Paul Howard Neilson passed away peacefully at Our Lady of the Rosary Extendicare on October 19, 2011 after a long illness, bravely faced. He was born at home in Halkirk on May 18, 1923. Paul was the fifth child in a family of ten. His father had immigrated from Denmark in 1908. As a result, Paul has many relatives still left in Denmark. He grew up on a farm one and a half miles south of Halkirk. In his younger years he worked as a hired hand on various farms and also at the Nacmine coal mine. He did rodeo in his spare time riding saddlebronc. In September of 1949, at a 60th wedding anniversary at Lanes Lake School, a pretty girl from Brownfield caught his eye. Her name was Joyce Bedson. Paul was on crutches at the time from a rodeo injury, so he had lots of time to “sit and chat.” They were married on October 21, 1950 and settled on a farm north of Halkirk. In the years that followed they raised eight children – four boys and four girls. Paul enjoyed politics. He served as a county councilor for two terms and was involved in the Reform Party. He enjoyed the farm until his retirement in 2007 when he and Joyce moved to the Castor Manors.
Paul was a hard working man with a strong faith. He enjoyed visiting and meeting new people. He took three trips back to Denmark to “get to know” his long lost relatives there. Paul joined the Gideons in 1969 and particularly enjoyed giving the New Testaments out to the grade five students in the local area. He loved family gatherings – the more the merrier! A recent highlight was last summer when he and Joyce celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary at the Fleet hall with all the family. He loved to memorize scripture. His children fondly remember his reciting the story of the rich man and Lazarus as well as the poem “East is east and west is west.” His grandchildren will always remember picking saskatoons with grandpa and his wonderful raspberry patch which he shared with everyone.
Paul leaves to mourn his loving and faithful wife, Joyce; his children, Pat (Lyn) Holloway, Wilf (Ruth) Neilson, Tim (Julia) Neilson, Mark (Monica) Neilson, Angie Boxma, Esther (Blair) Mah, Grace (Todd) Hubert, Eric (Josie) Neilson; twenty four grandchildren; fourteen great grandchildren; his sister, Rose (George) High, brothers, Donald (Ruby) Neilson, and Richard (Joan) Neilson. He was predeceased by his parents; his son- in-law, Clarence Boxma; brothers, Morten and Alfred; and sisters, Margaret (Mamie), Eleanor, Hilda and Mabel.
Funeral services for the late Mr. Paul Neilson were held at the Castor Evangelical Missionary Church on October 25, 2011 with Pastor Grant Sikstrom officiating. Following the service Paul was laid to rest at the Castor Legion Cemetery, Castor, Alberta. Memorial donations may be made to the Canadian Bible Society, the Gideons, or Circle Square Ranch c/o
Parkview Funeral Chapels & Crematorium,
Box 186, Castor, Alberta T0C 0X0, 403-882-3141,
who were entrusted with the care and arrangements