American Patriotic 10

Carl Calvin Nielson

July 17, 1926 ~ May 10, 2022 (age 95)


Carl Calvin Nielson died peacefully in his sleep on May 10, 2022 in Arvada, Colorado. He eagerly joined Johnsie, his wife of 72 years, and his parents and siblings on the other side.

Carl was born on July 17, 1926 in Manard, Idaho. His parents were Oliver Charles Nielson and Lydia Adeline Adams, and he had ten brothers and one sister. His first school bus was a horse-drawn sheep wagon. He attended school in a one-room schoolhouse.

When Carl graduated from high school at age 17, World War II was in full swing. He soon enlisted in the Navy, where he trained as an Aviation Electronics Technician.  He volunteered for a risky job and was just getting started when the war ended. He and his friends were spared.

After the War, he returned home and married Johnsie May Bishop in 1948. For a while, they tried to run the sawmill his dad owned but Johnsie wisely encouraged Carl to get his degree. Thanks to the GI Bill, he and Johnsie moved to Logan so Carl could study electrical engineering at Utah State. They had 2 little boys, Mike and Doug, with them when he graduated in 1952. Carl was an Air Force Reserve Communication Officer in college.

            After college, he worked in the electronics office at the Naval Shipyard in San Francisco; then to Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia; and then to the Submarine Base in New London, Connecticut. Their third son, John, was born there.

Carl went on assignment in the Mediterranean for seven months and lived on 20 different destroyer ships while Johnsie took care of the children back home. Next, he was assigned to the anti-submarine warfare program in New Jersey and was selected as the only civilian for the USS Seawolf top-secret patrol into Russian waters. They set a record by staying under water for 60 days. He helped analyze the Russian sound data and design some circuitry for the new Sonar.  He loved the work but was very busy and Johnsie did not have a husband at home often, and their boys did not have a dad. He made a difficult decision and left his beloved submarine work to preserve his family life.

Carl was transferred to Research and Development at Bell Laboratories in Columbus, Ohio, where he earned several patents on the touchtone phone. The family spent several good years in Granville, Ohio. In 1969, they transferred to a new laboratory in Denver, Colorado. Carl was a Scoutmaster in New Jersey and in Ohio, and later for a grandson in Colorado.

In 1977, Johnsie and Carl’s boys were grown so they moved to Iran to help design a new telephone system for the country. Carl and his son, John, climbed Mt. Damavand (12th most prominent peak in the world) and the family was ousted by the revolution in 1979. Johnsie and Carl completed a trip around the world from Colorado to Canada to New York to Denmark, Germany, Italy, Iran; Iran to India to Hong Kong to Macao to Japan to Hawaii to San Francisco and back to Colorado.

When Carl retired from Bell Labs in 1983, he stayed busy. He started a consulting business. He was also invited to teach in the Graduate Engineering School at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He was selected to serve as a grand juror and became a real estate broker. He later owned and operated apartment complexes—first in Longmont, then in Westminster. His grandchildren learned many skills by helping at the apartments.

Wherever he lived, Carl was active in his community (including Kiwanis Club) and made lifelong friends at work and at home. They hosted German, Danish, and Japanese students and Johnsie and Carl were able to visit them in their countries later. He had a great sense of humor and a ready laugh.

Carl was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He loved the gospel of Jesus Christ and shared it with many tenants, friends, and family. In the Church, he served in many callings and he especially enjoyed being the teacher development director and an ordinance worker in the Denver Temple.

He was a legend of a grandfather, always ready to play at the park and share his Pepsi and Reese’s with his grandkids. They learned many skills from him and enjoyed Thanksgiving traditions at Carl and Johnsie’s house.

He is survived by his youngest brother, Jene (Doris) of Gooding, ID, his three sons: Mike (Lyndi) of Provo, UT, Doug (Mary) of Lyme, CT., and John of Wheat Ridge, CO; by his seven grandchildren: Andrew (Kaori) of Greenwood Village, CO, Zina (Christian) Felt of Camillus, NY, Malina (Jarom) Grigg of Spanish Fork, UT, Sarah (Darin) Romrell of Sugar City, ID, Jacob (Lacey) Nielson of Orem, UT, Isaac (Bree) Nielson of Springville, UT, and Peter Nielson of Wheat Ridge, CO; and by his 19 great-grandchildren.

His funeral will be at the Demaray Funeral Chapel in Gooding, ID on Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 1 pm. He will be buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in Gooding.

"In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Red Cross in Carl's memory".

Local arrangements are under the care and direction of Demaray Funeral Service - Gooding Chapel.


























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