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Bernard "Ben" Nielsen

Bernard "Ben" Nielsen

Bernard (Ben) Nielsen age 81 passed away peacefully on June 22nd 2014 at his home in Bemidji MN.

Memorial Services will be 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 28, 2014 at Bethel Lutheran Church, Bemidji, MN with Rev. Mark Kindem officiating. A Time of Sharing will be 5-7 p.m., Friday, June 27, 2014 at Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at the church. Inurnment will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Northern Township, Beltrami County, MN.

Ben was preceded in death by his loving wife Janet, his parents Hans and Marie Nielsen, two sisters Betty Loving (state of Virginia) and Solveig Maxwell (California) and a brother William (Bill) Nielsen (Bemidji).

He is survived by two daughters Barbara (Tim) Mountain of Bemidji and Joni (Joe) Galzki of Maple Plain, MN; son, David (Laurie) Nielsen of Bemidji; sister-in-law, Audrey Dupuis of Estavan, SASK and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Ben was born in and lived his entire life in Bemidji. He was married in 1952 to Janet Elton who would become his lifelong companion until her passing in 2012.

Ben was an active outdoors man who enjoyed the Northwoods lifestyle of hunting, fishing and camping. Most particularly, those wonderful weekends at Juniors campground up in Red Lake. He also enjoyed taking Janet and the kids to Elvis movies at the drive-in and listening to Johnny Cash or Patsy Cline on the radio as he worked on his Electra Glide. Never one to sit around you would always find him working on a project of his own or helping a friend or family member with one of theirs.

Bens work ethic was a defining trait of his character. First working on the family farm on the west shore of Movil Lake followed by his off the farm employment starting first as a young kid who rode his bike with brother Bill to water the greens at Bemidji Town and Country Club then as a young man employed by Merchants Mayflower. In the 1950s Ben purchased several school buses then leased and operated them to the Bemidji School District. In 1960 he along with Janet and brother, Bill established Northwest Mechanical Service on Irvine Avenue. His business has been in continuous operation since that date now operating under the name Bobcat of Bemidji owned and operated by his son and daughter-in-law, David and Laurie Nielsen. Ben never really retired from the business enjoying going in for a few hours most days, seeing and visiting with customers as well as keeping his hand at turning a wrench.

Ben was also very civic minded serving on the Northern Township planning board as well as volunteering with the Community Guard. He and Janet were members of Bethel Lutheran Church as well as long-term members of the Eagles Club.

He goes now to be again with his wife Janet leaving this world better off for his having been here, and a family who always knew the love of this good man.

He is escorted by his nine grandchildren as Urn Bearers. Sarah Kuesel, Marceyln Frenzel. Jennifer Vieau, Grant Nielsen, Aron Fowler, Andy Larson, Christine Galzki, Anna Hamilton, Emma Nielsen.

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