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Juneau resident Edward Christian Nielsen Sr. died on July 8, 2007, at his home in Mount Vernon, Wash. He was 84.
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A member of the "Hometown (Nielsen) Nine," he was born and raised in Juneau and graduated from Juneau High School in 1941. He served the U.S. Army during World War II, enjoying exotic locales such as Montana Creek, Nome, the Aleutian Islands, Mississippi and India. After the war, he returned to Juneau and worked at Juneau Dairies and later for the state of Alaska.
During these years he played city league basketball and baseball, and bowled at the Elks. He always mentioned with pride how he batted .400 one season before he had ever batted .300. After his playing days, he also coached his two sons on the Juneau Maid Little League team.
In 1971, he and Marie moved to Seattle, where he worked for the telephone company until retirement. After a stint in Bellevue, they moved to Mount Vernon, Wash., in 2001. During these years, he suffered with and cheered for the local Seattle sports teams.
His family wrote, "Ted Williams, when he walked down the street, may have wanted people to say that there goes the greatest hitter who ever lived. Ed may have done him one better in that those who knew him and saw him walking down the street would have come over to say hello and talk to one of the nicest men who ever lived."
He was preceded in death by his "Pop," Jens Nielsen; "Mama," Marie Nielsen; older brother, Al Schramen; sister, Elsie (Schramen) Cress; and brother, George Nielsen, who died in childhood.
He is survived by his wife and teammate of 62 years, Marie Nielsen (nee Anderson); sisters, Christine Addelman, of Paradise, Calif., and Anna Kane and her husband, Don, of Penn Valley, Calif.; sisters Louise Brabaw and Emma Houston, and brother and Jim Nielsen, all of Juneau; sons, Ed Nielsen Jr. and his wife, Gerri, of Mount Vernon and Ron Nielsen and his wife, Cherri, of Juneau; grandsons, Scott, of Mount Vernon, and Sean, of Connecticut; Juneau nephews and nieces, George and Jay Houston, Heather (Houston) Drapeaux and David Brabaw; and numerous others in Alaska, California, Hawaii and Washington.
He was cremated, and his ashes will be scattered in his beloved Alaska. A celebration of his life will be held from 2-5 p.m. Aug. 11 at the Parkshore Condominiums in Juneau. Those who knew him are invited to celebrate his life and share their favorite memories about him.