Cover photo for Gladyce I Nielsen's Obituary
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1938 Gladyce 2024

Gladyce I Nielsen

February 4, 1938 — February 27, 2024

Prescott Valley

PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ – Gladyce I. Nielsen, 86, died on February 27, 2024, in Phoenix, AZ.


Gladyce was born on February 4, 1938, in Frazee, MN to Gordon and Irene Sanders.  She spent her childhood and time as a young adult between Appleton and Moorhead, MN and graduated from Moorhead High in 1956.  In 1966, she moved to Billings, MT where she later met and married Douglas Nielsen on July 19, 1975.


Doug and Gladyce shared a beautiful 48-year marriage full of travel adventures, special moments with family and friends, volunteering, laughter, and love.   While living in Billings, Gladyce worked as the Secretary for the Teamsters Union,  owned a laundromat, and worked tirelessly alongside Doug on their rental properties.   In 1993, Doug and Gladyce attempted retirement in Kapaa, HI where they built a beautiful home.  Gladyce found she wasn’t quite ready to retire and spent the next 13 years as a property manager for Pono Kai Resorts.  She actively campaigned for various politicians and was a member of St. Catherine Parish.  She especially enjoyed the full-moon barbeques at the beach.  In 2008, Doug and Gladyce relocated back to the mainland in Grand Junction, CO.  She was a member of the Immaculate Heart of Mary church, where she also served as a lector and eucharistic minister.  She spent many hours as a volunteer with various organizations and continued her political campaign work, always encouraging people to vote.  While in Grand Junction, Doug and Gladyce became snowbirds, spending the winters in Casa Grande, AZ.  In 2021, they relocated their permanent residence to Prescott Valley, AZ and continued spending the winters in Casa Grande.


Gladyce attended St. Anthony of Padua Catholic church in Casa Grande where she was a lector, a member of Catholic Daughters, and a volunteer at the St Vincent de Paul Thrift Store.  She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary in Casa Grande, served as a past auxiliary president, and actively supported veteran causes.  She enjoyed  playing bingo, bunco, cards and train with friends and family and was always ready to pull the car over when she spotted a garage sale, estate sale or a new thrift store in search of a great bargain!  She was a daily watcher of Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy; her family knew not to call the house during that time!  She could always be counted on to bring the best brownies and deviled eggs to family gatherings and potlucks.  Most of all, her laughter and smile brought joy everywhere she went.


Gladyce was preceded in death by her parents Irene and Orville Thorson, Gordon Sanders and her daughter, Terri Burton. 


She is survived by her husband, Douglas Nielsen;  daughters Marcia (Stan) Sniadoski, Cheryl Wilson, Julie Curtis, Laurie (Jon) Schad; sons Steven Morrissey, David Morrissey; siblings Joyce Clarin, Anita Tang, Orville (Annette) Thorson, Roger Sanders, Judy Bjerkeskaug, Gary Sanders, Jan Sanders, Jim (Oleg) Sanders; 9 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.


Services will be held on April 4, 2024, at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 201 N. Picacho St. in Casa Grande, AZ 85122.  Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m., Rosary recited at 10:30 a.m., and funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m.  A luncheon for family and friends will follow the Mass.  A private interment will take place at Mt. View Cemetery later in the afternoon.


Donations in her memory may be made to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gladyce I Nielsen, please visit our flower store.


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