Brian O. Nelson — Kasson

The funeral service for Brian O. Nelson, 54, of Kasson, will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 12, 2015, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Rochester, with the Rev. Anjanette Bandel officiating. Burial will follow at Zion Lutheran Cemetery in rural Dexter.

Brian went to meet Jesus, loved ones by his side, on Wednesday, May 6, 2015, following a lifelong battle with cancer, at Willow House in Kasson, where he had resided this past year.

Brian Otis Nelson was born Jan. 6, 1961, in Austin, to Otis and Ruth (Knutson) Nelson. He grew up in Stewartville. At the age of 6, he lost the majority of his eyesight due to a brain tumor. He attended the Faribault School for the Blind until the eighth grade. At 8 years old, Brian started taking guitar lessons from John Diffley, and this began his lifelong love of playing and singing music. After a major brain surgery at the age of 13, Brian had to move home and attended Stewartville High School. With tutoring assistance from Jan Heitmann, he graduated with honors in 1979. He attended Rochester Community College and received an associate degree in liberal arts.

Brian moved to Lawrence, Kan., in 1990. Brian joined Immanuel Lutheran Church and was an active member for 20 years. He helped establish the Christian Blind Outreach through Immanuel Lutheran and was a spokesman for its mission. He enjoyed his years in Kansas, but due to health complications returned to Minnesota. Brian was currently a member of Bethel Lutheran Church in Rochester and had established another Christian Outreach for the Blind there.

Brian enjoyed gospel music, playing guitar and singing, working out in the gym and swimming. He was an avid game player, enjoyed card games with his braille deck and played to win, which he often did. Brian liked people and being on the go and always maintained a great attitude about living his life. He loved time spent with his family, especially his niece and nephews.

Brian is survived by his mother, Ruth (George) Emro, of Owatonna; his brother, Scott, of Stewartville; and sister, Julie (Jim) Allhiser, of Rochester. He is also survived by his nephews, Lucas Nelson, Gregory Allhiser and Bradley Allhiser; and his niece, Annie Jo Allhiser. He leaves behind his dear friend, Barbara McEldoney, of Lawrence, Kan.

He was preceded in death by his father, Otis Nelson Jr.; and his maternal and paternal grandparents.

A time of visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, May 11, at Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville, with a musical celebration of Brian's life at 7:30 p.m. A visitation also takes place one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday morning.

Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray Funeral Home in Stewartville. .