WEST BEND, Wis. — Nellie Jane Weaver (nee Williams) of West Bend, Wis., passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Friday, March 25, 2011, at the Kathy Hospice in West Bend following a six-year battle with cancer. Nellie was 64.
Nellie was born to Harold and Jessie Henrietta (nee Derry) Williams on Aug. 1, 1946, in Peoria, Ill. Nellie grew up in Monmouth, Ill. In 1964 she won the Miss Warren County Pageant and competed in the Miss Illinois Pageant in Aurora, Ill. Nellie also was the head majorette, and participated in public speaking and several plays while in high school.
Following graduation from Monmouth High School in 1964, she obtained her bachelor’s degree in speech/communications at Western Illinois University in 1969. During her college years Nellie performed in several theatrical productions at WIU and Monmouth College, Monmouth, Ill.
Nellie met Jack Weaver on Feb. 22, 1964, which started a 47-year lifetime relationship, and they married on July 19, 1969, in Monmouth, Ill. They first lived in Glen Ellen, Ill., during which time Nellie worked as media director at Clissold Publishing Company and then as a copy writer at Brad Sebstad Advertising and Public Relations, both in Chicago, while acting in two theater groups in the Chicago area. After Nellie and Jack moved to Indianapolis, Ind., she held several positions at Burke Marketing Research in that same city. She also participated in the local Newcomers and the Junior Women’s Clubs. At that time she continued her acting career in many semi-professional theater and dinner theater productions.
The couple relocated to West Bend, Wis., in 1976. While raising two children, Nellie participated in and became president of the Newcomers Club and volunteered at the local schools and within the community. She was a Cub Scout Den Leader, an Olympics of the Mind coach, an instructor for the Imagination Center, and a Parents’ Spokesperson to the School Board at McLane Elementary School.
Nellie was an advocate for a number of youth issues, including education. Enthusiastic about making schools the best they can be, she strived to effect change as a West Bend School District Board member from 1988-1997. During that period she served as the board clerk (1989, 1990, 1994 and 1995), treasurer (1991 and 1992), and president (1993).
Nellie continued to pursue her passion in theater and public speaking as she participated in Community Theater in the Musical Masquers of West Bend. She also really enjoyed working with students while she was an assistant coach for the West Bend West High School Forensics Team and an advisor to the Spartan Highlights TV Show.
Besides participating in the schools, Nellie volunteered at Friends of Abused Families where she was both a legal advocate and a personal financial consultant. She also volunteered at the University of Wisconsin County Extension Office as a family financial consultant.
Nellie’s other hobbies and interests included playing bridge, attending plays, discussing politics, gardening, and working puzzles and brainteasers. She enjoyed spending time at her Pelican lake home near Brainerd, Minn., watching the birds and the “critters.”
Nellie is survived by her husband, Jack; as well as her children, Kristin D. Weaver Bowman and husband, David, of Fullerton, Calif., and John E. Weaver II and wife, Samantha, of West Bend, Wis. She will also be missed by her five grandchildren, Dakota, Alexander, Damyen, Zachary and Kylee; and her many friends.
Thank you to all of the friends who have supported Nellie and her family over the years. Special thank you to the caregivers at Kathy Hospice who made Nellie’s last week comfortable and helped bring her and her family a measure of peace. No services in West Bend are planned at this time. The family has established a memorial fund for Friends of Abused Families in honor of Nellie at: Friends of Abused Families, P.O. Box 117, West Bend, WI 53095.