Cover photo for Judith "Judy" Nesselroad's Obituary
Judith "Judy" Nesselroad Profile Photo
1941 Judith "judy" 2022

Judith "Judy" Nesselroad

November 4, 1941 — August 29, 2022

Judith Ann Nesselroad, 80, of Makinen died Monday, August 29, 2022 at Essentia Health-St. Mary’s in Duluth.

Judith Ann Merk was born November 4, 1941 to David L. and Anna L. Merk, in St. Joseph, MO. She attended Convent of the Sacred Heart, where she graduated in 1959.  While vacationing with her family in northern Minnesota, she met Jim Nesselroad. They went on their first date to a dance at the Corbin Town Hall. They were married January 7, 1961. While living in Coon Rapids, MN, she had 2 children, James M (Jamie) Nesselroad III, and Jennifer M Nesselroad (Raihala). The family moved back to northern Minnesota in 1971. For a city a gal, she took to country living with a passion!  She was a true country wife and mom. She helped Jim build the family home, which they completed in 1973.  She worked on the farm, worked the livestock, and baled the hay.  She fed many neighbors and family who helped toss the bales every summer.   She and Jim brought Scottish "American" Highlanders to their farm in the late 1970’s.  The Kilpela family, neighbors for many years, helped on the farm. Shawn Kilpela, still manages descendants of that herd in Rock Creek, MN.  Nick and Cameron remain neighbors and kept an eye on Judy after Jim passed.

She picked, canned, and preserved everything.  One of her personal favorites was homemade sauerkraut that she shared with her father-in-law James, Sr. The family made annual trips to the Echo Trail for blueberries and Bayfield, WI for strawberries and cherries for many years.  The family especially enjoyed her jellies and pies.

During her career, she worked for the Aurora school district and the US Postal Service.  She enjoyed political office as a township secretary.  She was an active member of Palo Congregational Church, where she occasionally played the organ.  She wrote and printed the church bulletins and newsletters for many years. She loved cooking for church events, potlucks and coffee an'.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, James M. Nesselroad, Jr; her father, David L Merk; a brother-in-law, Richard Means and dear friends: Ed and Pam Kilpela and Willie and Charlene Raihala.

She will be dearly missed by her mother Anna L Merk of St. Joseph, MO; her sisters Robin (Roger) Dunham of Raymore, MO; Mary (Donald) Sharp of St. Joseph, MO; Pat (Richard) Means of St. Joseph, MO; her children Dr. James M. (Dr. Val Flacco) Nesselroad, III of Wataga, IL and Jennifer M Raihala, MS RN of Makinen, MN; her grandchildren: Harry Raihala, R.T. (R) (CT) (ARRT) of Makinen, MN; Hunter Nesselroad and Taylor Nesselroad of Springfield, IL; her goddaughter Shannon (Brian) Jussila of Eveleth, MN; and numerous loved nieces and nephews. 

Her family will remember her cooking and "forced family fun time" get-togethers. She treasured the annual family vacations and fishing contests at Crane Lake, MN.  She kept everyone connected on Facebook reminding them to be nice each morning and to say their prayers at night.  She claimed many friends as extended family, praying for and loving them as her own.  She stayed young at heart by being a surrogate auntie and grandma to many of her grandchildren's friends.   She will be missed by her traveling companion and pestor brat, Chewie, the Yorkie that she raised by hand.

Memorial service will be 10 a.m. Saturday, September 24, 2022 at the Palo Congregational Church with Pastor Isabelle Westman officiating.  Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church.  Inurnment will be in the Markham Cemetery.  Arrangements are by the Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home of Gilbert.


A luncheon will be held at 11:00am Saturday September 24, 2022 at the Loon Lake Community Center - 3816 Hwy 100, Aurora MN.

To order memorial trees in memory of Judith "Judy" Nesselroad, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, September 24, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Palo Congregational Church

5530 Loop 36, Aurora, MN 55705

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