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Russell F. Nelson was born July 6, 1922, the son of Frank O. and Mabel Nelson.  He grew up in the Lake Edge neighborhood, where his father was a custodian at Frank Allis School for many years.  He graduated from East High School and was employed at Wolff, Kubly and Hirsig hardware store in Madison.  He was drafted into military service on November 28, 1942.  He received training at Fort Lewis, Washington and left for overseas in July 1943.  He served as a Technician 5th Grade in the 60th Signal Corps Battalion and was stationed in New Guinea for 8 months.  The following spring he fell ill and died from a tropical disease on April 13, 1944 and was buried in a temporary military cemetery in New Guinea.  In June 1948, his body was returned to Madison, Wisconsin where a funeral was held and he was given a proper burial in Blooming Grove Cemetery.  He was the first soldier from Blooming Grove Township to die in World War II.  


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