William "Bill"'s Story
William "Bill" Junior Nelson, 92, Rockford, died Thursday, February 15, 2018, at Fairhaven Christian Health Center. He was born July 14, 1925, on a farm near Alpha, IL, the son of William and Edna (Blomquist) Nelson. He graduated from Oxford Township High School, Alpha, in 1943, and from Augustana College in 1948, with a BA in Chemistry and from Oklahoma State University with a MS in Chemistry in 1950. On October 14, 1951, Bill married Mary Louise Nelson and of that union two daughters and one son were born. On June 4, 1988, he married Elinor Johne Karberg. William spent most of his career in the corn wet milling industry doing research and development work. He was part of the team that developed the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) technology that revolutionized the U.S. sweetener industry. A majority of the cane and beet sugar was replaced by HFCS in many food applications. He retired in 1993, and thereafter enjoyed his hobbies of home and yard maintenance, astronomy, and puttering in his workshop. He was also active in leading courses at the Rock Valley College Center for Learning in Retirement. He was an active member of Our Savior's Lutheran Church, a member emeritus of the American Chemical Society and a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose Lodge.
Survivors include his wife, Elinor; his daughters, Nancy (Jerry) Kedley of Clinton, IA and Janet (Dr. Marc) Zylstra of Whitefish Bay, WI; his son, Dr. Jeffrey Nelson of Cottage Grove, MN; his grandchildren, James Kedley, Christopher (Julie) Nelson, Thomas (Darcy) Nelson, Sarah (Jacob) Danner, Nicholas (Karen Luk) and William Zylstra; his great grandchildren, Ruby, Benjamin and Matthew Nelson with two more on the way; his brothers, Ivan of Bourbon, MO, Dr. Ralph (Juanita) of Peoria, Dean (Sandra) of Clarkston, MI and Carl (Barbara) of Galva; his step-family, Beth (Frank Stonaker) Karberg of Hotchkiss, CO and Kay (Keith) Hays of Simpsonville, SC; and grandchildren, Kiera and Marika Coughlan, Brian, Taylor, and Theodore, Hays.
Predeceased by his parents, sister, Delores Entrekin; daughter-in-law, Jane Nelson; sisters-in-law, Audrey Nelson and Barbara Johne; his brother-in-law, Rev. Harold Johne. A special thank you to the staff of Northern Illinois Hospice and the third floor at Fairhaven Health Center.
Memorial services will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, March 17, 2018, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 3300 Rural St., (Corbridge St. entrance) with Reverend Jeff Fricke officiating. Visitation from 10:00 A.M. until 10:45 A.M. prior to the service. Entombment in the Chapel of Love at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Arrangements by Fitzgerald Funeral Home and Crematory, Mulford Chapel, 1860 S. Mulford Rd. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Northern Illinois Hospice, 4215 Newburg Rd. Rockford, IL, 61108, northernillinoishospice.org or charity of donor's choice. Share online condolences at www.fitzgeraldfh.com.
Published on March 11, 2018