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Obituary: David Owen Nielsen

Commercial pilot could fix anything, tell a great story and answer any question

Published December 14, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.


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David Owen Nielsen - COURTESY
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  • David Owen Nielsen

David Owen Nielsen, 85, of Jericho, passed peacefully on November 13, 2022, at the McClure-Miller Respite House in Colchester, Vt. We are honored to have been with him every step of the way as he took his last flight out of the physical world. Of course, we miss his hugs and kisses, and there are tears, though we grieved the loss of who we knew him to be in layers over recent years.

In 1965, David met his wife, Louanne, in the Mad River Valley of Vermont, where they were ski bums. They married and later raised their daughter, Britt, and son, Christian, in various small Vermont towns. David was on the Sugarbush ski patrol in the mid 1960s. Flying as a commercial pilot was his career, and towing gliders was a lifetime love.

We witnessed dementia dismantle the man we knew who could fix anything, remember details of the distant and immediate past, tell a great story or discuss any topic, play a practical joke and answer any question — from how best to care for our cars to what kinds of clouds we saw.

As dementia dissolved any triggers of the ego self, his truest nature of peace and love shone even more brightly. We were blessed with his essence of peace and love up until his final days, as he still knew who we were and reached his arms out for hugs.

We are so grateful for the pure love he was, and that he, in his words, lived a good long life, did not suffer and that he and we are all free now. It is what he would have wanted.

Instead of kind condolences “for our loss,” we invite you to do something to celebrate YOU — and David — by honoring what is true in your heart and brings you peace, joy and freedom. For David, that included time with his family, being on the road (years in a fifth-wheel camper), being in the tranquility of nature in the middle of nowhere and definitely flying.

Let’s put any differences aside, be the love that we are, and live fully and freely in the present moment.

As per David’s wishes, there will not be a memorial service.

Due to the excellent care David received and his love for flying, memorial gifts would be appreciated at: McClure-Miller Respite House, 3113 Roosevelt Highway, Colchester, VT, 05446; Sterling House, 61 Farr Road, Richmond, VT, 05477; or Flight Experience For Youth (FEFY), P.O. Box 411, Warren, VT, 05674.

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