Laura Byrd (Rogers) Nelson (1923 - 2012)

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Funeral services for Laura B. Nelson, 89, were conducted by Pastor Steven Frock on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, at 3 p.m. at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira. Interment was in the St. John's Lutheran Cemetery west of Exira. The honorary casket bearers were Duane Hilsabeck, Dale Fredriksen, and David Nelson. The casket bearers were T.J. Hansen, Justin Hansen, Larry Kendle, Wayne Petersen, Dennis Garnett, and Ron Owen. The Kessler Funeral Home in Exira, was in charge of the arrangements.
Laura Byrd Nelson, the daughter of Carl and Laura Hinkle Rogers, was born June 22, 1923, at her parents' home near Brayton, and died June 23, 2012, at the Exira Care Center in Exira, at the age of 89 years and 1 day.
Laura was baptized and confirmed at the Hamlin Lutheran Church in Hamlin. She attended Oakfield Academy near Brayton, rural school Exira #4, and then graduated from the Exira High School with the Class of 1940. After graduation, Laura taught elementary school in Greeley Township, Audubon County.
On June 12, 1943, she was united in marriage to Gunnerth I. Nelson at Randoff Field in San Antonio, Texas where Gunnerth was stationed while serving in the U.S. Medical Corp. During this time Laura was employed at a local department store. They returned to Iowa and lived and farmed near Elk Horn. They grew grain and raised livestock for many years until they retired and moved into Exira, on Jan. 29, 1980. Laura and Gunnerth enjoyed card club, birthday parties and their yearly trip to the Iowa State Fair. Gunnerth died March 30, 1997. Laura lived in their home until she moved to the Exira Care Center on March 10, 2008.
Laura was a member of the Exira Lutheran Church, belonged to the Ladies Circle, and enjoyed taking part in many church activities. She helped with Congregate Meals for several years. Laura was a busy homemaker, enjoyed growing flowers and vegetables, cooking, baking, and crocheting several afghans. She had a large doll collection and enjoyed designing and making clothing for them. She also enjoyed her cat "Buzz".
Laura was preceded in death, in addition to her husband Gunnerth; were her parents; her brothers and sisters Bill and wife Lottie Rogers, Thomas Rogers, an infant sister Audrey, Shirley (Hess) and husband Clarence Christensen, Juanita and husband Fred Sturgeon; and her brothers-in-law Wayne Rucker, Orville Pohl, and Melvin Hess.
Survivors include her sisters Natalie Rucker of Exira, Neva Pohl of Albert City, Iris and husband Dick Heath of Sandusky, Ohio; her brother-in-law Richard and wife Lois Nelson of Atlantic; her special nieces and nephew Denise and husband Larry Kendle and Donna and husband Ted Hansen all of Audubon, David and wife Trudy Nelson of Exira; other nieces and nephews; her special neighbors Dennis and wife Shirley Garnett of Exira and their daughters Jesse Myers and Darci Hoffman.

Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from June 29 to July 6, 2012