|10/9/2012 2:23:00 PM|
firefighter honored and remembered
|Followed by Jonís widow, Holli, and their four boys, the Hayfield Fire Department Honor Guard carries fellow fire fighter, Jon Alan Nelson, down the Trinity Lutheran Church steps, following an inspiring funeral service on Friday. The coffin was placed on the Hayfield antique pumper fire truck which led a procession of aproximately 15 area fire trucks to the cemetery. Photo by Melanie Dobson|
Memorial Benefit for Nelson family, hosted by HFD this Sunday
By Melanie Dobson
Jon Nelson had a lot of nick names, "But no matter what you called him he was the same person," said Eric Schloe, Jon's best friend for 25 years. "He was a hero to all of us." He described Jon as always willing to help others, treating people fairly and with kindness, he was honest and "nothing was more important than his wife and kids."
Schloe was one of the first to share at the funeral service for Jon Alan Nelson on Friday. The service was a wonderful tribute to an honorable man who died at 36 from a rare form of cancer. A coworker from Hormel, Jeff Cookle, spoke of Jon's efficiency and of his sense of humor; like when Cookle went on vacation and came back to find all his family photos replaced with Jon's pictures of himself, the Nelson family and other staff.
Hayfield fire fighter Chris Nelson spoke of Jon's dedication and camaraderie.
A letter from Jon's brother Gregg was read. He wrote that Jon's top accomplishment was his family and that Jon served as an angel in his life. Gregg had purchased two special fishing poles in the hopes of Jon recovering. He said still plans to use them with Jon in heaven and that Jon will have some good spots scoped out for them. Every speaker shared how they looked forward to seeing Jon again.
Pastor Paul Hauschild spoke of the difficult four month journey Jon, Holli and the four boys went through. "God walks with us," he said.
Trinity Worship Band played and led the hymns, Hosanna provided special music. The service was moving and honoring.
Jon was a dedicated member of the Hayfield Volunteer Fire Department. The sanctuary at Trinity Lutheran Church in Hayfield was filled with firefighters and emergency personnel; not just from Hayfield, there was representation from Kasson, Dodge Center, Grand Meadow, Blooming Prairie, Mantorville, Stewartville, Brownsdale, West Concord and Byron. They lined the aisles and sat in the choir loft. The Hayfield Fire Department Honor Guard carried Jon's casket down the steps to a waiting old pumper truck which served as a hearse.
Approximately 15 fire trucks, plus the Hayfield ambulance, Dodge County Sheriff, three deputies and a state patrol vehicle were in the procession to the Fairview Cemetery.
At the grave site, after Jon's final page went through fellow fire fighters pagers for the last time, a bagpiper from the Rochester Pipe Band played Amazing Grace.
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