Gailard Max Nelson

March 21, 1930 - June 5, 2023

Gailard Max Nelson, aged 93, passed away peacefully on June 5th in Colorado Springs, CO. He was born on March 21, 1930, in Harlan, IA to Chris William Nelson and Cordelia Wittrup Nelson He accepted Jesus Christ at a young age and pursued a life for the Lord serving as ministry in various aspects of the church.
Gailard lived a life filled with love, laughter, and cherished memories that will forever be etched in the hearts of those who knew and loved him. Known for his infectious laughter, bright smile and ability to light up any room, he never knew a stranger.
He started first grade at the Merrills Grove one-classroom school He finished High School in the town of Harlan, IA. At 17 and 16, respectively, he met his lifelong partner and wife of 73+ years, Margie Ann Beckman, from Council Bluffs, lA, at a church youth event. They married on February 14, 1950 and together raised four children: Daniel Dean Nelson, Kathleen Joy Nelson Reisner, Lynn Allen Nelson, and Nancy Sue Nelson Watkins.
He farmed a total of 240 acres for 20 years. In 1972, the family moved to Lakewood, CO. to pursue cleaning services for Silver State Baptist Christian Schools, South Sheridan Baptist Church, Westland Baptist Church, and Westland Christian Academy in Lakewood, CO.  In the spring of 1983, he and Margie purchased a property in Elk Falls Ranch, Schaffer’s Crossing, Bailey. CO, built a house, and started a domestic home cleaning business. They moved to Littleton, CO, in 1992, continuing their cleaning services for 20 years. In 2021, they moved in with their youngest daughter and son-in-law and have been living in Colorado Springs, CO, until his peaceful death surrounded by family.
His life was rich and full of travel, with visits to his grandkids in Florida, Iowa, California, Tennessee, and Guatemala. Over the years, he enjoyed spending time with grandkids, snowmobiling, four-wheeling, and hiking the mountains of Colorado. Gailard faced various challenges with resilience and strength. He taught us the value of perseverance and reminded us to cherish every moment. His memory will forever serve as a beacon of hope, reminding us to embrace life fully and extend a helping hand to others.
His family and friends will miss Gailard. He is survived by his wife, his three youngest kids, 12 grandchildren 30 great-grandchildren 1 great-great-grandchild, and numerous relatives and friends who were blessed to have known him. He was preceded in death by baby boy Nelson and his eldest son.



Harlan Newspapers

1114 7th Street
P.O. Box 721
Harlan, IA 51537-0721

(800) 909-6397

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