Cover photo for Donna Lorena Nielson's Obituary
Donna Lorena Nielson Profile Photo
1921 Donna 2021

Donna Lorena Nielson

November 3, 1921 — May 4, 2021

An amazing wife, mother, and grandmother, Donna Lorena Smith Nielson graduated from her earthly existence on May 4, 2021 at the age of 99.

Donna and her twin brother Dean were born on Nov. 3, 1921 in Shelley, Idaho to Francis T. and Myrtle Smith. They were the 9th and 10th of 13 children.

During her youth, Donna attended Shelley Schools and continued her education at Utah State University where she attended for three years. She also worked on the family farm in Shelley.

She met the love of her life (Carlos) at The Wandamere Dance Hall. She married Carlos Nielson on March 26, 1943 in the Logan LDS Temple. They were married 74 years.

Donna taught reading to elementary students in the Firth School District for 20 years. She maintained an immaculate home and was a part-time farm hand helping Carlos on the farm. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints and has held many positions including Stake Young Women’s President, Ward Relief Society counselor, and she was a Temple worker for 12 years.

She enjoyed traveling, hanging out with her sisters, daughters and granddaughters, shopping for bargains and collecting poetry. In her later years, she loved brightening people’s lives by making flower arrangements and giving them away.

Donna and Carlos were honored as the Grand Marshals of Spud Day in 2011.

She is survived by her five children: Dean (Liz) Nielson of Idaho Falls, Carma (Norm) Stanley of Shelley, Donetta (Wayne) Knight of Provo, Utah, Steven (Lauri) Nielson of Shelley, and Jill (Cary) Holverson of Ammon. In addition to her five children, she has 19 grandchildren, 42 great grandchildren, six great great grandchildren and three great, great, great grandchildren. She is also survived by two sisters Maxine Ransom of Idaho Falls, and Dorothy Crandall of Provo, Utah.

She was preceded in death by her husband (Carlos), her parents, eleven siblings and two grandchildren, Jeffery Nielson, and Mark Corbeil.

The family expresses their gratitude to Hospice care providers, especially Dr. Paul Beckett and Kara Yancey and to MorningStar Senior Living for their loving, compassionate and professional care.

A graveside service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 8, 2021 at the Shelley Hillcrest Cemetery. The family will meet with friends Saturday from 10:00 till 11:00 a.m. at Nalder Funeral Home, 110 West Oak Street in Shelley.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donna Lorena Nielson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, May 8, 2021

10:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain time)

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Saturday, May 8, 2021

Starts at 11:30 am (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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