Ronald Romayne Nielsen
"Coach Ron" passed away Friday, June 10, 2022.
Ron was born to Christopher and Ruth Morton Nielsen on December 18, 1931. He was the youngest of nine children, and the only one born in a hospital. His mom was so impressed with the nurse there, she named Ron after her, using Romayne as his middle name. His family and friends had a lot of fun with that.
Ron graduated from South High School, in Salt Lake City, and attended Snow College and Carbon College in Utah where he played varsity football and basketball. He joined the Army during the Korean War, and was honorably discharged in 1954.
After his military service, he went back to school at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, playing varsity football and basketball. It was there he met the love of his life, Jacquelyn Marie Lewis. They married February 17, 1955. Ron and Jackie had six children, perfectly planned out: girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, boy. Ron would tell that to anybody that would listen.
Ron spent 33 years with John Morrell and Company, where he worked as a route salesman in Utah, and South Dakota. He was a district manager in Washington DC, and a regional manager in Utah and Washington State. He finally settled back home in Utah when John Morrell transferred him there in 1978. In 1986, Ron took an early retirement and started his own food brokerage business. After several years, he sold it, and fully retired.
Ron was a coach. For over 50 years, he coached football, basketball and baseball. He coached kids from 8 years old to high schoolers, and from Laurel and Gambrills Maryland to Washington State. Ron was a driving force for integrating his little league teams in Maryland, stating that if every boy can't play, they can find another coach.
He spent many years in the Highland, Hillcrest and East systems in Utah. He loved his players and often bought equipment for them. This man coached his kids in sports, and in life. He influenced many young men during his coaching career.
In his later years, he became a crossing guard. He loved his job and took it very seriously. He loved the kids, and they loved him. He wouldn't let them cross the street in the morning until they smiled.
Ron is preceded in death by his wife, Jackie Lewis Nielsen, his parents, his three sisters and five brothers, and his granddaughter, Rachel Dunning Anderson. He is survived by his six children; Karen Dunning, Bruce Nielsen, Kathy Byus (Fred), Brad Nielsen (Heather Christie), Kelly Roberts (Peter Roberts), and Blake Nielsen; fourteen grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews, and his friend of over 75 years, Orv Smith.
Ron's last service to others was donating his body to science to help teach future doctors.
An Open House will be at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City, UT on Saturday, July 30, 2022 between 4 pm and 6 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to East Youth Football, or any local youth sports organization. Memories can be shared on the Facebook Public Group "The Life and Legacy of Coach Ron Nielsen".