Dale M. "Odie" Nielsen was born March 16, 1927, at Winside, Neb., to Carl and Ann (Miller) Nielsen. The family moved to Merrill and later to Le Mars, when Dale was a small child. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John Lutheran Church in Merrill. He attended elementary and high school in Le Mars.
On April 21, 1948, Dale married the love of his life, Bonnie Berghuis, at Hinton. She went home to be with her Lord on March 12, 1983.
Dale served his country in the South Pacific during World War II in the United States Navy. Following discharge from service, Dale returned to Le Mars where he worked for his father as a mason. In the early 1950s, Dale began his career with Younglove Construction in Sioux City, building grain elevators and feed mills throughout the Midwest. He continued to work for Younglove Construction until his retirement in the early 1990s. Throughout his retirement years, Odie continued to work on special projects for the company locally and in surrounding areas.
Odie enjoyed fishing, gardening, making cucumber pickles and assembling jig-saw puzzles. He also had a passion for woodworking, making shelves, benches, windmills, and picture frames for his completed puzzles. Odie was an avid sports fan, loyal to the Iowa Hawkeyes. He especially looked forward to the holidays, spending time with his children and playing with the grandchildren. He loved to visit with his neighbors. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Survivors include his two sons and daughters-in-law, Dale G. and Carol Nielsen of Larchwood, and Bernie and Kay Nielsen of Minneapolis, Minn.; two daughters and sons-in-law, Leona and Vern Strang of Marysville, Wash., and Annette and John Sundberg of Fairbanks, Alaska; 14 grandchildren, Chad DeMoss, Andrea (Lee) Hiltner, Jesse Nielsen, Megan Nielsen, Dana (Randy) Sitze, Jason Nielsen, Dody Nielsen, Dawn Kirch, Chris Cussens, Jeremiah Nguyen, Jeremy Sundberg, Alesia Sundberg, Amber Sundberg, and Angel Sundberg; 15 great-grandchildren; two brothers, Ed Nielsen of Rapid City, S.D., and Steve and Thelma Nielsen of Hiwasse, Ark.; two sisters, Lorraine and Stan Lake of Hinton, and Judy and Don Fylstra of Sioux City; a sister-in-law, Bernice Howe of Goner, Neb.; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and wife, Bonnie, Dale was preceded in death by a sister-in-law, Elsa Nielsen; and a brother-in-law, Loren Howe.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars, with the Rev. Peter Boe officiating. Following the service, interment with military honors provided by the Casper American Legion Post #477 of Hinton, will be in the Hillside Cemetery, Merrill. Visitations will be after 4 p.m. Thursday at the Carlsen Funeral Home with the family present to greet friends after 6 p.m. followed by a 7 p.m. prayer service. Visitations will continue Friday morning from 9:30 a.m. until service time at the funeral home.
Pallbearers are Chad DeMoss, Jesse Nielsen, Lee Hiltner, Jeremiah Nguyen, Steve Lake, and Jeff Fylstra. Honorary pallbearers include Andrea Hiltner, Megan Nielsen, Dana Sitze, Jason Nielsen, Dody Nielsen, Dawn Kirch, Chris Cussens, Jeremy Sundberg, Alesia Sundberg, Amber Sundberg, and Angel Sundberg.
Expressions of sympathy can be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.