Nell ‘Mama Nell’ Pender of Dawson


The Rev. Nell “Mama Nell” Pender, 72, of Dawson passed away Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, at her home in Dawson, Iowa, surrounded by her family.

Her family will be hosting a memorial service Saturday, Dec. 12 at 1 p.m. at the Revised Assembly, 4291 N.E. Sixth St. in Des Moines. Burial will be in the Dallas Township at a later date. Everyone is required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing while attending the service.

Memorials will be given to Nell’s family and may be left at the Carris Family Funeral Home and Cremation Care. Online condolences may be sent at

The Rev. Nell “Mama Nell” Marie Pender was born Oct. 15, 1948, at Galveston, Texas, to J. R. and Helene (Beall) Rowland.

She attended school in Des Moines and the Kingsway Christian College.

Mama Nell was united in marriage to Larry Dean Pender in Des Moines at the Kingsway Cathedral in December 1997.

Mama Nell worked more than 40 years in the ministry. She was a member of the Chapel for Jesus. She loved reading her Bible and spending time with her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

In death she rejoins her parents, J. R. and Helene Rowland; previous husband, Donnie Rex Brown; sister, Sondra Fay Deer; grandson, Skyler Brown; and a granddaughter, Willow Brown.

Left to cherish Mama Nell’s memory are her husband, Larry; children, Layla Pender, Larry (Thi) Campbell, Helene Campbell, Angel Killswat, Carlottia Brown, Donnie (Jamie) Brown, Patricia (Ty) Khambanoun, Nell Brown, Joshua (Jamie) Brown, Titus (Amy) Brown and Johnathan (Michelle) Brown; 27 grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren.

John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.


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