Arlet Alice (Christenson) Nelson lived a life that epitomized unconditional love, kindness, selflessness, decency, generosity, faithfulness, and an everlasting devotion to those she held dear. To say simply that she was the best of us, would not begin to describe just how extraordinary a woman Arlet was.
Arlet left this earth on Saturday, December 17, 2022, at the remarkable age of 99 years old.
Arlet was born on January 24, 1923, in the small town of Roland, Iowa, to her Norwegian parents, Andrew and Amanda Christenson. Arlet had 3 brothers-Burlin, Cyrus, and Duane. She met her would-be husband of 68 years, Edgar Cyrus Nelson, a Navy WWII veteran, at her parents home in Ames, Iowa, where he was inquiring about a "room for rent" sign he saw in their front window. They married on September 12, 1948.
Arlet worked full-time as a switchboard operator for the local phone company to help put Ed through mechanical engineering school. They later adopted their two beautiful daughters, Kimberly Kay and Kara Lyn. In 1972, their family relocated to sunny Arizona, where Arlet would go on to proudly retire from Qwest as a data administrator, having received numerous awards and accolades for excellence.
Her daughter, Kara, had 4 sons-Alan, Adam, Ryan and Josh-who became the pride and joy of Arlet's life. She will be remembered for her big smile; contagious laugh; warm, tight, and loving hugs; standing outside her home and waving goodbye to her family until the car disappeared from sight; her immense musical talents and ability to play the piano by ear; her love of God; serving her church by baking dozens of cookies each week for her congregation; the pride she had in being Norwegian and being able to tackle the toughest of crossword puzzles; enjoying ice cream sundaes with almonds on top that she would share cuddled up next to her husband, Ed, while watching their favorite Phoenix Suns play ball; the joy written across her face when her grandkids would come to visit; her embarrassment as Ed would ask her to pull his finger in public; her hatred of raisins, mushrooms and lukewarm coffee; but most importantly, for the legacy of love that she has left behind for all of us. She was truly an impeccable example of what it means to love genuinely and unconditionally, and that legacy will without question live on through all of the lives she touched.
Arlet is preceded in death by her parents, Andrew and Amanda Christenson; her brothers, Burlin, Cyrus, and Duane; and her husband Edgar C. Nelson.
She is survived by her daughters, Kimberly Nelson and Kara Kofka; her grandchildren-Alan Sheldon, his wife, Jessica, and their daughter, Ashley; Adam Sheldon and his partner, Joey, who so lovingly and selflessly helped care for Arlet over the past 7 years; Ryan Sheldon and his wife, Susan; Joshua Sheldon and his wife, Carrie; and Arlet's chosen family members-Brooke, Maddie, Christian, and Jill. Visitation will be held from 7-8 PM on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at Richardson Funeral Home; 2621 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282.