Glenn E. Nielson passed away at his home in Cody, Wyoming on Monday, Oct. 19, 1998.
Nielson founded Husky Oil on January 1, 1938 in Cody. He was a rancher, a farmer, an oil executive, and a life-long churchman.He was born in Aetna, Alberta, Canada, on May 26, 1903, the son of James E. and Margaret M. Nielson. He graduated in 1933 from University of Alberta with a degree in Economics and Agriculture. Glenn married Olive Wood in the LDS Cardston, Alberta Temple on Dec. 25, 1928.
He is survived by his wife, Olive; three daughters and their husband's Margaret Ruth and Reuben Bullock of Cody, WY; Joanne and Joe Livingston of Atherton, CA; and Anna Marie and Dr. Sloan Hales of Cheyenne, WY; two sons and their wives, Bill and Yvonne Nielson, and Jim Nielson and Anne Young, also of Cody, WY; 35 grandchildren; and 68 great-grandchildren, most of whom live in the United States.
Unable to make a living on his Canadian ranch because of the Depression, Nielson first moved to the U.S. in 1935 and lived in Browning, Montana, where he baled hay. Shortly after this first job, he started selling tractor fuel to the farmers in the Cut Bank, Shelby, and Dutton, Montana areas for Cut Bank Refining. When Glenn Nielson's father moved from the United States To Canada, he became a Canadian citizen. His father believed that if a country was good enough to live in, it was good enough to join as a citizen. Glenn Nielson shared this belief with his father and after moving to Montana, he became a U.S. citizen.
In the fall of 1937, Nielson and his family moved to Cody where he, along with some partners, acquired the Park Refining Company and commenced business on January 1, 1938. The company changed its name to Husky at that time and grew into a corporation that in 1978 employed 2900 people, produced 50,000 barrels per day of oil, and had 60 million cubic feet a day of natural gas production. Husky had five niche refineries (primarily asphalt facilities) located in Cody, Cheyenne, Salt Lake, Lloydminster, Albert, and Prince George, British Columbia, which provided gasoline and oil products to some 1,200 retail outlets across Western Canada and the U.S. However, Husky's specialty was asphalt, and Husky was a significant factor in this business in both Western Canada, as well as Western United States. Glenn Nielson was known as "Mr. Asphalt" in both the U.S. and Canada. In addition, Husky had some 13 steel warehousing and fabricating plants form Chicago to the west Coast and eight charcoal plants in the U.S. Just prior to this time Husky had also been a major offshore drilling contractor.
In the early days of Husky two attorneys, Ernest J. Goppert and Milward L. Simpson, and an insurance salesman, Grant Taggart, raised sufficient money for Glenn Nielson to acquire his partner's interests in Husky. Without the cooperation of these people, Husky would have been sold shortly after it had started. The original directors of Nielson's company included these three individuals as well as Lloyd Taggart Senior. In 1946, Husky moved into Canada. It went public in 1949, and through some corporate restructuring in 1960, it became a Canadian Company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Nielson was known in the petroleum business as a hard worker and a dedicated proponent to asphalt. He served on the American Petroleum Institute Board of Directors and was Chairman of the Asphalt Committee of the API. He served on the National Petroleum Council that advised the U.S. Government on petroleum matters. He was President of the Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Association from 1948 to 1950. He was a member of the petroleum industry's 25-Year Club, and its president for a year. Honorary degrees have been given to him from the University of Wyoming and Brigham Young University. Glenn was a pioneer in the Western Canadian petroleum business and was involved in both provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. This included oil and natural gas production as well as refining and marketing. Husky was an early champion of the large super station on the highways, called "car-truck stops."
An unfriendly takeover in 1978 caused the Nielson's to sell their interest in Husky the following year. After this Glenn Nielson busied himself in cattle ranching, family affairs, and investments such as cattle feed yards.
Nielson was a life-long member of the LDS Church. His first experience as a missionary began in England and California in his late teens. In 1973 he and Olive served as Mission President for a period of four years in the Washington, D.C. Mission. Prior to his Washington experience, he served as Stake President of the Big Horn Stake for 15 years. He also served as a Regional Representative and a member of the LDS Church Finance Committee in Salt Lake; he was a Stake Patriarch until his death.
Olive and Glenn Nielson were each other's best friend and would have been married 70 years this next Christmas.
Glenn Nielson has made his mark wherever he has been-from Wall Street to Toronto, and Montreal to Regina, from Edmonton to Houston, Los Angeles, Salt Lake, Denver, Dallas, and Anchorage, and to many places in the Western U.S. and to his hometown of Cody. He and his wife are loved by many and have touched the lives not only of family but also friends. He was responsible for many activities in Cody including the Boy Scouts, LDS Church buildings, the Code Memorial Hospital, and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center Museum. Nielson also performed many civic functions with Paul Stock, one of Cody's greatest benefactors. When the owners of the radio station, the newspaper and drugstore went away to World War II, he with others felt that the community needed these services. They then acquired and arranged that these services be continued until the close of the war, at which time they were returned to their former owners.
Funeral services for Glenn E. Nielson will be held Saturday, October 248, 1998, at 10 a.m. at the LDS Cody Stake Center, on 1500 Heart Mountain Drive. Interment will be at the Riverside Cemetery immediately following the service. A memorial has been set at the Nielson Stage Coach and Artifact Conservation Fund, at the Buffalo Bill Historic Center.
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