Carla Rae (Swanson) Nelson was born on Feb. 16, 1940, in Montevideo, the daughter of Ole Ray and Myrtle Swanson. She was baptized and confirmed at Salem Lutheran and attended school in Montevideo (Class of 1958). 
Carla attended Gustavus Adolphus College for two years and went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Speech and English. Carla met Paul Nelson (Slayton, MN) at the University of Minnesota and they were soon united in marriage. Carla and Paul had two sons and made their home in Columbia, Missouri. Carla then moved to Ames, Iowa starting her career in the Alumni Association Office of Iowa State University. 
In 1979 Carla, now a single mother, moved her young sons to Moorhead, to take on the role of Alumni Director at Concordia College.  Carla found Bethesda Lutheran church in Moorhead and it has been a point of friendships and support the remainder of her life. Carla was active with the church and with the Hjemkomst Center through the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County. Several great friends and Carla formed an investment club and had great times selecting and watching their stocks. Carla was very proud of her Swedish heritage and loved to share some Swedish stories and words with her family and friends. 
Carla was great at building relationships and fundraising throughout her career. She spent time working with St. Luke's Hospital, The Ronald McDonald House, KDSU, the Fargo/Moorhead chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Girls Scouts. Carla earned her real estate license and became a Realtor with Metro Realtors in Fargo. Carla especially enjoyed her time in real estate helping hundreds of people find their dream home. 
Carla had many wonderful friends from Bethesda, the community groups, and neighbors as she lived in Fargo-Moorhead the past 40 years. 
Surviving family members include sons Dana (and Carol) and Christopher, and brother Jerry (and Kristina).  Some of Carla's greatest joys came from watching her four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren at their activities. Carla was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers (David and Robert), and one sister (Mary). 
The family wishes to take this opportunity to thank Carla's amazing friends, the staff and members of Bethesda Lutheran Church, and the staff at Eventide on 8th in Moorhead for their wonderful friendship, support, and caring for Carla.  As Carla would often say 'tack så mycket' (Swedish for Thank You!).
A graveside service will be held at Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Montevideo.
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