Dr. Wallace Nelson, Willmar and previously of Lamberton died peacefully Dec. 14 at the age of 89. Wally was a retired professor emeritus of the University of Minnesota and the founding superintendent of the Southwest Experiment Station (Southwest Research and Outreach Center). He was born to Elmer and Mabel Nelson Feb 17, 1928, in rural Walnut Grove. Following high school graduation, he enrolled in the U.S. Navy in May 1945, serving in Singapore on the Admiral’s fleet. Wally then enrolled at the U of M St Paul campus and completed his bachelor and doctorate work in soil science. He married Arlene Michelson of Buffalo Lake, the love of his life, in June 1949. Wally became a professor with the U of M, and after six years at the Duluth experiment station was chosen at 32 years old, to start up the new experiment station in Lamberton. Over the next 34 years, he built it into one of the premier agricultural research facilities in the nation. Wally was an authoritative voice for agriculture and was committed to making sure that university faculty understood farmers’ real problems and that research focused on solving them. Wally devoted himself to the advancement of agriculture in Minnesota for more than 40 years. He was an author/coauthor on more than 50 scientific papers, a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, a Distinguished Alumni of the U of M, outstanding alumni of the U of M College of Agriculture and the 2011 recipient of the Siehl Prize for knowledge, the university’s highest award for agriculture. In 2014, the U of M also endowed the “Wally Nelson Crop Production Faculty Chair”. He was appointed to the board of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, a board member of North Star Insurance Company and numerous other positions and awards. He is survived by his loving wife Arlene, married for over 68 years, son Thomas and wife Linda, daughter Kathy Hund and husband Fred, grandchildren Mark (Nicole) Nelson, Paul (Angie) Nelson, Megan (Charles) Hieb, John (Anna) Nelson, Rachel Hammarberg, Amanda (Ryan) Hund-Terrien and Sarah (Ryan) Hund- Hagemeyer and four great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Shirley (Curtis) Schafer and brother Gary (Mona) Nelson. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Services will be held at Vinje Lutheran Church, Willmar Tuesday Dec 19 at 11 am. Visitation will be at 9:30 am at the church. Interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Arrangements are with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar, www.petersonbrothers.com.