Barbara Louise Nelson Erdahl, daughter of Hilmar and Louise (Hermundstad) Nelson, was born December 12, 1931. She grew up on a beautiful farm near Frost, MN with her big sister, Naomi and her little brother, David. Barbara graduated from Frost High School in 1949. Before graduating, she met a dashing older man named Adorphus Carlyle Erdahl who was attending the Minnesota University of Agriculture. They were smitten and attended LBI (Lutheran Bible Institute) together for one year. When Adorphus’ father fell ill, he went home to farm the Erdahl land. Barbara continued her second year at LBI and earned her teaching certificate at the University of Minnesota. Barbara and Adorphus (Duffy) were married on June 25th, 1954. She continued teaching elementary school in Winnebago, MN and in Blue Earth, MN until James Nelson was born in 1960, followed by Nancy Clare in 1961.
Barbara was a wonderful wife and mother. She and Duffy labored shoulder to shoulder to build their family and their farm. They were a great team. As they say, behind every good man is a great woman – this was true of Mr. and Mrs. Erdahl. Barbara was a “behind the scenes type of gal” – but Duffy was always quick to give her the credit. She used her wonderful teaching skills to nurture her children and taught many years of Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. In 1972, she became the first person in our family to graduate from college. She graduated from Mankato State University with honors, earning a BA in Education. Barbara taught for several years at Blue Earth Elementary. The Erdahl farm was bustling. Barbara and Duffy hosted over 75 university students from all over the world – Duffy training them to farm, and Barbara cooking many, many wonderful meals. Bean walking season was busy when the “Erdahl cousins” came to stay, walk beans, and eat! How did she buy all the food, cook the meals…and manage to walk beans with us in the afternoons!?!
Barbara loved music! She played piano and organ for Bethany, Dell and United Lutheran churches for many years. She also loved church and volunteered for so many things through out the years with her Ladies Aides and Circles. She made many care boxes and quilts for Lutheran World Relief.
Grandchildren were her joy and she loved them all: Katie, Kyle, Sara, Laura and Clare. She was always there to help and encourage. Perhaps the most enduring gift to her family was being a prayer warrior for us throughout the years. Colossians 4:2 was underlined in her bible and she most certainly lived it. “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.”
As dementia stole her memories, she delighted in her great grandchildren – Ben, Noah, Allie and Levi as well as the wonderful people that cared for her in St. Lukes in Blue Earth and Parkview Care Center in Wells. Granddaughter-in-law Kerry Erdahl said it best. “When you walked into her room, you always felt loved.”
1 Corinthians 13:13 “So now faith, hope and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
Her funeral will be held at Nasinec Funeral Home in Wells, MN on June 3rd, visitation at 10:00, service at 11:00 with lunch and fellowship following the service. A private interment with the family will be on Sunday, June 2nd at the Dell cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Parkview Care Center Garden and Patio Fund. We would like to enhance the outdoor patio where residents and caregivers can enjoy God’s great outdoors. Mom spent sweet time there, even though dementia stole her words, she could still sing all the words to Jesus Loves Me because He was in her heart!