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The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

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May 29, 2023

3/28/2023 5:29:00 AM
Mary Ann Nelson

Mary Ann Nelson, age 79, of Rhinelander died on March 21, 2023, at Aspirus Rhinelander Hospital.

Born on Dec. 12, 1943, in Rhinelander the youngest of eight children to William and Helena (Lotharius) Priebe, Mary Ann overcame early health battles with polio and rheumatic fever. These struggles cemented the fighting spirit and resilience she showed throughout her life.

Mary Ann met Thomas "Rick" Nelson while attending Rhinelander Union High School and the pair were soon inseparable. Graduating in 1963, Mary Ann worked as an operator for the Rhinelander Telephone Company until she married Rick the next year. They moved briefly to Norfolk, Virginia, as Rick served four years in the U.S. Navy, starting their family with the birth of their first daughter.

Returning to Rhinelander in 1968, Mary Ann reconnected to her roots and had four more children over the next several years. She always said the best job she could ever have was that of mom. She was an active member of Nativity Catholic Parish through the years.

In 1989, the family moved first to Wabeno, then to Marinette, before finally returning to Rhinelander for good in 2004. There, she enjoyed working for several years as a product merchandiser throughout the area, putting her organizational skills to great use.

Mary Ann was a devoted mother and grandmother, faithful wife and dedicated friend. In addition, she was an amazing seamstress and furniture reupholsterer.

Our hearts are broken by her passing.

She is survived by husband Thomas "Rick" Nelson and her children Deborah (Kenneth) Kortenhof, Marjorie (Timothy) Strandt, Timothy, William and Donald (Emily); grandchildren Brenden, Sean, Cameron, Kylie, Marissa and Logan, her sister Angeline (Priebe) Carlson, and nieces, nephews, other family and many friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Margaret and her brothers Joseph, Henry, Ralph, Donald and William.

Visitation for Mary Ann will be held on Thursday, March 30, 2023 from 10 a.m. to noon with a Mass of Christian Burial following at noon at the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church in Rhinelander. Father Christopher Kemp will be officiating. Interment will follow in the Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Cemetery. You may leave your private condolences for the Nelson family at

The Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) is serving the Nelson family.

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