Vera Opal Nielsen (1913 - 2011)

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Funeral services for Vera O. Nielsen, 98, were conducted by Pastor Dan Hawn at 11:00 a.m. funeral service on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 at First Baptist Church in Harlan. Honorary casket bearers were Shelly Maddox, Marla Jeppersen, Rebecca Bastian, Rachelle Nicely, Eric Mortensen, Lynette Lewis, and Daniel Mortensen.  Serving as casket bearers were Paul Nelson, Adrian Nelson, Randy Nelson, Rich Freml, Jim Nelson, and Terry Nelson.  Interment was held at Merrill's Grove Cemetery in Fiscus, Iowa. Pauley Jones Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of arrangements.
Vera Opal Nielsen was born on March 19, 1913 to Peter and Nellie (Sorensen) Kragelund  near Brayton in Audubon County.  She was baptized at First Baptist Church in Elk Horn, on June 19, 1924.  She attended rural school in Audubon County and graduated from Exira High School with the Class of 1931.
She taught rural school in Shelby County for three years and in Audubon County for one year.  On July 10, 1935, she was united in marriage to Axel Nielsen at Merrill's Grove Baptist Church.  Four children were born to them: Darlene, Norlin, Dennis, and Nadine.
Vera became a member of Merrill's Grove Baptist Church in 1935.  The family remained members there until it closed in July of 1990.  During her membership there she taught the Junior Sunday School class and later the Adult Sunday School class.  She was also an active member of the American Baptist Women (ABW).  She became a member of First Baptist Church in Harlan after Merrill's Grove closed.
Axel and Vera farmed near Fiscus, until their retirement in 1961 when they moved to Irwin.
Vera died on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011 at the Salem Lutheran Home in Elk Horn, having attained the age of 98 years, nine months, and nine days. 
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Axel, son Dennis, daughter Darlene Pauley, granddaughter Tanya Mortensen-Irlmeier, grandson Kevin Nielsen, sister Viola and her husband Clarence Nelson, brother Leo Kragelund and his wife Ethel, her nieces Colleen Kragelund Benson and Roxanne Nelson Carlson.
She is survived by her son Norlin Nielsen and his wife Juanita of Chariton; daughter Nadine and her husband Richard Mortensen of Audubon; seven grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; other family members and friends.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Jan. 11 to Jan. 20, 2012