Garla Mae Nelson, 73

Garla Mae Nelson, 73, of Lanark, Ill., died Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, peacefully at home with her family at her side. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday, March 4, 2013, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Freeport, Ill., with a one hour visitation at the church prior to Mass. On Sunday, March 3, 2013, from 2 to 6 p.m. a visitation will be held at the Law-Jones Funeral Home, Savanna, Ill., with a Rosary Service at 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Nelson Brothers Memorial Scholarship at Northeast High School, Goose Lake; the Tourette Syndrome Association or the charity of your choice. Online condolences may be left for the family at

Garla was born April 25, 1939 in Davenport, the daughter of Raymond J. and Helen Winfred (Hughes) Smith. She graduated from St. Joseph Catholic High School, DeWitt, with the Class of 1957. On June 16, 1973, Garla married Robert Nelson in DeWitt.

Garla worked for the Iowa State Bank in Clinton for 18 years as head cashier and vice president. She then enjoyed several years as a stay-at-home mom while raising her children. After moving to St. Anthony, Garla was a member and worked for the Sacred Heart Catholic Church as a secretary for 15 years. The family later moved to Polo, Ill., where Garla was a member and worked for St. Mary’s Catholic Church as Parish secretary, director of religious education and the choir director. The family then moved on to Lanark, Ill., and became members of the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.

Garla will be dearly missed by her husband, Robert, of Lanark, Ill.; a son, Robert Raymond Nelson, of Lanark, Ill.; three daughters: Michelle “Shelly” Nelson, of Sycamore, Ill., Barbara Jo Nelson, of Lanark, Ill., and Keri Ann Nelson, of Sycamore, Ill.,; a sister in-law, Carolyn Lee, of Goose Lake; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Garla was preceded in death by her parents and four brothers: Raymond, J.L., Donald and Jack Smith.