Dennis Nelson


12-16-1947 to  11-21-2021

Dennis A. Nelson, “Beaver,” age 73, passed away peacefully on Sunday, November 21st, 2021 at Our Lady Of Peace Hospice in St. Paul, MN.

He was born on a cold December day at Rice Memorial hospital in Willmar, MN to Ralph and Marjorie (Doyle) Nelson. He was the third child out of seven, and did whatever he needed to be a standout. Marjorie kept the order but Dennis was often up to shenanigans. He became an Eagle Scout, graduating from Willmar high school, and served in the National Guard Reserves. He became interested in photography while capturing sports and activity pictures for his high school paper and developed the photos in in a darkroom his father built for him in the basement of their home. After graduating he studied photography at the Willmar Community College where he was proud to be a guest lecturer in later years. Dennis worked with Dwight Barnes in Willmar and later purchased a photographic studio in Glencoe, where he met his future bride, Margaret Gildea. Dennis married “Maggie” and together they had two fine sons, Patrick and Sean. They joined their lives and their businesses, establishing a presence in Glencoe for 50 years.

Dennis went bald early and many wondered if it was from his “bloop de bloop” hand on his head gesture to get people to smile. Many too can still hear him say “ok, now the color!” Dennis loved being a part of peoples lives and capturing moments in photography, this was his passion and he lived it – from baby, to school pictures, to weddings, and family pictures. Over the years Dennis enjoyed being part of The Minnesota Professional Photographers Association, Rotary, Knights of Columbus, St. Pius X Church, and just about anyone he could have coffee with. All loved him as a kind soul with a sense of humor. Dennis was preceded in death by his wife Margaret. He is survived by his sons and grandchildren. Patrick and his wife, Mary Kay, with their children, Vivian (8) and Oliver (6) live in Wayzata. Sean and his wife, Ruth, and their three children, Ciara (7) and twins Cian and Caiden (4 mos.) live in Ireland.

Family and friends of whose lives Dennis touched are invited to join in a Celebration of Life on January 8th at St. Pius X church in Glencoe; visitation 11:30am – 12:30pm with funeral Mass beginning at 12:30pm. Following the funeral services will be a celebration at the King Pin Pub in Plato beginning at 2:30pm. Come reminisce, celebrate, share a story, and have a good time!