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Des Moines

Karen Rae Nelson, 82, passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 11, 2019 due to complications following a stroke in May. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, August 3, 2019 at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, 4126 Ingersoll Avenue, Des Moines. The family will greet friends in Waveland Hall from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., with the Celebration of Life Service to follow. A light lunch will be served immediately after the service. A graveside service will take place at 3:30 p.m. at Radcliffe Cemetery in Radcliffe, Iowa, where Karen will be laid to rest next to Luther, her loving husband of 55 years, who preceded her in death in 2011. Also preceding her in death is infant son, Kevin Ray; mother, Alice Stenberg; and father, Claire Stenberg.

Karen was born May 22, 1937 in Eldora, Iowa. She grew up in Radcliffe, Iowa and graduated from Radcliffe High School in 1955. Shortly after, Karen moved to Des Moines with two friends from high school and started working for an insurance company. Prior to graduation, Karen met the love of her life, Luther Nelson through a friend at school. While he was stationed in Korea with the Army, they became pen pals. Karen always wanted to be a wife and mother. Her lifelong dream came true on March 11, 1956 when she became Mrs. Luther Nelson.

As a stay at home mom, Karen could be found attending sporting events, dance recitals, school activities, or in the kitchen cooking, baking and canning for family and friends. What a magnificent cook she was! Her made from scratch cooking was well known amongst her family and friends. You could also find Karen in her flower gardens; where she enjoyed the beauty and tranquility of flowers and gardening. Karen loved and cherished time with her family. Her heart was full of love and pride. She enjoyed reading and singing to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, attend school events, and sporting events cheering them on! Her favorite song to sing them was “You are My sunshine”.

Karen returned to work at Mercy Hospital in the Special Functions department within food services where she continued to use her culinary talents. Following a 19-year career at Mercy, Karen retired – spending time with Luther, up until his passing and then her time with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Karen’s Faith in Christ has been steadfast as she dealt with medical set-backs in most recent years. She never gave up! Karen was a member of Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ.

Those left to cherish her loving memory are her children, Denise (Mike) Easley of Cedar Rapids, IA., Todd (Kim Cosgriff) Nelson of Johnston, IA, Jodi (Dan) Doyle of Des Moines, IA and Heidi (Chad) Bouton of Darian, CT. Her ten grandchildren: Kelli (Chris) Affrich, Kyle Easley, Nichole (Chris) Miller, Rhonda Cosgriff, Lindsey Cosgriff, Zachary Doyle, Allison Doyle, Alexandra Doyle, Will Bouton, and Abby Bouton. Also surviving are nine great-grandchildren, Oliver, Gavin, Nash, Warrick, Railynn, Jayden, Kai, Jia and Kamden. Karen is survived by her brother, Ronald (Marilyn) Stenberg of Ames, IA, in-laws, nieces, nephews and extended family; including friends who loved her like family.

Memorial contributions can be directed to Mercy Hospice House, 5820 Winwood Drive, Johnston, IA 50131 in appreciation of their loving and compassionate care of our Mom, Karen Nelson.

Service Details

Visitation:
Saturday, August 3, 2019
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Plymouth Congregational Church
4125 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa
Service:
Saturday, August 3, 2019
11:00 am
Plymouth Congregational Church
4125 Ingersoll Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa
Disposition:
Cremation
Hamilton's Crematory
Des Moines, Iowa
Arrangements:
Hamilton's on Westown Parkway
3601 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
(515) 224-0078

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