Marilyn D. Nelson

Sept. 16, 1943 – Nov. 16, 2018

VETERAN – Funeral services for Marilyn D. Nelson, 75, will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with Bishop Ryan Clayton officiating. Burial will follow in Hillcrest Cemetery in Lingle. 

Marilyn died at her home in Veteran on Nov. 16, 2018. Memorials may be given to the Goshen County 4-H Foundation. Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday and the casket will be open prior to the service at the church. Arrangements are by the Colyer Funeral Home and condolences may be sent to 

Marilyn was born Sept. 16, 1943, in Philadelphia, Penn., to Charles Albert and Dorothy Olive (Taylor) Hartung. Her father moved the family from Pennsylvania to Wyoming after WWII. They lived there until shortly after her mother passed away. 

Her father remarried and moved the family to Fort Collins, Colo. Marilyn attended Fort Collins High School and graduated in 1961. While in high school, she met Rick (Ricardo) Nelson and they remained together until her passing. 

She had a rare and amazing personality. She loved to interact with people and she had an advanced sense of humor. Wherever she went she soon made friends, a quality which was the bane of her teenage kids. Her children could hardly get into mischief but that some acquaintance of their mother would “rat” on them. They are still convinced she knew everybody in the county. 

Marilyn and Rick were married in Berthoud, Colo., on June 8, 1964 (they eloped). After Rick graduated from CSU and entered active service in the Navy, they traveled to Pensacola, Fla, Corpus Christi, Texas, Bagio City and Subic Bay Naval Station in the Philippines, Washington D.C., Union City, Calif., and New Orleans, La. While in the far east she traveled to Thailand, Okinawa and Japan.

Rick left active duty and became a pilot for United Air Lines. Marilyn, by then with three children, Eric, Aaron and Sarah, moved back to Fort Collins. The family remained in the Front Range area and became very active in the 4-H program, not only as parents and leaders but as strong supporters and sponsors. At the same time Marilyn was active in her church, holding a variety of positions as a teacher and leader. In addition to that activity she trained through the CSU extension service for Larimer County as a Master Gardener and a Master Food Preserver. She and her husband were leaders and superintendents for the swine and lamb programs, sponsoring and managing the Catch-it programs for both species. 

In 1998 the family moved to Veteran and set up a ranch and farm. As soon as she arrived in Goshen County she became involved in the community, always trying to find ways to encourage community members to participate in fun and uplifting activities. Being an avid gardener, a rose specialist, she joined the county’s Master Gardener program and was also involved in the Garden Club and was a member of the Hospital Auxiliary. 

One of her major accomplishments was to encourage as many gardeners as possible to grow as much produce as was fun for them to produce. As an encouragement she researched all the aspects of and ventured through the bureaucracies to establish a functional Farmer’s Market in Torrington. This gave the local gardeners a chance to sell their excess produce to local patrons, thus accomplishing three goals – encouraging gardening, providing an outlet for surplus produce and providing for healthy and fresh, home-grown foods. 

The program grew over the years from a small area at the county building parking lot on Saturday mornings to blocking off Main Street for a block to blocking off two blocks on Main Street, having many vendors, local as well as some from other close communities offering a large variety of products. And to add to the fun of the morning experience it was not unusual to have performances by a variety of local entertainers. 

Unfortunately, with her health beginning to deteriorate she left the running of the market and it soon disappeared for the lack of her drive and personality. Not to be totally deterred, she expanded her support of the 4-H and fair programs by becoming a fair judge. She judged both 4-H and open classes in a variety of activities at the state fair, Goshen, Platte, Laramie and Uinta counties. 

Her tenure as a judge lasted for several years. She last judged this past summer at the Platte and Goshen fairs. By this time, she had been fighting MS for more than 30 years, complicated by the advance of diabetes, heart problems and lately by complications of pneumonia. She eventually was unable to participate in not only community activities but the hardest of all was she could not participate in her church activities.

She was a person of unshakable faith. She had a strong and lasting testimony of her father in heaven. She finally left us but she is now in a place where there is no pain or discomfort, welcomed back to her father in heaven.


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