Nels John Kramer, age 76, after a lengthy battle with health issues, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at his home on Thursday, June 22, 2023, in Akeley, MN. Nels was born on August 5, 1946, in Walker, MN, the son of Agnes (Menning) and Herman Kramer.
Nels grew up on the family farm and went through grade 8 in Akeley and went on to graduate the last class of North Central School of Agriculture in Grand Rapids, MN, in 1965. After graduation he worked construction for a while before enlisting in the United States Army where he served in the Vietnam War. After 2 years of service, he returned home, to Akeley, where he met the love of his life, Arlys (Eiklenborg), they married on July 19, 1969. They were blessed with five children, followed by 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Nels and his big heart, gave countless hours to various youth activities, including basketball, boy scouts, coaching, and fostering children. Everyone had a nickname from Nels. He became very active in the development of the areas ATV Trails and Trail Systems, working closely with the DNR to develop access to the Paul Bunyan Forest. Nels enjoyed hunting and fishing, especially with the grandchildren, and farming. He could fix almost anything, and he continued to fix, oversee, and teach his family to fix things until the end. Nels had many adventures out west with friends and family, going ATV riding, rafting, hunting, and fishing. Being the businessman and historian that he was, he built a gas station and a museum. He was a very creative artist, and nothing ever went to waste. He enjoyed his morning coffee group and visiting. Nels was an amazing storyteller, quick witted, funny man with a slight temper. Nels was the Author of Hooch Lake News, and that tradition lives on through his grandchildren.
Above all else, Nels loved “The Farm” and his family more than anything, he was so proud of them all. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Nels is preceded in death by his parents, Agnes and Herman Kramer; sisters, Fran Brown and Joni Olafson; and numerous friends.
Those Nels leaves behind to cherish his memory are his loving wife of almost 54 years, Arlys; sons: Scott (Kelly) Kramer, and Jake (Melissa) Kramer; daughters: Denise (Mick) Britton, Michelle (Kevin) Chase, and Lynn Kramer; brothers: Don (Joyce) Kramer, Loren (Florence) Kramer; sister, Iris Odle; 15 grandchildren: Chris, Amanda, Taylor, Courtland, Griffin, Tom, Tonya, Matthew, Nicole, Caden, Eddie, Noah, Joe, Ella, Owen; seven great-grandchildren: Eli, Ari, Nelson, Gavin, Jeremy, Finn, Marcy; numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A memorial service for Nels will be held at his daughter, Lynn’s home, 24491 291st Ave., Akeley, MN, on Saturday, July 8, 2023, at 11 a.m. Urn bearers are all Nels grandchildren. Honorary urn bearers are Dennis Dudley, Arnie Lundberg, Rodney Romer, Austin Huffman, and Marv Pearson. Military Honors will take place. Nels’ final resting place will be on The Farm.
Nels’ care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com.