James William Nilsson

June 8, 1924December 26, 2015
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James W. Nilsson, 91, passed away December 26, 2015 at Green Hills Health Care Center. He was preceded in death by his parents (Axel Daniel Nilsson and Constance Catherine Smitheram), daughter Rhonda Sue Kreamer (Scott) and sister Ruth Fitz.

Those left to honor his memory are his loving wife of 67 years, Anna Louise Vogt Nilsson; his sons Robert (Donise), Paul and Bruce; daughter Beverly Lemme (Jim); son-in-law Scott Kreamer; grandchildren Doug Lemme, Sara Lemme, Katie Kreamer, Stephanie Kreamer and Matthew Nilsson-Johnson; sister Margaret Weaver; many nieces, nephews and friends.

Jim grew up in Carleton and Monroe Michigan. He entered the army after high school and served in World War II. After the war he went to school in Iowa City, where he met Anna Louise Vogt. They married in 1948 and moved to Ames, where Jim attended ISU, earning a master’s degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering. He taught electrical engineering at ISU for 39 years. He became an IEEE Fellow in 1990. In 1992 he earned the IEEE undergraduate teaching award for inspirational teaching. He authored Electrical Circuits in 1983. In 1992 he was given an award for outstanding contributions to Addison-Wesley for the 4th edition of Electrical Circuits.

Jim loved teaching and traveling out west. All five of his children graduated from ISU.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Warren B. Boast Undergraduate Teaching Award at ISU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at you will need to specify “I want to choose where my gift is designated ” and in the notes section write “Warren B. Boast Memorial Fund 0516552”. The other way is to write a check to “Warren B. Boast Memorial Fund 0516552” and send it to the Iowa State Alumni Association at 2505 University Blvd, Ames, IA 50010.


  • Visitation Wednesday, December 30, 2015
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, December 30, 2015

James William Nilsson

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Sally Weaver

October 11, 2016

Uncle Jim Nilsson was a wonderful man with a smile for everyone. He was a great role model for me. It was so much fun at Grandma and Grandpa's house when he and the whole family came to Michigan to visit and also when we went to Iowa. He will be greatly missed. It brings a smile to my face to remember all of the good times we had with him and the entire family. May God Bless and be with Aunt Anna and all of the kids. I will greatly miss him.

John Weaver

January 6, 2016

Uncle Jim Nilsson was very special to me, and served in many ways as a role model. While I certainly did not achieve the academic credentials that he did, I at least proceeded some distance down the path.
I have fond memories of traveling to Ames each summer to visit, sleeping in our underwear on the back porch because the house was not air conditioned!
He was a great uncle, a great mentor, and a wonderful person. I will certainly miss him.

David Jiles

January 1, 2016

I was sorry to hear the news. Jim was a renowned professor the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. He will be greatly missed.

Please accept my personal condolences and also on behalf of the Department.

David Jiles
Palmer Endowed Department Chair
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Iowa State University

Sally Bowden

December 31, 2015

Dr. Nilsson was one of my favorite professors to work with in the Electrical Engineering Department at Iowa State in the mid 70's. I have so much admiration and respect for him and am saddened to hear of your family's loss.

Kirk Vandecar

December 30, 2015

Dear Nilssons,

What a fantastic family! I feel so privileged to have been part of your family and all the fun these many years as Bob's friend. Even now, as a senior adult, I still feel a bit funny calling your dad Jim-----I feel much better with "Mr. Nilsson" for he truly deserves the respect! Thanks for the memories, Mr. Nilsson!

Nancy Weinreich

December 30, 2015

Jim has been a role model as to how to live a full and wonderful life with his dear wife Anna and his children. His memory will continue to live on in all the many lives that he touched. From Nancy (Pyle) Weinreich, lifelong friend of Bev

August Landis

December 30, 2015

Honest. Kind. Caring. Intelligent. Funny. Decent. Just a few words that describe my Uncle Jim, who was a gentleman in every sense. A man who loved his wife and family. Who had an infectious laugh, and loved to laugh with others. Who loved to learn, but not as much as helping others learn. Who was always willing to help others who needed a hand. And who could make a Western shirt and bolo tie look good! I am blessed to have had an uncle like James "Wonderful" Nilsson, and I know it. It's a blessing, too, to have made so many wonderful life memories through time spent with him, Aunt Anna, Bev, Bob, Rhonda, Paul and Bruce at 1204 Lincoln Way in Ames. For that blessing (as he used to say as we bowed our heads at holiday dinners: "I Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His steadfast love endures forever. Amen." Rest in peace, Uncle Jim. We'll miss you.

December 30, 2015

Goodbye my friend. We will miss you. The 65 plus years we have known each other as friends and colleagues have gone amazingly fast. I always admired and tried to emulate your dedication to the education and welfare of your students.
I have always remembered with pleasure something you have probably long forgotten. At a party for us on the eve of our two year sojourn to the Philippines, you were responsible for assembling a package of presents to help us survive. The one I remember in particular was a MacArthur I shall return corncob pipe you had made from a real corncob and a stick. It was quite appropriate since you knew I had occasion to have been in the Philippines in an earlier phase of my life.
I also pleasantly remember watching our parallel families of five children each grow and go out into the world as adults even though only two of them personally interacted to any extent.
Jean and I and our family extend our condolences to Anna and your family in their time of grief.
Your friend, Al Read

December 30, 2015

" I'm so sorry for your lose. Please let GOD comfort you through this tough time, because he is always there to help you PSALMS 91:2

December 29, 2015

Everyone knows that Jim's remarkable achievements as a teacher, author, and educator have been acclaimed far and wide, and he will truly be remembered as one of the giant figures in the history of the ISU Department of Electrical Engineering. But to me these accomplishments are surpassed by the ways in which he expressed his friendship to so many of us. He is one of the very few people I have known who I believe has never had a harsh word, a bitter criticism, a resentful retort, or even an unkind thought directed toward him. Once, when asked what his middle initial "W" stood for, he replied "Wonderful". Even though he meant that remark humorously, it was uncommonly accurate. Thanks, Jim, for everything.