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Karl Joseph Nielson

01/04/1928 - 10/25/2023
Service Date: 11/03/2023
Service Time: 10:00 AM
Service Location: City of Mesa Cemetery
Visitation Date: 11/02/2023
Visitation Time: 5-7:00 PM
Visitation Location: Bunker's Garden Chapel
Interment: City Of Mesa Cemetery

Karl Joseph Nielson, age 95, passed away peacefully on October 25, 2023.  Karl was born on January 4, 1928, in Mesa, AZ to Dr. Hyrum Joseph Nielson and Emma Grace Rogers Nielson.

Karl’s life was exceptional.  At age 15, Karl enlisted in the United States Navy where he served in WWII as a Naval Gunner on the Battleship USS California.  After the war, Karl attended Mesa High School where he played football for the Mesa High Jackrabbits.  During that time, Karl met the love of his life, Georgia Mae Blevins.  In 1949, Karl and Georgia married, started a family, and celebrated 73 years of marriage together.

In 1947, Karl opened Bakepaint Body Shop in Phoenix, and later opened a second location in Cave Creek. His success led to the creation of many other businesses including Priceless Corporation, Best Auto Parts, and Multi-Unit Apartments.  Along the way, Karl returned to college and received a degree from Mesa Community College.

Karl was an amazing athlete, outdoorsman, and pilot. He excelled in Fast Pitch Softball where he pitched 58 no-hitters and served as President of the International Softball Congress. Karl was later inducted into 3 Halls of Fame: Mesa, Prescott, and Wisconsin. Karl was also an avid golfer. He was a member of Mesa Country Club for more than 50 years, and White Mountain Country Club in Pinetop AZ where he served as President. He was also a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Karl loved giving back to the community. Karl was a member of the LDS church. Later in life, Karl and Georgia served in the Papago Ward for 17 years. Karl was also a member of the Mesa Hohokam’s for 43 years.

Karl loved his family and friends, making everyone around him feel loved and special.  Karl met every challenge in life with optimism and humor. He was kind, loving, and generous.

Karl was preceded in death by his wife, Georgia, parents Hyrum and Emma, brothers Wayne, Clyde, and Douglas, and sisters Norma and Helen. Karl is survived by his seven children; Georgine Nielson, Kirk Nielson (Deneen), Dr. Karla Carlson, Sherrie Coker (Randy), Craig Nielson, Kent Nielson (Barbara), and Keith Nielson. Karl was blessed with 17 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren.

A viewing with a family greeting will be held Thursday, November 2nd, 2023, at Bunkers Mortuary, 33 N Centennial Way in Mesa from 5 to 7 p.m.  A military burial will take place graveside on Friday, November 3rd, 2023, at Mesa Cemetery at 10 a.m.


Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.


  • Priceless
    The worth of the lifelong friendship Karl’s family has been to the Woods family.
    God Speed Karl!

  • Dermot Walshe Wals

    Karl (R.I.P)and Sherrie are good friends of mine..You will always be in prayers

  • Karl was a very special man. He was warm and welcoming to anyone and I enjoyed knowing him very much. RIP Karl.

  • I met Karl through his painting business. I later learned he was an outstanding softball pitcher. Glad I never had to bat against him. He was a great example for LDS youth. Always liked talking sports with him. Rest in peace Karl.

  • M. Randy Jarvis

    Karl was so giving and trusting to me with interactions with his son Kirk, in so many ways. He let us use his ski boat many times. He invited me with their family for the weekend to go to one of the Karl’s fast pitch tournaments games in Prescott, Arizona. After coming back from the tournament, he found out that I didn’t let my mother know I went with them. He put me in my place. Like a father, he taught me that I need to get permission to go places, and told me to not do that ever again. He did it in a way that I’ll never forget, so kind but direct. He was a like a father to me, that I didn’t have. Kirk’s parents were so trusting to let Kirk drive all the way to Huntington Beach, California by himself in his Volts Wagon bug. They allowed him to pick me up after running away to the beach. He found me on the beach off the pier at Huntington. He came to pick me up from the request of my mother, it was a miracle he found me. He tired and tired to get me to go home. He asked one more time, saying we can come back some other time. I said no, that I wasn’t ready yet. He drove back home without me, that I’ve always regretted.
    These are a few examples of Karl’s fathering. Kirk exemplify his father’s teachings and example. Kirk is a wonderful friend and example of giving and trusting in so many ways to me, like his dad was, a wonderful chip off the block like his dad. I was so blessed to be associated with Kirk and his wonderful parents, Karl and Georgia, and their family.

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