Weather Forecast


Nelia Lorentzen

Aug. 19, 1925-March 9, 2011

Former area resident Nelia Lorentzen, 85, most recently of Brooklyn Park, Minn., passed away Wednesday, March 9, 2011.

Nelia was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and friend who was beloved by many. Nelia Brooks was born to Hubert and Nan Brooks on August 19, 1925 in Monroe, Mich. She graduated from Monroe High School in 1943 and from Nyack College in Nyack, New York with a degree in missions. She received her nursing degree at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, Ill. While working in the emergency room, she met a handsome young doctor and fell in love.

Nelia married Ernest Stanley Lorentzen on June 13, 1950 in Powers Lake, N.D. Nelia and Ernest ("Doc") called Detroit Lakes their home for 38 years, and it was there that they raised their five children, Lois, Ruthann, Peter, Paul and Mark.

Nelia was a loving and endlessly giving mother who will be deeply missed by her children. She and Doc created a home full of love and laughter. In addition to raising a family, she was engaged in numerous civic activities; many recognized and honored her quick intellect, professionalism and ready wit.

She served on the Detroit Lakes School Board from 1960 to 1985, including many years as the board's president.

Nelia was appointed to the State Board of Teaching in 1980 by then-Governor Al Quie. She served on the Board of Regents for St. Paul Bible College, on the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board for the State of Minnesota, and was a highly sought-after speaker for the Christian Businesswomen's Association.

Her most meaningful position was serving as the president of the Gideons International Auxiliary.

Following Dr. Lorentzen's retirement from medical practice she and Doc made their home in Sun City West, Ariz. from 1989 to 2009. She was actively involved in Grace Bible Church while in Sun City.

Nelia had spent the last two years of her life in Brooklyn Park.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Hubert and Nan Brooks; her sister, Marjorie Ann Brooks; and brother, Franklin Brooks.

Surviving Nelia are her devoted husband Ernest; children, Lois Ann Lorentzen (Gerardo Marin), Ruthann Lorentzen, Peter (Chrissy) Lorentzen, Paul Lorentzen (Sandy Bueckel) and Mark Lorentzen (Julie Spanier); grandchildren, Mason and Healey Koch, Tucker, Hannah, Tessa, and Annee Lorentzen, and Aidan, Ethan, Asher and Liam Lorentzen; and her brother James (Jimmy) Brooks.

Interment will be at Maple Knoll Cemetery, 8511 Rice Lake Rd., Maple Grove, Minn.

Gifts in honor of Nelia Lorentzen may be sent to: Gideons International, P.O. Box 140800, Nashville, TN 37214 or on-line at

Cards and letters may be sent to: Dr. Ernest Lorentzen, 5100 Oak Grove Parkway, Brooklyn Park MN 55443.

Nelia Lorentzen was a woman of deep faith, great devotion to her God, her husband, her family, her friends, her community. Our loss is profound. Heaven's gain is great.