Cover photo for Bruce Nelsen's Obituary
Bruce Nelsen Profile Photo
1964 Bruce 2021

Bruce Nelsen

April 11, 1964 — January 1, 2021


It is with great sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of Bruce W. Nelsen (aka Batman or Booman) on January 1, 2021 with his wife by his side.

Bruce was born in 1964 in Northfield, MN to Wayne and Judy Nelsen. After graduating high school, he went to college at the University of Minnesota and then UW River Falls. He met the love of his life, Shelly, while at a Disco Cures Cancer event, and when their eyes locked, it was love at first sight. From then on, the two of them would be inseparable. They took many trips together over the years as they always thought that a good family foundation began with parents spending time with each other.

Bruce worked a variety of jobs throughout his adult life, but the majority seemed to revolve around sales in one way or another. Even as a young boy, he’d go around wedding receptions selling pieces of chicken to guests for spare change to spend at the arcade. Sales was in his blood. The last 15 years of his life were spent at Hurtis Heating & Air, the job he most enjoyed. Bruce would never tell you that he was a salesman─he was a “comfort specialist”─because he never felt like he was selling. Instead, he would say that he’s simply a man creating relationships, building trust, and making friends. On multiple occasions, he would bring home syrup, baked goods, honey, beer and wine that his customers would gift him. As a particularly loquacious man, Bruce shared his life and his care through conversation, leaving work having made many a positive impression on customers and, oftentimes, new friends. He loved his job!

Bruce was an amazing man with a compassionate heart, a great sense of humor, a welcoming smile, and a contagious laugh. His family was everything. He spent many years running kids to and from daycare, school, sporting events, and friend’s houses. He and his family would frequently spend summers camping, boating and fishing. In his free time (which there didn’t seem to be much of), he would dabble in playing his guitars, researching guitar pedals, or learning a new song to play. Ultimately, Bruce had a passion for a wide array of music, his many guitars, but most of all, his family.

Bruce is survived by his wife, Shelly, and their four children, Kieran, Shaelyn, Miranda and Kayley; his mother, Judy Nelsen; his two sisters, Beverly Nelsen and Joyce Graham; and many other family and friends.  He is preceded in death by his father, Wayne, his grandparents on both sides of the family, and his beloved dog, Rocky.

Due to current public health concerns with COVID-19, a service will not be held.  A public Celebration of Life will be held in the late Spring or early Summer.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Bruce Nelsen Memorial Fund by visiting this link . Brainard Funeral Home – Wausau Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bruce Nelsen, please visit our flower store.


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