Christian 08

Marlene "Deed" J. (Swanson) Nehls

September 27, 1935 ~ July 2, 2020 (age 84)

Obituary Image


Marlene J. "Deed" Nehls, 84, of Woodhull, Illinois passed away Thursday, July 2, 2020 at home.  Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at Peterson Wallin Knox Funeral Home in Woodhull.  Private services will be held Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Woodhull. Burial is in the Woodhull Cemetery.  Memorials may be left to Bethany Lutheran Church. Online condolences can be made at

She was born September 27, 1935 on a farm north of Woodhull to Martin and Vera Swanson. Deed graduated from AlWood High School in 1953. She married Donald E. Patterson in 1956 at Bethany Lutheran Church in Woodhull.  He was killed in a car accident in January 1966.  Deed married Truman E. Nehls May 29, 1969 at Peoria Grace Lutheran Church in Peoria, Illinois.  He passed away with ALS July 31, 2016.

Deed began working for an insurance company in Galesburg and CPA in 1953.  In November 1953, she was employed at Gale Products until the plant closed.  She was later employed at the Woodhull Truck Plaza and part-time at Wells Fargo bank in Woodhull.

Deed and Truman enjoyed wintering in Arizona. She enjoyed all sports, especially watching her sons’ and later granddaughters’ sporting events.

She was baptized in Andover Lutheran Church and confirmed in Bethany Lutheran Church.  She was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Woodhull, having served in many capacities; WELCA; former member of Zion Lutheran Church in North Henderson and Valley View Country Club.  Deed was an avid golfer and hit a hole in one at Arizona Western Skies. 

Survivors include one son and caregiver:  Mike Patterson of Galesburg, IL; daughter-in-law: Debra Patterson of Alexis, IL; two stepdaughters: Teresa (Dave) Johnson of Arkansas; Elisabeth Templeton of Georgia; five granddaughters:  Samantha (Josh) Dunn of Little York, IL; Cheryl Patterson of Evanston; Melissa Patterson of Gilson; Marci (Brian) Bertelsen of Alexis; Megan Patterson of Normal, IL; two step granddaughters: Megan Templeton of Georgia; Jana Brooks of Iowa; one stepgrandson: Jarret Brooks of Iowa; five great grandchildren:  Jacob, John and Lauryn Dunn; Addilynn and Brooks Bertelsen; three step grandchildren:  Khylee, Karlee, Sofia; several nieces and nephews; many special friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husbands; one son, John Patterson; four sisters, her twin: Marna Beck; Virginia "Toot" Bell; twin sisters:  Joyce Ray and Joan Shane.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Marlene "Deed" J. (Swanson) Nehls, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program


July 7, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Peterson Wallin Knox Funeral Home Woodhull
525 N. Division Street
Woodhull, IL 61490

July 8, 2020

Woodhull Cemetery
402 W. 5th Avenue
Woodhull, IL 61490

Private Services

Bethany Lutheran Church
380 W. 3rd Avenue; P.O. Box 459
Woodhull, IL 61490


Bethany Lutheran Church
380 W. 3rd St., Woodhull IL 61490

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