Seth M. Nelson, 43, of Ely

On Monday, March 8, 2021, Seth Michael Paul Nelson, loving father of two, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend of many, passed away at age 43. Seth was born in St Petersburg, Florida to Steven Paul Nelson and Sharon Kay Nelson (Sadle). He grew up in Hanover, Minnesota and graduated from Buffalo High School before continuing to graduate from Vermillion College in Ely Minnesota where he continued to work and raise his family. Seth worked for the United States Forest Service starting in 2002 as an Engine Boss and Incident Commander with wildland fire, and in recent years Timber Sales Administrator. Seth built two homes just outside of Ely and has been blessed with two beautiful daughters, Carmen (14), and June (11).
Above and beyond all else, Seth loved and was very proud of his two daughters. He would happily share stories, updates, and photos of the girls with his brothers and friends as often as he could; they truly meant the world to him. Seth was the kind of guy who would always make you laugh with his ever-present smile, his charming wit, and frequent sarcasm. Additionally, Seth certainly knew how to laugh at himself too. He was a very genuine and authentic person, if you were having a conversation with him he was listening with his whole heart. Seth also held strong in his opinions and ideas; if he made up his mind on how he was going to do something there was no changing it. He sought out to plot his own course in life and excelled in whatever he put his mind to. First, with his post-highschool move from Buffalo to the north woods of Minnesota (an area we took family trips to as children). Then, by excelling in his career as he excelled up the ranks with USFS wildland fire and later deciding to become certified as a Timber Sales Administrator. Finally, in fathering and loving his two daughters. Seth had many friends from work and town who he shared the love of the outdoors with. As an outdoorsman, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, canoeing, camping, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling, golfing and just about anything else outdoors. The outdoors is where Seth connected with people best. Skiing, running, fishing and more with his daughters gave him great joy. Annual trips like deer camp, family reunions, winter camping in wall tents in the BWCA, and paddling trips were highlights too. Seth has touched many people’s lives and he will be greatly missed by them. Seth’s parents would have been so very proud of the life he lived and heartbroken with the knowledge that it was cut so short.
Seth was preceded in death by his mother Kay, and his father Steve. He is survived by his two daughters Carmen and June, his brothers Bret (Michele) and Chad (Amy), and his nieces Freya, Serena, Maria, and his nephews Parker and Wyatt.
A celebration of life will be held for family and close friends in Ely Minnesota, on March 20, at 1 P.M. at the Grand Ely Lodge Conference Center. All attendees will be expected to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines. The service will be shared via live streaming on the Facebook site of Grace Lutheran Church Ely MN for those who are unable to attend. In lieu of flowers or memorials, please consider donating to the GoFundMe page set up for the girls’ college fund. Link to gofundme:
Family arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.