Cover photo for Kathleen "Kathy" Nelson's Obituary
Kathleen "Kathy" Nelson Profile Photo
1954 Kathleen "kathy" 2021

Kathleen "Kathy" Nelson

October 31, 1954 — February 21, 2021

Kathleen “Kathy” Marie Nelson, 66, passed away peacefully at her home on Feb. 21, 2021 in Bismarck, following a brief battle with cancer.  She was surrounded by her family and loved ones. Mass of Christian burial will be held 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 25 at Corpus Christi Church, Bismarck.  Due to COVID-19, the service will be by invitation only.  The service will be livestreamed through Corpus Christi’s Facebook page:

Kathy was born on Oct. 31, 1954 to Mary and John Harkness in Duluth, Minnesota.  She was married to Bruce Nelson in 1976 and had two daughters, Stephanie and Karalee. 

She graduated from NDSU with a degree in Secondary Education and a minor in Spanish.  After a brief teaching career, she made the decision to stay home and raise her daughters.  She re-entered the workforce once her girls were older and served as the desk supervisor at an outpatient physical therapy center.  Kathy retired from fulltime employment in 2008.

Kathy was very active in her retirement and enjoyed riding bike, walking and spending time with special friends.  Her children and grandchildren were extremely important to her and she loved spending time with them. 

Kathy is survived by two daughters, Stephanie (Jason) Kiefer and Karalee (John) Butman; four grandchildren, Brayden Kiefer (9), Nolan Kiefer (9) Layla Butman (8) and Emmett Butman (6); her mother Mary Neigum (Harkness) and family. 

She was preceded in death by her father, John Harkness; and former husband, Bruce Nelson.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathleen "Kathy" Nelson, please visit our flower store.


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