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11/04/2017 - Kaelia Shae Nelson

A service commemorating the life of Kaelia Shae Nelson, age 21, of Alliance, NE will be at 2:00 PM on Saturday, November 4, 2017 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Alliance, NE with Pastor Tim Stadem officiating.
Burial will be in the Alliance Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 1:00-7:00 PM on Friday, November 3, 2017 at the Bates-Gould Funeral Home in Alliance, NE.

A memorial has been established, and donations may be given to the family to be divided between a mental illness organization, the Miss Nebraska Organization, and the Peru State College Cheer Team.

Kaelia passed away on October 29, 2017 in Peru, NE.

She was born on September 17, 1996 in Alliance, NE to Mark and Shardel Nelson. She attended school in Alliance through the 6th grade. From 7th grade on, Kaelia attended Hemingford High School and graduated in 2015. She was a member of the National Honor Society, a two-time state track qualifier, and a member of the relay team that still holds the Hemingford 4X800 school record set in 2015.

Kaelia rode and raced motocross when she was in grade school, following in her brothers’ footsteps, and she was a runner-up in her motocross class in 2008. In high school, Kaelia was active in cheerleading, volleyball, track, and cross country. During the summer, she enjoyed spending time at the lake camping and taking boat and jet ski rides.

Kaelia competed in scholarship pageants in the Miss America System. She held the titles of Miss Chadron Outstanding Teen 2011, Miss Alliance Outstanding Teen 2012, and was 1st runner up in 2012 for Miss Nebraska’s Outstanding Teen.

In 2015, Kaelia was crowned Nebraska’s Homecoming Queen and represented her state in Memphis, TN, competing for the title of America’s Homecoming Queen and finishing as 2nd runner up.

She was Miss Alliance in 2017, competed this past June at Miss Nebraska, where she was recognized as the largest fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network. In September of this year, she was crowned Miss Chadron and would have competed again at Miss Nebraska in June 2018. Her platform was mental illness, and she had written and published a book relating to mental illness.

Kaelia was a beautiful young lady who always wanted to bring support and joy to others. She looked up to and had a great deal of respect for her two brothers. She often did things to show her respect and appreciation for them; military-themed dance routines and cheer formations named “The Rig” after drilling equipment come to mind. Her dog Charlie was a comfort to her and would make the trips to see her at college.

Kaelia attended Nebraska Wesleyan University for a year and a half. She was a Gold Rush Dance Team member and was in the Delta Zeta Sorority. She transferred to Peru State College in January 2017 and was a junior with a major in education. She was on the cheer squad and one of its flyers, but was also involved in the Peru State Education Association (PSEA) and held the position of Secretary.

Kaelia had a glow and energy that would light up the sideline or the stage. She loved working with children and had worked with programs that aided children in need.

Kaelia was preceded in death by grandfather Glenn Nelson; grandmother Betty Nelson; great-grandmother Alice Worley; great-aunt Shirley Stutzman; great-uncle Cecil Stutzman; and longtime family friend and pageant seamstress Myrna Loibl.

She is survived by parents Mark and Shardel of Alliance, NE; brothers Zachary and Kelby and sister-in-law Ashley Nelson, all of Alliance, NE; grandparents Rolland and Pat Skinner of Hay Springs, NE; uncles and aunts Brett and Tina Skinner of Hay Springs, NE, Craig and Keri Wyatt of Chadron, NE, Kirk and Deb Nelson of Columbus, NE, and Rick Nelson of Scottsbluff, NE; cousins Tosha Skinner and fiancée Nick Toste, Ethan and Mia Skinner, Bryanna Scheuler, Jace, LaRee (Trent Colburn and children), Cole (Sammy), and Blaine Wyatt and fiancée Cait Wiseman, Derek Nelson, Devin Nelson, his son Mason and fiancée Bailee and their son Ryker, Bethany Nelson, and Paige Miller; as well as numerous other aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
Bates-Gould Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements for Kaelia Shae Nelson.

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