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Nels Peter Hansen, age 59, of Greenville, passed away Friday, April 30, 2021 at Mercy Health – St. Mary’s in Grand Rapids.  The son of Duane & Elaine (Robinson) Hansen, he was born on March 18, 1962 in Greenville and was a 1980 graduate of Greenville High School.  He then attended Ferris State University before beginning a 36 year career with Federal-Mogul Corporation, retiring in June of 2017.

On May 19, 1984, at Faith Baptist Church in Greenville, he married his high school sweetheart, Lori Sue Northam, and together they raised eight children and enjoyed nearly 37 years of marriage.

Nels was blessed with multiple God given talents and skills and will long be remembered for his gifts of music and song.  He had served as music director at Faith Baptist Church in Greenville for many years, and from 2011 until present as worship accompanist at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Greenville, as well playing and singing anywhere and everywhere he was asked.

Immensely proud of his Danish heritage, Nels helped to establish and was the current president of the Danish Cultural Center of Greenville, as well as serving as president of the Amble Memorial Sanctuary (the former Dannebrog Lutheran Church) at South Sidney, where he’d play the pump organ  —  often accompanied by his children  —  at the annual Memorial Day service.  Always a promoter and supporter of Greenville’s annual Danish Festival, Nels is probably the only man able to claim two Danish Festival queens as daughters.

He was a member of the Danish Brotherhood Society, volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Montcalm County, had been a member of the Washington Club, enjoyed farming and raising livestock, and traveling…  especially his trips to Denmark.  Never one to sit idle, in retirement Nels first worked at Tractor Supply Company (TSC) in Greenville, until joining the Christiansen family as a funeral care associate in 2018 to present.

Surviving are his wife, Lori Hansen of Greenville;  their children, Kristen & David Kohn, Anna & Jason Townsend, Peter & Katie Hansen, Eric & Kayla Hansen, Danny Hansen, Julia & Kevin Bradley, Lena & Kenny Wood, and Ditte Hansen;  eight grandchildren, Noah Kohn, Charlotte Kohn, Isla Townsend, Anders Townsend, Luken Townsend, Heather Hansen, Anabelle Hansen, and Nora Bradley;  his parents, Duane “Duke” & Elaine Hansen;  his sisters and brothers, Mary Jane & Steve Swayze, Fred Hansen, Chris & Dottie Hansen, Carrie & Derek Syrjala, and Simeon Hansen;  his mother-in-law, Ginny Northam;  a grandmother-in-law, Juanita Wells;  siblings-in-law, LeRoy Northam, Lisa & Bill Wernet, and Leslie Garrison;  a great aunt, Bette Houle;  several nieces, nephews, and cousins;  and many dear friends.  He was preceded in death by his father-in-law, Jerry Lee Northam on September 3, 2001.

Visitation is from 3-5 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, under the temporary tent outside of Greenville Community Church, 6596 Vining Road, Greenville.  Honoring Nels’ wishes, committal services will take place privately at South Sidney Cemetery.  A service of celebration of Nels’ earthly life and praising his new Heavenly life will be held at 1:00 p.m.. on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at Greenville Community Church,  6596 Vining Road, Greenville.  Those attending any events are respectfully asked to mask and practice social distancing.  For those unable to attend, a live stream of Nels’ celebration will be available on the church’s website:  https://www.gccpeople.com/livestream

Instead of flowers, Nels would have appreciated contributions in his memory to either the Danish Cultural Center of Greenville (https://www.facebook.com/danishculturalcenterofgreenville/) or to Have Mercy (https://www.havemercymi.org/).

To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Nels’ online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:  www.MichiganCremation.com  Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Christiansen’s Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Greenville, (616) 754-5638.

 

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103 Comments

  1. Cyndy smith on April 30, 2021 at 5:13 pm

    Sry for your loss. He was a very nice man. Prayers



  2. Kathleen Laper on April 30, 2021 at 5:38 pm

    So sorry to hear of Nels passing, he was truly a wonderful man and will be greatly missed! Thinking of those who loved him!!!



  3. David and Jennifer Miller on April 30, 2021 at 5:50 pm

    Sorry for your loss, Greenville has lost one of our best. He was always friendly, caring and well known throughout our community and he will be truly missed.



  4. Marcia Krause on April 30, 2021 at 5:55 pm

    Marcia Krause
    Nels was a very wonderful man and a friend to all. I got to know Nelson and his family while attending Faith Baptist Church. The entire family will be in my prayers.



  5. Betsy Proctor on April 30, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    Lori,
    My prayers are with you, your kids, grandkids and the rest of the family. I’m here for you



  6. Bonnie Miller on April 30, 2021 at 6:06 pm

    I’m so sorry for the family losing their loved one but rejoicing that Nels is in heaven with no more sickness. I have known Nels for many years. I loved the times he would come to First Baptist and play the organ or piano with me. A few times he brought his group to Woods and Waters camp ground to play special music for us. I thank God for Nels being one of the men who came to take my husband after he passed. He was such an encouragement to me and my family. You will be missed.



  7. Brenda Thompson on April 30, 2021 at 6:37 pm

    Prayers and comfort to Lori and all the family.
    Nels will be greatly missed by all.
    He was a truly amazing man who just gave such joy to all. We are blessed to have known him, Rejoicing he’s with the Lord looking forward to when we meet again in Heaven.
    Jim and Brenda Thompson



  8. Paul taylor on April 30, 2021 at 7:29 pm

    Always acted as a gentleman. So sorry for this loss he was a great guy.



  9. Lee and Kathy Enbody on April 30, 2021 at 7:30 pm

    So very sorry for the families loss, Nels will be missed by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
    Lee and Kathy Enbody



  10. Theresa Bennett on April 30, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    So sorry for Nels passing. He was a great guy. He was there, on my worst day, and gave me a hug. I’m giving virtual hugs to all of his family.



  11. Patty Pixley on April 30, 2021 at 8:19 pm

    My heart goes out to the Hansen family. Nels was such a wonderful man, he always had a huge smile when I would see him. Heaven gained an Angel while his family and friends grieve his loss. Till we meet again, rest easy friend.



  12. Gayle Kuhnle on April 30, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Just seeing Nels’ photo at the opening of this obituary gives me a punch in the gut!!! It feels impossible that he is not on earth any longer. I am already praying for Ditte’s graduation, future weddings without Nels, family events where you will miss his energy…grandbabies that won’t be held by him. I know all these things and more will be milestones you will all face with great grief. I know he is leaving many traditions behind for you all…and I feel certain that Lori, one of the strongest women I have ever met in life, will be a back bone for you all even in her own grieving. Hang on to her, support her, love her all you can!!! I am sorry, dear family.



  13. Dan and Barb Jones on April 30, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    Our deepest sympathy to all of you Nels was a kind and talented man and will be truly missed.



  14. Tom and Inge Hagedorn on April 30, 2021 at 9:11 pm

    Our deepest sympathy to the Family of Nels P. Hansen. May he Rest In Peace and may God give comfort to the loved ones he left behind. So sorry for your loss – Tom and Inge Hagedorn



  15. Russell Reeves on April 30, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    So sorry for your Nels was a great guy our prayers with you God Bless.



  16. Mary Ane Krum on April 30, 2021 at 9:55 pm

    My heart is broken today! He is leaving a huge hole in this community. I will forever cherish the memories of our trip to Denmark. He was so full of knowledge & was very helpful. The best tour guide!!
    My prayers go out to Lori & their beautiful family. RIP my friend/cousin 💔



  17. Brenda Sexton on April 30, 2021 at 10:20 pm

    God’s peace and Love surround you all he will truly be missed💙He could always make you smile😊



  18. Rick & Deb Petersen on April 30, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    I’m so very sorry for the loss of your beloved Nels. He held many titles and one was just as special as the next. He was such a kind, giving , thoughtful and God loving man. Proud and blessed to have known him. Prayers for all of the Hansen family.



  19. Claus Christian Hansen on May 1, 2021 at 3:51 am

    My condolences to the family.
    Nels appointed himself my guardian at Greenville high back in 1979 and helped me navigate.
    He was one of those people who make a difference.



  20. Liana Maxon on May 1, 2021 at 6:58 am

    Truly saddened to hear of Nels passing. His vibrancy will definitely be missed. Our thoughts, prayers and hugs to his wife and family.
    With love,
    Kirk & Liana Maxon



  21. Phil and Connie Geer on May 1, 2021 at 7:04 am

    So sorry to hear of Nels passing… such a kind man



  22. Judie Schmachtenberger on May 1, 2021 at 7:51 am

    God made Nels Hansen one of a kind. He was a kind, gentle soul that saw life in a positive way. His music was enjoyed at Mom Schmach’s 80th, my children’s weddings, his band at Charlie’s, Faith’s choir master and most recently playing the piano for community hymn sings . Nels made memories for God and for our community. May He be with Lori and each of their wonderful family in a special way.



  23. Brenda Dillon on May 1, 2021 at 7:56 am

    How can saddness and joy go together? Only when a child of the King of Kings goes to be with their Father. Nels will be greatly missed, and yet, even now, I’m certain he is being surrounded by a multitude of those who have gone before…including my Mom and Dad, who loved him dearly.
    Many prayers on behalf of this dear man’s family.



  24. Linda Zellinger on May 1, 2021 at 8:00 am

    So sorry for your loss. Nels always brought joy and love into every room he entered. I will always treasure the time we worked together at Burger King. Sending many thoughts and prayers to his family. God gained a special angel today.



  25. Lee Russell on May 1, 2021 at 8:15 am

    I am very sorry for your loss. I am the mother of his cousins John and Mitchell Hansen. I recall years ago when I told Nels I wasn’t really family because I was no longer with John and Mitchells dad. His comment told me who he was. He said ‘doesn’t matter. “You’re still family “.
    God bless you all. Memories eternal



  26. Roann George on May 1, 2021 at 8:21 am

    I will always remember Nels and the times when we shared special music togethe and Tom Seaver. He is now singing and playing in Heaven for his Lord.



  27. Darlene R Petersen on May 1, 2021 at 8:25 am

    I am so so sorry for your loss. Nels was a wonderful and kind man who touched so many in his short life. I remember my 80th birthday, he sang and danced with me. Who else would take the time to honor an old lady but Nels! This community will surly miss him.



  28. Linda and Dennis Harrison on May 1, 2021 at 9:17 am

    Our hearts go out to Lori and family💔 Heaven has gained another great Angel from our community..



  29. Janel Strobridge Hansen on May 1, 2021 at 10:44 am

    So blessed to have known this kind soul. I So appreciated all the history he and we shared with our Hansen family ancestors. Blessed to have met some extended family through him. He even knew some of the ancestor Strobridge history. What a divine human he was. Look forward to seeing him again in heaven. Prayers for the entire family and all the friends and folks who had the honor of knowing Nels. Peace be with you ❤



  30. Julie Schutter Hamann on May 1, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Prayer and condolences to Lori, children and family of Nels.
    So many lives have been blessed by him. He showed kindness and was a gentleman to everyone he met, but his family was his joy. I am saddened by his death, but know he is an angel signing/playing his trumpet in Heavens choir.



  31. Alison Barberi on May 1, 2021 at 11:20 am

    All who knew Nels were blessed with infectious approach to … everything. May peace be with all of his family and friends. An extra Kringle will be enjoyed at Danish Festival time just for him.
    With fondness and sadness, the Barberi Family



  32. Cindy Lillie on May 1, 2021 at 11:22 am

    Lori and family, I’m so sorry for Nels going home. I enjoyed his smile and laughter. Definitely heaven gained an incredible angel. He now sings with the angels.



  33. Bonnie and Phil Symonds on May 1, 2021 at 11:23 am

    Great person, love people, love music, and the greatest passion that loved the Lord. We are praying for Lori and family for comfort time to heal. One day we will see him and hear the singing and playing the musical instruments again.



  34. Lis B. Jensen, Denmark on May 1, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Nels was a fabulous and valued friend that we got to know 12 years ago.
    He was proud of his Danish heritage, A Long distance-Cousin we will miss.
    He visited Denmark lots of times – bur now he has taken his last trip.
    Nels – we will miss You and always keep you in our hearts.
    Nels: Rest in Peace my Dreaming Danish Friend
    May God bless Lori and their 8 children and the rest of thefamily to get over their loss.
    We will pray for You
    Kim, Sofie, Vicki and Lis
    Denmark



  35. Hogan Toy on May 1, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    So saddened to hear of Nels death. What an awesome man. Your in our thoughts and prayers.
    Mike, Toy, Aaron Hogan



  36. Fred Rewa on May 1, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    My parents would seek out the days when B.B. & GLF (Bows, Bellows and Good Lookin’ Fellows) would play at Charlie’s. I had the pleasure of playing his homemade “cowbell palooza” on occasion. Truly one of kindest people I’ve had the blessing to meet. RIP friend



  37. James Littley (Cousin Jimmy) on May 1, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    I want to go back to the summer of 1974….when we were kids….and Nels would visit for the week and we’d ride our bikes around town, go swimming and do “kid stuff”…without a care in the world.

    I know without a doubt, he’s rejoicing with grandma Robinson and aunt Gayla…and no doubt boasting of being the first cousin to join their company.

    It takes a lifetime go grow an old friend, and his absence will take another lifetime to heal.



  38. James Littley (Cousin Jimmy) on May 1, 2021 at 4:46 pm

    I want to go back to the summer of 1974….when we were kids….and Nels would visit for the week and we’d ride our bikes around town, go swimming and do “kid stuff”…without a care in the world.

    I know without a doubt, he’s rejoicing with grandma Robinson and aunt Gayla…and no doubt boasting of being the first cousin to join their company.

    It takes a lifetime to grow an old friend, and his absence will take another lifetime to heal.



  39. Kathy Maguire on May 1, 2021 at 6:11 pm

    Nels helped me set up a corner in the Baldwin Heights Elementary School Media Center in honor of Carol Hansen. He stayed awhile sharing wonderful stories of Carol. I treasure that special time one on one with Nels. Always encouraging. Always saw the best in others. Always sharing Danish information. My sympathies to his wonderful family. 🇩🇰🎶💔



  40. Jim and kristi Ricket on May 1, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Nels will be missed, condolences to Lori and family.



  41. Kenneth D Harger on May 1, 2021 at 7:42 pm

    From Pastor Ken and Bev Harger Our hearts go out to Lori and family and we really hurt for Mom and Dad its so hard to loose a child Nel’s was a very special person to me and I loved his faith in Jesus and his love for the ministry. My prayer is for you all to since the comfort of the Lord Jesus to each of you. Pastor Ken



  42. Herb and Cheryl Haines on May 1, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    Nels’ special whole-hearted smile was for everyone he met. He will be so very missed. We’re praying for Lori and the family, asking God to give that peace and comfort that only He can give.



  43. Larry Alman on May 1, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    It is a very big loss in my life as well. We had a long visit at the Danish Cultural Center a week before Nels went in the hospital. It might of been 2 weeks. He was showing me his plans for an area that he was working on. We had plenty of time to badger each other. I am going to miss his humor and his music so much. God be his beautiful family



  44. Sharon Butchart on May 1, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    So sorry for your loss…Nels was the greatest…We will miss him so much…
    You all are in our prayers…
    Bill & Sharon Butchart



  45. Christine Donazzolo on May 1, 2021 at 9:56 pm

    So very sorry for your families great loss. Many prayers for family and friends!



  46. Steve and Kitty Hopkins on May 1, 2021 at 9:59 pm

    We are so sorry for your loss. Nels always had a smile for everyone. We worked with Nels alot of years at Federal Mogul. He will truly be missed by all. He was such a talented man. God definitely has an Angel.
    You are in our prayers….
    Steve & Kitty Hopkins



  47. Lisa & Jim McLarty. Gerri Messacar on May 1, 2021 at 10:02 pm

    Nels blessed so many people with his faith and kindness. Praying that you’ll find comfort in your memories of him!! Hugs to you all!



  48. Mark Curtis on May 1, 2021 at 10:03 pm

    So sorry to hear of Nels passing, he was a good man, a good friend and will be missed. Loved listening to him perform. Condolences to the family.



  49. Tom & Candy Schmiedicke on May 1, 2021 at 10:19 pm

    Loved his smile, his joie de vivre, how he was your friend immediately. We are so grateful to have known Nels. He was a force for goodness and joy and love in our community.
    May God’s blessings and peace be with Lori and family.



  50. Tabitha on May 1, 2021 at 11:53 pm

    Lori I am so sorry that your loss. I am here pray for you. I am here to talk when your ready



  51. Christine Kubec on May 2, 2021 at 2:56 am

    My heart aches to say goodbye to such a dear friend. Nels was my first church friend When our family moved to Michigan. A little over 20 years ago. He was my choir director. Nels made me feel so welcome. I enjoyed our choir practices and duets.He was great at finding the perfect solo music for your. He got me the cassette tapes and music so I could practice at home or in my car to and from work. On the day I would sing he waved his magic musical fingers over the sound system tweaking each nob to create amazing music to accompany my voice . He always made us sound so good . When he played live music on a keyboard or piano he could lead and follow us so closely even when I didnt always follow the count properly he was right there with a head nod and carried me through the song have coarse no one new the wiser of a mistake Nels always saved ya!
    Another fond memory was helping him with the snow bird Christmas party send off. He had such great ideas incorporating his musical gifts.
    At the new church I had so many wonderful years singing with Nels he was always there to help you with special music! I even learned how to be a Danish singer ….. I so loved attending South sydney Church on Danish Sunday. Being apart of that service was always like going back in time and Nels could make that old pump organ bellow with such beauty.
    In my most recent years…my having challanges with genetic illnesses changed my life dramatically.From long stays in the hospital to being bedridden at home Nels always managed to send me a cheerful card or face book messages of encouragment, prayers a quote a song or just some funny little bit of the day.
    Nels liked to share his trips to Denmark, a recipe his grandchildren, his family…..
    He is a Ray of Sunshine !
    The perfect example of Joy ….
    Thank You Nels….
    God surely blessed us all with your presence …..



  52. Danish Sisterhood of America on May 2, 2021 at 8:31 am

    Hard to fathom that Nels is gone. Such a loss for all of us. His positive outlook left his mark on anything Danish in our Brotherhood and Sisterhood of America. From our Sisters in Michigan-Ontario-Ohio we send our sincerely condolences to Lori and family.
    Æret være hans minde



  53. Dave & Marie Linder on May 2, 2021 at 8:39 am

    So sorry for your loss. We knew Nels from Federal-Mogul. He always had a smile!



  54. Russ Merritt on May 2, 2021 at 10:26 am

    So sorry for for our loss of a really good man. Nels worked for me (I prefer to say “worked with me”) for awhile, in different classifications – as Nels moved a couple of times within the facility. We always had a great rapport with one another. One night, while surrounded by a few fellow employees, Nels says to me “Wow, Russ, you sure do smell good!”….. Well, this instantly created an eruption of laughter among all of us. For awhile after that, Nels and I would pass by each other and do the ole “sniff, sniff” in the air as we went about our work shift. We both took some heat and playful ridicule for this but we laughed about it frequently. He was just a super great guy and I miss having him around the shop to chat with. God speed to all who knew him, his passing is a great loss to so many people.



  55. Sarah Haines (Ruth Reed Granddaughter) on May 2, 2021 at 10:38 am

    Lori and Family,

    We are so very sorry to hear of Nels’ passing :( He meant a lot to our family and to the town of Greenville. We are praying for all of you and love you.



  56. Don and Janet Medler on May 2, 2021 at 10:58 am

    So sad to have heard the passing of Nels. We have only known him since 2018, and our first impression of him was as just the same as everyone has mentioned. Very kind, full of compassion, very respectful and he loved the hugs. He was there along with Rob, for our family starting in August of 2018, then in December 2018 for my husband’s sister, then in February 2019 for my father and then in July 2020 for my husband’s mother. He showed great dignity, compassion and respect for our family. He was a very kind soul! Rest in peace, Nels, you will be missed dearly!
    Our condolences and prayers for Nels’ family!🙏🙏



  57. Melissa Anne christensen on May 2, 2021 at 11:02 am

    Nels I loved your smile . Your smile is beautiful . Thank you for singing at my mom and dad funeral. You know you are brother to Kevin .



  58. Monte & Linda Ball on May 2, 2021 at 11:06 am

    If we had never known Nels our hearts wouldn’t hurt so much, but our lives are so much richer because we did.



  59. Bryan Guelzo on May 2, 2021 at 12:42 pm

    He is singing in heaven today with my dad again …



  60. Roger Gates on May 2, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Condolences to the entire family. Surround yourself with one another and the many great memories he provided.



  61. Brian and Penny Simones on May 2, 2021 at 3:06 pm

    Our deepest condolences and prayers to you Lori and your entire family.



  62. Robert J Shinabargar on May 2, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    So Sorry To Hear Loved To Liston To His MusicWhen He Played The Panio Will Be Missed By Our Family Prayers For His Family Robert & Marietta Shinabargar



  63. Tim & Vicky Langsdale on May 2, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    In all our years I have never met a such a giving man, so full of life and love for our Lord. Since I met him the first time at Faith Baptist church. I’m not sure he knew how to say no, he was so giving and always with a smile. Our world lost a special man when Nels took his last breath. He definitely set an example for all of us. Go in Peace Nels. Our prayers for Lori and their family, to his Mom & Dad and siblings. Relish the many special memories you have with him and continue to share them with each other.



  64. Tom Seaver on May 2, 2021 at 3:46 pm

    Very sorry to hear of the passing of a good friend and fellow musician from my thirty-plus years in Greenville. Nels was a gentle man with a heart of gold. His vocal and keyboard talents were always a real blessing to the people of God wherever he ministered. It was my great pleasure to sing along with Nels in the church choir, in mixed trios with Roann George and in our gospel quartet with Darda and Jerry Troyer, et al. Knowing Nels, he is most likely right now organizing a musical ensemble of fellow saints and angels to sing praises to our Savior.
    My sincere condolences to Lori and children, Duke and Elaine and family.



  65. Maureen Dodd on May 2, 2021 at 4:21 pm

    Nels was always there, to celebrate, to console, to share life’s complexities. His kindness and acceptance will always be remembered. He made the world brighter, warmer and happier.

    We were all so fortunate to have Nels Peter Hansen on this sweet earth , a joyful part of our journey.
    “All you take with you is that which you’ve given away” (It’s A Wonderful Life “ Thank You Nels



  66. Dot Nirthup on May 2, 2021 at 4:56 pm

    Nels will definitely be missed. He was one of the kindest men to have ever walked this earth. His smile was warm and he was so great at keeping Danish customs alive in the area. We got to know him through the Hyggelig Huddle. We were kindred spirits because of our love for Denmark. Our prayers for peace and comfort for his wonderful family.
    Terry and Dot Northup,
    Howard City



  67. Hannah Hansen (Married to Nels’ nephew, Landon Hansen) on May 2, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    I am so sad for all Uncle Nels’ family…I have such good memories playing music with him and the “Beaus, Bellows and Good Looking Fellows.” His music and personality made everyone around him so cheerful and I’m sure he is having such an amazing time in Heaven worshipping and singing before his King now with all the angels and saints. See you again soon, Uncle Nels!



  68. jenny bennett on May 2, 2021 at 6:29 pm

    My deepest sympathies to Lori, Nels’ children, grandchildren, parents, extended family and friends. Nels was such a joy to know. He was always smiling and enthusiastic in whatever he was doing. He was most proud of his faith, his family, and his Danish heritage. His music was a gift that touched so many in our area. He was a gem in the Greenville community and will be greatly missed by many.



  69. Pastor Jim Lacy on May 2, 2021 at 7:32 pm

    This week we celebrate a life fully lived, music wonderfully used as ministry, and a Savior well loved. At the same time we will miss the smiles, hugs, and presence of dear Nels.
    Our Lord’s peace to Lori and his family and friends.



  70. Beth Austin on May 2, 2021 at 8:01 pm

    So sorry for your lost. I enjoyed working with Nels on the family genealogy. May God hold your family in his hands at this sad time.



  71. Tammy ( Haines) Alvaro on May 2, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    Nels’ locker was next to mine throughout high school. Never did a day pass that he did not share a friendly smile. He was a friend to all!
    God Bless his beautiful family.



  72. Torsten Zemke on May 2, 2021 at 8:45 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss I had just seen Nels at my Dads funeral (hermann zemke) I’m just in shock he will be missed by many I trust that he is in heaven with my Dad now and they are starting a Danish singers group
    Again my condolences to the entire family

    Sincerely Torsten Zemke.



  73. Jessica Hansen. on May 2, 2021 at 11:02 pm

    I will never forget the way this man welcomed me into his family . He was a force to be reckoned with he will always hold a dear spot in my heart.
    Lori hansen may the kids and you always have love I your heart and may he make you feel calmness and his great love
    Love Jessica Hansen Joshua Hansen and Alexander Hansen



  74. Esther Hansen (niece) on May 3, 2021 at 6:48 am

    It’s wonderful to see how many people you impacted, how many people you loved and who loved you. You left a big family behind who will miss you so much. See you later 💕



  75. Julie (Zayler) Cantrell on May 3, 2021 at 8:20 am

    Lori and family I am so sorry for your loss. Nels had a heart of gold!



  76. Charlene Smith on May 3, 2021 at 8:43 am

    I didn’t know you for long, but I will never forget your kindness. You have impacted the lives of more people than you know, in so many positive ways. My heart goes out to the Hansen family.



  77. Jacqi (Guelzo) Morris on May 3, 2021 at 9:32 am

    I am so very sorry to hear of this loss. My father (Jack Guelzo) was in a quartet with Nels and Nels sang at my Dad’s funeral. He truly was an amazing Christian man. Thankfully we know where he is and can rejoice in that fact. Prayers to all of your family.



  78. Kathy Bellmer on May 3, 2021 at 12:37 pm

    Nels always had a smile on his face and a warm welcome for all. He made this world a brighter place. He will be missed immensely by all especially his family. May God give them strength and guidance to maneuver through the difficult days ahead. Im sure Nels is leading the angel choir in some absolutely beautiful harmony. Rejoice in the beauty of the Heavens my friend.



  79. Beth Giulianelli on May 3, 2021 at 1:26 pm

    I’m sorry for the loss, not only with regard to his family but also for those of us who enjoyed his music and leadership of the Danish Cultural Center. He will be missed!



  80. Lori (Nicholas) Engelbrecht on May 3, 2021 at 2:56 pm

    I’ve known Nels since a bunch of us used to hang out in the bandroom at lunch. He married a woman who was one of my besties growing up (she lived kitty corner from me). I got to see Nels through the years but most recently, when I played handbells with St. Paul Lutheran. I could always count on Nels for a friendly smile and greeting in a world where that’s become a rare thing. Wow, he’s going to be missed. Prayers for you and your family, Lori.



  81. Joyce (Geldersma) Sproul on May 3, 2021 at 4:16 pm

    I knew Nels in High School, and he was always so nice to Everyone! Always with a smile on his face….truly a wonderful person. I believe that he is in heaven right now, maybe sketching with Mr. Blinn or playing some music. My heartfelt condolences to Lori and Nels family, and the entire Greenville Community.



  82. Helen Kennedy on May 3, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Nels’ death is such a huge loss for our community. I can only imagine the pain his family must feel at his early passing. May we all carry on his spirit of generosity and joy in honor of how his life has blessed us.



  83. Tracey McDonald on May 3, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    I saw a saying once “When someone you love becomes a memory, that memory becomes a treasure” remember all the treasured memories that Nels brought to all of our lives. Hugs to all of you, wish I could be there to hug you in person. Nels will be missed.



  84. Lori King on May 3, 2021 at 8:29 pm

    Nels was an amazing man. My family will never forget the joy he brought to our grandma Pat when he would play his accordion and sing for her. He also loved his Danish heritage and loved sharing family tidbits with us. We visited the museum last fall and had a great time with him. He will be missed.



  85. Jeff and Cora Root on May 4, 2021 at 8:07 am

    Please accept my heartfelt condolences to your family on the loss of a prized member of your family. We are praying for the perfect peace of God to overcome you all during this difficult time.
    Sincerely,



  86. Melissa & Austin Hahn on May 4, 2021 at 9:05 am

    We are truly saddened to hear of the passing of Nels. We are sending all our love, uplifting thoughts, and prayers to your family.



  87. Ruthanne and Steve Edwards on May 4, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Nels will be making music in heaven. May peace and serenity come to Lori, all the kids and grandchildren. Greenville lost a wonderful and talented man. RIP, friend.



  88. Jim and Mariel Mortensen on May 4, 2021 at 12:24 pm

    Nels,

    You lit up every room you walked into. You will be sorely missed.

    Jim and Mariel Mortensen



  89. Cy&Betty Aldridge on May 4, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    Sorry for your lost prayers for Family



  90. Lori Kalnins Buchholz on May 4, 2021 at 1:54 pm

    The passing of Nels has left a large hole, not just for his family, but for everyone who knew him. He always had a smile and we spoke whenever we ran into each other. I have known him since I was a kid, I went to his baptism with my friend, Sue. He will truly be missed, his love of God, family, life. Until we see each other again my friend. Prayers for comfort to his wife, Lori and family.



  91. Stuart Leach on May 4, 2021 at 2:59 pm

    One of my summer highlights was going to Charlie’s for ice cream and to hear Nels’ band. The group always brought a smile to my face when they played “Rocky Top.” He loved bringing joy to others with song and laughter. He even played piano at our wedding. I always revered Nels for his faith and zest for life. May God’s profound peace rest on all of you. I anticipate the day we will get to see Nels again, in the presence of our Lord.



  92. Gitte Maybritt Mortensen (danish cousin) on May 4, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    Dearest cousin Nels
    14 years ago you wrote an email to me, telling me that we were cousins. Our great-grandfathers were siblings, and born in Ørslev in South Zealand, Denmark. Your great-grandfather Christian Hansen left Denmark in 1872, my great-grandfather Hans Hansen stayed in South Zealand. No one ever talked about family in Greenville, Michigan in my family, so the email from you were a really wonderful surprise. From day one my family loved you so much. You were always so kind and caring, and we thank you so much for your unconditional love.
    Your interest for Denmark was so inspiring to us, and because of that interest, we got to know a whole lot more about our country. You were a perfect ambassador for Denmark, and a real Great Dane. We are so proud of you, and everything you have done. You made this world a better place, you made our lives better, and more beautiful – thank you, dear cousin Nels!
    Our hearts are broken because we lost you, but we will hang on to all the wonderful memories, that we made during these last 14 years.

    We love you so much, and we will keep you in our hearts forever, aller kæreste fætter Nels!

    Hvil i fred.

    Aldrig glemt, men i hjertet gemt.

    Æret være dit minde.

    We are sending prayers, and all our love to your beautiful family.

    Gunver Irene Nielsen
    Simon, Malou and Cristina Henriksen
    Asta, Sigrid, Anja and Jens-Jacob Nielsen
    Lucas, Jens and Gitte Mortensen



  93. Carolyn Johnson on May 4, 2021 at 3:42 pm

    Nels and my late husband Wayne Johnson became friends and Wayne had such respect and love for Nels! Wayne enjoyed Danish gatherings and Nels helped him celebrate his Danish heritage.
    Nels also played the organ at my son and daughter in laws wedding. (Jonathon and Marsha Johnson
    Held at the Danish Church.
    Lori and I met at Greenville Community Church. What a beautiful lady!
    God bless your entire family as you grieve the loss of Nels!
    I have vision that my Wayne was so happy to greet him over there💓



  94. Lon and Carolyn Leonard on May 4, 2021 at 5:47 pm

    Your music and big smiling personality was enjoyed by all, and will be missed.



  95. Diana Schmidt (Grand Haven) on May 5, 2021 at 8:00 am

    I only met Nels a couple of times at contra dances. He always had such a great smile on him and a twinkle in his eyes. He became Facebook friends with me and I followed him there learning more about his life. Even though I didn’t know him for very long he will be missed. Rest in peace Nels.



  96. Carol Schlaud Danish Sisterhood Lodge #100 Marlette on May 5, 2021 at 8:42 am

    I will miss you dearly Nels, you were a great friend to me and the Danish Sisterhood. May you rest in peace and be with God. Play your music in heaven so all may enjoy it.



  97. Rita (Carter) Hoag on May 5, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    There are few good heaven sent people on this earth. Nels was truly one of Gods greatest ambassadors sharing Gods love. He has heard the words “Well done my good and faithful servant” I was blessed to know Nels about 44 yrs. From gym class square dancing, art class, to church. Sitting together in church on Sundays at Oakfield. I was saved at a young age, but it was Nels who was there to gave me courage to publicly declare my faith as I was baptized Jan. 21, 1979 at Oakfield.

    Everyone of us who were blessed to who know Nels couldn’t help but be touched by him. He always thought of others first. He knew what to say, how to make us smile, and help you through rough times. Thank you Nels for precious treasured memories. Everyone mattered to him.

    He treasured his family and his friends. What a beautiful legacy he and Lori have created to carry on. My thoughts and prayers go out to Lori, their children and grandchildren and the Hansen family. You will be missed my dear friend. Love you always.



  98. Pastor Betsy Kamphuis on May 5, 2021 at 12:52 pm

    I am sorry I will not be able to attend the visitation on Wednesday. Please know that all of the family is in my prayers. I continue to pray for comfort and peace in this time for you. I also give thanks for the gifts that Nels gave to the church–his music, his time, his smile, his love. Blessings



  99. Judy Beckler on May 5, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    Nels my friend, you are truly leaving so many memories of how wonderful a man that you were! (Friends from HS.) Once a friend, always a friend with Nels. He did so many jokes not only to me but to my mom too. Called me on 30th birthday all day long with a weird voice singing happy birthday to me. Thank goodness we had a snow day at school and I didn’t have to work that day!!! He also came to my parents house dressed up and sang to her, her favorite song. He was such a thoughtful guy. Him and Lori raised a beautiful family together. I was lucky to work at the elementary school that they all went to. I will miss you my friend Nels. God’s Peace be with your family at this time of grieving. 💔



  100. Travis and TJ Wilkinson on May 6, 2021 at 2:23 am

    His obituary photo is very fitting. At the darkest times hes still just about to smile because this too will pass and a brighter day is coming. I think it may be the most serious picture ive seen of him. But that was Nels, serious about solutions. Serious about doing whatever he could to make the world a better place. Never letting anything take hope or lead him to dispair. Even now I see this photo and I hear him saying “ill see you again someday”.



  101. Ann Smith on May 6, 2021 at 12:06 pm

    Our condolences to the Family. Nels was a GREAT guy. Very talented and everyone Loved him. My children went to school with Nels children and they were very well-mannered children, very kind and polite. Nels and Lori did a great job raising their children. He will be missed by our community! Take care, Tom & Ann Smith and the Turk Lake Restaurant Staff



  102. Tom and BJ Christensen, Mark and Kris Christensen, Phil Christensen on May 6, 2021 at 2:38 pm

    Our prayers and condolences for your whole family. Nels’s graciousness to our mother Elvira was awesome. Nels would visit her at the Masonic Home in Alma and take her to the piano room and play and sing. The doors would open down all the hallways and he had a huge, happy audience. Nels also recorded Ivory Palaces to be played at Elvira’s funeral. Thank you. From the Christensen Family: Tom and BJ, Mark and Kris, Phil



  103. Alice Jensen on May 7, 2021 at 7:34 am

    He will be so missed , so sorry we never got to get together and
    catch up on our family. Prayer go out to Lori and her family.



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