Wanda Wood Nelson was born July 13, 1936 in Albert City, Iowa to Charles and Louise (Carstensen) Wood. Temperatures that day hovered around 110-115 degrees, making her entrance to the world very memorable. Her family moved to Spencer in her early years, and she graduated from Spencer High School in 1954. She attended University of Iowa and became a fervent Hawkeye from that day forward.
While at The University of Iowa, she met and married Phillip Ross Elting, DDS. To this marriage three children were born: Caroline, Amelia & Thomas. Phil passed away in 1967.
Wanda moved back to Spencer in 1968. Shortly thereafter she met R. Thomas (Tom) Nelson. They married March 2, 1969, blending Tom’s daughters, Karen & Kristine into the new family. Wanda and Tom had a daughter together - Abigail, who completed the new family.
Through the years Wanda took wonderful care of her family, cooked like a chef, had a green thumb like no other, played a mean game of bridge, published a “Bridge Club Cookbook” with her bridge-mates, made many friends, traveled to Europe many times as well as the Spencer Sports Camp on Upper Goose Lake, Ontario, Canada.
She was a life long member of First Congregational Church in Spencer. She was very active in various circles at the church. One of her favorite projects was the University of Iowa’s Crippled Children’s Clinic that came to the church a few times each year. She was also a member of Chapter AT, PEO.
Her favorite place on earth was “her lake”, West Lake Okoboji. She begged Tom for a cottage on West Lake. He finally acquiesced and they lived on North Manhattan Beach for many wonderful years. She loved watching her lake no matter what time of year.
After a long 10-plus year battle with dementia, Wanda passed away Sunday, April 24, 2022, surrounded by her children. She was preceded in death by her parents, and husbands Phillip R. Elting and R. Thomas Nelson.
She is survived by her siblings: Colleen Shaw, Chuck Wood and Greg & Lola Wood. She is also survived by her children: Karen Nelson, Caroline Nelson (husband Rick Stoppelmoor), Amy (Jim) Schlueter, Tom R. (Kate) Nelson, and Abbie (Mike) Tesch; grandchildren Charlie (Jaydi) Stoppelmoor, Sam (Liana) Stoppelmoor, Ana (Chris) Wolff, Maddi Tesch and Trey Tesch, Hannah Schlueter and Alex Schlueter, Nicole(Eric) Stauffer, and Melanie(JaDon) Cavil, several great grandchildren and many nephews and nieces.