Rodney was born June 21, 1937 in Grand Forks, ND the son of the late Melvin and Irene (Hanson) Nelson. He attended school in Grafton graduating in 1955. Rodney served in the United States Navy from 1960-1964. While in the Navy he received rescue training in San Diego and went to Jet Engine school in Memphis. He was stationed at Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Jacksonville, FL and Whidbey Island in Oak Harbor, WA aboard the US Kitty Hawk and with a detachment at the Naval Air Facility in Atsvgi, Japan. Upon his discharge he returned home and worked for AB Thompson, the City of Grafton Water Treatment Plant and as a mechanic for Church Chevrolet, retiring in 1999.
Rodney was a member of the Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Life Member of the Grafton Volunteer Fire Department since 1960, Life member of the North Dakota Fireman’s Association, Life member of the Grafton VFW and a member of the Grafton American Legion.
He is survived by his brother, Curtis (Vicki) of Yucca Valley, CA and Harvey, ND; nephew, Scott (Kristi) Nelson, West Palm Beach, FL; niece, Melanie Duncan, Yucca Valley, CA and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services will be Friday, November 19, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Grafton, ND. Visitation will be Friday for one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at Landstad Cemetery, Auburn, ND. Military rites will be provided by the Grafton American Legion and US Navy Honor Guard.