Robert Earl Nielsen, 88, of Midland, passed away Thursday, July 4, 2013. The family will receive friends on Monday, July 8, 2013, from 4:00-6:00PM at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home. Interment will be at a later date at the Santa Fe, New Mexico National Cemetery. Bob was born on October 1, 1924 to Jeanette and Howard Nielsen in Westhope, ND. He and his family moved to Northern Minnesota and settled in Baudette. He graduated from Baudette High School as the Valedictorian in 1944. On his 18th birthday Bob joined the Army Air Corp. He went overseas in the summer of 1944, where he was stationed in England. Robert graduated from Navigation School as a 2nd Lieutenant and served as the Navigator on several B-17's. On their 32nd mission over Germany, they were shot down and captured, becoming Prisoners of War in 1945. He was released from the United States Army May 16, 1946. In the fall of 1946, Robert attended at the University of Minnesota where he received his Bachelors in Science and his Masters in Chemical Engineering. He married Eleanor Palko on June 14, 1947, in Minnesota. After graduation from college, his career started and ended in the Petroleum Industry. Bob's life interests included his love for his family, a total joy for playing golf, and a passion for reading. Survivors include his wife, Eleanor Nielsen of Midland, TX; daughter, Patricia and husband Hal Purcell of Atlanta, GA; son, Don and wife Louise Nielsen of Albuquerque, NM; and son, David and wife Shirley Nielsen of Richmond; two wonderful grandchildren, Robert Purcell of Columbus, Ohio and Kelsey and husband Troy Prangley of Albuquerque, NM; two sisters-in-law, Leona Ready of Salt Lake City, Utah and Jessie Nielson of Baudette, Minnesota; and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Howard W. Nielsen and Jeanette S. Nielsen. The family wishes to send a heartfelt thank you to Hospice of Midland and all the people who lovingly cared for Bob and his family with dedication. A very special thank you to Danny Anderson, pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church for all his prayers, love, and support. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to be made to Hospice of Midland, PO Box 2621, Midland, Texas 79702, or to the Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 5110 N. Garfield, Midland, Texas 79705. Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences can be made at: www.npwelch.com
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Published in Midland Reporter-Telegram on July 7, 2013