Virginia Nelson


Virginia Nelson, 88, of Lincoln, formerly of Wayne, died Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 at her home in Lincoln due to the COVID-19 virus.

Graveside services will be held for the family and close friends on a date as yet to be determined.

Arrangements are with  Hasemann Funeral Home of Wayne.

Virginia Ann Denkinger Nelson was born June 20, 1932 to her parents Frederick and Lydia (Raywinkle) Denkinger in Wayne. She was baptized, confirmed and married at Redeemer Lutheran Church. When she was seven years old, her mother died from a ruptured appendix. A few years later, her father married Norma Lewis who became her stepmother.

Her grandfather, father and uncle worked for Wayne State College and lived in homes close to the campus. Virginia attended Wayne Prep and was a cheerleader and was active in theater where she received the best actress award for her role in "Little Woman." Virginia was also an accomplished pianist and vocalist and won awards for her skill as a pianist. She was the salutatorian at her high school graduation but was unable to attend and give her speech because she had the mumps. She attended Wayne State College. 

As a young girl, she loved to read, watch movies and enjoyed writing letters to movie stars asking for autographed photos. Her love of movies came from her job at the Gay Theater where she worked her way up from cleaning, selling tickets and concessions to assistant manager. It was through her job at the theater where she met Wilfred (Wiz) Nelson. He would wait in his convertible outside the theater until she got off work and would drive her home.  Wiz was in the army and stationed at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin. He would drive 12 hours to and from Wayne to see Gin whenever he had a two-day leave. They were married on Aug. 26, 1951 at Redeemer Lutheran Church and drove to Chicago for their honeymoon. 

After Wiz was discharged from the army, they farmed with Wiz’s parents on a farm north of Wayne. In 1959 they bought a farm in Cedar County where Virginia worked alongside Wiz sorting hogs, loading cattle, running to town for parts for a broken piece of equipment and cooking for all the hired men. For all who ate in her kitchen, she was known as a wonderful cook and hostess. Virginia was also an avid gardener who loved to can and preserve the produce from her garden.

In 1995, they built a house on the Wayne golf course and developed close friendships with their neighbors. They enjoyed traveling in their retirement and took trips to California and Hawaii. In 1996, Wiz passed away from a sudden heart attack. Virginia continued to live in Wayne and traveled with friends, served on the alter guild at Our Savior Lutheran Church, became a member of Eastern Star and was a member of the Wayne Country Club. 

In 2015, she moved to Lincoln to The Landing where she enjoyed the many friendships along with the stimulating activities. In 2019, Virginia moved to Southlake Village and with her caring personality and sense of humor, she continued to make new friends. 

Survivors include her children Pamela (Wayne) Magdanz of Lincoln, Mary Calvin of Mission Viejo, California and Tracy Nelson of Lincoln; four grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Wilfred, on Dec. 4, 1996; brothers Don Denkinger and Edwin Raywinkle.