Nelle Jane (Inman) Donlon

Friday, September 8, 2017 1:51 pm

Nelle Jane (Inman) Donlon, 97, of Decorah, died peacefully Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, at the Barthell Eastern Star Nursing Home in Decorah. Mass of Christian Burial was at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Decorah, with Rev. Phillip Gibbs officiating. Organist was Mary Beth Bouska. Cantor was Cindy Schissel (“Here I am, Lord,” “Bread, Blessed and Broken,” “On Eagle’s Wings” and “How Great Thou Art”). Lector was Dick Guilgot. Offertory gift bearers were her grandchildren. Eucharistic ministers were Dick Guilgot and Roger and Pat Huinker. Casket bearers were Keith Donlon, Jeremy Rasmussen, Joe Gavle, Andrew Steffensmeier, Dick Guilgot and Roger Huinker. Interment was at St. Benedict Catholic Cemetery, Decorah. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home, Decorah.

Nelle Jane was born Jan. 11, 1920, in Davenport, the daughter of Dr. C.C. and Stella (Peck) Inman. The family moved to Decorah, where Nelle Jane attended Decorah public school, graduating in 1937. After graduation, Nelle worked as a telephone operator and secretary for Northwestern Bell in Decorah. She was united in marriage to Joseph F. Donlon Jan. 17, 1945, at St. Benedict’s Catholic Church. This union was blessed with Joseph G. (Jerry) Donlon and Barbara Jane Donlon Gavle. She was active in St. Benedict’s Church, where she was a member of St. Theresa’s Circle and the Rosary Society. Nelle was a member of the Hospital Auxillary and enjoyed volunteering at Winneshiek County Memorial Hospital. Nelle and Joe were charter members of Oneota Golf and Country Club. She also worked alongside her husband at Donlon Rexall Drug Store. Nelle enjoyed her home and garden; her greatest love was her family, being a wife, mother and grandmother. Her favorite room in the house was her kitchen, where she found great pleasure in baking and preparing weekly Sunday family dinners. Many family, friends and bridge groups benefitted from her baking skills. She loved people and always enjoyed visitors, but nothing was more important than a call or visit from her grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Nelle is survived by her two children, Jerry (Cheryl) Donlon, Decorah and Barbara Donlon Gavle (the late Gary Gavle), Decorah; four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren: Keith (Ali) Donlon and sons, Blake and Cale of Decorah; Kathryn (Jeremy) Rasmussen and daughters; Taylor and Norah of Ankeny; Jennifer (Andrew) Steffensmeier and children, Miles and Ella of Waukee; Joe (Jamie) Gavle and daughters; Maggie and Elsey of Decorah.

Nelle was preceded in death by her husband, Joe; son-in-law, Gary Gavle; brothers, Charles and Robert Inman; sister, Mary (Inman) Weiser; parents, Dr. C.C. and Stella (Peck) Inman.

Nelle’s family would like to extend special thanks to everyone for their prayers, caring concerns and many acts of kindness shown to them. Special thank you to the loving staff at Barthell OES Home for their wonderful care and to Kathy Petersburg, Winneshiek Medical Center.

Memorials may be given to Barthell OES Home, (911 Ridgewood Dr. Decorah), St. Benedict’s Catholic Church and St. Benedict’s Catholic School.

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