Robert Harold Nielsen

Beloved husband, father, grandpa, and friend Robert Harold Nielsen (Bob), passed away in his home in Olathe, CO on Sunday, September 15th after a battle with melanoma.

Bob was born on June 30, 1950 in Sioux City, IA to Theone (Larson) and Owen Nielsen. He remembers fondly his small town childhood in Moville, IA before moving to Spirit Lake, IA where he met his wife Cathee and graduated from high school in 1968. He later graduated from Mankato State College with a Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in photography, water color, and jewelry making. He and Cathee were married on August 21, 1971, in Spirit Lake. They spent time living in Mankato, MN and Grand Junction, CO before moving to Olathe in 1979.

Bob’s Montrose business, Great Western Camera Company (where he was known as Professor Horatio Goodshot), celebrated its 40th anniversary in August. He loved his work and thoroughly enjoyed sharing the camaraderie that came from building relationships, friendships and a mutual respect for photography with his customers. He was passionate about his antique camera and photo collection.

He loved his family and staying in touch with his friends, new and old. He loved history and antiques – especially that of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, and the Iowa Great Lakes. He enjoyed visiting Colorado ghost towns, spending time at the lake, doing yard work, and taking scenic photographs. He has been a member of Montrose Rotary Club, the Olathe Parent Advisory Committee, and various church committees at the Montrose United Methodist Church.

Bob is preceded in death by his parents Theone and Owen Nielsen. He is survived by his wife Cathalee Cornell Nielsen of Olathe and four children; Elizabeth (David) Gleason of Sutherland, NE; Emily (Josh) Vigil of Montrose, CO; Cassandra Nielsen of North Platte, NE; and son Benjamin (Amy) Nielsen of Montrose, CO as well as nine grandchildren: Marlee and Hadley Gleason, Alicea, Bowden and Izabella Vigil, Lorelai Canavan, Kara-leigh and Triston Nielsen, and Lilaena Hasler. Other surviving family members include his sister, Julianne Wagner of Muscatine, IA and his brother Rick Nielsen of Spirit Lake, IA.

Bob’s gentle, kind, and loving spirit will be greatly missed. His absence will leave a hole in the hearts of his family and friends. Celebration of Life services will be held at the Montrose United Methodist Church on Saturday, September 28th at 2:00 p.m. Please join the family afterward to share food, fellowship, and memories of Bob.

Memorial donations can be made to:

Iowa Great Lakes Maritime Museum

c/o Arnolds Park Amusement Park

P.O. Box 609

Arnolds Park, Iowa 51331


Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF)

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