Gretchen, 93, passed away May 1, 2011 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center of Heart Failure. \n\nShe was born July 24, 1917 to Neils and Vitta Pedersen Nelsen in Coon Rapids, Iowa. Gretchen and her husband Michael were the successful owners of De Carlos Pizza, West End Supper Club, Diamond Horseshoe Night Club and the Blue Ribbon Tap. \n\nShe was preceded in death by her husband Michael; sisters Ramona Jensen, Norma Slater and brothers Elmer, Emmert, Arnold and Dale Nelsen. Gretchen is survived by a sister Joan Mortensen; sons Michael Jr. (Dixie) and Patrick (Kathleen); daughter Yvonne Heckinger; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. \n\nShe loved to crochet, cooking for her family and dancing. She was a shining example of a positive person from the greatest generation. Gretchen was always known for her kindness to everyone from all walks of life. \n\nVisitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 5, 2011, and funeral services will be Friday at 10 a.m. May 6, 2001 at Highland Park funeral home.