John Christian Nelson

1940 ~ 2022

John Christian Nelson, age 82, died quietly with his family at his bedside on October 21, 2022 after a heroic battle with vascular dementia. John was born on June 14, 1940 in Denver, Colorado, to Elroy and Alice Nelson. He attended school at East High and graduated in 1958. Following high school, he served a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Northern California. He later met the love of his life, Lynne Sanders Nelson, and they were married and sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on July 17, 1964. Following completion of medical school, they moved to Iowa City for his residency in Ophthalmology. A few years later, they returned to Salt Lake City where he established his private practice.

He had a great love for his Savior and was a faithful member of The Church. He loved serving the Lord, and as a dedicated member of Parleys Third Ward, he served in many cherished callings including the stake patriarch for the YSA students of the University of Utah, a patriarch in the Salt Lake Wilford Stake, and a devoted and influential scout leader.

He lovingly cared for his sweetheart Lynne in her final days as she passed of a brain tumor in 1999. Following the death of his wife, he married Mary Ann Warren. The two of them served as Visitor Center Directors at the St. George Temple. He faithfully took care of Mary Ann during her last years as she battled with breast cancer until her passing in 2016. He had the opportunity to marry Karon Sorenson in 2017, who supported and cared for him through his final days.

His love for his family will be fondly remembered. His example was poignant in his generosity and service to all. He gave us the gift of laughter through his sense of humor and was instrumental in cultivating our passion for music. He relished conducting our family musical celebrations and enthusiastically played his viola with his loved ones. Whenever classical music is played, he will certainly be near.

He was preceded in death by his mother and father; Elroy and Alice Nelson. He is survived by his six children, Christine Nelson Gregory (Kent), David C. Nelson (Melisa), Catherine Nelson Bohman (Wayne), Matthew John Nelson (Kelli), Steven Sharp Nelson (Julie), Camille Nelson Schwendener (Alvin), and his 19 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his three brothers; Art Nelson, Hank Nelson, Jim Nelson, and one sister, Tina Nelson Preston.

We would like to express our sincere gratitude to the caring staff of Dignity Home Health and Hospice and Beehive Homes. Thank you for your devoted care of our dear father.

A viewing will be held at Larkin Sunset Lawn, located at 2350 East 1300 South, Salt Lake City on Wednesday, October 26 from 6:00-8:00 pm. An additional viewing will be on Thursday, October 27 from 9:30-10:30 am, shortly before the funeral services at 11:00 am, located at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints chapel at 2220 East Fisher Lane, Salt Lake City. Interment at Larkin Sunset Lawn.

Services can be viewed by clicking the "Watch Service" button above.


John was my first Bishop in Iowa City after my conversion. He is an incredible man who was truly a shepherd to those who needed his testimony, humor and loyal friendship. My family was very close to both John and Lynn during their stay in Iowa. I have so many memories with Lynn traveling to Nauvoo together, her role in Madame Butterfly, and her delightful sense of humor. John nurturing influence has been a pillar throughout my life as well. I send my love to his family during this season of deep loss. A truly great man has gone home.

- Patty Kent Marsh

I loved and appreciated your mild gentle father, husband and grandfather.
We could always count on him when we were the music chairpeople in the Parleys Stake and your mother would sing in the annual Messiah singin.
When we were at Music Camps I loved seeing him work with his string players.
Once our oldest daughter had worn her contacts too many hours and she was suffering, John came to our home to care for her. That meant so much to me.
Aren’t we blessed to know we will see him again. The morning after he passed I was privileged to see him young and very much alive. I am down on Boulder Mountain and our son recently added Wi-Fi and I was so happy to participate in the service via Zoom.
Ilene Carter Ferris mother of Kirsten, Hadley, Victoria, Elliott and Georgia Ferris

- Ilene Carter Ferris