6/24/1932 ~ 1/23/2023
Richard Adin Nielson, of Ephraim, age 90, passed away peacefully on January 23rd, 2023 at his home with his loving wife by his side. He was born in his childhood home June 24th 1932 the only son of Neils Adin and Reva LaBell Brienholt Nielson. Dad was raised in Ephraim and spent his entire life there. As Dad grew up alongside his father he learned the ins and outs, ups and downs of the Nielson Sheep Company ranching operation and would eventually build upon that legacy after his father’s death in 1972.
As a boy Dad spent much of his childhood assisting his father with lambing newborns in the early spring and planting new crops in the spring. The summers were on the mountain with the sheep herd or riding freight trains with the prized rams to be auctioned at sales throughout the west. In the fall he turned to harvesting crops. There was always plenty of work to be had.
As a young man Dad was drafted into the army and served in Korea. Dad completed his military services and returned to Ephraim, after which he was called to serve an LDS mission to the Navajo reservation. After returning home from his mission Dad began attending Snow College where he met and began courting the student body president, Bonnie Lee Hamilton Nielson. As the story goes he later agreed to marry Bonnie, the daughter of Alvin LaVar and Elva Sproul Hamilton of Fairview, UT, after the bride’s father offered to include a half dozen geese along with his daughter’s hand in marriage. A short time after the couple’s nuptial, Dad wisely returned the geese, but kept the bride.
Dad was a great father figure who displayed a noble example to his seven sons. He sought to instill within them the value of hard work and honest dealings. The quality of Dad’s Registered Rambouillet Sheep were known throughout the United States, selling them throughout the country and as far as New Zealand and Australia.
In Dad’s later years he sold his sheep operation and bought cattle. He was able to enjoy a much slower pace that still kept him active.
Dad was blessed with a beautiful tenor voice. Together Dad and Mom sang as part of different singing groups for years. Dad was a faithful, devoted member and loved the Gospel of Christ, serving in numerous callings in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The only time Dad “semi-retired” was when he and Mom answered the call to a service mission back with the Navajo people.
Dad enjoyed spending time with his family and was always up for a competitive game of horse-shoes or a friendly card game of Hand and Foot. He has left his family a legacy of love, faith, service, hard work, and loyalty to God and country.
Richard is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Bonnie; sons, Brian R. (Cheryl) Nielson, Ephraim; Matthew A. (Jill) Nielson, Ephraim; Cameron A. (Sharla) Nielson, Ephraim; Warren Nielson, Manti; Jordan C. (Diane), Nielson, West Jordan; Brooks C. Nielson, West Jordan; and Tyler L. Nielson, Washington. He is also survived by a whole bunch of grandchildren, great grandchildren and by his loving sister, Kathleen (Wendell) Droubay, Brigham City.
He was preceded in death by his beloved parents, by sisters, Beverly (Lynn Grover) Childs; LaRane (Laron) Kunz; LaRue (Edward) Baumgarten; and Jenny Lou (Ray) Peterson Norton.
All services will be held in the Ephraim 1st Ward Chapel, 450 North 200 West. A viewing will be held Friday Evening, February 3rd from 6:00pm to 8:00pm and on February 4th from 9:30 am to 10:30 am, followed by a Funeral Service at 11:00am. Interment will be in the Ephraim City cemetery.
The family would like to express our sincere gratitude to Dr. Dallin Olson, Dr. Brooks Thompson, Dr. David Krzymowski, Kaylin Bench, Tyler Albee and countless other healthcare workers for their professionalism and compassionate care afforded Dad over several years.
In lieu of flowers Richard suggested that donations be made to the Ephraim LDS Temple Fund. Donations may be made by check payable to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Please include a note about how the funds are to be designated (e.g. “This donation is for the Ephraim Utah LDS Temple Fund”). You can mail or deliver your check to:
1450 N. University Ave.
Provo, UT 84604