May 8, 2012 Williston Williams County North Dakota, USA
Lyle M. Nelson was born on August 23, 1916 on the family farm near Stady in Sioux Trail Township the son of Otto Nelson and Hilda (Thompson) Nelson. He grew up and attended grade school in Zahl. His Dad and Uncle Chris build a garage in Zahl so that the children could attend school in town. His freshman and sophomore years, he attended Sioux Trail school, his junior year he attended Zahl high school, and he attended and graduated from Williston high school in 1935. In 1936 and 1937, he went to college at Wahpeton Science and graduated with an associate in accounting and business administration.
Lyle was quite athletic and loved playing baseball and softball with the Zahl teams. The Zahl team made it to the state tournament two years in a row. He also had a love for basketball; in 1934 the Zahl team never lost a game. That was the only year that the Zahl team made it to the state tournament. He continued to play ball after his high school days. He spent many hours watching all sports on TV. Later in life, he took up bowling and golfing. Lyle also enjoyed music, reading, and was always excited when a new baby was born. He loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren dearly.
After graduating from college, Lyle worked at the Farmers Union Grain & Supply in Williston until 1942. He went to Seattle with a couple of friends and worked for Simms Drake Puget Sound auditing defense contracts. He only worked there for a couple of months when he got notice from the local draft board and entered the army in the spring of 1942 at Fort Lewis, Washington. He was a bombardier and assigned to a B17 crew. The crew flew the aircraft from the United States to Foggia, Italy, arriving in December of 1943. They were assigned to the 353rd squadron of the 301st Bombardment Group (H). From December of 1943 to 1944, he was credited with 51 combat missions over occupied Europe. He achieved the rank of 1st lieutenant. During his service to his country, he was awarded the Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters and the Europe Theater of Operations medal. During his tour, his unit received the Presidential Unit Citation. After being honorably discharged in 1945, he returned home and took over the family farm.
He married Lillian (Boland) Solberg in 1965. Lillian had four children: Sharon, Glenn, Bruce, and Elaine. They made their home at the Solberg family farm until the children were grown. Glenn and wife Donna moved to the Solberg family farm and Lillian and Lyle moved to the Nelson family farm. Lyle farmed with Bruce until 1972 when he decided it was time to retire from farming and buy a home in Williston, across from Gloria Dei church, where they were members for many years. They enjoyed living in town and enjoyed traveling. They made many trips to visit daughter, Sharon, in San Francisco and Sacramento. They took three trips to Norway. The second trip daughter, Elaine, went with them. Lyle suffered a major heart attack in 2002 and afterwards lived at the Kensington for nine years.
His four stepchildren survive him, Sharon Yoder (Doyle) of Sacramento, CA, Glenn Solberg (Donna)of Zahl, ND, Bruce Solberg (Marlene)of Williston, ND, and Elaine Olson (Claire) of Bismarck, ND; six grandchildren, Russell Solberg, Tracey Willette (Jason), Angela Solberg, Eric Olson, Sam Olson, and Adam Olson (Angela); four great-grandchildren, Emma Lillian Solberg, Garrett Michael Solberg, Emma Kay Olson, and Colin Lyle Willette.
His parents Otto and Hilda Nelson; his beloved wife, Lillian; brothers, Vernon and Harley; sister, Orlynn; and many sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law preceded him in death.
He passed away May 8, 2012 in Williston. Burial will take place in Bethel Cemetery near Zahl, ND.
------------------------- Lyle Nelson died 8 May 2012 is buried in Bethel Cemetery, Zahl You have him in Bethania Cem NW Williston (Bethel)