Cover photo for Mary Jo "Tina" Nelsen's Obituary
Mary Jo "Tina" Nelsen Profile Photo
1937 Mary Jo 2021

Mary Jo "Tina" Nelsen

March 20, 1937 — August 14, 2021

Mary Jo Thielen Nelsen passed away Saturday, August 14, 2021 at her home in Cozad at the age of 84. Mary Jo was born March 20, 1937 in Exira, Iowa to Bernard and Bernice (Kerwin) Thielen. Mary Jo attended country school in rural Exira and transferred to Exira High School where she graduated with the class of 1955. Mary Jo married Richard Nelsen on June 13, 1959. While Richard  was attending law school at the University of Iowa, one of his fraternity brothers came up with the nickname of "Tina" from Thielen and the name remained. Son Greg was born and the family moved to Des Moines where Richard worked for Bankers Life and Tina took care of Greg. Richard responded to an ad for a partnership in Claude Berreckman's law firm and the family moved to Cozad. Son Eric and daughter Jill were adopted after the move. Tina worked at various businesses including Dodd's Dept. Store, Cozad Fashions and State Farm Insurance. Her passion for people showed through when son Greg purchased Napa Auto Parts Store and she worked there for 20 years. During this time, Tina and Richard traveled the world experiencing beautiful and exotic places. After her retirement, Tina continued to be involved in the community. She was a member of the Cozad Ambassadors, Kiwanis, 100th Meridian Museum, pitch club and bridge club. In September of 2002, Tina suffered a life changing stroke. She embraced it with dignity and grace. Tina's greatest joy was spending time with her family and friends. Her infectious smile and bubbly personality made everyone feel special. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Richard; brother, Tom Thielen; her in-laws, Fred and Tess Nelsen; sisters-in-law, Elizabeth Johnson and Karma Nelsen. Survivors include her children, Greg (Bonnie) Nelsen, Eric (Shawney) Nelsen and Jill Nelsen; 9 grandchildren, Jake (Stephanie) Nelsen, Casey (Julie) Nelsen, Tara (Kenny) Cunningham, Dalton Nelsen, Nicole Nelsen, Nathan (Kaylee) Nelsen, Jaiden Nelsen, Kamden Wellman, Ian (Morgan) Schmeeckle and Taylor Schmeeckle; 10 great grandchildren; brothers-in-law, Bruce Nelsen and Ronald Johnson; and sister-in-law, Evelyn Thielen.

Memorials are suggested to the family in her name for later designation. Services will be held Friday, August 20, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. at the Berryman Funeral Home Chapel with Rob Prillaman officiating. Burial will be at Cozad Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. with family receiving friends from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Berryman Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Jo "Tina" Nelsen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, August 19, 2021

1:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, August 20, 2021

Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)

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