Ethel Sylvia Switzer was born November 22, 1922 in Arriba, Colorado to Ralph and Jessie Switzer. She moved to Stanislaus County in 1924, grew up in Waterford and graduated from Oakdale High School. She married Alfred O. Nielsen in 1942 and they moved to her current home in 1949 where they raised their five children. As a lifetime member of the Church of the Brethren she supported many outreach programs such as Children’s Disaster Services, Friends Outside and Casa de Modesto. She was proud of being a homemaker, was dedicated to supporting her children’s many activities and always found time for extended family. During her 60 year marriage, she enjoyed camping, traveling, bowling and assisting with their small almond orchard. She succeeded in living a very active life of 92 years and died peacefully at home with family at her side.
She is survived by her children, Ronald Nielsen (Heike), Lynda Sesser (Bob), Sylvia Nielsen, Bruce Nielsen, Norma McBroom (Harvey) and will be greatly missed by 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. She also leaves siblings Norma Kelley, Gordon Switzer, Bill Switzer and Jean Calkins. She was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred O. Nielsen and siblings, Edna Soler, Walter Switzer and Pegi Franklin.
A memorial service to celebrate Ethel’s life will be held on Friday January 9, 2015 at 3:00 pm at the Modesto Church of the Brethren, 2301 Woodland Ave, Modesto, CA.
In lieu of flowers, she requests donations be made to Heifer International (1 World Ave, Little Rock, AR 72202), Community Hospice (4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356) or the Modesto Church of the Brethren.