The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

John Herbert 'Herb' Nelson


WAUSAU, Wis. - John Herbert "Herb" Nelson, 83, passed away on March 19, 2017, in Lakeview Heights at Mount View Care Center in Wausau, surrounded by his family.

Herb was born on March 9, 1934, to the late Oscar and Anna Nelson in Ironwood, Mich. He graduated from Luther L. Wright High School in Ironwood in 1951, where he served as class president. After high school, Herb attended the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on a football scholarship.

Herb met his wife, Sally Lu, at Little Girl's Point in Upper Michigan. She worked at her parents' Agate Shop and Herb visited often just to see her. They were married in 1953 and raised two sons in Ironwood.

Herb retired as Postmaster in Ironwood in 1989. After retirement, he and Sally Lu spent their winters in Winter Haven, Fla., in Carefree Park. In addition to his work, he was very involved in the community. He was a past president of Ironwood Kiwanis Club, Worshipful Master of Ironwood Masonic Lodge 389, member of Ahmed Shrine Temple of Marquette, Mich., a member of the Range Shrine Club of Ironwood and proud to head the Shrine Circus Committee to bring the circus to Ironwood. Herb also served for five years in the Michigan National Guard, and was a member of the NARFE (National Association of Retired Federal Employees). He and Sally Lu are lifelong members of the Salem Lutheran Church in Ironwood.

Herb and Sally Lu moved to Wausau in 2012 and were welcomed to the Village Cooperative, where they made many good and supportive friends. Herb was also a proud member of the Golden K of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Wausau.

Herb's hobbies included fishing on Lake Superior, golf, farming, hunting and the Iron County Farmers Market. He was also a talented weaver of pine needle baskets and an ace cribbage player. He was quick to laugh, always ready with a joke, and an engaging storyteller. He was generous and sincere with compliments. Herb was well known for his homemade rolls, which he often made for family gatherings and delivered to many friends.

Herb was preceded in death by his parents; twin infant brothers; and brother-in-law, Ray Oman (Joanie).

He is survived by his loving wife, Sally Lu, of Wausau; sons, Dale Nelson (Katy), of Wausau, and Duane Nelson (Maureen), of Cedar Springs, Mich .; five granddaughters, Jennifer Nelson (Matt Olsen), of St. Paul, Minn., Alisa Nelson, of Wausau, Alice McKay (Christopher), of Cedar Springs, Ann Grams (Jon), of Stanwood, Mich., and Rebecca Nelson (Andrew Eberdt), of Olympia, Wash .; five great-grandchildren, Abraham, Oscar, Jeremiah, Sophia and Aubrey, with a sixth on the way; brother, Ken (Frances), of Ironwood; brother-in-law, Eric Oman (Norma), of Ironwood; sisters-in-law, Jean Passint (Adolph), of Ironwood, Arlene Olson (Donald), of White Pine, Mich., and Diana Oman, of Marquette; and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held on June 10 at Salem Lutheran Church in Ironwood at 10 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer's Association and Salem Lutheran Church.

The family would also like to thank all of the nurses and staff of Lakeview Heights and Ministry Home Care Hospice, especially Brittney and Jennifer.

Mid Wisconsin Cremation Society is assisting family at this time. Online condolences can be made at


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