Betty E NelsonAugust 15, 1922 ~ December 19, 2017 (age 95)
Betty Elnora Nelson passed away peacefully on Tuesday December 19, 2017, at the age of 95, at the Corydon Specialty Care, with her children by her side. Betty was born in Lucas, Iowa, the 2nd child of 5 born to John Noah Baker and Velma Irene (Carson) Baker. In 1940, Betty graduated along with 7 other class members from Lucas High School. That same year she married Harold Swanson of Chariton. To this union two children were born, Tom Swanson & Linda Swanson Vredenburg. Harold passed away in 1961 at the age of 45. Betty worked several jobs during this time, mostly clerical, with the most notable being the Lucas County Auditor in the early 1960’s. In 1964 Betty married Tom Nelson of Bloomfield. She and Tom lived in several towns in Iowa, including Bloomfield, Muscatine, Ft Madison, Corydon, and Bedford before retiring to Chariton in 1990. No matter where they lived, Betty always enjoyed being involved in several civic groups and the local Christian Church. She could always be counted on to serve on any of the boards as she loved organizing and being in charge of whatever cause might need her help. Betty enjoyed playing golf when she was younger, she was passionate about the game of bridge & remained so even into her 90’s. Betty was a good player, winning a good share of the time. Betty also loved cooking and enjoyed collecting all kinds new recipes.
Tom and Betty loved to travel, mainly road trips in the united states. One of the things they enjoyed most was visiting Presidential Libraries. The Bill Clinton Library was probably one of the last, if not the last one they visited. Upon completion of their visit, mom felt compelled to express her thoughts to the staff that were present. I’m pretty sure they weren’t complimentary from what she retold upon returning home. Betty believed it was a pretty sorry excuse for a Presidential Library and since she had seen most of them, she felt she was a fair judge of that. Of course, her opinion might have been due to the fact that she was a staunch republican all of her life, even voting in the last election.
When Betty was in her 60’s, she was diagnosed with MS, at first it was mainly a nuisance, but the older she got the more it affected her health and mobility. This last year was particularly challenging for her, as she spent most of the year in hospice & only 2 months in the nursing home. It was within the last year and being upset about her situation, she fumed that the doctor that diagnosed her never said she would get this bad. I had to remind her, that the doctor probably didn’t expect her to live to be 95. It was through the struggle with this disease that we witnessed the amazing strength, fortitude, stubbornness, resilience & shear will that our mother possessed to deal with whatever life threw her way & to move forward, which she did right up to the end.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, 3 siblings and 2 husbands and daughter in law, Shirley Swanson. She is survived by her son, Tom, daughter, Linda & husband John, all of Chariton, sister, Marjorie Richards, 90, of Newton. Also surviving grandson, Jeff Swanson (Vicki), Chariton, granddaughter, Stacy McWilliams (Steve) Osceola, grandsons, Zane Vredenburg (Angeline) Urbandale, Colby Vredenburg (Nicole) Coral Springs, Florida, & Seth Vredenburg (Tara) Portland Oregon, along with 6 great grandchildren.
Memorials may be made to, Legacy Lodge in Chariton, or the Chariton Senior Citizen Center.