R. Allan Gardner’s Memory

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How blessed I am to be a part of the Nielsen family. Oliver and Sandy asked Zilpha and I to sing at their wedding reception. I am grateful for that opportunity to share that wonderful moment with them. While I was employed at BYU Dairy I saw a newspaper ad for a police officer in Springville. Zilpha contacted Oliver and asked if he would be interested. Much to our joy he applied and was offered the job. The great joy of it was our children were the same age and loved growing up together. Special moments were had as families enjoyed time together.
Oliver was always doing something to serve us and everyone around him. So after we moved back to Arizona he was building the apartment in his basement. I saw an opportunity to return a favor and flew up to help him. I’m grateful for the times we had together. Love you Brother and will miss you. You are a great example to all who knew you. Farewell for now.

Neecholl Vass’s Memory

I have so many memories of Uncle Oliver but this one meant so much to me. When Cody Nielsen was 5 he was being babysat and got upset and ran out of the house after his friend. He got into a really bad accident and the paramedics were called. Somehow Uncle Oliver found out that it was Cody and he rushed over to the scene. Uncle Oliver stayed with Cody while he was loaded onto the ambulance and he cleaned all the blood off him so his mom ( me) didn’t have to see all the blood on his poor little body. A simple act of love that has stayed with our family all these years. We still all tell the story of our heroic Uncle Oliver. We will miss him.

Uncle Oliver

We have a big family. Between children and grandchildren, uncles and cousins and second-cousins and the like, there are just a lot of us. And though Uncle Oliver was really my great-uncle, he was always Uncle Oliver to me. Though there are so many in the family, I never felt forgotten by him. He always seemed to keep track of who was doing what and care about the goings-on of life. He would ask about my life, and really took the time to listen and give advice. I love him for that. He was such a great example of love and kindness.

I will also never forget being in the MTC and having him search me out. He brought me in his office and asked me how I was doing. I lied and said I was doing great. In reality, I really struggled in the MTC and failed to find my own place. But having him there, knowing that he was watching out for me and rooting for me gave me great comfort and helped my push through. He also saved me a seat right up in the front row when Elder Oaks came to speak, which was a special little treat itself.

I love you, Uncle Oliver. I’ll miss you.

Good memories

Oliver was another father to me growing up. I would go over to his house to play with Lora. He would acknowledge me and visit. His presence gave me a feeling of peace and comfort.
He always took his family to Arizona in the summers. I believe family time was important to him.
Because we lived down the street from them he and Sandy always waved to us as we passed by in our car. I remember seeing him outside all the time working on his yard. He was a hard worker.
I will always have good feelings and memories of his smile whenever I saw him.

Zilpha Gardner’s Memory

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This is a poem I think Oliver could have written. He saw beauty in everything and he was tender and kind to everyone, especially me!

I heard your voice in the wind today and I turned to see your face; The warmth of the wind caressed me as I stood silently in place. I felt your touch in the sun today as it’s warmth filled the sky; I closed my eyes for your embrace and my spirit soared so high. I saw your eyes in the window pane as I watched the falling rain; it seemed as each raindrop fell, it quietly said your name. I held you close in my heart today, it made me feel complete; You may have died. . .but you are not gone. You will always be part of me. Anonymous

I’ll see you soon little brother! You have always taken care of me and everyone around you. Now you get to be with our loved ones and I’m just a bit jealous. Thank you for all you have done for me. You will be missed! Hasta la vista!


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This was painted by a young man in my grandpa’s ward. He was one of many that my grandpa taught to rappel through the years. I love this painting. It reminds me of a time about 10 or so years ago. My mom went to a conference somewhere far away, and our whole family was going to go to Black Dragon for a reunion or something. So, my parents sent me, my little brother Preston, Owen, and Mira with Grandma and Grandpa to go down there early for a few days. Later that night, Grandma was cleaning up and getting us ready for bed. But instead, Grandpa pulled us outside one by one. When he brought me outside, I sat on his lap in his camp chair and we looked at the stars. He showed me different constellations, and told me a little bit about them. We sang a couple of songs together, he bore his testimony to me, then kissed me on the cheek and sent me to bed. This painting reminded me so much of this sweet memory I have of my grandpa that I will never forget.

The Fun Memories at Reunions

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We have had so many wonderful Nielsen Reunions through the years. I’ve always loved sitting around the campfire singing songs and listening to the stories from my Uncles and other relatives. Uncle Oliver came to my Relief Society Activity Night a few years ago and shared some of his stories of faith and his love of the Savior. He shared some his stories from his service in the Armed Forces and as a Police Officer. My ward members loved this visit! He had numerous interactions with so many hardened people, but he always showed them respect and by his example, helped them know they are loved by our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I love this picture of Uncle Oliver, my dad (Uncle Frank) and Uncle Allen just chillin’ after a long day of work during one of our reunions in Mapleton.


What an honor to serve with Elder and Sister Nielsen. I’ve never met anyone with such courage and determination to serve inspite of Oliver’s health issues. He always greeted everyone with a smile, always deverted attention away from himself to concern about others.
The world needs more Oliver Nielsens!
We send our love to his wonderful wife and family.