Nina Mae (Merrill) Carlson

May 21, 1931 ~ December 3, 2019 (age 88)


Nina Mae (Merrill) Carlson died peacefully at Silver Cross Nursing Home on December 3, 2019 in Rock Island, Illinois.

She was born May 21, 1931 in Minneapolis, Minnesota and raised in Preston, Minnesota. She was the oldest of four children born to Dr. Jesse and Edith Nehring.

Nina graduated from Preston High School in 1949. She attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa where she met Ken “Red” Merrill. They wed in 1951 and lived in Bloomington and then Burnsville, Minnesota.

In 1966, they moved to Davenport, Iowa. Ken passed away in 1981. She married Robert Carlson in 1983 and moved to Rock Island, Illinois. Nina worked as a Secretary in the Logistics Department at Litton Industries and retired in 1991.

She was an active member of St. James Lutheran Church in Rock Island. She served on the Hunger Committee at St. James Lutheran and was a long time volunteer for Meals On Wheels in Rock Island. In addition, she did volunteer work at Trinity (Unity Point) in Rock Island. Nina enjoyed playing golf and bridge.

She is survived by husband, Robert; son, Tom (Robyn) Merrill, Davenport, Iowa; daughter, Ann (Mitchell) Cohen, Highland Park, Illinois; and daughter, Patricia (Jack) Winters, Portland, Oregon; 5 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren; 3 step children: Jill Carlson, Phenix, Alabama; JoDee (Gregg) Phillips, Bend, Oregon; Reed (Karen) Carlson, Denver, Colorado; 3 step grandchildren; and 1 step great grandchild.

Nina will be missed by many including her sister, Kay Roesch in Orlando, Florida and several nieces and nephews. Memorials can be made to St. James Lutheran Church Hunger Committee in Rock Island, Illinois.

 A private family service will be held at the Rock Island National Cemetery. Public memorial services for Nina will be 11 am, Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at St. James Lutheran Church, Rock Island.  An additional Celebration of Life will be held in the summer of 2020. Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Rock Island is assisting the family.

She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, John and sister, Ginny. Online condolences may be left for the family at



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nina Mae (Merrill) Carlson, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
December 11, 2019

11:00 AM
St. James Lutheran Church
3145 31st Ave.
Rock Island, IL 61201

© 2021 Wheelan-Pressly Family of Funeral Homes. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy