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OBIT: Nancy Rae Whitesell

Nancy R. Whitesell, 78, passed away at the Northwood Lutheran Retirement home on Monday, February 14, 2022.

She was born in Sioux City, Iowa on May 7, 1943. Paul and Clara Whitesell adopted Nancy when she was 16 months old. Nancy’s family lived in a variety of places including Cherokee, Fort Dodge and Ames where she eventually graduated from High School. After her father passed away, Nancy and her mother, Clara moved to Northwood, where they could be closer to Clara’s sister, Karen (Vernon) Kruse. Nancy was a member of the Methodist church and was employed in the kitchens of the Midway Café, the Corner Post and Annie’s, where she enjoyed her favorite meal of hamburgers and french fries.

Nancy enjoyed playing “Name that Tune”, watching the Hallmark channel and listening to country music. Her favorite hobby was cutting out interesting articles from the paper and magazines and organizing them into scrapbooks. She also often rode her bicycle everywhere around town, especially on her way to get her favorite bottles of Pepsi from the grocery store.

After her mother passed away, Nancy moved to the Northwood Hotel. She became great friends with Arlys Reeder and enjoyed helping her in a variety of activities such as answering the hotel phone and helping with the organization of birthday parties for the hotel residents. Since Nancy did not drive, Arlys helped her get to those places beyond walking distance. While walking to do her errands about town, Nancy would sit on one of the many benches on main street Northwood and “people watch”, another of Nancy’s favorite activities. Then in October of 2014, she became a resident of The Lutheran Retirement Home in Northwood. The nurses and staff there enjoyed her spicy personality. Nancy got along especially well with her regular daily nurse, April who she fondly nicknamed ‘Vicki’.

Nancy is survived by her cousins Laura (Mike) Richter, New Hartford, Iowa, Karen (Paul) Hendrikson, Escondido, California, Richard Pedersen, Rose Creek, Minnesota, Don (Faye) Pedersen, Lois (Paul) Saum, Connie (special friend Roger Lee) Nelson, Northwood, Iowa and Clarice Dempewolf, Albert Lea, Minnesota, along with all their families.

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, Paul and Clara Whitesell, brother Gary Whitesell and many aunts and uncles.

There will be a memorial service held in the summer where we can share our favorite Nancy stories and memories.

Memorials, in Nancy’s name, are preferred to the Northwood Retirement Home and cards may be sent to Conner Colonial Chapel, PO Box 223, Northwood, IA, 50459.

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