Anna Louise Nilsson
June 10, 1924 – March 9, 2021
Anna Louise (née Vogt) Nilsson, June 10, 1924-March 9, 2021, age 96, a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister and friend, passed away after a brief illness at Mary Greeley Hospital in Ames, Iowa, happily joining in heaven her husband of 68 years, James Nilsson and her beloved daughter Rhonda Kreamer.
Anna was born in Metropolis, Illinois, the daughter of August and Mathilda Vogt, and was the second of their four children. Raised on the family farm during the Great Depression and WWII, Anna would go on to attend the University of Illinois and earn a B.S. in Home Economics.
It was at the University of Iowa, in early 1948, while working as assistant food service manager at the Quadrangle Dormitory Food Service, Anna met the love of her life, Jim ("I knew the minute I saw him” she would always say) who was studying electrical engineering on the G.I. Bill.
They wed on August 8, 1948 and began life together in Ames, Iowa so Jim could begin teaching while pursuing his master’s and Ph.D. in electrical engineering. Jim and Anna’s first ‘home’ was a military Quonset hut Iowa State University had converted into married student housing units after WWII.
Soon after the arrival of their first child, Bev, they moved to 1204 Lincoln Way, where they would raise all five of their children. Each would attend Whittier elementary school, Central Junior High School, Ames High School and graduate from Iowa State University.
Anna dedicated her life to creating a happy home for all. Social by nature, Anna loved gatherings of family and friends. Seldom a week went by without bridge night, a potluck party, a picnic at Brookside park or just a gathering in the back yard to enjoy a lemonade and share stories of the week. She was gregarious, energetic, engaging, and bold – the warm center of the Nilsson family.
Anna and Jim both loved the West and spent many summers taking the kids on camping trips throughout the western United States. In later life, they would visit Europe to visit ancestors in Sweden, England and Germany Anna had discovered doing genealogical research.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Jim, brothers Leonard and Paul, and daughter Rhonda.
She is survived by her daughter Beverly Lemme (James), sons Robert William (Donise), Paul Edward, and Bruce Allen, Sister Verna Mae Kruse, grandchildren Doug Lemme, Sara Lemme, Katie Kreamer, Stephanie Kreamer, Matthew Johnson Nilsson, great granddaughters Felicity Lemme and Colette Lemme, and countless, nieces, nephews, and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the College of Family & Consumer Sciences at Iowa State University.
Due to the pandemic a virtual celebration of life will be held Tuesday March 16th at 6:30 p.m. CDT (Iowa time). The link for attending the virtual service is below.
- August Vogt, Father (deceased)
- Mathilda Vogt, Mother (deceased)
- James Nilsson, Husband (deceased)
- Rhonda Kreamer, Daughter (deceased)
- Leonard Vogt, Brother (deceased)
- Paul Vogt, Brother (deceased)
- Beverly Lemme (James), Daughter
- Robert William Nilsson (Donise), Son
- Paul Edward Nilsson, Son
- Bruce Allen Nilsson, Son
- Verna Mae Kruse, Sister
- Grandchildren Doug Lemme, Sara Lemme, Katie Kreamer, Stephanie Kreamer, Matthew Johnson Nilsson, great granddaughters Felicity Lemme and Colette Lemme, and countless, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Private Celebration of Life
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Anna Louise Nilsson
March 16, 2021
Paul Nilsson and I were best friends in high school. My family moved away upon my graduation. I was devastated as I had always loved Ames. When I came to say goodbye to the Nilsson’s Anna told me I would always have a place to stay when I returned. And so began a series of visits to 1204 Lincoln Way, my second home. I always was warmed by the incredible hospitality of Jim and Anna. Eventually I introduced to my wife and my children. They were as charmed as I was to be greeted and cared for by such sweet people. Anna was one of the most gracious and lovely people I have ever known. We will miss having this Angel in our lives...
March 16, 2021
Mark and I are so glad that we were able to attend the wonderful celebration of life for Anna, by livestream. We felt her warmth and love and smiles touching us while at the virtual service. I wanted to take this time to share a couple more memories, which is my second entry for memory sharing about Anna. When I was a freshman at Iowa State, Anna not only remembered my birthday, but also that my favorite cake was banana with peanut butter frosting. I got a call from the front desk at the dorm that I had a surprise. I went down, and there was Bev’s mom beaming at me with a happy birthday and my favorite birthday cake! That sure made me smile! Also, many years later, when my family would visit with the Nilsson’s when Bev and Jim were there; and sometimes just me. Anna and Jim always made us feel so welcomed and as happy to see us as we were to visit with them. As with my parents, I was able to give each a hug and a kiss on the cheek, which was an important ritual of how I grew up. Anna’s love, acceptance, and joy in visiting with each of us made us feel that more special. Anna, and Jim, will always live inside each of us with a broad smile, with love, and peace. Nancy (Pyle)Weinreich
Bev and Ken Kruempel
March 16, 2021
Anna was one of the most positive and pleasant women we've known! She always had a smile and asked about our family. She and Jim were special to us -- Jim as a colleague to Ken and Anna as a good friend. (For many years Ken used a text book Jim wrote.)
March 14, 2021
Being the lifelong friend of daughter Beverly since first grade, I’ve had the wonderful privilege to first know Anna as Bev’s mom, Mrs. Nilsson; then as a friend, Anna, in my adult years. Anna was our Camp Fire Girl leader for awhile. When I wash dishes by hand sometimes, I still think of the Camp Fire Girl lesson she gave on how to wash dishes; first, the glasses, then the silverware and on to the dirtier dishes. Who would have thought? It was always so special that Mark and I were able to visit Bev’s wonderful parents and to participate in their happy family celebrations. When Mark and I think of Anna we’ll always remember that she lived her life with a joyful and positive attitude towards life. May her family find peace and comfort in their memories of their mom, mother-in-law, grandmother and sister. We know that Anna is now with Our Lord in Heaven. Nancy (Pyle) and Mark Weinreich
March 14, 2021
Over the past several years I have had the blessing of associating with Anna through her visits to the Ames Family History Center. Her dedication to preserving her family's genealogy and her kind, gentle nature were a wonderful example to me. Even the pandemic could not deter her genealogy work. The opportunity to help her several times over the past year via mail were a bright spot in my days. She always had a cheery thought in her notes and I enjoyed her sense of humor. I offer my heartfelt condolences to your family.
Emmett and Mary Stevermer
March 13, 2021
We are sorry to hear of Anna's death. She was such a valued member of our ISU Women's Genealogy division. We have missed seeing her in recent years.