Cover photo for Karen Kay Nelson's Obituary
Karen Kay Nelson Profile Photo
1945 Karen 2018

Karen Kay Nelson

May 20, 1945 — July 25, 2018

Karen was born in St. Paul Minnesota, on May 20th 1945, to Ray and Bernice Kult of Gladstone Minnesota (now part of Maplewood).  She was raised in a loving home with older brothers Bob and Roger (Bud). Ray and Bernice enjoyed playing and performing music and Karen continued the legacy by being a talented pianist and vocalist. Ray and Bernice were also active in the outdoors, particularly fishing, where Karen developed a passion that remained until her final day. If fishing is possible in the afterlife, it is undoubtedly what she is currently doing, or will be once she has caught up with old friends and family members.

Karen graduated from North St. Paul High school in 1963. She became a mother in 1964 with the birth of daughter Brenda followed by the son Dan in 1967. She met future husband and life partner, Cliff, as the result of a minor fender-bender in 1968. The “accident” resulted in a courtship and marriage spanning 50 years. They were wed in 1969 and began building a home In Scandia Minnesota where they moved to in 1970. Son Cliff Jr. arrived in 1975 to “round out” the family.

The time in Scandia found Karen enjoying being a Mom, home-maker, and hobby farmer. The family raised virtually every type of farm animal and Karen loved growing and consuming the fresh vegetables from large, yearly gardens. A pool was added to the property in the late 1970’s that brought Karen, and the family, great enjoyment from swimming and entertaining friends. She continued her love of the outdoors and fishing and hunting became a family affair. When winter arrived, it was time to break-out the snowmobiles and ice-fishing poles.

When the kids had moved out, and Cliff retired, Karen and Cliff realized their dream of living on the water. In 2000 Karen and Cliff sold the family home in Scandia and moved to their retirement home in Rush City on Rush Lake. Karen could not have been more excited to reside only 40 feet from the water’s edge where she had the ability to cast her fishing line, and catch “the big one”. The past 18 years saw Karen and Cliff fishing, traveling and spending time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

The past few years Karen struggled with the effects of COPD. The disease was making simple tasks increasingly difficult and troublesome. We find sorrow in her passing and knowledge that no new memories will be made but solace and joy in the memories we have, and knowing she is in a far better state and place. Since Jesus was a fisherman, I am sure he and Karen have some stories to share.

Karen was preceded in death by: Father-Raymond Kult, Mother-Bernice Kult (Ohde), Brother-Robert (Bob) Kult, infant children-Craig and Clayton Nelson.

Karen is survived by her husband Cliff Nelson; children: Brenda (Steve) Wariakois of Franconia, Dan (DeAnne) Berwald of Vadnais Heights, Cliff (Kim) Nelson of Pine City; grandchildren: Guy, Jon, Nick, Angie, Kaitlyn, Branden, Alayna, and McKenzie; 7 great grandchildren; 13 nieces and nephews; brother Roger "Bud" (Kay) Kult of North Branch; many other relatives and friends.

Karen was preceded in death by her infant sons Craig and Clayton Nelson, father Raymond Kult, mother Bernice (Ohde) Kult and brother Robert "Bob" Kult.

A Celebration of Karen’s Life will be held 1-5:00 PM Saturday, August 4th at the Cricket in Rock Creek, 6050 Highway 70.  Friends may also gather at the Olson Chapel in Rush City; 5-8 PM Friday evening to offer their condolance and support to Karen's family.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to:  Funeral and Cremation Service of Rush City ~ Olson Chapel

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Karen Kay Nelson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, August 3, 2018

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 4, 2018

1:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

The Cricket in Rock Creek

6050 MN-70, Pine City, MN 55063

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