Mary Ann Nelson, 75

Published 10:54 am Friday, September 30, 2011

Mary Ann Nelson, 75, of Austin, died Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011, at her home, surrounded by the love of her family.

Mary Nelson

Mary Ann Bartesch was born Dec. 8, 1935, in Calmar, Iowa, and later moved to Austin with her family. She graduated from St. Augustine High School in 1953. The day after graduation, she married her high school sweetheart, Joseph “Franny” Nelson, and they made their home in Austin, where they raised their nine children.

Mary Ann’s life centered on her home and family. Her house was always open to her kids and grandkids who would often stop by for a visit or settle in for a longer stay. If they were really lucky, “Grandma” would have one of her famous pies in the cupboard. Mary Ann loved the outdoors and enjoyed trips up north to camp and fish. When home, she’d often sit outside on her patio swing, enjoying the sunshine and the peacefulness of the woods around her, with her dogs at her feet and a cat in her lap.

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Survivors include her husband of 58 years, Joe Nelson, Austin; children, Tim (Sherri) Nelson, Austin; Tom (Lorrie) Nelson, Austin; Ted (Sharon) Nelson, Kimberly, Wis.; Terry (Rita) Brownsdale; Todd (Margaret), Kasson; Toby (Diana), Harmony; Suzy Nelson Cook, Hastings; Tony (Stasia) Nelson, Valrico, Fla.; and Leanne Nelson, Austin; 33 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by five siblings, Mike (Lynette) Bartesch, Austin; Joanne Bartesch, Austin; Jim (Penny) Bartesch, Austin; Nancy (Mark) Gerber, Adams; and Carol (Jerry) Bartesch, Forest City, Iowa.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Henry and Angela Bartesch, and her infant great-granddaughter, Pearl Annabelle Severson.

A Mass of Christian burial will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, at St. Augustine’s Church.

Visitation with the family will take place at the church before the service, beginning 10:30 a.m. Cancer may have taken Mary Ann’s life, but her spirit lives on in the hearts of those who carry her love with them every day. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice – MCHS, 1000 1st Drive NW, Austin.