Jeanette “Jean” Stien Nelson, loving and devoted Mother, Grandma, and Great-Grandma, age 94, of Bird Island, died Sunday, April 11, 2021 in Buffalo Lake, Minnesota. A private funeral service was held at Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Olivia with burial at Bird Island City Cemetery. Arrangements are with Dirks-Blem Funeral Service of Olivia.
Jeanette was born on September 4, 1926 in St. Paul to F. Hjalmer and Hazel A. (Knapp) Johnson. She graduated on January 26, 1944, as valedictorian of Johnson High School. On June 7, 1948, she graduated cum laude from Macalester College. Afterward, she moved to Bird Island where she taught for 23 years in the public school and two years at St. Aloysius School in Olivia. In 1951, she married Harold M. Stien at Arlington Hills Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. They were blessed with two sons, Jeff and Jim. In 1999, she married Dr. Robert H. Nelson of St. Peter at the Bird Island United Methodist Church. Through the years she was a choir member, held various offices in United Methodist Women, a Sunday school teacher and superintendent, and MYF leader. She was a Brownie leader, a Cub Scout den mother, secretary for the city library board, PTA President, sang with the Sweet Adelines, was a Home Extension councilor, secretary of Willmar Mended Hearts, secretary for Olivia Golf Club Women, delivered Meals-on-Wheels, and belonged to the Red Hat Society. She enjoyed traveling, sending cards to friends and relatives, playing bridge, shopping for the best deals, and visiting with friends. Strangers were just friends she hadn’t met yet.
She is survived by sons, Jeff (Mary) Stien of Hamilton, OH and Jim Stien of Delhi, MN; grandchildren, Shanon (Allan) Hoffman of Clarkston, MI, and Brian Stien (Michelle Stadler) of Waterford, MI; great-grandchildren, Delia and Declan Hoffman; step-children: Susan Schultz of Orange Park, FL, Dr. Robert (Liz) Nelson of Hastings, MN, Nancy (Chris) Byron of Plymouth, MN, Peter (Cass) Nelson of St. Peter, MN; seven step-grandchildren; and four step-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Harold in 1987, and husband Robert in 2011.
Her smiling, fun-loving spirit will be missed! Joy she gave – Joy she has found.