The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

March 1, 2013

Garla Mae Nelson

Clinton Herald

LANARK, Ill. — April 25, 1939 - Feb. 27, 2013

Garla Mae Nelson, age 73, of Lanark, Illinois passed away Wednesday, February 27, 2013 peacefully at home with her family at her side.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, March 4, 2013 at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Freeport, with a one hour visitation at the church prior to Mass. On Sunday, March 3, 2013 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. a visitation will be held at the Law-Jones Funeral Home, Savanna with a Rosary Service at 6:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Nelson Brothers Memorial Scholarship at Northeast High School, Goose Lake, IA, the Tourette Syndrome Association or the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be left for the family at

Garla was born April 25, 1939 in Davenport, IA the daughter of Raymond J. and Helen Winfred (Hughes) Smith.  She graduated from St. Joseph Catholic High School, DeWitt, IA with the Class of 1957. On June 16, 1973, Garla married Robert Nelson in DeWitt.

Garla worked for the Iowa State Bank in Clinton, IA. for eighteen years as Head Cashier and Vice President. She then enjoyed several years as a stay-at-home Mom while raising her children. After moving to St. Anthony, IA, Garla was a member, and worked for the Sacred Heart Catholic Church as a Secretary for fifteen years.

The Family later moved to Polo, IL where Garla was a member, and worked for St. Mary’s Catholic Church as Parish Secretary, Director of Religious Education and the Choir Director. The family then moved on to Lanark and became members of the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.

Garla will be dearly missed by her husband, Robert of Lanark, a son, Robert Raymond Nelson of Lanark; three daughters, Michelle “Shelly” Nelson of Sycamore; Barbara Jo Nelson of Lanark and Keri Ann Nelson of Sycamore; a sister in-law, Carolyn Lee of Goose Lake, IA; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Garla was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers, Raymond, J.L., Donald and Jack Smith.

Death date: Feb. 27, 2013