Cover photo for Iola Nelson's Obituary
Iola Nelson Profile Photo
1925 Iola 2018

Iola Nelson

August 22, 1925 — June 13, 2018

Iola Joyce Nelson was born to Anna and Harley Grotjohn in Canby, Minnesota on August 22, 1925. Iola graduated from Canby High school in 1944 and soon thereafter moved to Sioux Falls where she worked at Morrell’s, and met her husband, Donald A. Nelson. She and Donald loved to dance at the Arkota Ballroom. They continued to regularly dance until they were unable to do so.

Donald and Iola were married in Bryant South Dakota on May 9, 1948. They had five children, Marilyn, Janet, Larry, Craig, and Lori.

Iola could sew and mend anything and was often asked by the neighbors to make alterations for their children’s wedding and prom dresses. Most children in the neighborhood loved Iola and many called her grandma.

When Iola’s children were growing she always made sure that there were sweet rolls for the neighborhood children to eat on Saturday morning. Many of the children read the books from her library. Iola raised the children while Donald worked for the railroad and she also worked as a teacher’s aide at Linnwood school.

She liked to read, do puzzles, and participate in church activities. She loved to quilt and did so every Wednesday with many of her church friends. Special to her were her brothers and sisters, Elaine, Betty, Bud, Darrel, Roger, & Shirley.

Iola’s Lutheran faith was her bond to the Lord. She and Donald rarely missed a Sunday church service. She was a member of First Lutheran Church for 71 years, where she spent countless hours working for the annual church bazaar. She was proud of her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

Grateful for having shared here life are her children: Marilyn Nelson ( friend Darrell), Janet Saatkamp (Alan), Larry Nelson (Edith), and Lori Simpson (John); 7 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren; special nieces, Edna and Elizabeth; and many extended family members. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Don, infant son Craig, sisters Elaine and Shirley, and brother Bud.

Memorials may be directed to First Lutheran Caring Ministry.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, June 17, 2018

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, June 18, 2018

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 16

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree