July 16, 1939 - January 15, 2021
Thelma Nelson, daughter of Joseph and Helen (Ratigan) Schwarte was born July 16, 1939 near Defiance, Iowa. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. She attended St. Paul’s Catholic School, where she graduated with the class of 1957. Thelma was united in marriage to Garry Smith. To this union five children were born: Tim, Todd, Troy, Trent, and Traci. They later divorced. Thelma then married Gordon Nelson on September 29, 2001 in Harlan. She cherished her relationship with Gordon. Thelma enjoyed staying busy with gardening, and baking, her specialty was homemade bread in a tin can. She also liked playing BINGO and solitaire, and watching westerns and gameshows. Christmas was her favorite holiday, with decorating and having her family all together. She especially loved time spent with her kids and grandkids. Thelma died on Friday, January 15, 2021 at Salem Lutheran Home in Elk Horn, Iowa, attaining the age of eighty-one years, five months, and thirty days. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Gordon, sons Trent Smith and Troy Smith, stepchildren LuAnn Nelson, Dickie Nelson, Johnie Nelson, siblings Irene Reischl, Sr. Madona Schwarte, Sr. Darlene Schwarte, Eugene Schwarte, Dwayne Schwarte, Mike Schwarte, and Harry Schwarte. She is survived by her children Tim Smith of Blair, Nebraska; Todd (Shireen) Smith of Omaha, Nebraska; Traci (Mark Haynes) Smith of Harlan, Iowa; 7 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren; stepchildren Janie (Gregory) Valdez of San Antonio, Texas; Jerry Nelson of Destin, Florida; Teresa (Mark) McLaughlin of Audubon, Iowa; siblings Albert (Gay) Schwarte of Defiance, Iowa; Karen (Clarence) Brinker of Ankeny, Iowa; Richard (Myrna) Schwarte of Templeton, Iowa; Joseph (Vernita) Schwarte of Defiance, Iowa; sister-in-law Glenda Hall of Defiance, Iowa; many nieces and nephews; other family members, and friends.
Thelma Nelson, daughter of Joseph and Helen (Ratigan) Schwarte was born July 16, 1939 near Defiance, Iowa. She was baptized and confirmed at St. Peter’s Catholic Church. She attended St. Paul’s Catholic School, where she graduated... View Obituary & Service Information
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