In loving memory of

Iva May Nelson
March 1, 1926 - July 24, 2020

Iva M. Nelson, age 94, of Ames, Iowa, died Friday, July 24, 2020, at Accura Healthcare of Ames.

Due to COVID-19, no memorial service will be held at this time. Condolences may be expressed online at

Iva was born March 1, 1926, in Mitchell County, Iowa, the daughter of Edward A. and Olga (Brenden) Christianson. She grew up and received her education in the Osage area, then attended Iowa State Teachers College. She taught country school until her marriage to Nels Richsmann Nelson. The couple and their two boys, David and Mark, made their home near Osage until settling in Ames in 1963.

Iva owned and operated Jack & Jill Children's Center for over thirty years. She was a people person and especially loved children. She was passionate about women's issues and opportunity and was active in the American Businesswomen's Association for many years. In her spare time, Iva enjoyed furniture refinishing and wallpapering in her spare time. In earlier years, she was a faithful and active member of Bethesda Lutheran Church in Ames.

Survivors include two sons, David (Ann) Nelson, and Mark (Sheryl Hagen) Nelson, all of Ames; six grandchildren, Tara Nelson, Alexia Nelson, Samantha (Carey) Monk, Jacob (Erin) Nelson, Megan (Dan) Corey, and Matthew Nelson; 11 great-grandchildren; as well as other extended family members and friends.

Iva was preceded in death by her husband, Nels Nelson; her parents; a grandson, Amos Nelson; and two sisters, Ethyl Muller and Clarice Olswald.

Ames Monument & Cremation Center has been entrusted with the care of Iva and her family.


Donna scherr wrote on Aug 2, 2020:

"Iva and I had many good times at ABWA events over the years after meeting ay Jack and Jill when our daughter went there. So many memories of fun we had."

Edward Moses wrote on Aug 2, 2020:

"Sorry for your loss. My brother, who also passed recently, and I played farkle with her and her chiper ettitude Will be missed."

Marti Steelman wrote on Jul 31, 2020:

"Iva and Nels were so wonderful with children at Jack and Jill Children's Center in Ames. My son enjoyed going there. Both Iva and Nels are missed. "

Sharon (Cordes) Ackroyd wrote on Jul 28, 2020:

"Iva will be missed by the Richsmann family. I last saw her at a family reunion and sat and talked with her. I always admired her dedication to children and education. She was a great wife to Nels and always kind and thoughtful. Condolences to all the family and sending prayers."

MissyWierson wrote on Jul 28, 2020:

"I knew iva may nelson from accura when I was there ok"

Larry Morrison wrote on Jul 27, 2020:

"Iva Mae was my teacher at Orchard. Beautiful memories! Larry Morrison "

Christine foley wrote on Jul 27, 2020:

"Iva was my baby sitter for many year she was a family friend and baby say everyone of my siblings my mom and her were very close"

Judy Tresemer Schimpf wrote on Jul 26, 2020:

"Iva Mae Nelson was my 4th grade teacher at Orchard, Iowa. She was loved by all her students. One of my fondest memories was the folk dancing she taught us. We even performed the Virginia Reel at one of the school programs. Her love for children was certainly seen in her love of teaching. My sympathies to her family. "