Daroline Dale Nelson was born the second of five children to Darrow Dale Nelson and Ada Mae Humble Nelson on December 9, 1930 in Pennington County, South Dakota. Her early years were spent in Clough, Meade County and later they moved to Rapid City. In the early forties, the Nelson family, the Stacey family, the Ridenour family, they Boyer family and the Nunnemaker family migrated to Humboldt County, California settling in Rio Dell, where most of the men found employment with the Pacific Lumber Company in the mill and woods operations.
Mom attended grade school in Rio Dell and her freshman year at Fortuna High School. The Nelsons made one more major move to Smith River, California and never left Del Norte County again. Mom attended Del Norte County High School her sophomore, junior, and senior years where she was active as a cheer leader and sang in the Glee Club. She many lifelong friends there and graduated in the class of 1949. Sometime during this time her older brother Bob introduced her to Jim Presler at a dance at the Grange Hall in Harbor, Oregon. They were married August 20, 1950 and had five children.
Mom was a stay-at-home mother and felt her obligations were to her husband and her children. With cooking, cleaning, laundry, discipline, and other tasks, she had more than a full-time job at home. Home was a safe haven from the many forces that seem to tear families apart these days. Sleepovers with cousins and family friends were the norm. During this time, Mom and Dad began foster parenting.
After her family was nearly raised, Mom began the second phase of her working career. She became a monitor at the Fort Dick Academy. This job was comparable to being a teacher’s assistant. She loved this job, the people she worked with and the students. She held this job until Dad passed away. At the age of 65, Mom began her third and final phase of her working career. She became a greeter Walmart and remained in that position until retiring at the age of seventy-five. She loved the interaction of welcoming customers, wiping wet carts for shoppers, and giving smiley face stickers to the little ones.
After she retired, Mom was able to make occasional road trips to Portland and Spokane to see her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
She was able to travel to Europe with daughter Jan and her son-in-law Dan. In 2017, she went on an Alaskan cruise with most of her children and their spouses. In July 0f 2018, every surviving member of the extended Presler clan gathered for a family reunion, 53 three people in all, Mom could not have been much happier and the love for her family showed.
As a child in South Dakota, Mom accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior. In about 1956 or so, Dad made the same decision, and together, they decided to give their lives to the Lord by following the Biblical mandate in the third book of John by being born again, not a physical birth, but a new spiritual beginning. Through thick and thin, good and bad, happiness and sadness, gains and losses, good health and bad, they held the course, never looking back. What better example and legacy could a couple provided for their family?
Despite having both her hips replaced in her eighties, Mom often mentioned how thankful she was that she never needed to take medications until the age of 86. It was at this time that cancer began making its ugly appearance. Each new symptom was treated separately, and it wasn’t until September of 2020 that she learned that she had stage IV cancer and that there was no hope for recovery. The treating doctor told her she had about six months to live. In typical fashion Mom stated that God was in control and faced the future with calmness and serenity. Through much of July and August, Mom was much sicker than she let her children know. In His mercy, God did not allow Mom to have an unbearable time, and just three months after her diagnosis and nine days after her ninetieth birthday, she passed into the arms of Jesus at her own home. During her last weeks, she was provided around the clock care by her three daughters who were with her when she passed.
Mom was preceded in death by her parents, Darrow and Ada Nelson, her husband Jim Presler, her brother Robert Nelson, the first Del Norte County boy to be killed in Korea, her brother Ray (Buckshot or Bucky) Nelson, her sister Alta Leishman, and her two grandsons Jamey Presler and Steven Beaumont.
She is survived by her sister Opal Brown, sons Robert Presler (Donna), Larry Presler (Shelly), daughters Jan Beaumont (Dan), Bonnie Carrell (Larry), Kathy Dresback (Mark), foster son Ben DeMaris, foster daughter Sharon Hale, 14 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, extended family, and many friends from the community and the church.
The family wants to thank everyone who sent greeting cards, birthday and Christmas cards, made phone calls, and stopped by to visit Mom in her last days. She looked forward to receiving her mail and was visibly elated with all the attention. You made the final days of a very sick lady and a lot more bearable. We are also grateful to have been able to keep her home during her final days and not have her in a hospital, with limited visiting privileges, during these days of COVID.
Interment was provided by Wier’s Mortuary Chapel in the Del Norte County Veteran’s Cemetery. A memorial service will be held in the gymnasium at Smith River Baptist Church on Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 3:00 pm.
Arrangements are under the direction of Wier’s Mortuary Chapel.