Father, husband, brother, and artist, Royce Craig Neilson passed away peacefully on October 13, 2019 of mantle cell lymphoma. He was born March 29, 1949 in Preston, Idaho to Vern and Joyce Neilson. Royce grew up in Los Angeles, California and graduated from Lowell High School in 1968. From 1968-1970, he served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Central America. He remained an active member of the Church throughout his life and had a burning testimony of the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Restored Gospel.
In 1974, Royce married Janice Estell Pack in the Los Angeles Temple and they became the parents of eight children, 3 boys and 5 girls. They were divorced in 1993. He later married Lori Woodward and they became the parents of two boys, Mackay and Taylor. They divorced in 2017. In 1976, Royce was gravely injured in a hunting incident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. Through faith, forgiveness, determination, and divine intervention, he regained his ability to walk and work. Royce became a well-respected artist and woodworker throughout the Intermountain West. His wood carvings and paintings can seen in lodges, cabins, and homes throughout in United States and Canada.
Royce was an avid outdoors man. He loved hunting, fishing, boating, and family outings. He especially loved elk hunting the Manti-La Sal mountains near Fairview, Utah with his children. Elk camp, family reunions, and watching the World Series will not be the same without him. Royce’s big smile, humor, and fun-loving personality will be sorely missed. During the last years of his life, he loved serving in the Payson Temple and sharing his time and talents with others. Dad, you are now free from the pain and the cares of this world. You have won the race. We love you! We know we will be together again as an eternal family.
Royce is survived by his 8 children: Preston (Lindsey) Neilson, Salt Lake City; Scott (Camille) Neilson, Spanish Fork; Julie Neilson Flygare, West Valley City; Logan (Anna) Neilson, Spanish Fork; Chante (Joe) Ashton, Hobble Creek; Katie (Travis) Warner, Spanish Fork; Cari (Adam) Richards, Spanish Fork; McKay and Taylor Neilson, Logan; his father, Vern P. Neilson, Whittier CA; siblings Verna, Rodney, Robert (Bud), Ronald, and Teresa; and 26 grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Friday, October 18, 2019 at 11:00 A.M. at the Spanish Fork LDS Church, 350 East 400 North. A viewing will be held on Thursday at Brown Family Mortuary from 6:00 - 8:00 P.M. and also on Friday at the church from 9:45 - 10:45 A.M. prior to services. Interment, Mapleton City Cemetery.