Cathy Nelson


December 23, 2014 - 12:00 AM

Cathy Darlene Nelson, 64, Iola, passed away Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014, while under hospice care at Windsor Place Care Home in Iola.
Cathy was born Oct. 30, 1950, in Killeen, Texas, to Clay and Mary (Hester) Gill. Cathy was the oldest of seven children. Her father was a career Army soldier and Cathy lived in Texas, Germany, California and Georgia during her formative years and graduated from Forest Park High School in Forest Park, Ga.
She married Larry Nelson on Nov. 22, 1980, in Lansing, and they lived the next 34 years of their lives in Lansing, Richmond, Mo., Cawker City and Iola. They had three children, Joe, Christy and Rebecca. Cathy worked at a number of jobs over the years including bartender, insurance secretary, video store manager, newspaper clerk and type setter, restaurant manager, florist and cook. She was a hard worker and gained valuable experience on each job, which served her well throughout her life. In Iola, she worked at Iola Greenhouse for several years before she went to work for Country Mart as the flower shop manager, when they opened the flower shop inside the store. Later, she went to work for the school system as main dish cook in the kitchen. She worked at the school for several years before moving to the Allen County Jail kitchen, where she was kitchen supervisor before, during and after the new jail was built. Cathy worked at the Allen County Jail until her illness forced her to retire in 2011.
Cathy truly loved cooking and was constantly collecting new recipes and creating dishes of her own design. She also enjoyed going to garage sales and junk stores in search of all kinds of treasures and bargains.
Cathy is survived by her husband, Larry Nelson, Iola; a son, Larry Jr. and wife Darcel, Iola; a daughter, Christy Jay and husband Jerald, Valley Center; a daughter, Rebecca Jesseph and husband T.J., Chanute, Ks; five grandchildren, Andrew Nelson, Alec Nelson, Haley Jay, Joshua Jay and Nathan Jesseph; two sisters, Carolyn Watson and Cheryl Cook; and three brothers, Carl Gill, Calvin Gill and Charles Gill.
Cremation has taken place and there will be no funeral or memorial services at the request of the deceased.
Memorial gifts to the American Cancer Society may be left with Waugh-Yokum & Friskel Memorial Chapel of Iola, who assisted the family. To sign the guestbook online or leave a condolence, go to

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