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Former Norpac, Wilco board member Don Nielson, 84, dies

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Don Nielson, a Stayton, Ore., farmer, died Oct. 3.



He was 84.



Nielson was born in Forest Grove and moved to Stayton with his family in 1943.



After serving in the U.S. Army in World War II, Nielson met and married his wife, Luella Mary, in 1948 and started farming. The two had nine children.



The Nielsons raised strawberries, corn, green beans, zucchini and grass seed from their farm on Fern Ridge.



Nielson served on the board of directors for the farmer cooperatives Wilco and NORPAC, where he served as board chairman for eight years.



Don was preceded in death by his parents James "Bill" and Agnes (Herb) Nielson, his wife Luella, his son Jim, his sister Mary Lou Geil, and his beloved canine companion Bud.



He is survived by wife Henrietta Nielson, Stayton; sons Mike (Lisa) Nielson and Dave (Maryann) Nielson of Stayton; daughters Sharon (Denny) Barnes, Connie Nielson, Kathy (John) Kaczynski and Janis (Paul) Anderson of Stayton, Judy (Glen) Hayden of Salem, and Chris (Mike) Christensen of Albany; brothers Tom (Rosie), Ed (Aletha) and Roger Nielson; sister Nancy (Richard) Hartmann; his aunt Dorothy Nielson; and 16 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.



The family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks for the spiritual and physical care provided Don by Father Ed of Immaculate Conception Church, Drs. John Strother, David Foster and David Elmgren, physicians assistant Trina, Dr. John Gurnee and the many kind nurses at First Call Home Health, and nurse John Conner of Willamette Valley Hospice.



A vigil will be held Monday, October 8 at 5:30 p.m., and Mass of Christian Burial will be Tuesday, October 9 at 11 a.m., both at Immaculate Conception Church in Stayton. Interment will be in St. Mary Cemetery, followed by a luncheon reception at Anthony Hall.



In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Regis Green and Gold Auction and the tuition assistance programs at Regis High School and St. Mary Catholic School, Stayton.



Serving the family, North Santiam Funeral Service, Stayton.



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