Fern L. Nelson

Fern Lavarne Nelson 

Fern Lavarne (Thomas) Nelson, 99 ½, beloved mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, formerly of Red Oak Iowa, passed away peacefully while comforted by her eldest daughter, Connie Richards, on January 5, 2022, at her home in Arvada, Colorado.


Fern was born July 20,1922 in Pilot Grove, Iowa, the youngest daughter of Clarence M Thomas and Hattie (Peck) Thomas. She is preceded in death by her 4 siblings, Lloyd, Bert, Stella, and Roy Thomas her first grandson, Erik Johnson, and her beloved Daughter, Joyce (Olinger) Bishop.


Fern’s surviving children are Connie Richards (Denver, Colorado) and Martin Olinger (Kenosha, WI). She is the matriarch of 6 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. As were her parents, she was an active member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebeccas Lodges. Her professions included teaching, retail sales, and police clerk.


Fern grew up on a farm in Iowa and during her 99 years she endured; the Great Depression, WWII, a divorce, the death of her second husband, the death of her first grandson, and the death of her second daughter. Everyone who was blessed to know her cherished her.