Darnelle Jean Nelson


Darnelle Jean Nelson (nee Ronning) was born in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on September 27, 1947, to Dorothy Josaas Ronning, a schoolteacher, and Carroll, Clayton Ronning, a farmer who was recently returned from World War II service in Japan. Darnelle’s father died when she was one year old of complications from appendicitis. Several years later, she was fortunate to become the stepdaughter of Charles, M, Gullickson, and gradually three siblings joined Darnelle and her older brother, Danny, to complete the family. They were raised on a farm in eastern South Dakota near the small town of Colman. Darnelle attended high school in Flandreau, South Dakota, and South Dakota State University in Brookings. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1969 and began teaching sociology and psychology at Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs, Iowa. While working at her summer job in Wall SD, she met a kind Canadian man who shared her farming background and Norwegian heritage. They were married on May 22, 1971, and Darnelle became a landed immigrant in Canada before acquiring her citizenship some years later. With Clifford Field, she explored the adventures of developing her career, farming, and becoming parents to two wonderful boys, Travis Wade, and Trent Clifford.
In 1994, Darnelle married Paul W. Nelson from Stockholm, Saskatchewan. With Paul, she became a stepmother to Patrick, continued her career, launched her retirement, and enjoyed travel. They had many wonderful adventures while spending time at their second home in Henderson, Nevada, a suburb of Las Vegas. They enjoyed hiking, entertainment, sports, music, and avoiding at least part of many Canadian winters.
During Darnelles’s 29-year career, she taught and was the administrator at Minton School in Minton SK, Saar School in Kronau SK, White City School in White City SK, and Moosomin Elementary in Moosomin SK. She valued the many wonderful students and colleagues with whom she worked.
During the past three decades, she was fortunate to have loved, and be loved in return by three wonderful dogs, the wary and complex Rika, the gentle and beautiful Roxy, and the joyful Lola, who helped ease the passage of her days in the last years of her life.
Darnelle is survived by her husband, Paul, her beloved sons, and cherished daughters-in-law: Travis and Kathryn Mouat Field and Trent and Melanie Krein Field, and Patrick Nelson, grandchildren Max, Molly, Oliver, Elias, Madeline, Abigail and Beckett. Her brother, Danny Ronning and his wife, Carol, her sister, Janet Gullickson, and her husband, Bobby Farmer, her brother, Charles Gullickson, and his wife, Lizbeth, her brother Gregory Gullickson, and seven wonderful nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sister-in-law, Vera Ronning