April 12, 1952 ~ June 30, 2019

Born in: Fremont, Nebraska
Resided in: Lone Tree, Colorado

Born in Fremont, Nebraska to Elmer and Elaine Nielsen, Rod grew up in Brush and Ft. Collins, Colorado. He graduated from Ft. Collins high. In 1975, he received a Bachelor of Science with highest distinction in civil engineering from Colorado State University. Rod spent 32 years working for Amoco and BP as an engineering manager. Upon leaving BP, he worked for Enterprise Products Partners L.P. as Vice President of operations until his retirement at the age of 64. For the past nine years he battled an aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). During those years, he freely participated in several clinical trials that have already benefited newly diagnosed CLL patients. He was a great father who loved and was extremely proud of his two children. He so enjoyed his friends both at and away from work, hiking and spending time in the mountains, walking the bluffs, reading, watching college football, sipping a good single malt scotch, and doing anything with his family.

Predeceased by his father Elmer Nielsen, he is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 42 years, Marilyn, his children Ryan and Makenna, his mother Elaine Nielsen, sister Julie (Nielsen) Jensen, nieces Kristen (Jensen) Wall, Karen Jensen, and Sarah (Jensen) Haugenbush. We are heartbroken that he is gone, but we are finding solace knowing that he is finally at peace. His was a life well lived and he will be missed by family and friends.

Private burial will be held on July 13, 2019 at Mt. Olivet, Denver, CO, followed by a celebration of his life at 12:00 noon Horan & McConaty Mortuary, 5303 E County Line Rd, Centennial, CO 80122.

In lieu of flowers it is suggested contributions be made to:

Be the Match
Denver Hospice
Reading is Fundamental


Celebration of Life: July 13, 2019 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Horan & McConaty - South Metro/Centennial
5303 E County Line Rd
Centennial, CO 80122

Room: Family Chapel

Reception: July 13, 2019 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Horan & McConaty - South Metro/Centennial
5303 E County Line Rd
Centennial, CO 80122

Room: Family Chapel/Reception Hall

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Memories Timeline


  1. Rod was a very kind, intelligent, fun and giving person. We witnessed his strong love for Marilyn and his children. We were so fortunate to be able to call him our friend since 1974. We will miss him and that little boy smile he always had.
    Our love to Marilyn, Ryan and Makenna

  2. Rod was the kindest man. He was always there for his family and friends. He loved everyone unconditionally. He was a huge part of our family and will be surely missed. Was my honor to call him my brother in law. Rest In Peace Rod.????❤️

  3. Rod was one of the most special people I have had the luck of knowing. During difficult times Rod was compassionate and understanding. During fun times he could be counted on to be a part of the laughter. He was a dedicated father and husband. I shall miss him, but I will never forget him!💛

  4. So sorry to her of Rod’s passing he was such a such a great guy and a great friend.
    Condolences to the family.
    Topper Swanson
    FCHS 1970

  5. Rod was one of my best friends in high school and beyond. He was fun-loving and loyal. We started at CSU together in the civil engineering program. We lost touch with each other over the years but I always had great memories of our friendship. I did not realize he was ill so his passing caught me off guard. My thoughts and prayers go to Marilyn and Elaine and the rest of his family. I am sure he will be missed.
    Stan Myers

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