DuWayne Maynard Nelson was born March 9, 1934, in Solem Township to Arthur and Betsy “Caroline” (Gustafson) Nelson. In 1939 the family moved to Holmes City. During DuWayne’s younger years he helped his father on the farm. From a young age he was gifted mechanically and would go out of his way helping others in need. As a teenager, DuWayne enjoyed roller skating with his buddies. They stayed in contact through the years, referring to themselves as “The Old Gang”.
In 1952 DuWayne moved to the Twin Cities working at the Twin City Ford plant. He spoke often of the fun times rooming with 7 guys. This also was the year he met Shirley Sembrick, whom he married in 1954. In 1956 they moved back to Alexandria and DuWayne started truck driving until he was drafted into the Army in March of 1957. He attended basic camp in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas, and Fort Mead in Maryland, before being relocated to Germany for 18 months to work on army tanks. DuWayne served our country for 24 months and was honorably discharged in 1959. DuWayne then took a mechanic position at Flugel Motor Company. After Flugel Motors dissolved, he returned to truck driving, hauling for Russell Creamery and Grain Belt Beer. In 1968 he returned to the Ford Garage and then to Douglas County Highway Department in 1970, where he worked until retiring in 1999.
DuWayne was an avid race enthusiast and the biggest fan of his families go-karting and dirt track racing. DuWayne, with good friend Wayne Kluver, co-owned the notorious #9 stock car from 1968 thru the early 70s. They were the original “Men in Black”. In the early 70’s, DuWayne became a board member at Viking Speedway and later oversaw track maintenance. DuWayne and friend Harlan Campbell started Campbell Raceway in 1976 and a few years later they moved the track to the Douglas County Fairgrounds. He was a board member and oversaw many facets of that track for years. In 2011 he was inducted into the Vikings Speedway Hall of Fame.
On September 21, 1990, DuWayne married Barb Clarke. Together they shared their love of racing and spending time with family and friends. In 2017 DuWayne moved to Grand Arbor retirement community where he made many new friends, reunited with old friends, and enjoyed his later years.
DuWayne passed on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Left to cherish his memory are his children Carol and (Jay) McDonald, Carmen and (Jeff) Ouverson, Curt and (Wendy) Nelson, Camilla and (Jeff) Haiskanen along with 9 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, plus numerous nieces, nephews, and extended family. Preceding him in death are his parents Arthur and Caroline Nelson, wives Shirley and Barb, brother Roger Nelson, and sister Ardelle Muzik. Special thanks to Knute Nelson and Douglas County Hospice for providing a nurturing and caring environment for DuWayne during his final weeks of life.
Visitation will be held on Monday, April 18, 2022, 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the Anderson Funeral Home. Visitation will continue on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, from 10:00 – 11:00 AM at First Lutheran Church with the Funeral Service at 11:00 AM. Service will be livestreamed for those unable to attend. In lieu of flowers memorials are preferred to Douglas County Hospice or Knute Nelson Foundation.