In 1951 Alvin answered God's call to the ministry. He and Evelyn sold their farming operation and moved to Chicago with their four young children. Alvin entered Northern Baptist Seminary in January 1952 where he received his Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1956, and in 1971 his Master of Divinity degree. During seminary he and Evelyn operated the student bookstore for four years. He was active at Temple Baptist Church where he served as a Sunday School teacher and Deacon. In 1956 he was ordained to the Christian ministry and for the next 15 years served churches in Fredricksburg, Fairfield, and Holdrege, Neb. In 1971 he accepted a call to serve in a new ministry role as the Administrator of the Winnebago Baptist Home in Winnebago, Minn., where he served until retirement in 1980. He and Evelyn returned to their roots in Aurelia, and enjoyed retirement years. In 1993 they to Albert Lea to become a part of the Thorne Crest Retirement Community where Alvin continued his ministry by generously volunteering to serve the Thorne Crest community in a variety of ways. Evelyn preceded him in death suddenly in 2001, and on January 11, 2003 Alvin married Ardys K. Swenson, the second love of his life. Alvin enjoyed woodworking, gardening and competitive corn husking.
Those who preceded him in death include his parents; Evelyn, his faithful and loving wife of sixty years to the day; his two sisters, Ruth (Delmer) Ross, Bernadine (Wayne) Gaston; his two brothers, Woodrow (Irene) Nelson, and Floyd Nelson.
Surviving him are Ardys, his loving wife of 9 years; his four children: Jim (Nan) Nelson, Jane Ann Nelson, Susan (Ken) Jump, and Frank (Rosemary) Nelson; three stepchildren: Joan (Bob) Porter, Steve (Bonnie) Fogdall, and Jon Fogdall; 9 grandchildren: Tim (Nikki), Eric (Teresa), Christine(Chad), Dan, Cory (Steffani), Amy (Chris), Angela (Richard), Paul (Kaz) and Joel (Ann). 9 stepgrandchildren; 16 great grandchildren and 11 great stepgrandchildren; 2 sisters-in-law, Marian Nelson and Gwendolyn Miller; 1 brother-in-law, Bob Petlon, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Alvin "slipped from earth to heaven" on November 2. He often said, "I am among all men most blessed." And he was a blessing to all who knew him. A memorial service will be held at the Thorne Crest dining room at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 10. Rev. Jamie Cameron will officiate. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be designated to Thorne Crest for use in the chapel. Online condolences are welcome at www.bayviewfuneral.com.