Janice Arlene Nelson, 93, of Clear Lake, died Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minn.
Janice was born May 28,1927, in Thornton, Iowa to William and Mayme (Matson) Duitscher on the family farm. Although growing up on a farm during The Great Depression wasn’t always easy, she soon realized how fortunate their family was with so many people out of work and hungry. She went on to graduate in 1944 from Clear Lake High School at age 17 and then joined the war effort by going to work for the FBI in Washington, D.C. Not long after, Janice married her high-school sweetheart, Tom Nelson, on March 6, 1945 in Long Beach, Calif. where he was stationed during his service with the U.S. Navy during WWII.
After the war ended Janice and Tom returned to Clear Lake, where they lived and raised their family. Tom passed away in 2010. The couple is survived by their four children, Dr. Michael Nelson (and wife, Jananne) of Minnetonka, Minn., Dr. Kirk Nelson (and partner Lynn Evans, of Clear Lake), Kim Nelson (and wife, Jennifer) of Kirkland, Wash., and Nina Gravelle, of Eden Prairie, Minn.
Janice was the proud grandmother of eight grandchildren, Dana Nelson, Nicole (and her husband, Dr. Andrew) Moffitt, Tanner Nelson, Alex and Jordan Nelson, Matson, Samuel, and Anna Gravelle; as well as
four great-grandchildren, Diego and Amir Perez Nelson, and Cade and Grace Moffitt.
Janice was preceded in death by her brother, Arnold Duitscher, who passed away in 2016, at the age of 91. Arnie’s wife, Madlyn, and their daughters survive Arnold and Janice.
Janice and Tom were the founders of Nelson Petroleum Products of Clear Lake, Iowa, and they owned the Super 8 Motel, in Clear Lake, for 28 years, as well as several gas stations. While Janice helped run the businesses, she also found time for many hobbies including her love of cooking, gardening and arranging flowers for weekly church services and local weddings.
Janice’s cooking was a delight to all, with her meals and holiday gatherings to be remembered in the years to come. Her spectacular garden outside the family home was often admired and photographed by locals.
Janice was a member of the Clear Lake Evangelical Free Church, the PEO chapter EA, in which she held many positions including president, Twentieth Century Club, and the Clear Lake Garden Club. She followed University of Iowa sports for over 60 years, attending four University of Iowa Rose Bowls, and attended the Calgary and Los Angeles Olympics.
A memorial service will be held at a later date, due to
the pandemic. There will be a private internment on Friday.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to the Central Gardens of North Iowa, the Association for the Preservation of Clear Lake, and the Evangelical Free Church.