Sharon K. Nelson

Sharon Kay Nelson (better known as Kay), 83, of Clear Lake, took her last breath on earth Sunday, June 2, 2024 at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center, Mason City.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 8, at Zion Lutheran Church, 112 N. 4th St., Clear Lake, with Lay Minister Al Berge officiating. Burial will follow at Clear Lake Cemetery. A viewing will be held one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials are recommended to Gideons International (100% goes to Bibles).  

Kay was born Feb. 4, 1941, the daughter of Gerald and Jeannie (DeJoode) Van Helten of Pleasantville. She was united in marriage with William ‘Bill’ Nelson on June 28, 1964, in Des Moines, and they had three daughters after settling in Clear Lake.

Kay moved to Indianola her senior year and graduated from Indianola High School. She received a bachelor’s degree from Simpson College and taught 5th grade until she started a family.

Kay and her late husband, Bill, were the founders of Personal Development Institute which offered social services to people in need. She was a speaker for Future Women of America and in a bowling league, but her true passion was playing bridge. She became a platinum life master and shared tables with several well-known celebrities including Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. As another way of honoring her life and passion, the family would also encourage others to learn and enjoy the game of bridge.

She loved visiting with friends and family, flying, hang gliding, traveling, playing bridge, charming her audience and sharing the love of Jesus with others. She started “Bible Talk” when she was at Apple Valley. Each week residents were invited to talk about Jesus and she relied on the Holy Spirit to lead the conversation (along with her friends, Stephanie Thul and Sharon Patton). When Kay moved to Oakwood Nursing Home, she started a “Bible Talk” there that met every Thursday. Her faith was one of her superpowers and she wanted everyone to know the glory of believing in God.

Left to cherish her memory are daughters Kathleen (Steve) Gauthier, Louisville, Neb.; Shawna (David) Jones, Raleigh, N.C.; Jennifer (Gregg) Galbraith, Chadron, Neb.; and seven grandchildren, Emma, Samuel, and Zachary Gauthier, Savannah and Sterling Jones and Kayley and Caden Galbraith; along with family friends, Stacia Grandgeorge, Lisa Broers-Hickman and Sharon Patton, who were all by her side as she finished the race.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Andy; and husband, Bill, seven years ago to the day.

Testimonials to Kay may be posted at Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.


Clear Lake Mirror Reporter

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Clear Lake, IA 50428
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