Virgina Kendall Marsh Nelson was born December 2nd, 1927 to Oliver and Frances (Trow) Kendall in Winner, South Dakota. She passed away on December 2nd, her 94th birthday, surrounded by her family at the Tobacco Root Mountains Care Center in Sheridan, MT.
Mom’s childhood was spent in Custer, South Dakota. As a young girl she was able to watch the building of Mount Rushmore.
Her family moved to Sheridan, Montana in 1943. She graduated Valedictorian from Sheridan High School in 1945. She married J. Vernon Marsh in 1946 after his return from World War II. Together they had four sons. The family moved to Dillon in 1955.
In 1975 she married Dr. Norman Wayne Nelson.
Mom worked for Ron Wagner, CPA for 15 years. In 1979 she began work at the Dillon Veterinarian Clinic alongside her husband Dr. Nelson and his partner Dr. Gordon Knorr. Mom worked at the clinic until Dr. Nelson’s death in 1998.
She was a very active member of the Dillon Community. She was a member of the St. James Episcopal Church, the Barrett Hospital Auxiliary, the Parkview Acres Nursing Home Auxiliary, the High Peaks Federal Credit Union Credit Committee and the Festival of Trees.
Mom was selected as the Outstanding Women of the Year in 1995 and was the Grand Marshall of Dillon’s Labor Day Parade in 2012. She was extremely proud of both honors.
After Dr. Nelson’s death, she joined a travel group of widowed women and traveled the world. She went on many wonderful trips and made lots of lifelong friends. As a member of the Global Grannies, she traveled from New Zealand to Russia, Africa to Alaska and everywhere in between. She rode in a hot air balloon over the savannas of Kenya and on the back of an elephant through the jungles of Thailand.
She was proceeded in death by both her parents, both husbands, grandson Jason Stevenson, sister Lola Cote, brother Oliver Kendall, and special friend Ellen Laknar.
She is survived by her sister Peggy Elser; sons, Douglas (Lianne) of Omak, WA, David (Kassie) of Sheridan, MT, Scott (Linda) of Dillon, MT, Michael (Carrie) of Lima, MT and nephew Paul (Carla) of Sheridan, MT. (Mom considered Paul her fifth son.); also, stepchildren Hugh (Judy) Nelson, Paula Kirkpatrick and Earl (Molly) Nelson; and 13 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandson.
She was affectionately known as “Grandma Gina” to all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, except Parker and Baylor. To them, she was known as “Grandma Birdie”.
Mom loved to bake cookies and sweet rolls for all of her kids. She was known for baking cinnamon twist rolls and delivering them to her friends’ businesses around Dillon. She also loved to work in her yard and flower gardens. They were the envy of her neighborhood.
A celebration of life will be held in the spring of 2022, when the grass is green and the flowers are blooming.
Memorials may be made to the St. James Episcopal Church or the doner’s choice.