Darrell E. Nelson, 84, of Hudson died on Friday, Feb. 22, at Regions Hospital.
Darrell was born the son of Carl and Gladys Nelson in St. Hilaire, Minn. As a young man in Hibbing, Minn., he was in Boy Scouts, attaining the rank of Eagle, and worked in grocery stores during and after high school. He graduated from Hibbing High School with the class of 1941.
He joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 at age 19. He did his recruit training in Farragut, Idaho, gunners mate school in Great Lakes, Ill., and submarine school in New London, Conn.
During his first 20 years in the Navy, Darrell served on the following diesel submarines during WWII, the Korean War and the Cold War: USS o-4, USS Loggerhead, USS Entemedor, USS Perch, USS Redfish, USS Nereus, USS Raton and the USS Diodon.
After his duty in the submarine service, he spent over 10 years in the Naval Fleet Reserve. He had duties on aircraft carriers USS Oriskany and USS Constellation during the Vietnam War in the Gulf of Tonkin and South China Sea.
He was also stationed at Manitowoc Training Activity in Wisconsin and taught NROTC at the University of Minnesota, where he was assistant professor of naval science. He served as staff at SUBRON Five, SUBFLOT One, Battalion Commander RTC, and submarine information officer and DATC in San Diego, Calif.
He had been awarded his submarine qualification, submarine combat insignia, eight awards of Good Conduct, Navy Medal of Achievement, Navy Unit Commendation with two stars, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation. He also has 14 campaign medals.
He was stationed in San Diego for many years and loved that city and always kept a second home near the boardwalk of Mission Beach and Mission Bay.
He retired on the deck of the USS Tang as master chief gunner's mate on June 30, 1974.
Darrell lived in San Diego for eight years until he moved to Hudson, Wis. In 1982 he married Borgie Nelson. Darrell made good use of their houseboat "Twin Dolphins II" on the St. Croix River.
Darrell was very active in submarine veteran's associations at the local, state and national levels for over 40 years. He joined the Submarine Veterans of WWII in 1956, and helped organize the San Diego Chapter and was its first president. Since 1960, he served a number of times as the national parliamentarian and resolutions chairman. He was the Wisconsin state commander and its membership chairman. He was also a member of Submarine Veterans Inc., the Veterans of Foreign Wars and was a life member of the Naval Submarine league.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Gladys Nelson; first wife, Shirley Nelson; brother, Carl Nelson; and sisters, Beverly Vincent and Mary Lou Jackula.
He is survived by his wife, Borgie Nelson; stepchildren, Ted (Molly) Eastlund, Jean (Gary) Hines and Jon (Emily) Eastlund; step-grandchildren, Kristin Eastlund, Aaron Eastlund, Brittany Eastlund, Jessalyn Hines, Bretta Hines, Victoria Eastlund, Tara (Todd) Patet, Samuel Schleipman, LeAnn Nieuwenhuis and Dirk Nieuwenhuis; step great-grandchildren, Andrew Eastlund, Matthew Patet and Emma Patet; two cousins; and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral service was Monday, Feb. 25, at 1 p.m. at Bethel Lutheran Church, 920 Third St. Visitation was also Monday from noon-1 p.m. at the church.
Pallbearers were Jon Eastlund, Gary Hines, LeRoy Larson, Dione Larson, Brent Jensen and Jeff Busby.
Interment will be burial at sea by the U.S. Navy. Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of Hudson.