Virginie Nelson obituary (2021) – Moline, Illinois
Virginie A. Nelson
September 12, 2021
SILVIS-Virginia A. Nelson, 93, a beloved mother and local entrepreneur, passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 12, 2021 in New Perspective, Silvis, Illinois.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 16 in the Church of the Sacred Heart of Moline, followed by a private burial in the cemetery of the Moline Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Rock Island County Historical Society or a favorite charity.
Virginia (Ginger) was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa, the only daughter of James and Marion (McBane) Toohey and great-granddaughter of a pioneer family in Iowa.
Virginia lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before moving to Moline during her freshman year of high school. She graduated from Moline High School and then attended Augustana College and became a member of the Phi Rho sorority. She married Franklin L. Nelson on April 22, 1950 in Moline.
Virginia began her career as a Rock Island County tax assessor, then as a real estate agent for Mel Foster. Virginia, along with her partner Carol Doyle, started the first women-owned real estate company in the Quad-Cities – Doyle Nelson & Co. She was a long-time member of the Illinois Realtor Association. Virginia then founded the Pie Company with her partner Bernice Mason. He is credited with creating the first Chipper ice cream sandwich for Whitey’s Ice Cream – named after his son Chipper – as well as the famous Whitey’s ice cream pies.
Virginia was proud of her contribution to her community. She served on the Moline Planning Commission, the Friendship Manor board of directors and a member of the Carolyn Getz Circle of Kings Daughters, which was one of the groups operating the Moline town center thrift store. She has also volunteered with Meals on Wheels and the Food Bank. She loved to have fun, play bridge, travel the world, sew quilts, design handbags and create Halloween costumes for grandchildren. She enjoyed the time spent as a member of the Short Hills Country Club. She was a talented cook and was loved for her raisin and sour cream pie, Christmas cream wafers, Texas cake, sugar sandwiches, and Sunday night dinners for the whole family. She left behind so many fond memories of a family vacation to Dauphin Island, of picking and consuming raspberries in her bushes, of her grandchildren’s creative uses of her copier, and of her not-so-secret candy drawer. Her house was open to friends, children, and children’s friends. She allowed animals of all kinds in the house – from cats and dogs to rabbits, snakes, fish, hamsters and a lamb.
The true love of her life was her family. Virginia and Frank were just kids who chose to fill their home with a bunch of loud, playful kids. Credit goes to Virginia for raising a family so close no one wanted to miss a Sunday dinner. Sitting together at the children’s table led to a life of close friendships for all the young cousins. After dinner there were always games of cards and games to be played.
Survivors (and spouses) include his daughters Susan (Kevin) Blackall, Moline and Janet (Dennis), Donnelly, Des Moines, Iowa; his sons Richard “Chipper” (Suzanne) Nelson, Jeffrey (Kimberly), Nelson and John (Elisabeth) Nelson, all of Moline. Virginia is also survived by 11 grandchildren: Jennifer (Mark) Mitchell, Emmeli Blackall, Hillary (James) Leach, Megan (Kyle) Cibula, Brett (Josh) Nelson, Kara (Tyler) Wiesemeyer, Alex Nelson, Lindsey Nelson, Benjamin Nelson, Luke Donnelly and Molly Donnelly, and 13 great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her husband and son Randall E. Nelson.
Family and friends are invited to share their memories and express condolences online at wendtfuneralhome.com.
Posted by The Rock Island Dispatch Argus on September 15, 2021.