Celebrating the life of Lawrence "Whitey" Nelson
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A Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, January 15, 2020, at 10:30 a.m., at the United Methodist Church of Mapleton, Iowa. Rev. Jena Finch-Manchester will officiate. Committal will follow in the Kennebec Cemetery of Castana, Iowa, with Military Rites conducted by Loren Hollister Post #496 of the American Legion of Mapleton, Iowa. A Visitation will be held on Tuesday, January 14, 2020 from 5:00 to 7:00 with a Prayer Service at 6:30 followed by a Masonic Service at the United Methodist Church of Mapleton, Iowa. The Armstrong - Van Houten Funeral Home of Mapleton, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online www.armstrongfuneral.com.
Mr. Lawrence “Whitey” L. Nelson was born on August 3, 1926, in Moorhead, Iowa. He was one of four sons born to Nelse and Lela H. (Lee) Nielsen (Nelson). He grew up in Castana and graduated from Castana High School in May of 1943. After graduation, Lawrence entered the United States Army during WWII. He spent some of his military experience serving his country overseas in the Philippines.
Following his tour of duty, Lawrence enrolled in Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska, where he received his BA degree in education in 1949 and his MA degree in school administration in 1957. While at Wayne State, Lawrence met his future wife, Marguerite Klanderud and the couple were wed in Wynot, Nebraska on June 2, 1949. To this union three children were born: Sharon, Robert, and Rhonda.
Lawrence started his teaching career in 1949 and throughout his 42 years in education, he mentored in Dixon and Plainview, Nebraska as well as Smithland and Mapleton, Iowa. You may remember Mr. Nelson as your coach, superintendent, athletic director, or principal. He served as a principal for 30 plus years, with 27 of those years being with the Maple Valley School District of Mapleton, Iowa, where he retired in 1991. Throughout his lifelong education career, Mr. Nelson had the joy of reaching up to three generations of students. During his administration he received numerous prestigious awards and acclamations.
Even with his busy schedule, Lawrence always enjoyed spending time with his family, friends, and special hobbies of playing cards and fishing. He was a member of the American Legion Loren Hollister Post No. 496 of Mapleton and a member of the Vesper Lodge No. 223 Onawa Charter, Grand Lodge of Iowa, A.F. & A.M.
Lawrence was active in his community holding leadership roles in boy scouts, golf course board and had great interest in all civic and school activities during his career and into his retirement.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Nelse and Lela Nielsen (Nelson); brothers, Harold Nelson and Burdette (Mable) Nelson; wife Marguerite Nelson and sister-in-law Dorothy Klanderud.
Left to cherish his memory are his children: Sharon Meleney of Council Bluffs, IA, Bob (Mary) Nelson of Marion, IA, and Rhonda (Dennis) Husak of St. Charles, MO; grandchildren: RJ (Faith) Meleney, Tyler (Jessica) Meleney, Beth (Roger Satorra) Nelson, Cory (Brittany) Nelson, Codi Husak, and Kimber Husak; one great grandchild, Elena Satorra; brother, Dean Nelson of Onawa, IA; sister-in-law, Bertha Nelson of Sloan, IA, brother-in-law Lewis Klanderud of Omaha, NE; extended family and friends.
212 S 7th Street
Mapleton, IA 51034
7:00 p.m. Prayer Service followed by a Masonic Service
212 S 7th Street
Mapleton, IA 51034