Leslie Gerald Nielsen

Leslie Gerald Nielsen

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Leslie Gerald Nielsen
January 31, 1939 - September 23, 2020

Leslie Gerald Nielsen, 81, of Orem, returned to his beautiful wife and Father in Heaven on September 23, 2020. He was born January 31, 1939, in St. Johns, Arizona, to William Ole Nielsen and Gwendolyn Tiffany Nielsen.

Although he went through life mostly known by his middle name Gerald, he was known by some as Jerry or by his childhood nickname “Pinky”, a tribute to his beautiful strawberry red hair. Gerald graduated from St. John’s High School in 1957 and went on to study at BYU where he met and soon after married the love of his life, Donna Rae Anderson.

Gerald was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in various positions in the Scouting and Men’s Organizations, Stake Presidency, High Council, Bishoprics, and is most loved from his time as Bishop of the Orem 2nd Ward.

His life was dedicated to public service as an Orem Police Officer. He served through a multitude of roles, a few including: Identification Officer, Evidence and Photography Specialist, Lead Detective, Sergeant, UPOA Chaplain, Public Information Officer, and acting Chief of Police. Gerald received a multitude of accommodations and awards for his service to the citizens of Orem. He delivered 9 babies during his career. For many years he was heralded as a top shooter in the state of Utah and displayed many trophies from state and regional competitions. He retired in 1996 after 30 years but continued to serve the public in various ways.

He is survived by his 4 sons and 1 daughter, Rick (Becky) Nielsen; Craig (Sonya) Nielsen; Mike (Rosaura) Nielsen; Lori Ann Dkhissi; Scott (Nicole) Nielsen; 26 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and 2 sisters.

He was preceded in death by his parents Ole and Gwen, his wife Donna, along with his stepmother Olivia, 4 brothers, 1 sister, and a precious granddaughter, Shelby Nicole.

Whether you knew him through his police work, his church service, during his years as a meat cutter, T.V repair man, in the traffic court, or through one of his hundreds of public speaking events - He was caring, humane, sympathetic, wise, personable, friendly, funny, loved to tease, countless lives were changed and made better just by knowing him.

Gerald will be honored with a viewing on Thursday October 1, 2020 from 6 - 8 P.M. at the Walker Sanderson Funeral Home, 646 East 800 North, Orem. A Graveside Funeral and Orem City Police Honor Guard Flag Folding Ceremony will be held on Friday October 2, 2020 at 11 A.M. at the Orem Cemetery, 1520 N 800 E, Orem.

We ask that if you attend these services you follow the current guidelines of practicing social distance and wear facemasks. For those who are unable or choose to not attend in person, the Graveside Service will also be available through live streaming online at

Condolences may be offered to the family online at
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, October 1st, 2020 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, October 1st, 2020 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Walker Sanderson Funeral Home
    646 East 800 North
    Orem, UT 84097
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    If you wish to honor Gerald by attending the visitation, please do so according to proper COVID protocols by wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing.
  • Family Graveside

    Orem City Cemetery
    1520 North 800 East
    Orem, Utah 84097
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    The Graveside Service will be for immediate family only, but will be available to view by clicking on the Live Webcast tab on this website.


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Teresa Brunt

Posted at 01:28pm
Gerald was a legacy! While I am sad at his passing, I am excited for the reunion on the other side! I am sure that he and my dad are "jousting" each other and catching up. He was a favorite of my dad's, Vern Stiel, and he spoke of him often. They really were such good "cops" and truly dedicated to their careers. It was such a great opportunity for me to talk with Gerald to plead my case in a ticket that I received at University Mall. We spent the entire time talking about my dad! Cherished memories.
I am sending heartfelt condolences at his passing from all of the "Stiel" girls. We loved your dad!

R Dean Durrant

Posted at 12:12pm
As our bishop he was one of the kindest men I have ever known 💖💖

Kirk Bertelsen

Posted at 11:41am
Gena and I are so very sorry for your great loss. The world lost one of the its best with the passing of Gerald. I met him through Craig as we worked together at Utah Valley Hospital. I told Craig I wanted to become a police officer and he introduced me to his Dad. That started a friendship and mentorship that lasted many years. Gerald was such a good person and taught me through his example of how to treat others with respect, even when their own actions did not earn them that respect. We will forever be grateful for all he did to help me become a police office and more importantly a better person.
Kirk and Gena Bertelsen
Kirk and Gena Bertelsen

Troy Wagstaff

Posted at 09:51pm
I first became fan of Gerald in the late 70s early 80s when he was in a bishopric and worked with us in young men’s. When he spoke to me I felt like I was the most important person in his life. He got me hooked up with several ride alongs. He went out of his way to help me. He went above and beyond what most youth leaders did. He was more than a leader to me, he was a friend. He caught me at mutual with fire crackers. He confiscated them from me and gave me a ride home from the church I lived four houses away. We spoke for an hour in the drive way telling me stories about his police adventures. He wasn’t in a hurry. He never was. I grew up and moved away but he didn’t forget me. I ran into him several times and he went out of his way to talk with me. I was using crutches at the Ramses exhibit with my wife. He saw me and took me to the second level in a service elevator. It was great to introduce him to my wife. He made such an impression on her she still remembers him after 35 years. I am sad to see him go but happy for his reunion with Donna. He left a profound legacy of love and service behind. With deepest regarded, Troy Wagstaff

Jacque Crook

Posted at 04:58pm

There is no better evidence to me of your dad's kindness than that he raised you, one of the kindest, warmest people I've ever had the opportunity to know. My heart aches for you.


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