Kenneth James Neilson swam his last earthly 22 laps the day before leaving for the Pool of the Universe on Nov. 26, 2022.
He was born April 3, 1948, to Helena E. Parsons Neilson and Kenneth H. Neilson in Seattle, Washington. He is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Jill Merrily Neilson.
He is survived by his daughter, Heather L. Crimson; sisters, Sally F. Neilson Herbert and Nina R. Neilson; as well as nieces, nephews and cousins.
He attended Fords Prairie grade school, Centralia Junior High and graduated from Centralia High School in 1966.
His love of machinery and tools began early in life, designing and building a fleet of go-carts and moving on to motorcycles and cars.
After losing his leg in a motorcycle accident in his mid 20s, unable to find a prosthetic that would keep up with his active lifestyle, he created his own stainless steel/wood peg leg.
In the 1980s, he foresaw the possibilities of hydroponic farming and created “kits” for backyard use. He continued to create, take apart and recreate throughout his life.
Swimming was an essential part of his life, creating a “swim family” wherever he lived. While in St. George, he became known as the “MacGyver” for the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center.
A celebration of his life will be held at the Sand Hollow Aquatic Center in St. George, Utah, from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 11, 2023.