Phyllis Nelsen was born on February 10, 1927, in Springfield, MN to William and Myrtle (Potter) Krueger. After graduating from Springfield High School, she attended communications school in Minneapolis, followed by a year working for Western Union in New York City. Upon her return to Minnesota she attended business school in Mankato. She then worked in Minneapolis for Pure Oil. Upon her engagement she moved back home and worked in a law firm in Redwood Falls until her marriage. She married E. James "Jim" Nelsen on February 14, 1948. Through the years Phyllis was active in her church women's groups, was a Sunday school teacher and sang in the choir. When she wanted her children to be in 4-H, she recruited other families and formed the Peppy Peppers 4-H Club. Eventually the club merged with the Mighty Mites 4-H Club, where she also served as a leader. She helped write a history of Sundown Township and was president of the Redwood County Extension. She was active in the Clements Legion Auxiliary, and volunteered at the Historical Museum in Redwood Falls. She also worked as an aide in the Springfield Elementary School for several years. Following retirement, Phyllis and Jim traveled extensively around the U.S. even going as far north as Barrow, Alaska on the shores of the Arctic Ocean. Phyllis lived a very full life with lots of friends and time spent with her family. She and Jim spent a week each summer with as many family members who could make it to Cragun's on Gull Lake in the Brainerd area, where they enjoyed many happy times together.
She is survived by her husband Jim of Springfield; children Colleen (James) Hayes of Lakeville, Diane (Attilio) DeMarco, of Frederick, MD, Brian (Tamara) Nelsen of Bloomington, IL, and Janean (Terry) Tucker of Duluth; step-grandsons - Ken and Keith Hayes; grandchildren - Nyssa Zacher, Serena DeMarco, Seve DeMarco, and Calista Tucker; and 2 step-great-grandchildren Madeleine and Kyle Hayes. Phyllis was preceded in death by her parents.
Memorials preferred to St. John Lutheran Home Circle of Care and Sunwood Cemetery Association.