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Stuart M. Neilson
Funeral services were at the Sylvan chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Modesto for Stuart Melvin Neilson, 83, of Modesto. The founder of Stuart's Fine Home Furnishings in Ceres died Feb. 13, 2009.

Interment was at Lakewood Memorial Park.

Born March 21, 1925 as the oldest of four children of James and Martha Neilson, Stuart was a native of Los Angeles. He grew up in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Sparks, Nev. As a young man Stuart obtained the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, at age 18. He was a nose gunner on a B-24 bomber, and was stationed in the Philippines. He flew 17 bombing missions through hostile air in the Pacific Theater. After discharge in 1945, Stuart returned to Sparks. At that time, he served as a missionary in the Southern States Mission, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After his two-year mission he returned to Sparks. Stuart married Lela M. Schofield on April 7, 1949, in the Salt Lake Temple, Utah. They soon moved to the Modesto area; where he lived for almost 60 years.

Stuart founded Stuart's Cabinet Shop in 1961 in Ceres. The business evolved over the years into Stuart David, Inc., which is a prominent furniture manufacturing business today.

Mr. Neilson served for 15 years as a temple worker at the Oakland Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He enjoyed spending time with his family.

He leaves behind four children, Della Neilson, Katherine Heffner, Keith Neilson and David Neilson; his brother, Lloyd Neilson of San Francisco; his sister, Marjorie Comyns of Petaluma; and 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 59 years, Lela Mae, who died May 21, 2008, and brother Melvin Neilson.

Remembrances may be sent to the Alexander Cohen Hospice House, 7700 Fox Rd., Hughson, CA 95326.

-Ceres (Calif.) Courier /Feb. 25, 2009