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thumb OBIT-Dell Ray Nielson1thumb OBIT-Dell Ray Nielson


1933 - 2017

Dell was born March 3, 1933 in Manti, Utah, to Effie Rozella Olson and Ray Christian Nielson. 


He  died at his home in Lamoille, NV on Monday, July 10, 2017, after chopping tree limbs for 4 hours in the heat, Only death would keep him from working.

            Dell spent his early days in Manti and in Fruita, Utah, where his father was a time keeper for the WPA ( A government work program).  During WWII his family went to Long Beach, CA to help in the war effort by building B-24 Bombers, but returned to Delta, Utah where Dell finished high school.  All told, his higher education consisted of 2 years of college, majoring in geology.

            After graduation Dell married his high school sweetheart, Cherie Bishop,  and  joined the army.  He  received  a mechanic's education working on army equipment, but got an early-out when his grandfather died.

            After his divorce from Cherie, he married Elaine Done and worked in her father’s machine shop. Las Vegas called.  He passed the real estate exam and sold land and investment properties until his retirement. He also purchased various income properties for rentals, doing all the maintenance and repairs with the help of his sons.

            Another divorce, another marriage, this one lasting 54 years, to Penny Chandler Auten (married: November 17, 1962), which also brought him two children; Thomas Wayne Auten and Scotty Lee Auten, whom he adopted.  Two more, Daniel Ray Nielson and Darcy Renae Nielson, were added to the family by adoption.

            Dell lived to hunt and fish.  He also built dune buggies, and enjoyed racing them in the early Las Vegas Mint 400 races. He  won several trophies, including one for Good Sportsmanship, when he stopped to help a racer who had rolled his buggy.

            Another love was flying. He owned several planes and flew regularly until he cracked up one at the Elko airport when he got caught in the vortex of a commercial plane which flipped his little one.  The bent “propeller trophy” hangs in his office.

            If it was mechanical Dell could build it or fix it.

            After spending approximately 26 years in Las Vegas, he and wife Penny moved to Lamoille, NV to “The Ranch” where he continued to build and fix, and hunt and fish.

            Dell is survived by his wife Penny,  children: Tom (Miyuki), Scott (Karen), Daniel (Laurie), and Darcy (Desi Smith); grandchildren: Michael, Laura, and Alanna, Eugene Takita, Reika Takita Lui, and Taka Takita (Tom); Ashley, Jason, Chase, Colby, Aubrey, Nikki Bergen and  Kalli Windous (Scott); Lexie, Kayla Kramer, Todd Kramer (Daniel); Griffin (Darcy); and 16 great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind 10 cousins and several nieces and nephews.

            Friends and family are invited to visit Friday July 14, 2017 from 6:30 to 8 P.M. at the Spring Creek First Ward Chapel, 77 E. Spring Creek Parkway, Spring Creek, NV.   Funeral Services will be held Saturday July 15, 2017 at the Spring Creek First Ward Chapel at 10 A.M., with a viewing beginning at 9 A.M.  Burial will be at the Moroni City Cemetery, Moroni, Utah at

1 P.M. Monday July 17.