On Friday, November 1, 2013 Nellie Ann Coons peacefully passed away, surrounded by her family, after a courageous battle with breast cancer. Nellie was born in Detroit, Michigan, August 24, 1932 to Elmer and Mary Delong. The middle of three sisters, Nellie knew as a young child she longed to become a nurse. In 1952 she married her high school sweetheart, David Coons, in Clawson, Michigan at Guardian Angel Catholic Church. Nellie attended the University of Michigan until David went off to serve his country in the Korean Conflict. During that time, Nellie gave birth to the first of their eight children. When David returned, their family continued to grow, and began their first of many life long adventures, moving to Florida. Nellie earned her Associates Degree in Nursing at Brevard Junior College, working as a Licensed Practical Nurse while raising 6 children. From Florida they continued their travels to Washington and Idaho, before settling in Wisconsin.
In 1978, Nellie fulfilled her childhood dream and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning her Bachelors Degree in nursing. All the while she cared for her family, teaching her children so many valuable life lessons. She loved to sew, and passed that passion on to her five daughters. She created original, one of a kind fashions for her eight children, long before it was "in". Nellie excelled and gave her all in everything she did while serving as a role model to her children and grandchildren. She was respected in her field and served as a great mentor to so many young nurses. She retired from nursing in 1994 and found a new passion when she attended her first quilting retreat with her daughters. Her love for quilting blossomed into "The Country Quilter", resulting in priceless heirlooms that she made for her family and customers. But most of all, she enjoyed spending time with David and their loving family. Nellie lived life to the fullest, and especially cherished having her entire family together every summer at Camp Coons. These are memories that our families will treasure, and keep in our hearts forever.
Nellie is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, David Coons and their eight children, Michael (Jamie) Coons, Baraboo, Pamela (Mike) Pope, Mountain Home, ID, Patricia (Phil) Howe, Verona, Robert (Jean) Coons, Pardeeville, Susan (Allen) Schmid, Verona, Linda Pechan, Verona, James (Nancy) Coons, Verona, and Catherine (Robert) Matts, Verona. She is further survived by their 19 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren (with another on the way) and her two sisters, Ruth Patterson, Oxford, MI and Jeanne Shebuski, Hubertus, WI.
Nellie was preceded in death by her parents, Elmer and Mary Delong and her granddaughter, Lauren Jean Coons.
The family would like to thank the very special team of Nurses and Doctors at Meriter Hospital and Agrace HospiceCare, and the spiritual guidance and support of Father William Vernon, who allowed her to complete her journey here on Earth with the grace and dignity that she lived all her life.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at10 a.m. Thursday November 7, 2013 at ST. WILLIAMS CATHOLIC CHURCH, Paoli, WI with Father William Vernon presiding. Burial will follow at St. Williams Catholic Cemetery, Paoli. Visitation will be held at Ryan & Joyce-Ryan Funeral Home, Verona Chapel on from 4-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the UW Carbone Cancer Center or Agrace HospiceCare. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.