Obituary: Wilbur Verner Nelson, 96, of Ludington

May 2, 2024

Wilbur Nelson

Wilbur Verner Nelson, 96, entered into rest on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. Wilbur (Will) was born September 19, 1927, at the family home on North Victory Corner Road in Victory Township, the second child of Verner J. and Olga K.P. (Hansen) Nelson. Wilbur was baptized June 9, 1935 with his sister Elsie and later confirmed at the Trinity Lutheran Church of Victory Township. He graduated from Ludington High School in 1945 and, though still only 17, joined the U.S. Navy. Following training he served on the Mindoro CVE-120. Thankfully the war ended but not before he had the opportunity to sail through the Panama Canal on the way to Bremerton, Washington.

Upon returning home he worked at several local businesses in addition to helping his father on their North Petersen Road farm. In early 1951 Wilbur landed a job at Dow Chemical, where he worked until his retirement on January 31, 1986.

He met Edna M. Hansen in 1954 and after a several months courtship they married at the Bethany Methodist Church on a snowy March 26, 1955. Wilbur was a kind, caring husband who, for the next 65 years, brought his bride a dozen red roses on their anniversary…a token of his affection.

Will and Edna lived their entire lives in the Ludington area, first on his Johnson Road farm then later in the two homes they built together.

Upon Will’s retirement, they spent almost 30 years wintering in Lakeland, Florida where they enjoyed the Detroit Tigers spring training, visiting various parks, and bike riding within their park in the Florida sunshine.

Wilbur had been a member of the Odd Fellows, the Elks and served as a trustee for Pere Marquette Township. He had been an active member of the Ludington United Methodist Church and Historic White Pine Village for many years, always generously sharing his time and talents. He recently restored his membership at the Victory Trinity Lutheran Church, returning to his roots in Victory Township.

Wilbur enjoyed working with his hands, crafting many items including bird houses and feeders. After Edna’s death in 2020 he built many “log cabin” feeders which now grace numerous yards around Michigan and elsewhere.

Although he will be missed, his family is grateful for the many years together.

Wilbur was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Evelyn Strieter and brother, Ronnie Bill Nicola.

He is survived by his siblings Elsie Schroeder and Donald Nelson; his four children, Suzanne (Terry) Major, Cheryl (Dick) Lundberg, David (Mary Beth) Nelson and Eric Nelson; 10 grandchildren, Juli (Justin) Main, Melissa (Marty) Lundberg, Marc (Casey) Lundberg, Adam (Tanya) Lundberg, Katherine (Jasen) Melnick, Rebecca (Will) Miles, Sean and Bradley Nelson, Kayla and Thomas Nelson; ten great-grandchildren, Caleb, Charity and Cara Main; Cameron, Hailey, Owen and Maverick Lundberg; Waylon and Walker Lundberg; Benjamin Miles. He also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews and life-long friends.

A memorial service will take place at Oak Grove Funeral Home at noon on Thursday, May 9, with Rev. Ron Iris officiating. Visitation will take place an hour prior to the service, beginning at 11 a.m. He will be laid to rest next to his wife in Lakeview Cemetery in Ludington.

Memorial gifts may be directed to Hospice of Michigan ( or Mason County Historical Society (

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington,

Eats & Drinks

Eats & Drinks