Daniel James Nelson, 62, of Washington Island, WI, fell asleep in the loving arms of his family and awoke in the arms of the Lord early Tuesday morning, March 2, 2021 at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay, WI.
He was born March 6, 1958 in Elmhurst, IL, the son of James Oliver Nelson and Dorothy Claire (Rabito) Nelson. Dan grew up in Itasca, IL and graduated from Lake Park High School in Roselle, IL with the class of 1976. He met Dawn Gladene Cunningham while attending Wheaton Bible Church. They were united in marriage on April 16, 1988.
Dan had a passion for horses growing up and decided to attend school to be a Farrier. For ten years, he traveled from farm to farm caring for horses in the northeastern Illinois area. In 1989, Dan switched careers and started in construction.
He and his family moved to Washington Island where he did construction for nine years before buying the Washington Island Camping Retreat. After seven and-a-half years of running the campground, they moved to Kiel WI, and lived there for ten years. Knowing they wanted to retire on the Island, they moved back April 11, 2020. Buying the Inn at Frog Hollow was Dan's dream come true. He got to be at home, talk with people, and have endless projects to do.
Dan and Dawn raised their family on Washington Island and attended Bethel Evangelical Free Church. He was a family man at heart - HE LOVED his family so much. Dan had a strong, but quiet faith that was evident in how he viewed life. He was an avid deer hunter who enjoyed bow and gun hunting. Those who knew Dan also knew what a JOKESTER he was.
He will be deeply missed by his beloved wife Dawn, with whom he was blessed with nearly 33 years of marriage; three daughters and one son, Courtney (Dylan) Villarreal of Washington Island, WI, Brittany (Tyler) Ball of Brookfield, WI, Hunter Daniel Nelson of Appleton, WI, and Rachel (partner, Oscar Castillo) Nelson of Appleton, WI; five grandchildren (and two on the way), Cohen and Joslyn Villarreal, Maverick and Aria Ball, and Isla Castillo; sister, Sherrie (Brent) Amato of Bloomingdale, IL; mother-in-law, Meryl Cunningham of New Holstein, WI; siblings-in-law, James Cunningham of Wheaton, IL and Wendy (Ed) Barbeau of Port Barrington, IL; many nieces and nephews; and dear friends.
Dan was preceded in death by his parents, James and Dorothy Nelson; and father-in-law, Donald Cunningham.
“Our family would like to express our heartfelt thanks to our friends and fellow community members for all of your prayers and support over the past several months.”
Dan's life will be honored with a memorial service held at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at Bethel Evangelical Free Church on Washington Island, WI with Pastor Rick Smith officiating. Visitation for family and friends will be held at the church from 10:30 a.m. until the time of service. Those in attendance of the visitation and/or service are to wear face masks and maintain social distancing.
Memorials may be given in his name - specific memorial to be determined.
Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Sister Bay, WI is assisting the Nelson family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Dan may be shared with his family through his tribute page at www.caspersonfuneralhome.com.
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