald Lawrence “Larry” Nelson was born to Donald & Fern (Nellis) Nelson on March 5, 1944, in Green Bay, WI. The family moved to Lake View, IA, after his father, Don, came back from WWII. 
   Larry was the apple of their eye, even though he was a handful, tough as nails, and always an explorer. Living a block away from Black Hawk Lake, Fern decided to get him outside for fresh air and a break for herself so, she tied him to the clothes line where he could run. She panicked when she spied his overhauls dangling from the line and he was nowhere to be found! Don finally found him buck naked watching a fisherman down by the lake. He was a “natural” adventurer and that would lay the foundation for his life.
   Whether it be skiing down the waterway ditch in Black Hawk Marsh or playing the tuba loudly while walking home from school, everyone who knew Larry could tell you numerous stories about his many adventures and antics. He had a zest for life that led to many memories being made over the years with his family and so many friends; memories they will all hold near and dear to their hearts. 
   Larry spent his childhood in Boy Scouts, playing little league baseball, riding bikes, fishing, and hunting. Sometimes he would even include his two sisters, Mary and Becky, on his adventures. He gave it his all in playing football, baseball, and running track. He even went on to play football in college and was quite the star! Larry was also known as Yogi which stuck with him his entire life. He was christened with the name while playing football, as his legs looked like Yogi Bear. He also wore a raccoon coat and hat so either way he was a “Yogi.” He loved to hunt with his dad and buddies, which served him well later as a Marine Sniper because he rarely missed his target.
   Larry attended Drake starting in 1962 where he pledged Alpha Tau Omega. He loved his time at Drake so much so, that the Sac County Draft Board came calling and he was soon a Marine.  Semper Fi!  He reported to Camp Pendleton in 1966, and became a Marine Sniper. He was who he was from tough SOB! Larry was seriously injured in Viet Nam, receiving many combat medals, including a Purple Heart, and would forever be a changed man. After coming home he finished college at Buena Vista College in 1969 and was one of two former military men who played college football for Coach Nauton. 
   After graduating college Larry settled in Lake View and joined his dad at the family business, Jacobsen Seed. In 1985 he became the third-generation owner of the company, building it into an even more successful business. 
   Larry met the woman who would become his wife when his sister Mary brought her friend Lynn Griffin home one weekend from UNI. Larry and Lynn were married at the Little Brown Church in Nashua on July 3, 1971. They were blessed with three children, Dave, Dan, and Katie, who meant the world to him. Larry was active in the American Legion and was so proud to serve his country. He demonstrated this in many ways, but especially by donating flags and poles to people throughout the Lake View community. He had a “magnificent obsession” for helping others. He loved big game hunting, fishing, and being outdoors; especially in Wyoming. Larry also enjoyed playing tennis, racquetball, was an avid runner, and loved winning a good game of cribbage. Afterwards flashing his big pearly white smile, another attribute he’ll be well remembered for.
  Larry’s last hard fought battle was with cancer and on Monday, November 6, 2023, he passed away at his home surrounded by his family.
   Larry loved his family, his country, and loved to help others. He will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him. Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Lynn Nelson of Lake View; children Dave (Anji Bennett) Nelson of Lake View, Dan Nelson of Minneapolis, MN, and Katie Nelson of Republic, MO; grandchildren Eliana Nelson and Jack & Charlie Jo Straight; mother-in-law Martha Griffin of Newton; sisters Mary Ira of Aurora, CO, and Becky Stille of Naples, FL; many extended family members and friends from all over, as well as his beloved horses, cats, and Lynn’s dog he called Puppy (Puppy’s name is actually Curly).
   He was preceded in death by his parents, Don and Fern Nelson; father-in-law Charles Griffin; and brother-in-law Steve Stille.

Tribute Video
Memorial Mass of Christian Burial
11:00 a.m., Saturday
November 18, 2023
St. Joseph Catholic Church
Wall Lake, Iowa
Father Joe Dillinger
Deacon Butch Stone
5:00-7:00 p.m., Friday
November 17, 2023
St. Joseph Catholic Church
Wall Lake, Iowa
Ferguson Cemetery
Lake View, Iowa


Friday, November 17, 2023 at 8:58 AM
“Our world has lost "One Of The Greatest People I've Had The Pleasure To Know". Larry's smile and "Upbeat Attitude" just made your problems go away. Always enjoyed "Lying to each other over Scotch". Will be Truly Missed" Semper Fi my Friend! Sam”
- Samuel J Cogdill
Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 8:58 AM
“Always enjoyed visiting with Larry about Wyoming and hunting God bless my friend.”
- daryl h. long
Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 4:32 PM
“So sorry to hear about your husbands passing. It's a very hard thing to go through. It sounds like he had a very fulfilling life. Giv me a call sometime and we can talk about our. Lives over the last fifty years. Denny”
- Denny busby
Monday, November 13, 2023 at 10:55 AM
“So sorry to hear of Larry's passing. I have fond memories of Yogi on the tennis court and at the Madinger Wine tastings. ”
- Jim Raasch
Monday, November 13, 2023 at 9:00 AM
“Very sorry to hear of Larry passing away. Sincere condolences from the entire Geary family. We were all raised together as neighbors. Darlene bill ron Shirley David and deanna. Mary and Jeanette ”
- Shirley Geary Perez
Friday, November 10, 2023 at 2:42 PM
“Dan, Matt and I are sending you and your family so much love as you navigate this time with your family. We love you! ~ Amanda”
- Amanda Schroder DeLong
Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 4:30 PM
“Please accept my most heartfelt sympathies for your loss... My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. ”
- Terri Deming
Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 4:30 PM
“I want to express my sincere condolences to the Nelson family. Last summer while on RAGBRAI, I stopped to see my Lake View friend Gary Wicker. Gary was one of Continental Western's insurance agents and was part of the territory I serviced as an insurance adjuster. I asked Gary about Yogi, and he told me that he had been battling cancer. Early this week I got the news from Gary about Larry's passing. The first time I met Larry was probably in June of 1978. Lake View had a hail storm in June. Jacobsen Seed Corn was one of Continental Western's insureds, and I adjusted the damage to their buildings that year. I serviced Lake View for about 25 years. Over those 25 years I handled a few claims for Jacobsen Seeds. Calling on Wicker Insurance and Real-estate, I stopped in Lake View every Wednesday. Gary, Larry, and I played racquetball on some Wednesday nights. Larry was a really good athlete. We had some good matches. After racquetball over a few beers, I learned about Larry's military service and his love of family and country. His laugh and smile were infectious. He had a nickname for me; it was "Mickel." Larry will be missed by many. Mick McCarville ”
- Michael (Mick) McCarville
Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 10:00 AM
“I am so sad to hear of Larry's passing. He was an amazing man. Sending thoughts and prayers to his family. Semper Fi my friend. You now have a new Marine birthday!!”
- Robin D. Obman Olson
Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 8:03 AM
“We are so sorry for the loss to Larry's family. Steve has memories of him at Kelly Lake, and I really enjoyed meeting him and chatting about Wyoming when we were all at the lake a few years ago. ”
- Sue & Steve Campshure
Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 8:03 AM
“ Thoughts & prayers to Lynn, Mary, Beck & their families. Thinking of you all.”
- Deb
Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 8:03 AM
“Larry ( Yogi ) was one of Ron's best friends. Yogi would spend time at the Marina Ron managed, and Ron was envious of Yogi's skiing skills! They, and 4-5 other buddies, had the best time around the Lake, Lakewood and the Dock-it!! I'm sure Ron has already welcomed him, and the "guys" are having a great time! ”
- Netti Schafer
Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 8:02 AM
“We are so sorry for your families loss! Larry will be missed by many! You all are in our thoughts and prayers”
- Deb and Charlie Riedell
Thursday, November 9, 2023 at 8:02 AM
“Dave and Angi. I am so sorry to hear about your dad Dave of his passing. My deepest condolences to you and your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.”
- Aaron Taylor
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 1:13 PM
“I am so sorry to hear about Larry's passing. I remember him as a fun person and his kindness! I'm sending prayers to his family, Lynn and family; Mary and family, and Becky and family for comfort and peace.”
- Gail-Wetzstein-Kirchner
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 11:46 AM
“Deepest Sympathy to all the family.”
- Mike & K'Lee Naberhaus
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 8:56 AM
“So sorry for your loss!”
- Aaron Sprung
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 8:55 AM
“Our deepest sympathy to all the family. Prayers. ”
- John and Cindy Schwarzkopf
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 8:55 AM
“Prayers on the loss of Larry! What a wonderful guy. He will be missed. ”
- Bob and Pam Ruchti
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 8:55 AM
“Our deepest sympathy for the loss of your loved one. You are in our prayers. Thinking of you all. 🙏🙏”
- John & Teresa Drilling
Wednesday, November 8, 2023 at 8:55 AM
“My deepest sympathy to Lynn, Mary and Becky. And his children and all of the family. God has ways for us to help us ease out pain. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings.”
- Donna Tjaden
Tuesday, November 7, 2023 at 2:28 PM
“We wish to express our deepest condolences for your loss. May he be at peace with God. Hugs to you all!”
- Jason & Shannon Reising
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