Cover photo for Donelle "Nellie" L. Olsen's Obituary
Donelle "Nellie" L. Olsen Profile Photo
1956 Nellie 2023

Donelle "Nellie" L. Olsen

March 14, 1956 — December 12, 2023

Sioux City, Iowa

Donelle “Nellie” Lynae Olsen, 67, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, following a courageous battle against melanoma.

Visitation will be Wednesday, December 20th, from 4:00-7:00pm at Christy-Smith Funeral Homes, Morningside, 1801 Morningside Ave., with the family present, followed with a prayer service at 7:00pm. Memorial service will be 11:00am on Thursday, December 21st, at Redeemer Lutheran Church. Christy-Smith Funeral Homes, Morningside, is assisting the family with arrangements.

Nellie was born on March 14, 1956, in Storm Lake, Iowa, to Donald and Sally (Hetrick) Caboth. She grew up on the family farm outside of Galva, Iowa. After graduating from Galva High School, she moved to Sioux City to attend nurses’ training at St. Luke’s College of Nursing. She earned her LPN in 1975. The fall prior to that, Nellie met Terry Olsen, a Corvette-driving friend-of-a-friend, at a birthday party in Galva. They soon began dating and were united in marriage on February 14, 1976. The couple were blessed with two children – Benjamin and Kimberly.

Nellie was dedicated to the nursing profession. She continued her education and earned her RN from WITCC in 1992. She worked as an RN for UnityPoint Health St. Luke’s in various departments, but mostly in the NICU where she touched, and held, many lives. She retired in 2021, after 45-1/2 years of service.

Nellie loved to sew and was an avid quilter. She was a proud member of the “Siouxland Samplers Quilt Guild.” She always had a craft project ready for her grandchildren when they visited, from a silly chicken pin cushion to a teddy bear. Ever the farm girl, Nellie loved gardening and her flowerbeds. She and Terry enjoyed fishing and boating together, and traveling to their favorite vacation spots like Disneyworld, the Black Hills, Yellowstone National Park, and the lakes of Minnesota. Spending time with her family was always top priority for Nellie.

She was originally diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2009, and was in remission until March of 2022. Nellie was a woman who lived her faith and had a calm, quiet strength about her. Her smile was genuine and her words authentic.

Nellie is survived by her husband of 47 years, Terry; son, Benjamin (Stephanie) of Murfreesboro, TN; daughter, Kimberly (Kyle) Zellmer of Hinton, IA; grandchildren, Cooper Olsen, Abby Olsen, Mesa Zellmer, and Sierra Zellmer; father, Donald Caboth of Alta, IA; sister, Roxanne (Jim) Dutler of Galva, IA; brother, David Caboth of Alta, IA; brothers-in-law, Randy (Linda) Olsen, Roy (Melanie) Olsen; sisters-in-law, Jayne Olsen and Marsha Olsen; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her mother; mother-in-law, Janice Nagel, and brothers-in-law, Donald Olsen and Dennis Olsen.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donelle "Nellie" L. Olsen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, December 20, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central (no DST) time)

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Prayer Service

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

7:00 - 7:30 pm (Central (no DST) time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, December 21, 2023

11:00 - 11:45 am (Central (no DST) time)

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