William Oliver Nielsen, age 70, of Springville, passed away on March 12, 2020 surrounded by his family after a grueling, long battle with cancer. He was born October 7, 1949 in Springerville, Arizona to William Ole and Gwendolyn Tiffany Nielsen. He married his eternal companion Sandy on December 4, 1970, in the Mesa, Arizona Temple.
Oliver served in the Army Special Forces as a Green Beret. He loved serving his country and was very patriotic. His flag went up each morning and came down each day before sunset. He retired from the Springville Police Department after 25 years, where he served people diligently and kindly as patrol officer, detective, juvenile officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and assistant chief. He continued his law enforcement career with BYU police department assigned to the Missionary Training Center as head of security. He loved rubbing shoulders with the brethren of the church and other wonderful people while there. He served faithfully in many different capacities including bishop, and especially loved working with the youth. Many young men and women were taught to repel and trust the Lord as Oliver coached them down a cliff during yearly youth activities. He fulfilled a life-long dream by recently serving with his wife in the Provo, Utah mission. Despite battling cancer, they were able to serve a full mission and impact many lives. Oliver was an inspired teacher and had a gift of storytelling. He enjoyed gathering his family and singing inspirational songs with his guitar, even writing and sharing his own songs and cowboy poetry. He was never afraid to do what was right and inspired those around him to be better. Oliver was a great husband, dad, grandpa, uncle, protector, surrogate dad, and friend to many.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sandy, his eight children: Lora (Allan) Shinney, Shane (Lisa) Nielsen, Wade (Shelane) Nielsen, Jared Nielsen, Trevor (Mandi) Nielsen, Mathew (Heidi) Nielsen, Cristal (Jacob) Enszer, and Wyatt (Kamila) Nielsen; 33 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings Gerald Nielsen, Zilpha (Allen) Gardner, and Earlene Tessem. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Frank Nielsen, Wilbur Nielsen, Elaine Turner, and Ronald Nielsen, and grandson William Charles Nielsen.
Funeral services will be held Monday, March 16, 2020, at 11 a.m. in the Spring Creek South Stake Center, located at 350 North 400 East, Springville, Utah. Due to current health concerns the services will also be viewable online, see www.wonielsen.com/funeral-services
for details. A Public viewing will be held Sunday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Wheeler Mortuary, 211 East 200 South in Springville. Burial will be in the Springville City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please do a small act of service for someone else, as Oliver was always doing.