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Byron R. Nielson Dec. 16, 1920 - May 23, 2009

LAKE LILLIAN -- Byron Richard Nielson, 88, of Atwater, formerly of Lake Lillian, died Saturday at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar.

The service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Atwater. Burial will be in Tromso Cemetery in Lake Lillian.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at K-M Funeral Home in Lake Lillian and for one hour prior to the service at the church.

He was born Dec. 16, 1920, in Lake Lillian to Joe and Bertha Nielson. He grew up in Lake Lillian where he attended country school. As a young man, he moved to Minneapolis where he learned clock and watch repair and also worked for General Mills. He returned to Lake Lillian where he operated a trucking business, owned the grocery store, which he later turned into a pool hall, and then was a salesman for Hanson Silo Company.

He married Marlene Slate on Dec. 4, 1958, in Pierre, S.D. They lived in Lake Lillian. They owned the Hector Airport for many years, and he did crop dusting and instructing. He survived a major crop-dusting accident in 1967.

He is survived by his wife; three children: Byron (and Terri) Nielson Jr. of Elk River, Roy (and Michelle) Nielson of Willmar and Tracy (and Greg) Madsen of Lake Lillian; seven grandchildren; and a sister: Elfie Kettner of Marco Island, Fla.

He was preceded in death by a son: David Nielson; a stepdaughter: Lee Ann; a grandson; three brothers; and one sister.