Howard D. Nelson died May 21, 2017, at Mercer Island, WA.
Howard D. Nelson died May 21, 2017, at Mercer Island, WA. Funeral Services will be held next Friday, Aug. 25 at 2 p.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, ND, with Reverend Lyle Belleque officiating. Visitation will be at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in the Devils Lake Cemetery, Devils Lake. He was born March 31, 1930, the son of Edwin M. and Anna (Jacobson) Nelson of Devils Lake. While growing up, he attended the Bethel Free Church in Devils Lake. He graduated from Devils Lake High School in 1948. He attended Trinity Bible College in Chicago, Illinois, earning an Associate of Arts degree in 1953. He later earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music from Fresno State College in 1956. He and Hazel Conors were married on August 10, 1956, in Fresno, Calif. They moved to Seattle where Howard earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Washington. Upon graduation in 1960, he won a competition held by the San Francisco Opera Company after singing with the San Francisco Symphony. For the summer, he returned to Trinity Bible College to teach. While teaching at Trinity Bible College, Howard won a place with the Chicago Lyric Opera. During summers he pursued a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Washington, which he earned in 1967. That year, he and Hazel left for Europe where he sang as principal baritone for the Zurich Opera Company for 30 years. In addition, he made guest appearances with several other opera houses while teaching voice, giving countless concerts and sharing his God-given talent in churches throughout Switzerland and Germany as well as back home in North Dakota during visits to family. In 2006, after Howard retired and he and Hazel moved to Mercer Island. With Hazel as his accompanist, Howard continued singing by giving concerts and programs for the residents of their retirement home, Covenant Shores. Howard is survived by his wife, Hazel; nieces and nephews, Roland Ferrell, Lyle Nelson, Phillip Nelson, Mark Nelson, Verna Gowin, Ray Thompson, Norma Thompson, Albert Thompson, Susan Kling, Sheryl Skiba, Carol Nerby and Linda Hanson and several great-nieces and great-nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Lyle (Elizabeth) Nelson and Robert (Nola) Nelson; sisters, Mildred (Elmer) Ferrell, Evelyn (Vernon) Thompson and Edna (Emil) Jensen; niece Margaret Sondeland and nephew, Gary Jensen.