Nancy Joyce Nielsen

February 6, 1940December 5, 2018

Nancy Joyce Aspegren entered the world on February 6, 1940 in Denver, Colorado and died on December 5, 2018 after a long battle with dementia. Nancy spent her youth in Golden, Colorado where she graduated from Golden High School in 1958. After high school, she married her high school sweetheart Ron Nielsen, now of Yampa CO. Of this union, six children were born Jim, Sandi, Dan, Susan, John and Tim. In her youth, Nancy spent time at her Uncle Eugene Aspegren’s ranch with her cousin Jeanne (Moore) just outside of Yampa. She had always loved the area, and with the fourth generation Coloradan pioneer spirit and Golden values, she and her husband started a new adventure in 1973 relocating to the Nielsen ranch about a mile east of Yampa. Nancy became very active in the community with involvement in many of the area’s civic organizations including the Yampa Woman’s Club, the Yampa Ladies Aid, a member of Edith Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, and a member of the Oak Creek United Methodist Church, where she spearheaded many community events, fundraisers and celebrations. In 1975, as the Nation’s bi-centennial and Colorado’s centennial year came close, Nancy, Connie Sigler, Jody Vetter and a few members of the community would work tirelessly to establish what is now the 4th of July Committee, 40 years after the town had ceased the popular July 4th rodeo in town. Today the committee oversees the annual celebration which has continued to grow and draw hundreds from out of town each year. As a member of the Yampa Woman’s Club (who owned and operated the library at the time), Nancy served as the town Librarian at a salary of $2 a week. The library was a hub of social activity and gathering place on the one day each week it was opened. With her love of art, she painted the mural which remains in the former library children’s section of what is now the town museum. She would also help to gather community support for an independent library district for South Routt County ensuring funding would be perpetual and remain in South Routt and not sent to the larger towns in the County. Nancy had a love for history and as Yampa Librarian she spent countless hours documenting the area’s history interviewing and gathering artifacts from pioneer families then storing them in the vault of the former bank. Many of these items are now a part of the Yampa Museum’s permanent collection. Nancy was a writer and for many years she would document the comings and goings of the town’s folk with her weekly submissions of Yampa news to the Steamboat Pilot while attempting to interject humor and color into the weekly reporting of church schedules, community events, birthdays, travels and relocations. Nancy continued her involvement in the community until she left the Valley which included singing choir and being a Youth leader at church, volunteering at Soroco High school library, being a client advocate for Morning Star domestic abuse shelter, as well as working with other organizations. Throughout her life she often made sure that those in the community who were struggling received help anonymously. Nancy understood the importance of giving as well as respecting peoples dignity. When Nancy left Yampa to pursue some of her other dreams, she found herself traveling all over the U.S. researching her family’s history, but she always found herself drawn back home to Colorado. She spent time with her children and grandchildren, as well as pursuing a career she loved at Pioneer Drama Service before retiring.

Nancy is survived by her children, her nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren.


  • Celebration of Life Wednesday, December 12, 2018
  • Committal Service Wednesday, December 12, 2018
  • Reception Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Nancy Joyce Nielsen

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Lori Conary

December 29, 2018

I worked with Nancy at Pioneer Drama Service. While I loved and admired her for her strength, I find I know so little about what an amazing women she was her entire life. She is missed but will always be in my heart.

Susan Champion

December 6, 2018

I met Nancy in the 7th grade in Golden. We became close friends right away. I loved her sense of humor and her mischievous ways! We had more fun than I can possibly describe. I loved spending the night with her where we would take long walks in the country along the ditch banks. We remained friends through high school and then lost touch. When I came back to Golden for our class reunion in 2008 we picked right up again like we had never lost a beat. Rest In Peace my friend! Love, Susie