John Neilson
John Neilson


John Neil Nielson, 92, was released from this mortal existence on Feb. 13, 2017 in St. George, Utah.

He was born on Aug. 13, 1924 in Centerfield, Utah to William (aka Bill Crowley) and Valeria Larsen Nielson, the fifth of seven children.

Neil served in the army at the end of World War II and was stationed in Japan after the war ended in 1945. After being released, he returned home and met the girl of his dreams, Colleen Christensen, whom he married in July of 1948. Their marriage was solemnized in September of 1949, for time and eternity in the Manti Temple.

Neil took over his father’s farming and cattle business, during which years their family grew and prospered. The farm and cattle were sold by 2013 when he and Colleen moved to sunny St. George.

Neil was very active in his profession as a farmer and cattle rancher. He served on the Gunnison Irrigation Board as president for 30 years, a board member of the Sanpete County Water Conservancy District, as well as the Central Utah Water Conservancy District. He served on the Willow Creek Grazers Association board and was an active member in the Centerfield American Legion.

Sanpete County honored his contributions to the cattle business by naming him “King Cowboy” in 2006. Neil and Colleen were members of the Centerfield Old Folks Party committee for many, many years.

Neil served as bishop of the Centerfield LDS Ward for seven years. After being released he served on the high council of the Gunnison Stake. He continued his work as he and Colleen served as temple workers at the Manti Temple.

Survived by his wife of 68 and-a-half years; children: Sandra (Lyman) Holyoak, Centerfield; Hal (Marie) Nielson, St. George; and Kendra Childs, Page, Ariz.; sister, Betty Hopkins, Las Vegas, Nevada. He leaves an impressive posterity of 17 grandchildren, 39 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson.

He is preceded in death by parents; sons: Rohn Neil and Brent Ledale; sisters: Helena (Wilmer) Smith, Melba (Body) Bartholomew and Lillis (Elmo) Hyatt; brothers: Ned (Alta) Nielson and Jerry (Barbara) Nielson; granddaughter, Tauna Blackburn.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017 at 11 a.m. in the Axtell Ward Chapel, where friends may call Friday evening from 6-8 p.m. and Saturday morning from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Burial will be in the Centerfield Cemetery with military honors by the Oliver-Russell American Legion Post and the Utah Honor Guard. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com.