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Margaret Carol Nelson, 92, formally State Center

Margaret Carol Nelson, 92, formally of State Center, Iowa, passed away on January 16, 2021 at Bickford Assisted Living under the care of Iowa River Hospice with her loving family by her side. 

Due to complications of COVID-19, a private graveside service will be held on Thursday, January 21, 2021. A livestream of the service will be available to view on the Mitchell Family Funeral Home Facebook page. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy can be made with a donation to Iowa River Hospice. For more information or to send a condolence please visit or call 641-844-1234. Mitchell Family Funeral Home is caring for Margaret and her family.

Margaret Carol McCarthy was born on Christmas Eve in 1928 to J.P. McCarthy and Linnie Mae (Poole) McCarthy. She was raised in Marshalltown graduating in the class of 1945. 

Margaret was married to William (Bill) Riemenschneider in 1946 and had three sons from this union and the two later divorced. She was married to the love of her life John Herbert Nelson on November 5, 1966 at the Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. Margaret worked at Bourns in Ames from 1965-1991. She was a longtime member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in State Center.

She was a very talented tole painter doing many saw blades for farmsteads she would duplicate from a photo onto the sawblades. She taught tole painting in her spare time in her home business. She won numerous blue ribbons at the Iowa State Fair. She was a wonderful artist in all she touched, sewing, quilting, or making costumes. Margaret and Herb got involved in genealogy and went on many trips to track down her ancestor history and found Herb’s parents graves as well as many other family members lost to them, which led to them volunteering for the State Center Historical Society, which they loved being a part of. Margaret never went anywhere without her dogs, Muffin and Precious, if they were not welcome then her and Herb were not welcome.

Left to cherish her memory are her children, Mike (Chris) Riemenschneider, Rick (Gail) Riemenschneider and Scott (Kari) Riemenschneider; her step-children, Ray (Lyn) Nelson, Kay (Ken) Stewart, John (Marie) Nelson and Ron Nelson; her grandchildren, Drew (Terrissa) Riemenschneider, Amber (Josh) Evans, Nichole Higginbotham, Will Riemenschneider, Jacob (Brittany) Nelson, Travis Stewart, Sierra, Stephen, Scott, Marissa and Harley Nelson; great grandchildren, Gregory and Landon Higginbotham, Willow Riemenschneider, Rogan Riemenschneider and Graham Nelson; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

She is preceded in death by her husband Herbert Nelson (2013); her parents J.P. and Linnie Mae McCarthy; her siblings, Rev. Floyd (Dorothy) McCarthy, Francis (Bonnie) McCarthy, Marion Price, Wanda (Adolf) Harre; and one granddaughter Heather Riemenschnieder, whom is waiting for her with Herb.

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