Farmington/Formerly of Richfield
Mayo H. Nielsen ,92, entered into rest on January 10, 2023 in Farmington. He was born October 9, 1930 in Richfield to Rulon Harvey Nielsen and Mary Fontella Erickson. Mayo grew up with his younger brothers, Merrill and Rex Hartley. They worked a small farm. Working the land, tending to the livestock, and making the most of what life had to offer was instrumental in creating an honest and hard working man. After graduating high school, he attended Utah State University, where he graduated with a degree in Range Management. His love and passion was forestry and he aspired to be a ranger with the US Forest Service. However, he felt compelled to serve his country, and entered the United States Air Force on July 4, 1952.
While stationed in San Angelo, Texas, he met his beloved wife, the former Beulah “Bea” Poppas of Kokomo, Indiana. They were married June 30, 1955 in Richfield and together had two sons: Greg (wife Andrea) and Bruce (wife Ann). They had many moves during his 30 years of service. He was assigned to Vietnam in 1967. Mayo was very proud of being a pilot and flight instructor for B-25s. Mayo achieved his highest rank of Full Bird Colonel. At the height of his career he served as Wing Commander of the 544th ARTW at Offutt Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska in 1973. He was in charge of well over 2,000 personnel at that time.
Mayo and Bea retired to San Antonio, Texas. He was very proud of his two sons, both of whom followed in their father’s footsteps and served in the military. Mayo and his boys were partners in many hunting and fishing journeys. He loved being with sons in the great outdoors.
After the death of his beloved wife Bea, Mayo moved from San Antonio, TX to Salt Lake City, UT to be close to family. Mayo enjoyed “riding the hills” in the ATV, and “geeking” over the beautiful Paiute trails and mountains surrounding Richfield, Utah, reminiscing and sharing his childhood adventures. He was able to visit Alaska, Yellowstone, Banff, Bryce, Zion, and Arches which were some of his favorites. He loved to sit and watch his great-grandkids running around, playing and telling them stories of how things were when he was their age. He also loved bird watching, especially enjoying the purple martins that he housed in the backyard of his San Antonio home.
Mayo was a prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction stories. He greatly enjoyed sharing these stories and memories with his family and friends. He penned many stories of his military career, stories and memories of his childhood. He was the family historian, keeping track of his family history, birthdays, marriages, deaths, etc. He also enjoyed writing poetry, which will
surely be missed. Family and friends were blessed with a poem in each holiday and birthday card that he sent. He left a wonderful legacy to his family with all of his writings.
Mayo was a kind, hard working and generous man. He loved his family, which visitors to his home can attest to with all of the family photos that adorned his walls. His departure from this life leaves a void in all that knew him.
He is now reunited with his beloved wife of 45 years, Bea. He is survived by his sons, their wives; 4 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. He is also preceded in death by his parents and brothers.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, January 17, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. in the Magleby Mortuary Chapel, where friends may call from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Burial will be in the Richfield City Cemetery with military honors by the V.F.W. Sevier Post #5050 and Air Force Honor Guard. Funeral Directors: Magleby Mortuary, Richfield, Salina and Manti. Online guestbook at www.maglebymortuary.com