Zachary "Nelly" Nelson

December 5, 1984March 22, 2018
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Zach “Nelly” Nelson

12/05/1984 – 03/22/2018

Zach “Nelly” Nelson unexpectedly joined his daughter, Natalia, in Heaven on Thursday, March 22nd, 2018. Zach spent his early years learning to excel in sports and perfecting his charm. Whether on a ball field, in a hockey rink or walking through the halls of Anoka High School, Zach had a way of making every person near him feel as if they were his best friend. Never short on charisma or confidence, he knew how to make anyone smile and could convince the biggest skeptic that the sun was pungent.

As an athlete, Zach was “kind of a big deal.” After winning the Minnesota State High School hockey championship as a senior in high school, he went on to play division two football at Concordia University and junior college football at Central Lakes College. Shortly after, he traded his football cleats for a softball bat. He spent much of his adult life on the softball field where he formed endless friendships and coined many one liners. When he wasn’t on the field as

an athlete he could be found behind the bench coaching. Zach’s athletic career came full circle in early March when he again won the Minnesota State High School hockey championship, this time as an assistant coach with Orono High School.

In January of 2011 Zach met the love of his life, Brittany. Together they would sail the smoothest of seas and weather the heaviest of storms. In May of 2012, Zach and Brittany welcomed their beautiful twins, Blaize and Natalia. Just three short months later they suffered the deepest pain that any parent could endure when their daughter, Natalia, unexpectedly passed away. It took time and a great deal of strength but eventually they were able to pick each other up and find joy again. In July of 2014, Zach and Brittany welcomed their son, Sterling. Always unconventional, Zach decided it was time to make his family official and asked Brittany to be his wife. They married in April of 2016 at which point they became an official family of six. Although already a father figure, Zach became a step-father to Brittany’s son, Tate. Zach lived his life for his wife and children. He thrived as a father and spent much of his time sharing his love of sports with his sons. He made it a point to share in Brittany’s passions and, with some coaxing on her part, he even learned to like some “rabbit food.”

A loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend, Zach’s legacy will live on in those who have had the amazing privilege of knowing him. A Celebration of Life will be held at River City Extreme bowling center in Monticello, MN on Thursday, March 29th. Doors will open at 2:15 pm and the service will start at 3:00 pm. Keeping in line with Zach’s true style, please come dressed in your favorite sports apparel or casual wear. The road ahead will be long and difficult for Brittany and the boys.

In light of this, family and friends ask that you graciously consider donating to “Nelly’s Memorial” Go Fund Me page at

River City Extreme

3875 School Blvd

Monticello, MN



  • Celebration of Life Thursday, March 29, 2018

Zachary "Nelly" Nelson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sharon Hernandez

April 9, 2018

Brittany and family,

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I remember when we worked together and shared a laugh about tattoos and what happens when a man gets older.

You are all in our prayers.

Sharon Hernandez

Thede Krupp

March 27, 2018

Terribly sorry for the loss of your brother Sarah. My thoughts and prayers are with you & your family. Peace to All.

Judy Radcliff

March 26, 2018

My prayers for each of you. Zach always had a smile as he entered the Formation room....he probably thought it was easier than me tormenting him until he did smile. I am very happy that I could teach Zach...and receive a few lessons from him.