Marvel Nelsen

Marvel J. Nelsen, 94, of Newell, died July 30, 2017 at Newell Good Samaritan Society. 

Memorial services will be held Thursday, Aug. 3, at 10 a.m. at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Newell. Burial will be in St. John United Church of Christ Cemetery in rural Newell. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials may be made to the Newell Library. Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Newell is in charge of the arrangements. 

Marvel June Nelsen was born in 1923 on a farm near Cathay, N.D. to Herman and Florence Edinger. Her elementary education was completed in a one room rural school and in 1941, she graduated from high school in Fessenden, N.D.

Marvel married Everett O. Pearson on May 29, 1942 and they had three children: Marcia, Craig and Barth. As a minister’s wife, Marvel served parishes in Montana, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois and Iowa. Rev. Pearson passed away in 1969.

Marvel earned a bachelor’s degree from Aurora College in 1964 and was employed by Houghton Mifflin Publishing Company in Geneva, Ill. from 1964-1967. She then taught high school mathematics at Fonda High School from 1968-1972.

Marvel was a member of Newell First Congregational Church. She served on the board of Methodist Manor in Storm Lake for nine years from 1992-2000. She had been a member of PEO Sisterhood since 1958. She also had fun participating in the escapades of Red Hat Society.

Marvel married Robert J. Nelsen on Jan. 21, 1973. For many years they enjoyed activities at the Newell Golf Course and spending their winters in Arizona.

Marvel loved to travel and to see new sights and explore new places. She especially had fond memories of the many family vacations taken when her children were young. She also loved books and enjoyed reading a far ranging and diverse selection of material.

Marvel had fond memories of growing up on the family farm in North Dakota. She would enjoy telling stories about riding her pony Dewey, swimming and sailing on the James River and playing with her ‘cousins by the dozens’ at family get togethers. One of her favorite memories was from childhood Christmases. When the snow was deep, her father would hitch a team to the bobsled, horses decked out for the occasion with bobbed tails and sleigh bells attached to their harnesses and they would make their way seven miles across the prairie to their country church. While in high school, Marvel developed a love for singing and enjoyed being part of both a trio and sextet. Later in life, she would still enjoy randomly breaking out with one of her favorite silly songs. She related many of her childhood experiences along with tales of her grandparents homesteading in what was then the Dakota Territory in a privately published book, “Down Home, Up North.”

Preceding her in death were her parents; first husband, Rev. Everett Pearson; brother Doran Edinger; daughter Marcia; son Craig; and step-granddaughter Lisa Nelsen Sauter.

She is survived by her husband Robert Nelsen of Newell; son Barth Pearson of Pocahontas; stepson Jim (Marilyn) Nelsen of rural Albert City; stepdaughter Marie (John) Lowe of Bettendorf; three step-grandchildren: Alan (Karna) Nelsen, Sally Lowe and Heather (Rich) Howard; eight step-great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Sue Edinger; and many extended family members and friends.