Obituary: Harold E. Nelson

CHATHAM, IL (July 31, 2017) – Retired Covenant minister Harold Eugene Nelson, 95, died Saturday, July 29.

He was born September 21, 1921, in Ridgway, Pennsylvania, to H. Leonard and Amalia (Gellin) Nelson. He married Edith E. Almborg of Boston, Massachusetts, on November 15, 1952. She preceded him in death on May 4, 2017.

Harold earned degrees from North Park Junior College in 1949; Houghton College in Houghton, New York, in 1951; and North Park Seminary in 1956.

He served as a boiler technician second class in the US Navy for three years in the Pacific Theater during WWII. He also served five years in the US National Reserves.

Harold served as a minister for 38 years. After graduating from seminary, he served Covenant congregations in Fence and Florence, Wisconsin; Marquette, Michigan; Carlshend, Michigan; and Elgin, Illinois (Lily Lake). He served from 1967 to 1986 as chaplain for the State of Illinois mental health hospitals and centers in Elgin, Lincoln, and Galesburg. He was a visiting pastor for First Baptist Church in Galesburg, Illinois, from 1986 to 1994.

Harold is survived by daughters, Kathy (Van) Hankins of Waverly, Illinois, Linda (Gary) Galecki of Springfield, Illinois, and Jennifer (Ken) Johnston of Indianapolis, Indiana; seven grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and a sister, Janet Ziegenfus of Bath, Pennsylvania.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, August 1, at Covenant Church, Galesburg, Illinois, where he was a member. Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. the same day at the church. Burial will be in the East Linwood Cemetery in Galesburg with military honors.

Memorials may be made to the Galesburg Covenant Church, 665 W Dayton St, Galesburg, Illinois 61401. Online condolences may be left at


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