Elizabeth (Liz) Nelson
MADISON, Wis. — Elizabeth (Liz) Nelson, born Darlene Elizabeth Nelson, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at her daughter’s home on March 31, 2017. She was born June 21, 1930 in North Henderson, IL, the daughter of Iver Wilhelm Nelson of Skane, Sweden, and Elizabeth Regina Lundeen Nelson of Alexis, IL. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister Bonnie (Frank) Turnbull of Griggsville, IL, and youngest daughter Lucille Patricia Brown (1957-2014).
She is survived by a sister Joyce (Donald) Swedlund, of Galesburg, IL and three daughters: Kristine (Robert) Werner of Madison, Diane (Michael Klitzke) Brown of Madison, and Julia (Knight) Blank of Kansas City, MO, along with their children, Katrien Werner (Derek O’Brien), Daniel Werner (Ana), Loren Watson (Becky Smith), Jennifer Blank, and a precious great grandson Benjamin Werner. Her adored cats Princess and Thomas also survive her.
Liz graduated high school as valedictorian in1948 from Victoria, IL, and studied nursing for two years. She was married to Donald Ray Brown of Victoria, IL from 1950-1971. She earned a BA Magna Cum Laude from UW-Eau Claire at age 42 and did three years of graduate study at UW-Stout and UM.
An avid reader and learner, she loved book clubs, study groups, CNN, senior classes at UW, word games, and was a master bridge player. She sewed her daughters’ clothes and led Girl Scouts in Galesburg, IL, and Quincy, FL, where she was also a community leader in local and state PTA, Jr. Women’s Club and Jaycettes. In Quincy, she also established the first children’s public library. She volunteered for decades at the Red Cross blood banks in Quincy, FL, Medford, WI and Eau Claire, WI.
Liz moved to Madison, WI, in 1982 to be Housemother for Chi Omega Sorority and Alpha Phi Sorority for ten years, then worked ten years at M&I Bank downtown in Safe Deposit, retiring in 2005 at age 75. She loved to travel and learn about other cultures and made several trips to Europe and South America, visiting her grandchildren abroad. Traveling Europe herself via Eurail Pass was a highlight in her life.
She loved the Lord and was an active church volunteer for most of her life in Luther League, altar guild, deaconess, Sunday school, board member, choir, and more. She will be missed by Bethel Lutheran Church members, along with her beloved family.
A celebration of life will be held in May at Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison. The family requests memorials to Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, Agrace Hospice, or Bethel Lutheran. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com.
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