Kenneth L. Mehrtens
Reed Meyerhoffer Nielsen, Sr.
Wonderful husband, father, grandfather, church leader and friend to all, Reed Nielsen passed away January 11, 2014 in Gooding, Idaho at the age of 91 years. His life touched for good everyone in his reach. He loved people and cared for them in all of their needs. He was tolerant and kind in all his dealings with his fellowmen. He was patriarch of a family of about 225 descendants. He was proud of his family and their accomplishments. He was an example of hard work, integrity, tolerance, and cheerfulness.
He was born June 8, 1922 in Mackay, Idaho in the house where later he and his wife Elma Beth lived and raised their children. He was the third child of Wyman Isaac Nielsen and Pearl Martha Meyerhoffer. He grew up in Mackay and in Crescent, Utah working with his father on their farms.
He married his sweetheart, Elma Beth Fowler, in Crescent, Utah on September 20, 1941. Not long after his marriage, he served in the Navy as a gunnery instructor during World War II. Reed and Elma Beth were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple June 27, 1946. Together they raised 13 children, nine sons and four daughters. At age 30, he was called and served 10 years as Bishop of Mackay Ward in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He then served 10 years as a counselor in the Lost River Stake Presidency, 10 years as Stake President and then as the Stake Patriarch. Through the years he spoke at nearly 400 funerals. One of his great qualities was his ability to comfort and relate to people of all walks of life. He served two LDS missions in his later years, one to Maine with Elma Beth and a second to Nauvoo with Evelyne.
Reed operated Lower Cedar Creek Ranch until he sold out in 1990. He built and managed an intricate irrigation system, the life’s blood of the ranch. He said many times that the Church and Cedar Creek defined his life. He was also a skilled machinist and repairman and operated Nielsen Machine for many years. He was a long-time representative for Honolulu Copper’s mining interests in the Mackay area. In his later years he became an accomplished cabinet and furniture maker.
His beloved wife, Elma Beth passed away November 1997. On December 31, 1998 he married Evelyne Hegsted Lofgran in American Fork, Utah. They enjoyed 15 years together traveling for business and pleasure and enjoying the extended family. He is survived by Evelyne, his wife of 15 years; children Reed (Nina), Rebecca Schultz (Grant), Robert (Patrica), Paul (Mieke), Matthew (Joan), Mark (Teralyn), Michael, Donald (Dar-la), Elizabeth Miller (Kevin), Kristine England (William), Mary Vincenti (Mark), John (Barbara), David (DaLeise). He is also survived by 142 grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as Evelyne’s children Reid Lofgran (Danielle), Randy Lofgran (Tiffany ) and Scott Lofgran (Kimberly) and her 22 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his sister Beth Samuelson; brother Wyman Nielsen; grandson Daniel Nielsen; granddaughter Tamiann Nielsen and stepdaughter Diana Lofgran Hoffman (Curtis).
Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 18 at 11 am at the LDS Stake Center in Moore, Idaho. There will be a viewing at the same building Friday, January 17 from 6-8 pm and a viewing before the funeral from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Interment will be in the Mt. McCaleb Cemetery under the direction of the Anderson Family Funeral Home.