John Nielson, QC



John peacefully slipped away on November 28, silencing a beautiful tenor voice and stilling the warmest of hearts. As he left us, John was surrounded by the love of his wife Susan and his beloved children Michelle (Deanna), Paul (Lisa), Stuart (Jennifer), and Claire (Alex). John will be deeply missed by his treasured grandchildren Dominic, Lucas, Matthew, and Wynn. His dear sister, Jean, will also feel his loss deeply as will his sister-in-law Lil, his nieces and nephews and other family members. John was predeceased by his wife Frances, his parents Frank and Elizabeth Neilson, his sisters Marion, Frances, and Evelyn, and his brother George.

John was born in Edmonton and spent much of his childhood in Westlock. His studies took him to the University of Alberta where he thoroughly enjoyed living in residence, studying law and singing in the U of A Mixed Chorus. He also had the good fortune to meet Frances who became his wife and accompanied him to Yellowknife where he spent two interesting and formative years traveling around the north as a crown prosecutor. When he and Frances returned to Edmonton, John practiced law for many years, first with Ogilvie and Co. and then with Miller Thomson. After the death of Frances, John met Susan and together they embarked on many new adventures and enjoyed a loving and happy life.

John was a man of many passions, including first and foremost his family. Singing was a close second and he was a proud member of three choirs - the Edmonton Swiss Men's Choir (where with his customary good humour he called himself a "Gastarbeiter" since he had no claim to Swiss heritage); A Joyful Noise - Thursday choir where he enjoyed learning from and collaborating with conductor Eva Bostrand; and the Trinity United Church choir whose community John deeply appreciated. John also loved good food and fine wine and he was never happier than when he was whipping up a delicious feast in the kitchen. John loved his friends and he enjoyed meeting new people and learning their life story. He was a generous man who shared his time and talents, his wisdom, and his resources with many worthy causes.

Over the years numerous people told John he has been a mentor and a role model to them. He transformed many lives with his support, generosity, and initiative. He will live on in the successes of the people he touched, in the love of his family, and every time a choir sings.

The family would like to express our deep gratitude to Paula Bodnarek and the team at South West Home Care (Ashleigh, Galyna, Maggie, and Andrea), as well as to Dr. Janice Richman-Eisenstat who supported John when he was most in need, and to Catherine Minick of Parkland Respiratory Care who was always available for advice and support. Their commitment to their work is inspiring and the care they gave to John and family was amazing.

If you would like to honour John, mentor a young person, reach out to someone who is lonely, support a charity, or join a choir. In lieu of flowers please consider supporting the Sing for Life Society of Alberta ( which John was instrumental in helping to establish, or the charity of your choice.

A Celebration of John's Life will be held, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at Trinity United Church (8810 Meadowlark Road, Edmonton). There will be singing!

In Loving Memory of
John Nielson, QC
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Funeral Service:
Celebration of Life
Saturday, December 14, 2019
4:00 PM
Trinity United Church
8810 Meadowlark Road
Edmonton, AB
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