Iva Jean Nelson went to be with our Lord on July 2, 2019 in Polson, Montana. She was born on January 27, 1928 in Dawson, Minnesota to Leon and Lillie Bates. She started school in Minnesota and graduated from high school in Battle Ground, Washington. After that, she attended Lutheran Bible Institute in Seattle, Washington. She met the love of her life, Ed Nelson, in Bremerton, Washington. The two were married on June 27, 1954. On their honeymoon they decided to move to Montana. They were blessed with four children: Debbie, Pat, Steve, and Mark.
Iva Jean was always busy. She cared for her family, kept the books for her husband’s trucking business, and was very involved at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. At church she taught Sunday school, led the ladies circle, and helped run Vacation Bible School. In her spare time she collected depression glass and read voraciously. But more than anything, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the delight of her life. She never tired of watching them play on the floor in front of her.
She was preceded in death by her parents Leon and Lilly, her son Steve, her brother Glenn Bates, and her sisters, Lafern Throndson, Wyonne Jones, Ethel Burgess, Iola Pullam, and Vivian Christonson.
She is survived by her husband Ed of 65 years. She is also survived by her sister Ramona Thompson, her brother Robert Bates, her daughters Debbie (Jim) Marmon and Pat (Ron) Gruss, her son Mark Nelson, her five grandchildren, and her five great-grandchildren.
The funeral service will be held at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on July 5, 2019. Interment will take place at the Little Brown Church cemetery in Bigfork, Montana.