Nelson, Marilyn Jane

Nelson, Marilyn Jane 1929 - 2019 Marilyn Nelson, a longtime Omaha resident, died Aug. 5, 2019, at her home in Houston, TX. She was a lively woman, enthusiastic and hardworking. She was born Dec. 14, 1929, in Randolph, IA, to Howard Hillis Ford and Gladyth Rhode Ford. She attended the Randolph School, graduating in 1947. Later she married Arne E. Nelson of Shenandoah, IA. He was a salesman for the former Carpenter Paper Co. and in 1959 was promoted to its executive office in Omaha. The family lived in the Keystone area. She was a housewife until 1966 when he died, leaving her with three children and a mortgage. She enrolled in secretarial school and soon joined Northern Natural Gas. She was an executive secretary in the late 1970s when Northern merged into what became Enron Corp. She was assigned to its executive office in Houston. She worked closely with Dale TeKolste, the company vice president, and Willis Strauss, the company chairman. In those days she was deeply concerned about the new company's plans for the Omaha office and employees. So, placing her job at risk, she provided inside news tips, story suggestions and occasional documents to news executives and reporters. In 1984 Mr. Strauss and Mr. TeKolste brought her back to Nebraska as their secretary at the Omaha Community Foundation, which they helped create. She was grateful for that opportunity. She retired, and in 2003 returned to Texas to be closer to family. She leaves her daughter, Susan Fitta of Houston; and sons, Arne Jr. of Tyler, TX, and Michael (wife Christie) of Lincoln, NE; seven granddaughters; five great-grandchildren; her sister, Barbara Jasa Gutgsell; many nieces and nephews; and her beloved dog, Sammy. Cremation; family services at a future date. Condolences to 16018 Gladebrook Glen Lane, Houston, TX 77095. Memorials to Randolph Public Library, 107 S. Main St. Randolph, IA 51649.

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