Obituary: Donna Nelson


A funeral service for Donna Charlene Nelson, 88, of Eldridge, will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at the Weerts Funeral Home, Davenport. Visitation will be two hours prior to the service on Saturday at the funeral home. Private burial will be Monday, Jan. 6, at Rock Island National Cemetery.

Mrs. Nelson died Thursday, Dec. 26, 2019, at the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, Bettendorf.

Donna Gerdts was born March 13, 1931, in Davenport, the daughter of Mary (Kline) and Harold Gerdts. She graduated from Davenport High School in 1948.

She married John “Cliff” Nelson on Oct. 6, 1951. He preceded her in death.

She began working as a switchboard operator for Bell Telephone Company before she graduated from high school, and retired from AT&T in 1990.

She was a lifelong member of the Telephone Pioneers of America, a lifelong member and past president of the Embroiders Guild of America, and volunteered at New Hope Presbyterian Food Bank.

Her hobbies were embroidery, traveling, visiting with friends, and playing cards.

Survivors include her children, John (Cheryl) Nelson, Holly Tappendorf, Shelley Simon, Tracey Bailey, and Mark (Teresa) Nelson; 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Pastor Gene Gerdts and an infant brother, and a sister-in-law, Barb (Gerdts) Mitzelfeldt.

Memorials may be made to the Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House, the New Hope Presbyterian Food Bank, or Mission Starfish Haiti.

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