Rolande Orville Nielsen, Jr., was born to Rolande and Betty (Shearer) Nielsen, Sr., on January 28, 1958 in Denver, Colorado. His dad’s job took the family to many locations in Colorado and Nebraska before they made their home in Elk Creek, Nebraska, in 1973. Rolly graduated with the Antler Class of 1976. He married his high school sweetheart, Tami Heideman, on July 2, 1976 at the Methodist Church in Elk Creek. When their son Jason was born, the family was complete.
Rolly did some custom harvesting after graduating before beginning a career working at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. He commuted to Lincoln daily until he transferred to the Tecumseh site in 2001 where he served as a laundry supervisor for the facility.
Rolly may have been small in stature, but he was a giant of a man, a wonderful husband, father, son, grandpa, brother, uncle, and friend. He lived life simply and by the rules (well mostly). On karaoke night he could sing Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” with the best of them. When life gave him lemons, he made wine–and lots of it, which he shared with friends and family. He was never too busy to lend a hand.
He and Jason shared a love of the outdoors. With Jason as his guide, Rolly shot his bucket list bull elk in the mountains of Wyoming in 2016. His South Dakota fishing trips with the guys and his camping trips to Milford Lake were things he enjoyed. But what really brought a smile was his bride of 42 years, the love of his life.
Rolly passed away unexpectedly on April 18, 2019 at the age of 61 years. Those left to miss his smile are his wife Tami of Elk Creek, son Jason Nielsen and wife Sonia of Elk Creek, grandchildren Ashley Hagge, Brittany Krause and husband Landon, Dustin Rowen and wife Ragina, great-grandchildren Garrett and Wyatt Krause, mother Betty Nielsen of Tecumseh, sisters Pam Hanika and husband Kent of Lincoln and Wanda Nielsen of Tecumseh, brother Wade Nielsen and wife Michele of Wilsonville, AL, mother-in-law June Heideman of Tecumseh, sister-in-law, Karen Wolken and husband Dave of Tecumseh, numerous nieces, nephews and cousins, many friends, and his Australian Shepherd Hoss.
He was preceded in death by his father Rolly Nielsen, Sr, father-in-law Harlan Heideman, niece Alisha Hanika Steen and brothers-in-law Bob and Rick Heideman and Gene Kerner.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at the St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, rural Elk Creek, Nebraska with Rev. Robert Schermbeck officiating.
Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday, April 22, 2019 at the Wherry Mortuary in Tecumseh, Nebraska.
Memorials may go to the family’s choice.
Interment will be in the St. Peter’s Lutheran Cemetery, rural Elk Creek, Nebraska.
Online condolences may be left @ www.wherrymortuary.com.