Mary L. Nelson died at the age of 94, on November 19, 2019, at the La Porte City Specialty Care.

Mary Lucile Chambers was born on May 11, 1925, at home on a farm in Benton County near Mt. Auburn. She attended Mt. Auburn School where she participated in school plays and girls’ basketball, and carried on her brother Harold’s tradition of showing a 4-H calf at the Benton County Fair. After graduation in 1942, Mary attended ISTC (now UNI) for one year before marrying Robert (Bob) Nelson of Dysart on May 9, 1943. Bob passed away in 1993.

Bob and Mary lived on the Nelson family farm near Dysart where they raised their family until they moved to Dysart in 1958. The Nelson house was always a welcoming place for relatives and friends for a meal or happy hour, a card game, “garage party”, a pizza or slumber party for the school friends of their three kids. Mary and Bob were chaperones for school trips and had just as much fun as the students. In addition to raising her family and helping with her husband’s grain and livestock trucking business, Mary worked at Cold’s Grocery, was Dysart City Clerk, and twice was employed at Dysart State Bank until her retirement in 1995.

n 1995, Mary toured the Holy Lands with a church group where, near the city of Jericho, she rode a camel. During a trip to Branson, Mary was selected from the audience to sing a duet with Bobby Vinton of “White Christmas”. She enjoyed wintering in Arizona, traveling, participating in card clubs, golfing, coffee at the library and bakery, church activities in Dysart and La Porte City, activities at the La Porte Senior Center, preparing meals for families, extended family and friends. Even as her vision failed she delighted in making her coconut cream pie and was appreciative that her friends and family provided transportation to all activities and events she enjoyed. Although she lived in La Porte City since 1995, in 2010, at the age of 85 years, this brave little lady bought her own house on Main Street. She had great neighbors, excellent lawn care and snow removal, received home delivered meals, and could depend on her mailman to brighten her day. Mary was delighted to see her favorite baseball team, the Chicago Cubs, win the World Series in 2016.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Lewis and Amanda (Hoke) Chambers, brother Maj. Harold Chambers, husband Robert, son-in-law Toby Edmondson, her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, many other relatives and friends who will greet her as she enters her Heavenly home.
She is survived by her children Susan Nelson of Cedar Rapids, Jane Edmondson of La Porte City, Scott (Lori) Nelson of Waterloo, grandsons Matt Nelson of Cedar Rapids, Ryan (Meredith) Nelson and their sons, her great-grandsons, Drew and Cale of Marblehead, MA, special nieces and nephews and a cousin Gaylord (Connie) Hoke of Macomb, IL.

Visitation will be held at Dysart United Methodist Church on Thursday, November 21 from 4-7 PM. Service will be held at the church on Friday, November 22, at 10:30 AM with burial at Dysart Cemetery.
Memorials may be directed to the family. Condolences may be left at

A sincere thank you to LPC Specialty Care and Care Initiatives Hospice.