Maynard Lee Nielsen (1951 - 2015)

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Funeral services for Maynard L. Nielsen, 63, were conducted by Pastor Keith Menter, Pastor Paul Reynolds, and Pastor Sam Jacobs on Thursday, April 23, 2015, at 10:30 a.m. at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kimballton. Inurnment was in the Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Kimballton. The honorary casket bearers will be Lori Sayles, Lynne Madsen, Layna Himmelberg, Leigh Ann Petersen, Shane Nielsen, and Kori Nelson. The Kessler Funeral Home in Exira was in charge of the arrangements.
Maynard Lee Nielsen, the son of Harold and Lillie (Hansen) Nielsen, was born June 16, 1951, in Harlan, and died April 17, 2015, near Kimballton, at the age of 63 years, 10 months, and 1 day.
Maynard was born with cerebral palsy and was baptized while still in the Harlan hospital and later confirmed at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kimballton. He attended the Elk Horn Community Schools graduating with the High School Class of 1970. Maynard helped his father farm for a short time then was a Teacher's Aide at Concerned in Harlan from 1974 to 1981. In 1982 he enrolled at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, and graduated in 1984 with an Associate of Arts Degree in Human Services. He then attended Emporia State University in Emporia, Kan., where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1986 and a Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling in 1988. During this time, he also interned at the Iowa State Vocational Rehabilitation Facility in Des Moines. From 1988 through 1991, Maynard was the Senior Care Manager at Goodwill Industries in Council Bluffs. In March of 1989 he received Goodwill's Employee of the Month Award. In October of 1989 he received the Achiever of the Year Award and in May of 1990 he received Goodwill's Nominee for Employee of the Year Award.
In 1991, Maynard returned to Elk Horn to care for his Mother who was in failing health and helped her to stay in her own home until she moved to the Salem Lutheran Nursing Home in 2002. He worked various jobs in the community. Maynard was employed at Kessler Funeral Homes in Audubon and Exira beginning in the summer of 2001. He managed and maintained the buildings, grounds, and vehicles until the fall of 2004. Maynard then became an employee of the Texaco Station in Elk Horn. He enjoyed meeting and greeting all who walked in the door. He moved to the Salem Nursing Home in December of 2011 but continued to work at Texaco until 2014.
Maynard was a life-long member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kimballton, and had served on the Church Council. Maynard never met a stranger and greeted everyone with a smile or a joke. He loved people and had many friends. Maynard taught us patience and how to deal with the cards we are dealt.
Maynard was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his sister Muriel and husband Dale Petersen of Elk Horn; his brother Myron (Mike) and wife Barb of Council Bluffs; his nieces Lori Sayles, Lynne Madsen, Layna and husband Chad Himmelberg all of Omaha, Neb., Leigh Ann and husband Terry Petersen of Elk Horn, Shane and wife Kris Nielsen and Kori and husband Eric Nelson all of Council Bluffs; numerous other relatives and many friends.
Funeral Home
Kessler's Exira Funeral Home
234 W South St
Exira, IA 50076
(712) 268-2662
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Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Apr. 23 to May 1, 2015