Fran Nielsen

Fran Nielsen

1941 - 2022

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Obituary of Fran Nielsen

After 81 beautiful, joy-filled years of life, on November 9th, our beloved Franny gained her angel wings and joined her oldest son (Chris), mother, father, and brother in Heaven. Fran was full of love and found joy in all things. She loved the Lord and life and embraced each day as a blessing. To know Fran was to know love, compassion, kindness, faithfulness, happiness, gratitude, and joy. She was a beautiful person, inside and out.

A service to celebrate Fran's beautiful life will be held on May 20, 2023, at 10:30 am, Parkview Church (15 Foster Rd, Iowa City), with a reception for friends and family immediately following. 

Fran’s greatest joy and purpose in life was to serve the Lord through all things she did and in each interaction she had. Some of her greatest joys included being a nurse and caring for her patients for over 49 years, (33 years at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City), writing poetry, walking, swimming, playing ping pong, listening to music, laughing, hugging her children and grandchildren, playing games with family, doing artwork, and much more. Her biggest joy and love was her family--she was a dedicated loving wife to the love of her life, Dave, and proud mother of 4 children: Chris (Kathy), Kim (Brian), Tom (Michelle), and Jeff (“Oh he’s so wonderful!” as Fran would say); grandchildren, Zach (Laura), Emily (Hunter), Sarah, Katie (Gunnar), Tommy (fiancé Kenna) and Josiah; great grandchildren, Leo, and another grandbaby on the way. She and her special hugs will be deeply missed by all of us.

Dave and Fran were long-time residents of Iowa City and involved in the community for many years. Fran was an active mother and their kids were involved in many activities and sports throughout their years in Iowa City. Fran was a cancer survivor and used her experience and her faith to reach out and help other cancer survivors along their journeys. One of her most important missions was serving as a leader of a cancer survivor support group program through Parkview Church in Iowa City. Fran, Dave, and Jeff recently relocated to their home in Florida and have been enjoying beach life and living there. Fran was an absolute joy to be around and we will miss her, her smile, her laughter, her hugs, and her love for life, family, friends, and all those she came in contact with. She was a bright light in this world, and she shined on all those around her, always lighting up the space she was in. A Celebration of Life will be held in Iowa City this spring in May, a favorite time of year of Fran’s and when the flowers will be in bloom, just as Fran was—in full bloom.

One of Fran’s core values was to spread love and hope through reaching out and connecting with others. If you’d like to share and support Fran’s legacy of spreading love and hope, memorials and/or donations can be made to Lion’s Ink ( ) a non-profit organization co-founded by her oldest son, Chris, and his wife Kathy to help spread love and hope through human connection in Minneapolis. Alternatively, memorials/donations could be made to the family and sent to Gay & Ciha Funeral Home (2720 Muscatine Ave, Iowa City, 52240) and they will be forwarded.


One of Fran’s favorite Bible verses is Psalm 23:

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want….”


One of many of Fran’s beautiful poems we wanted to share—a reflection of her faith and Christ-filled life she lived:



When times are overwhelming

And I know not what to do

Help me Lord, reach downward

Draw me close to you.


When conditions go wrong, a conflict

And I don’t know what to say

Teach me Lord to come

On bended knees and pray


When life is filled with pain

My body's breaking down

Teach me Lord, with healing hands

May recovery be my crown


When locations make me lonely

And there’s no safe place to go

Embrace me with your love

Nurture my will to grow


When economics leave me poor

And provisions are so rare

Feed me with your Bread of Life

Refill my cup to share


Then when I am obedient, God

My heart is overflowing

Help me touch one poor life

Your character bare and showing


Your love, there is no equal

Strong faith is trust unseen

Jesus paid the ultimate price

To forgive and to redeem


Fran Nielsen

November 4, 2004



Celebration of Life

10:30 am
Saturday, May 20, 2023
Parkview Evangelical Free Church
15 Foster Road
Iowa City, Iowa, United States