BIrds 02

Nancy (O'Brien) Samuelson

February 20, 1933 ~ May 26, 2022 (age 89)


On May 26, 2022, our loving wife and mother passed into her next life peacefully at home surrounded by her family. She was 89 years old. Nancy was born on February 20, 1933 to Earl and Althea (McIntyre) O’Brien in Brainerd, where she spent her entire life. She graduated from Brainerd High School in 1951. 

Nancy met her High School Sweetheart Donald Samuelson as Sophomores at BHS. They married on May 17, 1952 and celebrated 70 years of marriage in the week before her passing. They welcomed son Stephen in 1953, and daughters Laura in 1955, Paula in 1958, and Christine in 1960. The Samuelson’s lived in the same house in Southeast Brainerd for sixty-six years.

In addition to raising her family, Nancy worked as a receptionist for local professionals. Having never driven a car, she walked everywhere, resulting in her noticeably beautiful legs. Nancy had a huge heart and arms that welcomed everyone. Her smile would brighten up the room, and your day. She had a love and affinity for all animals and always had at least one cat as part of the family. Wildlife was attracted to her kind and gentle nature, and she would feed ducks out of her hand each summer at the cabin. Nancy was an avid reader, loved swimming in the lake or at the YMCA, dancing with Donald, visiting casinos, playing pinochle, and sending cards. She remembered all family and friends important dates--births, anniversaries, and holidays and kept a significant cache of greeting cards sent by the hundreds each year. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Althea, siblings, Jack O’Brien (Larry), Donald O’Brien (Kathy), Marilyn Weisgram (Larry), and Sharon Link (Ralph). Her greatest loss was that of her daughter Laura, who died in 1985 after suffering Leukemia. Nancy is now reunited with family and friends who welcome her with open arms.  

Nancy is survived by her husband, Donald Samuelson of Brainerd; son, Stephen Samuelson (Jody); daughters, Paula Pflepsen of Albuquerque, and Chris Samuelson of Brainerd. Her grandchildren, John Smaaladen (Shannon), Charlie Eggen, Adam Fladebo (Laurel), Nichole Fladebo, Sean Pflepsen (Nikki), Meghan Pflepsen-Zender (Leigh), and Patric Pflepsen; and great-grandchildren (Zachary, Izabel, Oliver, Lilia and August) mourn her loss.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 3, 2022 at St. Francis Catholic Church in Brainerd. There will be a visitation for Nancy on Thursday, June 2nd from 4-7 pm at Nelson-Doran Funeral Home, Brainerd and for an hour before Mass at the church on Friday.  Mass will be immediately followed by a graveside burial ceremony at Evergreen Cemetery. Please join the family in refreshments at the American Legion Post 255 in Brainerd from 12:00 to 2:00 PM.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nancy (O'Brien) Samuelson, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Nancy

We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Nelson-Doran Funeral Home

Join in honoring their life - plant a memorial tree


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Nancy (O'Brien) Samuelson
© 2022 Nelson-Doran Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility