Arlena A. Nichelson, 85, of Gothenburg, died Feb. 26, at St. Luke’s Good Samaritan Society in Kearney. She was born Nov. 4, 1934 in Russell, Kansas, daughter of Rubin and Alvina (Miller) Keil.
She grew up in Russell, Kansas and graduated from Bunker Hill High School. Arlena pursued a life as a cook and at several factories. She married Francis Ivan Bridges in Russell on Nov. 21, 1955, and to this union six children were born: Barb, Jenny, Ivan, Pam, Todd, and Tina.
Grandchildren came along to join the circle of love. Those that knew her best called her grandma - to us, she was strong willed, tender, tough and strong. She loved everyone just as they were; a favorite memory was to go downtown with grandma and she would always get us a treat. Grandma always made sure she told you how much she loved you after each visit or phone call.
Arlena was preceded in death by her mother and father; husband, Ron Nichelson; son, Ivan Bridges; grandson, Tony Earlich; brothers, Eugene, Lester, Glenn, and Jerry Keil; sister, Maryann Keil; and great-granddaughter, Gretchen Joan Furrow.
Survivors include four daughters, Barbara Ehrlich of Gothenburg, Jennifer Bridges, Pam Gage, and Tina Bridges; son, Todd Bridges; brother, Gary Keil; 13 grandchildren - Timothy Bridges, Johnathan Bridges, David Bridges, Shelly Bridges, Gary Aller, Alicia Aller, Jeremy Aller, Matthew Aller,Tony Erlich, Shauna Erlich, Nichole Furrow, Misty (Shana) Roberts, Jessica Gage, Shana (Ansely) Bridges, and Ryan Bridges; and numerous great-grandchildren and extended family and friends. She will be deeply missed by all.
Arlena was a member of the American Lutheran Church. Graveside services were held at American Lutheran Cemetery on March 2, with Pastor Eric Most officiating. Memorials may be given to the family to help with funeral expenses, C/O Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel, 620 10th St., Gothenburg, NE 69138.