Joan Nielsen of Milton-Freewater left this life May 7, 2011, surrounded by her family to begin a beautiful life in Heaven at the age of 80 years. At her request there will be no services. Memorial contributions may be made to Walla Walla Community Hospice or Pioneer
Park Garden Society/Aviary through the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862. Mrs. Nielsen was born Jan. 2, 1931, the only child of John B. and Evelyn Serier Ferguson. She attended schools in Kennewick, Yakima and St. Paul's School for girls in Walla Walla, graduating from Lewis and Clark High School in Spokane. She continued her education at Washington State University, where she met her future husband, Roger S. Nielsen. They were married Nov. 18, 1951, in the Methodist-Episcopal Church in Spokane near Manito Park, where they both enjoyed the beautiful gardens. This fall they would have celebrated their 60th anniversary. Horseback riding was one of Joan's
favorite hobbies. As a youngster, she spent many hours riding her horse in the Horse Heaven Hills. She later became an intercollegiate rodeo princess at WSU, where she also was a sorority sister of Alpha Delta Phi. A member of Fish Fans Swim Club at WSU, Joan later became the director and swimming coach of Dolphinettes Synchronized Swimming at the Walla Walla YMCA. Her passion for teaching and working with kids led to her involvement in 4-H, specializing in demonstration and homemaking skills. Joan was a member of the Scenic View Homemakers
Club, an avid gardener and worked at the Extension Office as the Frontier Fair Days Exhibit Secretary for the 4-H, Open Class and FFA.
Mrs. Nielsen was a deeply loving, caring and compassionate person who will be forever missed by her family and all of those who knew her.
When I come to the end of the road And the sun has set for me, I want no rites in a gloom-filled room. Why cry for a soul set free. Miss me a little - but not too long. And not with your head bowed low. Remember the love that we once shared. Miss me - but let me go. For this is a journey that we all must take, And each must go alone. It's all a part of God's plan. A step on the road to home. When you are lonely and sick of heart, go to the friends we know, and bury your
sorrows in doing good deeds. Miss me - but let me go
She is survived by her husband, Roger Nielsen at the home; two daughters, Vikki Machia of Highgate Center, Vt., Lisa Meyer of Brea, Calif.; a son, Mark Nielsen of Starbuck; seven grandchildren, Jaime, Aaron and Kayse Machia, Kellin, Stacy and Haley Nielsen, and Kristin Meyer; and five great-grandchildren.