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Larkin Mortuary

Ivan Delmar Nielsen

06/02/1934 - 10/18/2019

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Ivan Delmar Nielsen was born June 2, 1934, to Elroy Nielsen and Arvilla Harris. He spent his early years in Hyrum, Cache County, Utah where he had many fond memories of growing up, but lived most of his life in Salt Lake City.

Ivan married quite young and went on to father a large family. He worked hard at various occupations to provide for his many children, sometimes holding down two or three jobs at once, which often kept him away from home. In 1986, he started his own business selling water softeners, with his son Paul, and eventually became financially settled.

He had a great passion for life. He relished eating and food was often a part of his conversations, ending with him inquiring about the next meal. He was especially fond of music and loved to have his children and grandchildren sing to him. Another joy in his life was traveling. His face lit up whenever he talked about the places he had been and he was always eager to go on another trip. Although it was expensive, he took many of his children on vacations throughout the United States.

Ivan had a special way with people. He left an impression on people wherever he went. He was good at making others feel comfortable and equally talented at making them feel uncomfortable. He was sharptongued and quick-witted and could turn an awkward situation into hilarity in a matter of seconds. He was always ready to share a funny story, tell a joke or catch everyone off guard with an unexpected comment.

He was not a man to hold a grudge. Though he dealt with his share of disappointments, heartbreak and tragedies, he had the ability to maintain an upbeat attitude no matter what life handed him. It was not uncommon to hear him whistling a tune or humming to himself. While he often appeared jolly, beneath the surface was a man of great depth and strong feelings.

He was deeply religious and devoted to his faith. During his adulthood he filled many religious positions in service to the community and spent his life fulfilling his spiritual duties. His religion came first and everything else followed. While he didn’t always share them, he held strong opinions, fiercely resisted the status quo and championed the right of free agency. Throughout his long life he touched a wide array of people and was admired and respected by many.

In 2009, he suffered a stroke that signaled the beginning of a long struggle with dementia. His illness took a tremendous toll on his body and his mind but he never lost his sense of humor nor his capacity to love.

Ivan died on October 18, 2019, at the age of 85, surrounded by his family. The truth of his life was not confined to his personality or his duties to his children or the memories we hold of him. It stretched far beyond that, to the unknown ways he impacted the lives of others, to the love that he felt and the love he could never adequately express; and in the silence of his passing, he still speaks.

He is preceded in death by his parents, his daughter Diane who died in infancy, his sons Douglas and Paul, Annette Miller, and many, many others that he knew and loved well. He leaves behind five wives, Carol, Colleen, Valerie, Kathleen, and Naomi, his remaining 43 children, his adoptive children, 232 grandchildren, 173 great-grandchildren and counting.

There will be a public viewing on October 24th, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Larkin Mortuary 3688 West 12600 South in Riverton, Utah. Funeral services will be held on Friday October 25th, at 12:00 PM at the LDS Stake Center on 14400 South 2742 West in Bluffdale. A viewing will be held at the Stake Center prior to the funeral from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.

Recent Condolences

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  • Wow… many wonderful childhood memories of this amazing man and his illustrious family. There was a time when as a Draper “little kid” i looked up to Uncle Ivan, his brother Wendell and my dad Bill Draper as “The Three Musketeers “. Everyone referred to him as Ivan The Terrible. As kids I’m sure we all remember the water softener business Domestic and Commercial that they ran. Also the amazing ping pong talent! This was scarry… go up against one of them and you would loose! I looked up to his sons Bruce Joe Paul Steven as my idols. His son Robert was my classmate in gradeschool. Amazing sports talents, football at The Farm, Granite Jr High field and such. And each one had Uncle Ivans undescribable signature sense of humor! He and his legacy will always be cherished. He has left his mark of love on everyone who knew him I’m Sure. Drapers and Nielsens… now there is a recipie for some fun trouble that is for sure. -Love… Guy and Kim Draper St. George Ut.

    — Guy Draper
  • I met Ivan while playing in the symphony with his son Guy. He was tremendously supportive of Guys and Mines talent, and he supported my musical pursuits by funding our music trips. The action was very admirable and supportive which is his natural way. He is father to many, not just his real kids. The confidence I gained while assisting in construction jobs and buildings homes with the family, helped me know my worth on life and aided in my exemplary actions through 11 years of the Iraqi war. I came home a hero, and Ivan is my hero. I would not have been as successful without Ivan’s example and mentorship.

    Respectfully,

    Sgt. Bentley, lowell
    Truck Master of the Marine Corps Airfraft rescue fighters.

    — Lowell Bentley
  • I am sorry for your loss. Ivan was a funny man that even as Nephi, his sons ex wife, he always made me feel comfortable. I send my condolences and my thoughts and prayers are with your family. May he rest in peace

    — Katie Nielsen

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