MK Nelson

   Mary Kathryn Nelson, 76, Belmond, died Sept. 17, 2020 at the Clarion Wellness and Rehab Center. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. at Ewing Funeral Home in Belmond, with Pastor Katie Pals officiating. Burial will follow at the Belmond Cemetery. Visitation will be Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Ewing Funeral Home in Belmond, and continue one hour prior to the service on Saturday.

  Mary Kathryn was born on May 25, 1944 to Lola Shahan Pals and Peter Pals, Jr. Mary Kay never got to know her mother because she died during childbirth, a loss Mary Kay felt all her life. Pete was overseas serving in the U.S. Army during WWII and would not be home to see her for many months. She was born in the house that the Belmond Independent wrote an article on with other’s stories, but never about this miracle and tragedy.

  She was instantly loved and cared for by Howard and Gertrude (Ersland) Shahan who they took on as their daughter. Mary Kay considered them as her mom and dad, and was very upset when others did not. They took care of her every need, with a few Pals relatives helping financially at times. Gert and Howard had birthday parties with Shahan, Pals and Ersland relatives for Mary Kay while she was growing up. There was no legal adoption, but Mary Kay legally changed her name from Pals to Shahan on her own when she was older.

  She grew up in Goodell and Belmond, going to school in both towns. She graduated in 1962, being part of the first class to graduate from the new Belmond High School building. Hamilton Business College in Mason City was her next step for a year or two before working in a doctor’s office at the Park Clinic. She often spoke of how she had enjoyed this time.

  Mary Kay married Danny R. Nelson at the United Methodist Church in Belmond. She made her wedding dress and hat with veil, as well as her maid of honor’s. To this union Ann, Shea, and Amber were born. Shea was taken to Heaven before she was born, another loss Mary suffered from. The couple later divorced.

  Mary Kay enjoyed times wandering around Hickory Grove while growing up, sewing and working on crafts in her earlier adult life, working for and helping Karol Johnson make and teach about porcelain dolls, going to garage sales, attending  auctions with her daughters, watching movies, and reading.

  She enjoyed people and worked in retail at different times in her life, including the fabric shop, Ben Franklin, Redder Drug, CEJM Pharmacy, and Thompsen Clothing. She also cooked at the Belmond Schools. She retired from City Directory in Belmond.

  Mary Kay loved and cared for her daughters, raising them on her own and maintaining the home and yard. She helped her father care for her ill mother until her death. She was very proud to be a grandmother to nine grandchildren, whom she loved and worried about.

  She was extremely knowledgeable about anything that dealt with nature, and could tell you the most interesting facts.

  Mary Kay was preceded in death by her parents; daughter Shea; and grandsons Jonathon Nelson and Jack Rosendahl.

  She is survived by daughters Ann (Patrik) Nelson and Amber (Trent) Rosendahl, all of Belmond; grandchildren Bridgette (Nick) Mahlstedt of Cedar Falls, Elizabeth and Zachariah Nelson of Belmond, and Benjamin, Alexandrea, James and Anthony Rosendahl of Belmond.