RICHARD LYNN "RIKI" NIELSON
Richard Lynn "Riki" Nielson, our beloved father, grandfather, and great grandfather passed away Saturday, February 11, 2023 surrounded by his family.
He was born January 4, 1944 in Murray, Utah to John Willard Nielson Sr. and Lavelle Young. He grew up in Hunter, Utah, graduating from Cyprus High School in 1962 where he served as student body president.
Rich served for three years as a full-time missionary in the Samoan islands from 1963-1965, which was a foundational experience in his life. Together with three other missionaries, he formed a band called The Eldares that became the Samoan version of the Beatles. Their music is still popular in Samoan culture to this day. Following his mission, he married Kathryn Ann Johansen on September 9, 1966 in the Salt Lake Temple.
He resided in West Valley City (formerly Hunter) for most of his adult life.
Rich worked most of his professional career in various information systems roles, including 25 years in the Printing and Distribution Services groups of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving faithfully in many callings throughout his life, including as a bishop and as a counselor in the Stake Presidency. He and Kathryn served together as missionaries in the Salt Lake Inner City Mission (2004-05) and in the Apia Samoa Mission (2006-08), which were experiences they both treasured. Rich had a deep love for the Lord, his family, the Samoan people (and Polynesians more broadly), sports, music, and good food.
He is preceded in death by his wife, his parents and his three siblings: John W. "Jack" (Dorothy) Nielson Jr, Caryl (Byron) Mackay, and Shirley (Bill) Ashburn.
He is survived by his three children: Troy (Jennifer) Nielson, Brandi Nielson, and Kelly (Jason) Jarvis; 8 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 18th at 10:00 a.m. at the Salt Lake Hunter Stake building, 3737 South 5600 West in West Valley City. Viewings will be held Friday, February 17th from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the McDougal Funeral Home, 4330 South Redwood Road, and Saturday at the church, from 9:00 - 9:45 a.m. prior to the funeral services.
Interment will follow the funeral services at Valley View Memorial Park, 4391 West 4100 South.
Rich and his family are very grateful for the staff of Ashford Assisted Living in Draper and Inspiration Hospice for their loving care over the past year.