Pauline Elizabeth Nielsen passed away Saturday January 7, 2017 in Del Norte, Colorado at 96 years old. Pauline was born October 31, 1920 in Monte Vista, Colorado to Thaddeus A. Elliott and Lena (Pfeiffer) Elliott. She married Richard Wade Nielsen from Center, Colorado on December 31, 1942 in Camp Livingston, Lousiana 3 months before he shipped out to Europe during World War II. Dick and Pauline had two daughters, Charlene (George) Ameel from Creede and Mari Lynn (Grover) Hathorn from South Fork. They had 4 Grandchildren; Aspen Hathorn, Chris (Krisen) Quiller, Tyler (Brittany) Hathorn, and Regan Hathorn and 3 great grandchildren. Pauline is preceded in death by her husband Richard, her parents, 2 brothers, Lester Elliott and Thad “Cy” Elliott and 1 sister Ludean Hunt. She is survived by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, her brother Charles Elliott of Monte Vista and numerous nephews and nieces.
Pauline had such a zest for living and loved to be out doing things and meeting new people. She was such a people person that she could meet a stranger while waiting in a line and walk away knowing their life story. Even at 96 years old she still maintained friendships with people of all ages. Pauline had a great love of horses and enjoyed riding around Monte Vista as a child visiting friends and family. As a teenager she and her older brother Charles Elliott loved to go skiing and helped start the ski area on Wolf Creek Pass. Her love of skiing was shared with her husband and children and they had many adventurous, fun filled days. Pauline adored spending time outdoors at her cabin amongst the wildflowers and the changing leaves during the autumn. The windows in her house were built facing the Sangre de Cristo Mountains so she could enjoy the reflection of the sunset on the mountains every evening. Music and art were passions of hers and she could play piano by ear without ever reading a note. She was a talented artist able to draw life like portraits and love to play around with charcoal, pencil and paint. Her greatest joy though was her family who she loved dearly.
Pauline’s mother’s family the Pfeiffer’s were a pioneer family of the San Luis Valley and Pauline was a proud member of the Colorado Territorial Daughters because of that. She was also very proud of the fact that her mother and father had homesteaded on Elliott Creek above the 4-UR Ranch in Creede and at Spar City. She was greatly involved in Eastern Star, P.E.O., and Beta Sigma Phi Sorority. Pauline was the oldest and longest member of the First Presbyterian Church of Monte Vista, Colorado and was deeply involved in the church serving as a Deacon, Sunday school teacher, and Vacation Bible School teacher. Throughout her life Pauline volunteered for many things, including the Chairman of the Red Cross, 4-H Leader, Rainbow Girls Mother Advisor, Campfire Girls leader and Bluebird Girl leader. Pauline delighted in playing bridge and in her later years was a member of the Taco Bridge Group in South Fork and was also a member of the women’s golf league in Monte Vista. Whatever she participated in or whatever she was involved with was done with contagious enthusiasm. Pauline was a wonderful wife, daughter, mother, grandmother, great- grandmother, sister, and friend and she will be dearly missed.
A memorial service will be held in her honor on Saturday January 14, 2017 at 11 am at the First Presbyterian Church in Monte Vista, CO. Gifts in her memory can be made to the First Presbyterian Church in Monte Vista, Colorado in care of Strohmayer’s Funeral Home 2167 W. Highway 160 Monte Vista, CO 81144.