“A True Champion & Covid-19 Ass-Kicker”
Rex was born in Pleasant Grove Utah in his family home on March 24, 1937. He was born to Clarence E. Nielsen & Doris Young Nielsen. He was the 3rd of 5 children. Emily, Clarence jr., (Rex), Dora Ann & Keith. Rex was also gifted with 3 half-brothers from his father first marriage. Edward, Leo and Blaine.
Rex married Kaye Christensen (1955-1960) and from that marriage he had two amazing children. He later married Janet Golightly (1961-1990), and together they had 3 beautiful daughters. At the time of his passing, Rex was married to Betty Johnson Nielsen; “the prettiest girl in their high school class.” Rex & Betty were later sealed in the LDS temple, and Betty brought into their marriage three more wonderful children.
From a young age Rex started working with his family peddling fruit to make money. A tradition he learned from his Danish Grandparents who migrated to the United States. Rex loved sports in school and lettered in track, but the call of being a cowboy was much more exciting so off to a Ranch in Big Piney Wyoming is where he hitchhiked and spent his summers, until enlisting in the Navy. Rex served on The SS Laws Destroyer in the Korean War. He worked in the boiler room and proudly wore the ports he had visited tattooed on his leg.
Rex was an extremely talented man; he had a beautiful voice and there wasn’t a musical instrument he couldn’t play. He had the strong ability of being an incredible provider for his family and loved to spoil his girls. He worked in occupations such as a firefighter & welder where he would proudly take his family to Hogle Zoo to show them the hard work he’d accomplished welding the enclosures in the Primate exhibit. Ultimately his greatest passion for income was that of a truck driver. There wasn’t a Peterbilt or Kenworth he didn’t love. He knew every Highway & interstate in the US and loved to bring home treasures from such runs. Rex enjoyed hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family. He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints and held many callings.
Rex is survived by his wife Betty J. Nielsen, his children Sawnya Russell, Jeanna (Robert) Dalton, Jodi (James) Williams and Earla (Craig) Keller. His Stepchildren Shelly (Greg) Beutler & Duane Berry. 16 grandchildren & 22 great-grandchildren. His sister DoraAnn (Wally) Peat, sister in law Darlene Phipps. He is preceded in death by his parents, son Donald, sister Emily, stepson Dale and all his beloved brothers.
A special Thank you to the staff at William Christofferson Veterans Care Center and to Canyon Hospice for the love & support they gave him during this pandemic. A special “wink” to his mushroom & nurse Jody.
Private family services will be held Monday December 07, 2020 with final internment at Camp Williams in Bluffdale.
Services may be joined by live stream at 1:00 PM using this link: https://zoom.us/j/8015661249
Or instructions to join are as follows:
1. Joining by computer
a. Go to zoom.us in any internet browser
b. Click “join meeting”
c. Enter the meeting id - 8015661249
d. A box will open saying “https://zoom.us wants to open this application”. Click “open zoom”
e. Click “Join with Computer Audio”
f. Click “Mute” in the bottom left hand corner so that your audio does not interrupt the funeral services
2. Joining by phone or iPad
a. Download the Zoom app
b. Open the app and select “join a meeting”
c. Enter the meeting id - 8015661249
d. Select “join without video”
e. Select “Call using internet audio”
f. Select “mute” in the bottom left hand corner so that your audio does not interrupt the funeral services.
Life Story Info
I have not seen uncle Rex since I was a little girl. I have fond memories of spending a week or so at his house every summer when I would visit Utah to see my dad. I was working at the VA hospital as the chief of sterile processing while Rex was there fighting COVID. Unfortunately, I did not know he had been a patient there until after his discharge. My heart is heavy with grief over that.
I would like to give a shout-out to Earla and Jodi. I was always excited to see them when I would come to Utah for my visits.
I am very sorry for the family’s loss.