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Ethel Mae (McNairn) Nylander

March 24, 1926 ~ April 10, 2019 (age 93)

Ethel Mae Nylander, 93, Brandon, passed away April 10, 2019 at Brandon’s Assisted Living under the care of Douglas County Hospice.

Ethel was born March 24, 1926 on a farm near Clotho, MN, the third daughter of Joseph and Maybelle (Salisbury) McNairn. When she was three, the family moved to her grandmother’s farm outside of Osakis.  Ethel and her sisters were active in 4-H. She walked to school and sold eggs from the family farm.  In 1969 they moved off the farm and into Osakis.

Ethel graduated from Osakis High School in 1945. She worked as a telephone operator, then as a waitress at the Shell Café in Alexandria. She also did a lot of babysitting and loved dancing.

On May 4, 1950 Ethel was united in marriage to Virgil Quinn. Three children were born to this union; Donna, Virgil (Bill) and Dan.

On January 10, 1958, Ethel married Glen Nylander. She and her children then moved to the Nylander family farm. Four children were born to this union; Ralph, Wayne, Judith, and Jim. She remained on the farm until 2011 when she moved to into Brandon’s Assisted Living.

Ethel stayed very busy helping her husband with the dairy cattle, poultry, and raising the children’s pets. She was the leader of the Brandon Happy Knoll 4-H club for 11 years while her children pursued 4-H projects, fairs, and FFA. For a few years she wrote the Brandon News for the Lake Region Echo. She worked as a maid at the Thrifty Scott Motel in Alexandria, cleaned cabins at local resorts, produced a garden to feed her growing hungry children, and taught Sunday school.

She was a member of St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Garfield and found time for Circle and Ladies Aid, where she served as vice president and president.

After Glen passed away, she spent a couple winters in Nevada working in casinos for extra cash. She worked many years as a companion for Douglas county seniors, taking them to appointments, shopping, or just going out for a ride and coffee. She loved to travel with her friend, Mary Toft and did a lot of fishing and dancing with her friend, Harlen Zwieg. When she had nothing to do, she enjoyed simply getting in her car and going for a ride or just out for coffee.

Ethel loved visiting with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, neighbors, and friends, and was the designated person to bring deviled eggs and glorified rice to family get-togethers. She also enjoyed embroidery and beadwork in her later years.

Ethel is survived by her children, Donna Mercer (Mike Langford) of Benson, Bill Quinn (Susie Darby) of Erdahl, Ralph Nylander of North Dakota, Wayne (Rosanne) Nylander of Big Lake, Judith Nylander of Minneapolis, Jim Nylander of Brandon, Peg Okerlund of Brandon (significant other of deceased son Dan Quinn); 14 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and 3 great great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Maybelle; husband, Glen; son, Dan Quinn; and sisters, Marjorie Struntz and Elvina Holder.

A Memorial Service was held on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 11:00 AM at the Anderson Funeral Home Chapel in Alexandria, MN with inurnment in the Brandon Cemetery.

Ethel’s family would like to thank, the staff at Brandon’s Assisted Living, Douglas County Hospice, and all who assisted Ethel for their loving and compassionate care.

Arrangements are with the Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria.

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