First Responders 04

Alan Nielsen

May 14, 1948 ~ November 21, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old

Alan Nielsen Obituary

Alan Nielsen, 75, passed away at the Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 after being airlifted from KVH where surgery revealed a critical infection.  After surviving cancer this fall, Al was healing from the treatments when this unexpected infection took him away from his daughter Jennette Marie, her two sons August and Jasper; his son, Brent and his wife Jamie, and their four daughters Pepper, Mazy, Pearl and Opal.  He is also survived by his older sister Karen and her husband Scott and Goddaughter Miki; and his younger sister Becky and her husband Jim.   His cousin Bryan, more like a brother whom he grew up with, and his wife Susie of Ellensburg is family left saddened by his passing. He is also survived by his beloved Aunt KK of Great Falls and dozens of cousins in Washington and Montana.

Born in Renton, Washington in 1948, he was the son of Richie and Val Nielsen and was part of a large transplanted Montana family that gave him brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts and uncles to grow up with.  Camping, fishing, and hunting were part of his nature and passion. One of his most favorite times was the annual Nielsen men’s hunting trip at the Corral out of Othello.  Surrounded by his dad, uncles and cousins, the tradition sealed his love for family and being outdoors. The Teanaway Campground provided 70 years of family get-togethers with dozens coming from all over Washington.

In 1967 after graduating from Renton High School he moved to his much-loved Ellensburg to attend Central Washington University where he has resided ever since.  Joining the ROTC he served his country while getting his diploma and then joined the Ellensburg Fire Department in 1975.  He eventually was moved to the Prevention Department as a Fire Inspector, but he also would respond to fire and EMS calls as well.  Halfway through his long career he was offered the new Fire Marshal position where he worked until 2005 when he retired.  He deeply appreciated the relationships he was able to build through his work with the Department and the community. He had a weekly group of friends that he cherished and depended on during his cancer treatments. After his retirement he worked as a consultant in a similar capacity for the University.

Al was one of the original members of the St. Vincent de Paul Ministries at St. Andrews Catholic Church and worked with others throughout the community to tirelessly support those families or individuals who were in need of any assistance…financial, food, furniture, spiritual and more.  He assisted with the Giving Tree program for families during the holidays and was deeply connected to the liturgy and beauty of his Church.  He loved his St Andrew community deeply.

Al gave generously to organizations in need including St. Jude Hospital, Yakima Mission and St. Labre Indian School.  In honor of Al’s memory, any donation to these organizations (or any you would choose) is deeply appreciated by his family.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. this Saturday, December 2, 2023 at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Ellensburg.  Rosary will be prayed at 7:00 p.m. Friday, December 1 at Johnston & Williams Funeral Home in Ellensburg.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Johnston & Williams of Ellensburg.  Online condolences may be left for the family at

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Recitation of the Rosary
December 1, 2023

7:00 PM
Evenson Memorial Chapel at Johnston & Williams
301 E. Third Avenue
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Mass of Christian Burial
December 2, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Andrew's Catholic Church
401 S. Willow Street
Ellensburg, WA 98926

Reception Following
December 2, 2023

St. Andrew's Catholic Church
401 S. Willow Street
Ellensburg, WA 98926


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