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Dubuque, IA 52001
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Memories & Candles

“Uncle Norm was a quiet but strong man, one of the nicest people you'd ever meet and we loved him dearly, respected him immensely and will miss him...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: Joseph and Lynette Upham - WI

“Uncle Norm will be missed by all who knew him. He and I exchanged Christmas cards for at least the last 35 years. I always looked forward to that. My...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Dave Marks - Pataskala, OH

“A wonderful uncle has left us . I know he has found peace. . That's how he lived... ”
3 of 4 | Posted by: Selma Gordon - Waunakee, WI

“Sandy & Family:What a special man your Dad was. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time of saying goodbye. May his...Read More »
4 of 4 | Posted by: Denise Miller - Solon, IA


Army Emblem

Norman J. Nelson, age 93, of Cedar Rapids, IA and formerly of Madison, WI, and Dubuque, IA, was called home peacefully at 1:43 p.m., on Saturday, February 18, 2017, at Heritage Care Center, surrounded by his loving family. To honor Norman's life, funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Thursday, February 23, 2017, at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street, Dubuque, Iowa, with Pastor DeWayne Teig officiating. To celebrate Norman's life, family and friends may visit from 9:00 a.m., until the time of services beginning at 10:45 a.m., on Thursday, February 23, 2017, at Behr Funeral Home. Full military honors will be accorded by the Dubuque Marine Corps League at 10:45 a.m. at Behr Funeral Home. Burial will be in Linwood Cemetery.

Norman was born on August 4, 1923, Pleasant Springs, WI, son of Olaf and Jennie (Dahl) Nelson.

Norman would join the U.S. Army at the age of 19 and go on to honorably spend the next 3 years of his life fighting for freedom during WWII. Upon completing his active service, Norman's military experience would play a role throughout the remainder of his years and he would not only devote valuable time to the V.F.W., but also faithfully advocate and petition for the release of Prisoners of War. Norman was united in marriage to Maxine Upham on May 28, 1948, at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison, WI. Their union would be blessed with 43 wonderful years together, and 4 beautiful daughters, before she was called home ahead of him on October 29, 1992. They had moved to Dubuque, IA., in 1963, where Norman ran the retread shop at Firestone Tire before retiring in 1985. But Norman wasn't finished working yet; he went on to work part-time at Turpin Dodge as a parts runner and would finally permanently retire at the fine young age of 92. Norman wasn't all about work though; if his Packers were on the field, the fish were biting, or the bowling lanes were wiped down and ready to go, you could be sure to find Norman participating in a little downtime. Norman was also a loyal and longtime member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Dubuque and his faith life has now found it's final destination after his 93 year journey. We will miss him dearly, and remember him fondly, but we find peace because we know and trust that he's catching up with his loving wife, beautiful daughter and beloved family in a most glorious reunion and that we'll thankfully see him again one day.

Those left to cherish Norman's memory include

his daughters,
Norma Williams, Cedar Rapids, IA,
Sharon Adams, Hazel Green, WI
and Sandy (Keith) Vogt, Cedar Rapids, IA;

10 grandchildren,
Lisa (Jeff) Vogel, Cathy (Dan) Richeson, Phillip Williams, Sheila (Chance Heath) Williams, Michelle Weber, Becky Adams, Sam (Megan) Adams, Charity (Jeremy) Frey, Caleb (Lindsey) Adams and Eva Vogt;

19 great-grandchildren;

2 great great-grandchildren;

2 sisters,
Jeanette Strassman
and Corrine Thomas, McFarland, WI;

and a sister-in-law,
Betty Upham, Waukegan, IL.

Norman was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife, Maxine; a daughter, Cindy Nelson; his siblings, Harold Nelson in infancy, Harold (Denise) Nelson, Pearl (Marv) Marks and Esther (Floyd) Richmond; a son-in-law, Eldon Adams; a former son-in-law, Phillip Williams; and 3 brothers-in-law, Del Strassman, Jack Thomas and Oliver Upham.

A Norman J. Nelson memorial fund has been established, which will be distributed among his favorite charities.

Norman's family would like to extend a special thank you to the nurses and staff of Heritage Specialty Care and Care Initiatives Hospice for all of the kind, compassionate and professional care they provided to Norman and his family.