John Arthur Nielsen passed away at Brookdale Senior Living in Granger on August 4, 2020 after battling early onset Alzheimer’s and dementia for 14 years. He was only 69 years old.
John was born on June 1, 1951 to Robert and Dorothy (Scovie) Nielsen in Chicago, Illinois and spent most of his formative years there. He attended Loyola University on an ROTC scholarship, receiving a bachelor’s in psychology and master’s in industrial relations. In 1974, John began nine years of service in both active and reserve duty for the Army. He attained the rank of Captain before being honorably discharged in 1983. He was exceptionally proud of his service to his country.
John’s work ethic was evident early on, as he “worked” at the Science and Industry Museum at the age of 11. After college, he began a management career at Inland Steel Company that lasted 29 years and spanned many areas. He progressed from labor relations and personnel positions at Inland to Manager of Human Resources at I/N Tek and I/N Kote. His career there culminated in a promotion to Director of Government and Public Affairs for Mittal Steel, from which he retired in 2007. This last position was clearly his favorite as it enabled John to lobby for the steel industry and travel. After retirement, he worked briefly for Michigan City Area Schools as a Human Resource Administrator.
John was active in the community. He held positions with the Chamber of Commerce, South Bend Community Schools, Connect and Workforce Development. He was a valued volunteer for these organizations.
John had an appreciation for mystery novels, classical music, and the rock oldies. He collected first edition books and grew roses. His family will remember the importance he placed on education and hard work.
John was preceded in death by his parents of Florida and his brother, Robert, of North Carolina, whose wife, Charlene, survives. He is also survived by his wife of 38 years, Victoria; their two children, Jason and Kirsten (Dan Wolfe); and grandchildren, Wylie and Sadie Wolfe, and Letty all of South Bend.
John’s family wishes to thank the staff of Brookdale Senior Living, The Hearth at Juday Creek and Heart to Heart Hospice for their dedication to providing John with dignity, and his family with peace of mind, during this difficult journey. There will be no services. The family will say goodbye privately, and John will be buried with full military honors at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell. Palmer Funeral Homes - Hickey Chapel, South Bend, is assisting the family with arrangements.
In John’s memory, donations may be made to Alzheimer’s and Dementia Services of Northern Indiana, 922 E. Colfax Avenue, South Bend, Indiana 46617 or Brookdale Granger, 430 Cleveland Road, Granger, IN 46530.
Online condolences may be left for the Nielsen family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Arthur Nielsen, please visit our floral store.
Alzheimer's & Dementia Services of Northern Indiana
922 E. Colfax Ave., South Bend IN 46617
Alternate mailing address: P.O. Box 1835, South Bend, IN 46634
430 Cleveland Rd East, Granger IN 46530