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Memories & Candles

“Dear Grandad,I know this is late, but thank you for being the best grandad you could be in the short time I knew you. Thank you- Leia ”
1 of 26 | Posted by: Leia Neilson - North Potomac, MD

“I knew Les years ago, I was once friends with daughter. I am so saddened to hear of his passing. He was a very kind man and I know he will be missed....Read More »
2 of 26 | Posted by: Rachel - Mesquite, TX

“It's so wonderful to see all of the tributes to my dad and thank you to all who recalled such wonderful memories. Indeed, if you can imagine growing...Read More »
3 of 26 | Posted by: Marc Neilson - Bethesda, MD - son

“My brother Les was enthusiastic about life and enthralled with all its beauty and diversity. He was the most creative person in my family he was...Read More »
4 of 26 | Posted by: John Neilson - Westminster, CA

“Les was a wonderful friend. We worked on the Monorail together. One time we had to go help out with the Rhinos. We had to clean there area. The...Read More »
5 of 26 | Posted by: Maribeth Cato - Fort Walton Beach, FL

“Our prayers are with the family for strength during this time. God doesn't make mistakes. Les is in a better place than we are. Lovingly, The...Read More »
6 of 26 | Posted by: Ms. Jon - Garland, TX

“Les was always so kind and accomodating. My sympathies to his family and friends. He was a great guy, and he will be missed. ”
7 of 26 | Posted by: Vicki Cheatwood - Dallas, TX

“What a shocking news! I have known Les for more than 20 years, being one of the first eight staff hired to operate the Dallas Zoo monorail . His...Read More »
8 of 26 | Posted by: Sina Ogunleye - Dallas, TX

“Rest in peace, Les. We will all miss you. ”
9 of 26 | Posted by: Marian Neilson - sister-in-law

“I remember Les so well. He was a tall, dark haired handsome young man. He was only 2 years older than I. I admired hims so much. He was majorly...Read More »
10 of 26 | Posted by: Cecilia Hawkins-Goularte - Chico, CA

“Eric and Family: So very sorry to hear about Les. His deep love for his family was obvious. They say you can never know a person until you see their...Read More »
11 of 26 | Posted by: Carol Caldwell - Irving, TX

“My sincere and deepest sympathies. We miss Les fondly ... the carousel, conversations and his kindness. Thoughts and prayers are with the family. ”
12 of 26 | Posted by: Felicia Fucuals - Dallas, TX

“The Zoo has lost a good and dedicated man, but heaven has gained an angel. Les was a super duper man that always cared about making our Dallas Zoo...Read More »
13 of 26 | Posted by: Eunice Garcia - Dallas, TX

“Les and I worked together on the monorail many many years ago. He was always ready to give the best tour for the guests. He will truely be missed by...Read More »
14 of 26 | Posted by: Alex Vasquez - Dallas, TX

“Les has been such a fixture at the Dallas Zoo all these years. His friendly presence at the Monorail and the Carousel always made the rides so much...Read More »
15 of 26 | Posted by: Karen Hamilton

“Les always gave those kids, big and small, a memorable ride on the carousel. We'll miss "Mr. Carousel Man"! ”
16 of 26 | Posted by: Kerry Rhines - TX

“May the road rise to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sunshine be warm upon your face. May the rains fall upon your fields. And...Read More »
17 of 26 | Posted by: Denise Thomas - Euless, TX

“I had the great privilege of working with Les for most of the years that he worked at the Dallas Zoo. I saw him virtually every day during the last...Read More »
18 of 26 | Posted by: Michael Meadows - Dallas, TX

“Les, you left us with many memories of you at the Dallas Zoo. I always asked what was for lunch and usually you had a nice sandwich that a love one...Read More »
19 of 26 | Posted by: Rose Perez - Dallas, TX

“Les, was always very kind and considerate. I remember the days when he would come to the breakroom at the administration and we would share fruit,...Read More »
20 of 26 | Posted by: Carolyn Neal - Dallas, TX

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time. We know Les loved his family, the Zoo, animals, children, the arts, music, astronomy...Read More »
21 of 26 | Posted by: Carmen Hannold - Dallas, TX

“We at the Dallas Zoo will miss you. ”
22 of 26 | Posted by: Frances Herford - Duncanville, TX

“You will be missed, my favorite zoo friend! God Bless.... ”
23 of 26 | Posted by: Larry Phenneger - Dallas, TX

“He was a gentle man and loved to make the children smile and laugh at the carousel. He will be truely missed, my prayers go out to the family. My God...Read More »
24 of 26 | Posted by: Karen Miles - Dallas, TX - friend

“I will miss our many and varied lunch time conversations, Les. God Bless! ”
25 of 26 | Posted by: Kati Hinds - TX - Co-Worker

“He was a very kind man. We will miss him at the Zoo. ”
26 of 26 | Posted by: Nancy Jones - Dallas, TX - Friend

Neilson, Les was born on July 3, 1940 in Dallas, Texas and passed away November 26, 2012. He is preceded in death by his parents, Samuel Lester Neilson II and Oleta Ruth Owen-Neilson. Les is survived by his brother, John Neilson; sons, Eric and Marc Neilson; daughter, Mary Richburg; granddaughter, Leia Neilson; and grandsons, Christopher Richburg, Jaden Richburg, and Lukas Hoel.

Les was a science teacher early in his life and later worked for the Dallas Zoo for over 20 years until his retirement last October. He was an accomplished artist, musician, photographer and amateur astronomer. His many talents and interests inspired his children and grandchildren to pursue the arts and sciences in their lives. He was a great dad and granddad and will be missed.

Services will be held Saturday, December 1, 2012 at 10:00 AM at Restland Funeral Home, 13005 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, TX 75243.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Dallas Zoo by contacting Shayla Berrios:
Phone: 469-554-7448