Our beloved mother, grandmother and friend, Fern Swan Nielsen, returned to her Heavenly Father Oct 9, 2021. She entered this life with her twin, LaVerne, on May 30,1922, the last of nine children born to Claron Alexander Swan and Bertha Emery McKean. Fern was raised during the Great Depression and learned from an early age to overcome adversity and to work hard. She paid her way through Henegar Business College, acquiring secretarial skills that served her well as a young career girl during World War II and later providing for her family. She met and married her sweetheart, Kenneth Niels Nielsen on September 16, 1947. Their marriage was solemnized in the Salt Lake Temple on June 12, 1970. One year after their marriage they were blessed with their first child, Brent, and purchased their first home in Midvale, Utah where they welcomed their daughter, Mary and enjoyed raising their small family.
On October 7, 1952, Ken was involved in a serious explosion at the Lark, Utah mine, suffering multiple injuries to his body and losing one eye. This accident drove Fern to her knees where she learned to love and rely on her Savior for the remainder of her 99 years.
Following the accident, Fern immediately became the full-time breadwinner—expertly balancing work, caregiving and motherhood. Completely devoted to her family, she sacrificed all to provide a loving home, piano, trombone, voice, elocution lessons and college degrees for her children. To accomplish this she took on extra part-time secretarial work, which she did in the early hours of the morning.
Her greatest achievement, in her words, is her family. She cheered, encouraged and was always proud of each one’s accomplishments. When Mary wed Richard E. Cook, a widower, she took the Cook family into her heart and always considered them “hers.” She is survived by her children, Brent K. Nielsen (Judy), Mary N. Cook (Richard), 7 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and 31 great-great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 11:00 am at the Midvale Utah North Stake Center, 97 West 7500 South, Midvale, Utah with a viewing from 9:30–10:45 am prior to the service. A viewing will also be held Friday evening, October 15, 2021 at the Stake Center from 6 - 8 pm. The service will be live streamed and will be available to watch at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/FernNielsen
Our deepest gratitude to her many friends and staff at Spring Gardens-Holladay for their love and tender care of our sweet mother, and a special thanks to Lacey Roberts and Canyons Hospice. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to the BYU-Hawaii Mongolian Education Endowment Fund: https://philanthropies.churchofjesuschrist.org/ To locate the Mongolian Fund search: 30287033.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Fern (Swan) Nielsen, please visit our floral store.