It is with shock and broken hearts that we announce the tragic death of our beloved son, brother, grandson, nephew and friend, Drew Allen Nelson.
On Friday, Feb. 21, 2020, Drew was killed in a tragic car accident with his best friend, Kolton Eivins.
Born in Mason City, Iowa, on July 2, 2004, Drew was at home in Winterset, Iowa. Drew was a sophomore at the Winterset High School, where he not only attended but provided ongoing entertainment to students, teachers and administrators alike, with his stunts and comedy acts. Drew was also involved in FFA through the school.
Drew was a very passionate and well-rounded outdoorsman. He set many records in our family, from some of the biggest fish caught, to the number of hours in a day that one could possibly hunt and fish. Drew often said that his plans following graduation were to become a professional goose hunter and he was well on his way.
One of Drew’s most cherished memories was a trip to Dismal River Club in Mullen, Neb., to compete in the Storm on the Prairies Shootout with his uncle Eric Lonnevik. Together they won the Triple Crown Team Championship. Drew went on to amaze everyone in attendance as he won the overall Individual Championship at only 14 years old. Drew was the youngest champion that they had ever had, earning him the title “the best gun in the west”. Drew was looking forward to taking another trip to Dismal River Club in April 2020.
Hunting wasn’t something Drew saved for just the big events. Drew seemed to be able to find a way to hunt or fish most days. In fact, for Drew, most of the rest of life, such as chores and school, were just an interruption to hunting and he could be found most hours of the day outdoors in search of game and fish. Whether it was deer, turkey, waterfowl, upland game birds, furbearers or whatever was in season, Drew approached it all as the professional he was and with heart – as he did everything. He was always respectful to the landowners as well as the animals he hunted.
Hunting and fishing were not time away from those he loved, as Drew was able to combine his passion for hunting and fishing with his love for family and friends. Most hunting or fishing excursions involved time with those he loved. Drew was also a proud team member on the Winterset Trap Team and Des Moines Clay Crushers.
Drew did take a break from hunting once in a while and it was so that he could fish. Drew enjoyed fishing and spent much of his time on the local lakes, farm ponds and rivers. He enjoyed trips to Canada and Minnesota with his grandparents and family. He went deep sea fishing which opened up a whole new world for him and he was looking forward to another trip to the ocean. Drew was a great teacher and mentor to those younger than him. Many kids have fond memories of Drew helping them get their first fish both on and off the hook.
Although Drew wasn’t with us for as long as we hoped, he touched many lives and hearts. Whether it was at school or home, to be around Drew was to be loved. Drew had a huge heart and a smile that could literally change your day. He had a twinkle in his eye that reminded you to lighten up, have fun, and laugh more. Drew had a signature look that convinced you that you were loved. We all loved Drew and loved being around Drew. He relished in the opportunity to make others smile and laugh. And age or species did not matter, from the young to the elderly, human or dog, Drew was easy to love. If you met Drew, you have been touched by his smile and hopefully one of his incredible hugs.
Drew was proud organ donor, knowing first-hand at a young age, the difference that an organ made in his Dad’s life. Although Drew was unable to donate his organs, he was so proud to say, “Yes” to that question when he got his driving permit and would hope that you do the same.
Unfortunately, our sadness over the loss of Drew is doubled with the loss of his best friend, Kolton. Kolton and Drew were inseparable and did everything together. Our hearts are broken that they passed away together but their passion for the great outdoors is what united them in both life and in death. Our comfort is in all the memories and the great example they set of how to find the fun in everything while living life to the fullest.
Drew is preceded in death by his father, Brian Nelson; grandfather, Greg Nelson; step grandmother, Marietta Wood; and two dogs, Macy and Ducky. He is joined in death by his friend, Kolton Eivins.
Surviving Drew are his mother, Elisa (Marcus) Wood; step mother, Mary Nelson; brother, Lane Nelson; step siblings, Jacob, Natalie, Isaac, and Isabel Wood, and Samantha, Alex, and Erin Heldenbrand; grandparents, Dan and Lorann Lonnevik, and Larry and Dixie Treinen; step grandparents, Mike and Carolyn Wood; great-grandmother Ruth Trampel; step great-grandmother, Doris Dorr; uncles, Eric (Jennifer) Lonnevik and Brad (Lindsey) Nelson; aunts, Amy (Eric) Olson, Alyssa (Robert) Maske, and Sarah Treinen; cousins, Brookelynn and Cole Lonnevik, Emma Karlson and Ella Olson, Cash and Cade Nelson, and Hannah, Olivia and Thomas Maske; two dogs, Layla and Bear; along with many other loving extended family members.
A visitation will be 4-8 p.m. on Friday, March 6, at New Bridge Church in Winterset. Funeral service will be Saturday, March 7, beginning at 1 p.m. at New Bridge Church. Interment will take place in the Winterset Cemetery. One thing we know for sure – Drew would want you there in casual, comfy clothes. The family would welcome your company and memories of a life well-lived.
We are filled with sadness but Drew leaves us smiling through our tears. Although we are left wanting a million more moments with Drew, he left us with even more precious memories of him.
Drew’s dream was to be a professional hunting guide to share his love of the sport and amazing talent with others. As a youth outdoorsman, Drew enjoyed many opportunities including camps, competitions, and team shooting sports. Drew’s family plans to use a portion of Drew’s memorial funds to donate to these various youth organizations. We want his dream to live on by helping these organizations provide the same opportunities Drew loved and learned from. He may not be here to guide them in person, but we would love his dream and legacy to live on.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift to his memorial fund: American State Bank, Elisa Wood/Drew Nelson Memorial account; Venmo @drewnelsonmemorial; Paypal email@example.com; or mail to Elisa Wood, PO Box 23, Winterset IA 50273.
Arrangements are being handled by Caldwell Parrish Funeral Home, Winterset Chapel.