Nancy Olson-Wheeler-Erickson- Gravley, 81, of Jackson, Minnesota passed away on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at the Sanford Jackson Medical Center. Visitation will be held from 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, at the Osterberg Funeral Home in Jackson. Funeral service will begin at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Joel Fredrikson officiating. Burial will follow at the Slaabakken Cemetery.
Nancy Jane Olson was born in Jackson on August 20, 1941 to Otmer and Mabel (Nagel) Olson. The family lived on Bluff Avenue before moving to their farm north of Jackson. Nancy and her sister, Lolly, milked cows, picked eggs, baled hay, and cared for many animals including their horses. Nancy was an excellent rider and was a member of the Jackson County Saddle Club. In the rare times when they weren’t working, Nancy and Lol would lay on their horses and just talk about life. They spent a lot of time playing in the woods along the Des Moines River near the Black Bridge. The sisters played slide guitar as a duet and entertained radio listeners with live performances.
Nancy graduated from Jackson High School in 1959. She married David Wheeler. They lived in Worthington, Jackson, and Lakefield and had four children. Following a divorce, Nancy married Raymond Erickson in 1970. They had one son. When Ray died, Nancy moved to Brandon, SD and worked in several floral shops and hung wallpaper with Lol. In 1990, she married Donald Gravley and lived in Windom. After Donald passed away, Nancy moved to Jackson, living there for the past 25 years until her death on April 27, 2023.
She loved hosting family gatherings during the holidays or just a Sunday afternoon watching the Vikings. She cared deeply for her family and loved to hear about their lives. She would laugh or cry with anyone. Nancy knew the value of taking the time to enjoy something. There was no need to rush a conversation, a game, a walk in the woods, or a meal. It’s why she enjoyed coloring. According to Nancy, “it keeps your hands busy, and you can still visit”.
Nancy is survived by four children: Terry (Tracy) Wheeler of Minneapolis, Julie (Kevin) Mathias of Heron Lake, Paul (Krista) Wheeler of Olathe, KS, Eric (Loree) Erickson of Sioux Falls; daughter-in-law, Danette Wheeler; niece, Robin Rowe; nephew, Rodney Troff; 13 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister, and son, Mark Wheeler.
Nancy will be missed greatly but never forgotten. Memories of Mom/Grandma will live on forever.
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