Darlene “Nitzy” Joan (Gillette) Field, 78, passed away peacefully on Feb. 7, 2013, at her Oaknoll Retirement Residence in Iowa City as a result of Parkinson’s disease complications.
Nitzy was born Sept. 17, 1934, to Welberne and Thora (Skalet) Gillette of Black Earth, Wis. Welberne called her “Itsy Bitsy Nitzy”; he died in 1938 when Nitzy was only 4 years old. Thora and Nitzy moved to Madison, Wis., where Thora was a first and second grade teacher. However, Nitzy and her mother returned to Black Earth frequently on weekends to be with the close-knit extended family. Nitzy graduated from Central High School in Madison with honors. She enrolled in the first class of St. Olaf College’s four-year nursing program and graduated with a BSN with honors in 1956.
Nitzy married Howard M. Field on Aug. 25, 1956, at Lake Edge Lutheran Church in Madison, Wis. Nitzy worked first as a public health nurse, and then stayed home to raise their three children. She completed her Master of Arts degree with a major in nursing at the University of Iowa in 1992, and then worked as an Iowa City hospice nurse. Nitzy helped establish the parish nurse program at Zion Lutheran Church, and recently helped develop a movement support program for people with Parkinson’s in Iowa City.
She and Howard enjoyed many hours of gardening together, for themselves and for Project Green. Nitzy shared her garden joy over the years by blessing many people with freshly-cut flowers.
Survivors include her husband of 56 years, three children, seven grandchildren, and one niece. Surviving children include Karen Edlund of Rochester, Minn., Jim (Patricia) of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Mark (Deb) of Madison, Wis. Grandchildren include Alyssa Edlund (Salt Lake City, Utah), Erik Edlund (Madison, Wis.), Paul Edlund (Rochester, Minn.), Hannah Field (North Manchester, Ind.), Sarah Field (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Anna Field (Madison, Wis.), and Luke Field (Madison, Wis.). Ginger Field of Sacramento, Calif., is her surviving niece.
Services will be held in two locations. Visitations will start two hours before each service, and luncheons will be held immediately following. The first service will be held at Zion Lutheran Church, 310 Johnson St., in Iowa City on Monday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m. A second service will be held at Vermont Lutheran Church, 9886 Vermont Church Rd., Black Earth, Wis., on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 11 a.m. Burial will be at the Vermont Lutheran Church Cemetery. Arrangements are being made by Lensing Funeral Home in Iowa City and Ellestad Funeral Home in Mount Horeb, Wis.
The family wishes to extend a special thanks to friends Donna Chen, Denise Gannon, Louise Kruse and Carol Tippe for their loving care and support for Nitzy and her family in recent months.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Vermont Lutheran Church or the Zion Lutheran Church Wellness Ministries Program.
Published Feb. 9, 2013 in The Gazette