Patricia "Patti" S. (Eckel) Nelson

November 23, 1929 ~ March 4, 2020 (age 90)


Patricia S. “Patti” Nelson, 90, formerly of Lutsen, MN died on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 in Auburn, CA where she lived since 2014 to be closer to a daughter.

She was born on November 23, 1929 to Thomas and Bertha (Sivertson) Eckel in Duluth. Patti was raised on the North Shore of Lake Superior, spending summers on Isle Royale. The Eckels were one of the island’s “fishing families”. Patti often spoke of her fondness and respect for the Great Lake. She attended school in Grand Marais becoming a cheerleader and North Shore Queen. After attending Hamline University, she married George Nelson Jr. of Lutsen on November 25, 1950, and joined George in running the family business, Lutsen Resort, where she was a certified ski instructor and managed both the ski shop and Resort gift shop. She was also instrumental in running the Resort dining room.

Patti’s motto was, “Do what you can while you can”. She lived her motto, raising five children to fish, hunt, golf, ski and enjoy the outdoors while still emphasizing academic excellence in school. She belonged to and supported numerous groups including the garden club, Superior National Women’s Golf, Schroeder Historical Society, Grand Marais Hospital Auxiliary, Lutsen Lutheran Bible group.

Patti was always quick to offer a smile and assistance, she loved her friends and family, and she loved the North Shore.

Patti was preceded in death by her parents; husband, George Jr.; son, George “Nibs” III; and brothers, Tom and Dick Eckel.

She is survived by her daughters, Rebecca (Daryl) Nelson-Harris of Auburn, CA, Cynthia Nelson of Vail, CO, Traci (Thomas “Smokey”) Nelson-Boyer of Colorado Springs, CO and Terri (Dr. Joseph) deNatale of Linden, TX; grandchildren, Joe and Luke deNatale, Alden and Nelson Harris.

Funeral service will be held in May at the Lutsen Evangelical Lutheran Church. Time and date to be announced. 

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