Leon Otto Nielson passed away on March 20, 2023 in Kearns, Utah at the age of 85. He was born on December 1, 1937, in Lynndyl, Millard, Utah, to Tressy Lucile Ivie and Irving J Nielson. His early years were very happy. He was a hard worker and particularly enjoyed running the family farm during his teen years. This farm-life upbringing provided by his parents taught him service, dedication, tenacity, and loyalty. He also spent much of his time helping on many other farms in his community. He graduated from Delta High, went to the University of Utah for a year, then graduated from Salt Lake Area Vocational School. While in school, he met and married his beautiful Bride, Jean Louise Grand-Pre. They settled in Sandy Utah.
Leon spent his entire professional career with one company. He enjoyed engineering but found a unique talent helping people work together. He was also an amazing problem solver. These talents served him well in his engineering work at Sperry Rand. The company became Sperry, Sperry UNIVAC, and eventually UniSys. He began working in the “clean room” on the Sergeant missile guidance systems, radar jammers, and many other things. Then, Leon began on the ground floor of computer technology, working on some of the first mainframe computers which filled huge rooms. His talents soon took him into project management, where he spent most of his career. The company’s work condensed computer processes into such machines as computers built into a desk drawer. Then early PCs began. Dad was always working on moving computers forward. He retired early in 1995 as their director of operations.
Leon made cherished family memories in many ways. With his guitar, he delighted his children each day with a variety of songs. He could fix everything and build anything. He was often in his shop making things for his wife and children. He also dearly loved fishing and camping in the Uintas and other national parks. He passed this love on to his children and grandchildren, taking every opportunity to get away to the river and enjoy mountain beauty and family time. He had a keen eye with his camera and saved many family memories and beautiful mountain scenes.
Leon was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He held many callings such as home teacher, president of the Sunday School, bishop’s councilor, member of the high council, and temple worker. One of his favorite callings was councilor in a branch presidency for the women’s prison in Bluffdale, Utah. He spent many happy hours in service to his neighbors and friends.
He was preceded in death by his beloved bride, Jean Louise Grand-Pre Nielson. He is survived by his children: Byron L. (Miriam) Nielson; Rebecca L. (Vincent Bellon), Heather N. Apple, Noelle Nielson, and Wendy Nielson. His grandchildren are: Dallin L. Nielson, Hugh Nielson, Camille (Robert Bullock), Caitlin J. Bellon, Briana D. Bellon, Spencer L. Bellon, David M. (Clarissa) Apple, Jacob R. Apple, Samuel J. (Jaiden Blessing) Apple. He has 6 great-grandchildren, and a sister-in-law Jeanne M. Nielson.
The family would like to give special thanks to Summit Senior Living Memory Care Center, especially Elizabeth Muro, Kylene, Ruth, and the many Nayas who gave their loving, tender care to Dad.
Viewing will be on Tuesday, 3/28 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Goff Mortuary at 8090 S. State Street, Midvale, and Wednesday morning, 3/29 from 10:00-10:45 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints chapel at 1030 E. Galena Drive, Sandy. Funeral services at 11:00 am at the Galena Drive chapel. Interment at the Salt Lake City Cemetery.