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Allan Nilson

1931 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Allan Nilson Obituary
ALLAN EUGENE NILSON 1931-2017 Allan, a resident of Medford, Oregon, since 2015 and resident of Humboldt County, CA for 60 years, died at his home in Medford, of natural causes on May 7, 2017, in the loving and tender care of his family with compassionate assistance from Providence Hospice of Medford. As a professional forester and land surveyor (Western Timber Services, Kleiner and Nilson Land surveyors, Allan E. Nilson and Co., Hoopa Valley Tribal Council) Allan walked and measured the hills, valleys, forests and grasslands of Humboldt and surrounding counties for 60 years. A determined and enthusiastic climber, he reached the top of hills and mountains from Mexico to Alaska. Accompanied by son Eric and a friend, he proudly summited Mt. Whitney at the age of 72. He loved fishing of all kinds, skiing and golfing. Allan held a lifetime membership at Beau Pre Golf Club. (He was both surprised and pleased to have shot a hole-in-one at Beau Pre once in the '80s). He took quiet pride in being a good marksman, scoring well at target practice and skeet. He celebrated his 82nd birthday by catching a beautiful steelhead on a tried-and-true egg pattern fly out of Oregon's Rogue River. Allan was born in Astoria, Oregon on Nov. 4, 1931, the youngest of the three children of Ruth Ingrid (Olson) and Lars John Nilson. He grew up on their dairy farm in Rosburg, in southwestern Washington State. He graduated from Naselle High School in 1949 as valedictorian of his class and graduated with honors from the University of Washington School of Forestry in 1954. He met his life-partner to be, Carole Phifer, at the University of Washington in 1952. A week after his graduation in 1954, they were married in Carole's hometown, Port Angeles, Washington. They began the first of their 63 years together traveling to El Paso, Texas, where Allan served his ROTC commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, U.S. Army, at Fort Bliss. He was honorably discharged a 1st Lieutenant at Fort Bliss in April, 1956. In late spring, 1956, Allan began his career as a professional forester with Western Timber Services in Arcata, California, working for Robert Kleiner (another graduate of the U. of W. School of Forestry) and Ellis Givens. After a year of graduate work in 1958-59, he returned to Western Timber Services. He became a Licensed Professional Land Surveyor in 1960. He was an active longtime member of the Society of American Foresters and the California Land Surveyors Association. In the early 1970s Allan began a temporary part-time appointment (that stretched into 14 years) to the faculty of the Department of Forestry at Humboldt State University. He loved teaching and was singularly known by his students as "uncle Al," for his calm and kindly demeanor. One of his most memorable "teaching tools" was his basset-hound, Sophie, who went along on all field trips as "that funny-looking student with the long ears." Allan and Carole raised their family of six on Azalea hill in McKinleyville, where they resided for 55 years. They also loved their home in Willow Creek, hosting many visits from children and grandchildren for 20 years. Allan was an adored dad who served as everything from ballet-show retriever to 50-mile-hike leader with good-humored support and great patience - most of the time. Allan was preceded in death by his parents, sister-in-law Shirley Nilson, his sister and brother-in law, Caroline Marie and Eldon Jenne, his brother, John Donald Nilson, and granddaughter Kathryn Nilson MacDiarmid (our Katie). A most beloved husband, father, father-in-law an grandfather, Allan will be remembered as a rescuer from mishaps, innovative problem-solver and supporter of projects large and small. His memory will be deeply cherished by his wife, Carole, children and their spouses Julie (John) MacDiarmid, Mark (Susan) Nilson, David (Leslie) Nilson, Eric Nilson (Laural Hill), Amy Baum (Charles), Chris (Suzanne Wolf), and his grandchildren Duncan MacDiarmid, Kevin Baum, Jenn and Ian Nilson, Jana Nilson and Grant and Elle Nilson. Also surviving him are several cousins, nieces and nephews, brother-in-law Neil Tikka and special partner-in-law, Laverna Mason. A celebration of Allan's life will be held on Friday, September 15 at 1 pm at Azalea Hall, 1620 Pickett Road, McKinleyville. Donations in his memory may be made to the Allan E. Nilson Memorial Forestry Scholarship at Humboldt State University, or Providence Hospice of Medford. Please sign the guestbook at www.times-standard.com
Published in Eureka Times-Standard from Sept. 6 to Sept. 7, 2017
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