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Arlene Nelson, 87

Arlene T. Nelson, died on Aug. 17, at Coventry Village, Sebring Assisted Care Residence in Madison, Wis.

She was born on Nov. 25, 1926, in Spring Valley, Wis. Arlene was the daughter of Henry G. and Myrtle A. Sorenson. She grew up on a farm in Gilman Township and graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1944.

Arlene was joined in marriage to Edwin J. Nelson, son of Edwin and Emma Nelson, on Nov. 20, 1948, at St. Francis Catholic Church in Ellsworth, Wisconsin. Together they had four children, Craig E. Nelson (deceased), Joanne Hill (Peter) of Wenatchee, Washington, Marilyn Traynor (Pat) of Belvidere, Illinois, and Janie Nelson Worel (Don) of Madison, Wisconsin. Arlene was blessed with seven grandchildren, whom she loved dearly, Brooke Rufo Hill (James), Mariah Hill (Nick Lofing), Chase Hill, Megan Rooney (Chris), Mackayla Traynor, Katie Traynor, and Lee Alliet (John). She was also great-grandmother to, Magdelena, Rosa, and Ines Rufo Hill, Peter and Josephine Lofing, and Henry Alliet.

Arlene was preceded in death by Edwin and Craig; as well as her parents; and in-laws; sisters, Donna Butts and Judy Vanasse; brothers, Harland Sorenson, Wayne Sorenson, and David Sorenson; several sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

Surviving her are daughters and their families; her brothers, James Sorenson and Rollin Sorenson; and her sister, Shirley Anderson.

Family and friends will remember Arlene for her love of sharing stories and conversation. As the wife of a military officer, she accepted having to pack up her house and move her family often. With each move she made new friends, maintaining many of these friendships throughout her lifetime.

Despite moving all around the country, Spring Valley was always special and considered home. In recent years she reminisced about many fun times at the Spring Valley Golf Club, outdoor band concerts, street dances and the Dam Days celebrations; she enjoyed card games, coffee and conversation with good friends.

Arlene loved the white sand beaches of Florida where she and Ed wintered for many years and had great memories of vacations at the Hale Koa, the Armed Forces Retreat, in Honolulu, Hawaii, as well as their trips to Washington to share Thanksgiving with the Hill family. Arlene's last big trip was a western Caribbean cruise, with her daughters, to help celebrate her 80th Birthday.

Arlene's Catholic faith was important to her. It was poignant that Arlene received the last sacraments on the Feast of the Assumption, the Catholic Holy Day that celebrates the Blessed Virgin Mary's passing into eternal life in Heaven.

Arlene was well loved and cared for by the staff and families of Sebring Gardens.

She will live on in the memories of her family who are grateful that she is now reunited with Edwin and Craig in the Kingdom of Heaven.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 602 Everglade Dr., Madison at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 26, with Father Bart Timmerman presiding. A reception at church will immediately follow the Mass. Burial will be held later at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, at Sacred Hearts Catholic Cemetery in Spring Valley, Wis. Dinner will follow prayers at the cemetery.

Please share your memories at

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison. (608) 238-3434