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Nelson named Citizen of the Year

Stuart Nelson was chosen by the citizens of New Richmond as the Citizen of the Year at a Chamber of Commerce Business After 5 event at Champs Sports Bar & Grill on Monday, Dec. 2. Nelson passed away on Nov. 7, at the age of 67. (Photo taken/submitted by Beau Petersen)1 / 2
Scott Nelson and Kara Gaspord (Stuart’s daughter) accepted the Citizen of the Year award for Stuart Nelson at the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year award ceremony on Monday, Dec. 5, at Champs Sports Bar & Grill. (Photo by Jordan Willi)2 / 2

The citizens of New Richmond voted, and they decided that resident Stuart Nelson, who passed away on Nov. 7, would be this year’s New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

“We are very honored, on Stuart’s behalf, to receive the Citizen of the Year award,” said Stuart’s brother, Scott Nelson. “Stuart was an extremely good guy and did a lot for the community. The No. 1 thing Stuart loved was preserving habitat for wildlife.”

Scott along with Nelson’s daughter, Kara Gaspord, accepted the award in his place at the Business After 5 event at Champs Sports Bar & Grill, Monday, Dec. 2. Scott gave a speech in honor of Stuart during the ceremony.

“I want to thank everyone who voted on Stuart’s behalf,” Scott said. “We miss him a lot.”

Stuart, a resident of the Cedar Lake area, was 67 when he passed away in early November at Regions Hospital. He was born in New Richmond and worked for 25 years at Bremer Bank, and served as Wisconsin Senior Lender from 1987-2000 and president of the New Richmond branch of Bremer Bank from 2000-2005.

“Stuart was my boss for 15 years and he always worked hard and played hard,” said president and chief executive officer of Bremer Bank Wisconsin, Dan Draxler. “Winning this award is a testament to the way he worked and the way he helped out the community as well as the wildlife.”

Most of Nelson’s family was present at the award ceremony to represent him, as well as a number of Nelson’s friends and other New Richmond residents.

“He did a lot of great work and had a lot of great fun,” Draxler said. “He gave his all in whatever he was doing.”

After he retired in 2005, Nelson took on a leadership role in the Star Prairie Fish and Game group, the Star Prairie Land Preservation Trust and the Cedar Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District.

According to Lisa Woletz, executive director at the chamber, more than 900 people voted for Citizen of the Year and almost two-thirds of those votes went to Nelson.

“Every single person nominated was absolutely, positively award-winning worthy,” Woletz said. “Congratulations again to Stuart’s family. Mr. Nelson’s family will represent him at the chamber annual meeting on Jan. 29, at R&D Catering.”

Nelson’s family will also act as grand marshals of the Fun Fest parade next summer on Stuart’s behalf.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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