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Frances Claire Nelson
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Obituary for Frances Claire Nelson

Frances (Fran) Claire Nelson, 82, (formerly of Jewell, Iowa) passed away on May 9, 2017 from end-stage kidney disease in Eagan, Minnesota where she had resided since 2016.

Fran was born in Estherville, Iowa to Clarence and Gertrude Tokheim. She grew up in Armstrong, Iowa, with her five sisters until the family moved to Jewell, Iowa in 1946. She graduated from Jewell High School.

Frances married Eugene (Gene) Nelson in 1951. Gene passed away in 1963 and Fran remained in Jewell to raise their four children.

Fran was a secretary at South Hamilton Community School for over 25 years before retiring in 1990. Fran was an active member of Bethesda Lutheran Church, singing in the choir and participating in the women’s group. She was an avid reader and enjoyed crossword puzzles and knitting. She made hundreds of pairs of slippers over the years for family and friends as well as sharing her homemade krumkake, potato cakes and caramels. She instilled her love of reading in her children and grandchildren.

Fran was very proud of learning to downhill ski in her 50s and loved her Colorado trip to experience real mountain skiing. Her train trek through the mountains with nephew Evan was a fun memory for her. Biking in RAGBRAI twice with Gin, Lynn and Jerilyn was also a wonderful memory.

She enjoyed spending time with friends from choir, school, clubs and walking. Marilyn was her partner for Monday night shopping trips to Ames and for Sunday afternoon coffee.

Fran lived with chronic illness the last 25 years of her life and her family would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the many faithful friends who continued to visit, call and write to her over the years. She appreciated all of you so very much.

Frances was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene; parents Clarence and Gertrude Tokheim and sister Jane Cunningham.

Frances is survived by her children and their families:
Deborah (Rick) Bowles, Burnsville MN; Jeffrey Nelson, Agat, Guam; Lesa (Gary) Wiedemeier, Syracuse NY; Julie (Jim) Snyder, Pella IA.
She was very proud of her grandchildren: Ryan (Jihyun) Bowles, Amman, Jordan; Kyle (fiancée Carey Younger) Bowles, Oakdale MN; Step Granddaughter Tamara (Todd) Seidell, Gaylord MI; Sarah (Lucas) Fopma, Chicago IL; Matthew Snyder, Chicago IL; Scott Wiedemeier, New York NY; Blair Wiedemeier, New York NY. Great Grandchildren: Charlie and Henry Fopma and Ellen and Bryce Seidell.

Sisters Kathryn Hall, Shirley Hiserote, Jessie (Roger) Hiserote, Virginia (Lynn) Fletchall, brother-in-law Stan Cunningham, sisters-in-law Lorris Barkema and Cheryl Nelson, and her many nieces and nephews.

A very special thank you to The Commons on Marice staff in Eagan MN for their loving care and kindness, as well as Angel and Molly from the Park Nicollet Hospice team.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Jewell Fire and Rescue, Montgomery Memorial Library in Jewell or Bethesda Lutheran Church.

Memorial Service will be held at Bethesda Lutheran Church in Jewell at 10:30 a.m. May 27, 2017.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Frances Claire Nelson, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Celebration of Life




10:30 AM - 11:10 AM
Bethesda Lutheran Church

439 Main St
Jewell, Iowa 50131

Cemetery Details


Evergreen Cemetery

228 Little Wall Lake Road
Jewell, Iowa 50130


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