Cover photo for Karen Kay Nelson's Obituary
Karen Kay Nelson Profile Photo
1943 Karen Nelson 2023

Karen Kay Nelson

January 31, 1943 — September 9, 2023



Memorial services celebrating the life of Karen Nelson, 80, of Davenport, will be held at Noon, on Friday, September 15, 2023, at New Life Baptist Church, 7780 W. Locust St, Davenport.  The family will receive friends from 11am until the time of services Friday at the church.  Inurnment will be at a later date in Elm Grove Cemetery, Washington, IA.  Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society or Shriners Hospitals for Children.


Mrs. Nelson passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at the University of Iowa Hospitals.


Karen Kay Kephart was born January 31, 1943, in Washington, IA, a daughter of Frederick Clyde and Cecile Belle (Hopping) Kephart.  She was united in marriage to Richard Nelson on May 14, 1961, in Washington.  He preceded her in death on December 15, 2010.


Karen was selfless, often putting others’ needs before her own.  She adored children and prior to her retirement, had been a daycare provider for many years.  She had also worked for St. Ambrose University from 2011-2022.


She enjoyed doing puzzles, playing cards daily with her friends, and family get togethers.  Along with her husband Richard and their sons Jeff and Greg, they made countless memories camping and taking road trips to Florida, often with a friend of each of the boys in tow.  Karen and Richard’s home was always open to anyone in need, and they became parental figures to many of their sons’ friends.


Those left to honor her memory include her son Greg (Barb Jones) Nelson of Davenport; grandsons Jack and Dillon; brother Gerald (Judy) Kephart of Knoxville, IA; sisters-in-law Beverly Kephart of Sigourney, IA, Donna Cline of Washington, IA; and many nieces and nephews.


In addition to her husband Richard, she was preceded in death by son Jeff, sister Erma Regennitter, brothers Raymond and Bernard, infant twin brothers Lester and Leslie, and her parents.  May they rest in peace.


Online remembrances may be expressed at

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Visitation

Friday, September 15, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Friday, September 15, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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