Vivian Janette Nerness
1920 - 2020
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Vivian Janette Nerness
Ames - Vivian Janette Nerness of Ames, Iowa, (formerly of Huxley and Kelley, Iowa) died peacefully Wednesday August 12, 2020 at Northridge Village in Ames.
A family graveside service was held at the Bethany Church Cemetery in Kelley. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family or a charity of the donor's choice.
Vivian (Carlson) Nerness was born September 8, 1920, in rural Madrid, Iowa, to Peter and Della (Hamilton) Carlson. She was baptized in the Garden Prairie Church, attended Liberty Rural School, and graduated from Kelley Consolidated High School in 1937. She attended Iowa State for one year, worked at Collegiate Manufacturing, and then went to work for the State Department in Washington, D.C.
She married Orland Roger Nerness on September 27, 1941 in Greenbelt, Maryland, and they returned to farm in the Gilbert, then Kelley area for 37 years. She worked at Rudy Patrick Seed Company and the National Association of Plant Breeders in Napier, Iowa, and then spent twelve years working for the U.S. Postal Service. She was an active member of Bethany Lutheran Church serving as Sunday school teacher, council member, and ALCW member. She especially enjoyed making quilts for Lutheran World Relief. She was a skilled rosemaling artist and her work, sold at church bazaars, still decorates homes and kitchens around the community.
She was married to Orland for nearly 76 years and they were the light of each other's lives. Her warmth and kindness will be missed by all.
She is survived by her children, Beverly Shaeffer of Huxley, David (Marita) Nerness of Chino Hills, California, and Diane McCauley of Ames; her grandchildren, Matthew (Michelle) Shaeffer, Jessica McCauley, and Jackson Nerness; her great grandchildren, Gage, Grant and Tatum Shaeffer; and her sister-in-law, Ila Nerness.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Orland; son-in-law, Larry Shaeffer; two sisters, Ida Guisinger and Edythe Lowman; and two brothers, Vern and Earl Carlson.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Soderstrum Funeral Home and online condolences may be left to Vivian's family at

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Published in Tri-County Times from Sep. 1 to Sep. 3, 2020.
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