Kenneth James Nelson
September 13, 2023
Kenneth James Nelson, 72, of Havre, Montana passed away peacefully surrounded by his four children on August 31, 2023 at the Great Falls Clinic Hospital.
Ken was born on January 14,1951 in Havre, Montana to Fredrick Kenneth Nelson and Doris Helen James. They returned to their farm in Joplin where he spent his childhood. Ken took on many of the responsibilities on the family farm and ranch while growing up, which didn't leave much time for extracurricular activities. These early years definitely fostered his love for farming and ranching. He graduated from Joplin High School in 1969. He then enlisted into the United States Marine Corps and was set to deploy shortly after. He was one week from being deployed to Vietnam, as a heavy equipment operator, when his father was tragically killed in a car accident. Being the oldest of 5 children, he was honorably discharged from the military and he returned home to run the family farm.
On February 23, 1974, Ken married his long time friend, Candace Lorraine Thorson. Candy brought two daughters(Allyson and Windy) from a previous relationship, that Ken later legally adopted. In 1975, they welcomed their first son Travis, followed by Ryan in 1978. Ken and Candy continued to farm and ranch north of Joplin until 1989 when they relocated to Chinook to pursue ranching full time. After 25 years of marriage they went their separate ways, but remained close friends until Candy passed away in 2005. Ken's next adventure led him to Helena, Montana. While there he owned and operated BN Trucking, and started his journey into real estate. Wanting to focus his time in real estate on agriculture, Ken relocated back to Havre, Montana. Ken actively sold real estate until the time of his death.
Ken worked hard his entire life, but in his spare time he enjoyed playing cards, riding horses, hunting, bowling, flying airplanes, going to sporting events and rodeos, old western movies, going for drives, camping, bullshitting old and new friends and spending time with family and loved ones. Ken never met a stranger and believed that everyone was a friend that he just hadn't met yet.
Ken is preceded in death by his father, Fred Nelson, mother, Doris Nelson, step father Emil "Jack" Nelson and best friend Candy Nelson.
Survivors include his children, Allyson (Larry) Brown, Windy (Dan) Bowman, Travis (Kylie) Nelson and Ryan (Krystie) Nelson all of Billings; 10 Grandchildren; McKenzie Mraz, Madison Kirsch, Mariah Kirsch, Hunter Brown, Avery Bowman, Aspyn Bowman, Baustin Nelson, Quinn Nelson, Izzy Brown, Tanner Nelson; Great Grandchildren; Lauchlan and Cambria Mraz. Siblings; Larry Nelson of Chester, Tracy (Cindy) Nelson of Joplin, Lonna (Clayton) Linnell of Spokane, WA, Rhonda Nelson and Jennifer (Don) Kaump of Seattle, WA. Numerous nieces and nephews, Girlfriend Susan Leens of Havre along with many dear friends.
Celebration of life services will be held in Havre, Montana at the chuckwagon (Hill county fairgrounds) Saturday, September 16, 2023 at 4:00. Come help us celebrate the life of this great man who touched the lives of so many.
Oh, the last goodbye's the hardest one to say, this is where the cowboy rides away ~George Strait~