Cover photo for Betsy Lou Nelsen's Obituary
Betsy Lou Nelsen Profile Photo
1939 Betsy 2021

Betsy Lou Nelsen

February 26, 1939 — July 7, 2021

Betsy Lou Nelsen, the daughter of Clifford and Emma (Rattenborg) Hansen, was born February 26, 1939, at the family home east of Audubon, Iowa and died July 7, 2021, at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll, Iowa at the age of 82 years, 4 months, and 11 days.

Betsy was baptized and confirmed at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Audubon, Iowa. She attended rural school in Leroy Township and then graduated from the Audubon High School with the Class of 1957. Following graduation, Betsy was employed as a dental assistant to Dr. Paul James in Audubon.

On October 19, 1958, she was united in marriage to Thomas E. Nelsen at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Audubon. They were blessed with three sons Randall, Richard (deceased at birth), and Todd. They moved northeast of Colorado Springs where they were employed at a poultry farm. In 1964 they returned to Iowa and rented farm land until they purchased a farm east of Audubon. Betsy helped Tom operate their farm where they grew row crops and raised livestock for many years until they retired in 1999. During retirement they were members of a bike club, enjoyed playing golf, and traveling.

Betsy was an active member of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Audubon. She served on the church council and also taught Sunday school. She was a member of the R&R neighborhood club and a member of the Pork producers and cattle producers. Betsy loved spending time with her family especially her grandchildren. She enjoyed baking and was famous for her Kransekake.

Preceding her in death was her son Richard Nelsen; her grandchildren William Nelsen and Katherine Nelsen; her parents; her brother Dalton and wife Catherine Hansen; her sister Lowene and husband Lloyd Nelson; her sister-in-law and brothers-in-law Arnold Nelsen and Marie and husband Ben Meyers.

Survivors include her husband Thomas Nelsen of Audubon, Iowa; her sons Randall and wife Karen Nelsen and Todd and wife Shannon Nelsen all of Audubon, Iowa; her grandchildren Heather and husband Jon Fox of Detroit, Michigan, Clint and wife Josalyn Nelsen of Kirkland, Washington, Miranda and husband Quentin Moen of Zearing, Iowa, Beth Nelsen of Iowa City, Iowa, Nicole and husband Shea Nelson of Ankeny, Iowa, Josie Nelsen and Steve Lindberg, of Denver, Colorado, Emily Nelsen of Federal Way, Washington, and Mitchell Nelsen of Ames, Iowa; her great grandchildren Charlotte Moen and Jerrik Moen of Zearing, Iowa, Greta Nelson and Owen Nelson of Ankeny, Iowa; her brother Roland and wife Peggy Hansen of Elk Horn, Iowa; her sister Mardelle and husband Duane Mortensen of Ankeny, Iowa; her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Darrell and wife Sue Nelsen and Vitta Rattenborg all of Audubon, Iowa, Donald and wife Dorothy Nelsen of Avoca, Iowa, Phyllis Cort of Des Moines, Iowa, Frank and wife Marlene Nelsen of Avoca, Iowa, Shirley Hansen of Audubon, Iowa, and Karen Nelsen of Jefferson, South Dakota; her aunt JoAnn Mortensen of Audubon, Iowa; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

The family will meet with friends Sunday, July 11, 2021, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Kessler Funeral Home in Audubon. Funeral services will be conducted by Pastor Dan Beattie on Monday morning July 12, 2021, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Audubon. Interment will be in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Audubon. The casket bearers will be her grandchildren Heather Fox, Clint Nelsen, Nicole Nelson, Josie Nelsen, Miranda Moen, Beth Nelsen, Emily Nelsen, and Mitchell Nelsen.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betsy Lou Nelsen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, July 11, 2021

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Kessler Funeral Homes, Inc. - Audubon

515 South Division Street, Audubon, IA 50025

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Monday, July 12, 2021

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Our Saviour's Lutheran Church

326 Leroy Street, Audubon, IA 50025

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Maple Grove Cemetery

, Audubon, IA 50025

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