Jean Antoinette Nelson was born September 9, 1927 in Joliet, Illinois to William and Grace McDowall, the third of seven children. The family moved to Big Lake in 1948 when her father founded McDowall Roofing in St. Cloud. She attended Knox College in Illinois and later graduated from St. Cloud State. Jean married Ray Nelson in 1950. Before starting her teaching career, Jean was one of the first woman school bus drivers. Jean taught second grade in the Monticello Schools for 30 years. After retirement, she was a familiar face at Big Lake Floral Shop, which she and her daughter Tricia owned. She was an active member, playing the organ, at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church. Jean was preceded in death by her beloved husband Ray, her parents, sisters Grace and Liz, brothers George and Bill, son Ron, and grandson Andrew. She is survived by children Sandy (Tom) Hayes, Rick Nelson, Kathy (Russ) Davies, Mark (Julie) Nelson, Dean, and Tricia (Terry) Martin; 11 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren; siblings Mary Lou Kerber, Bob (Pat) McDowall.
Visitation will be Monday, May 17, 2021 from 4-6PM with a Time of Remembrance at 5PM at the Peterson-Grimsmo Chapel; 250 East Broadway in Monticello.
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