From an email received from Yvonne Thomas:

I must share with  those of you who have not heard of the passing this morning of my mentor, Ronnie Nelson, composer, conductor, sometime organist, childrens’ choral music expert, church musician extraordinaire, and the finest Christian person I have known.  He was my first organ, piano, composing, and conducting teacher, and he encouraged me in the profession, as well as teaching and advising me most of my life.  But I am only one person–he influenced many hundreds of people–some of you included–many starting in childhood.  His liturgy has been in use since 1978.  His legacy at Westwood Lutheran in St. Louis Park is far-reaching.  A number of his choir “kids” still sing in our adult choir.  Our Easter celebration this Sunday will be sung in his honor.

He and Betty Lou went to San Diego last month to hear the opera.  While walking to their hotel, he tripped on a sidewalk planter, fell. and broke his hip.  After surgery, he entered rehab for a few days but developed an infection, went back to the hospital, and then he developed pneumonia, to which he succumbed.  Their daughter, Rachel, has been with them the past few weeks.  Arrangements are being made for their return home.  Please keep them in your prayers.

May we all rejoice in the promise of the Resurrection.

Yvonne Thomas

The memorial service is scheduled for 3:00 PM (organ prelude begins at 2:30 PM) on Friday, May 16 at Westwood Lutheran Church, 9001 Cedar Lake Rd. in St Louis Park.