Ellen Marie (Saner) Nielsen


Ellen Marie (Saner) Nielsen

April 9, 1922 – July 23, 2019

A loving mother and good friend to many. She is survived by her children: Mary Ann Meier, (Dave), Chris Nielsen, Barbara Nielsen, and Susan Nielsen; grandchildren: Amanda, Nicholas (Marcy), Everett, Clayton, and Jack; great-grandchildren: Shayna and Maryn; beloved relatives and friends.

The family will receive friends on Monday, July 29th from 5pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Tuesday, July 30th at 10am at St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, 1920 N. 102nd St.  Interment: Calvary Cemetery on Wednesday, July 31st at 10am.  Memorials are suggested to Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging.


Ellen was the second of five children born to Anthony and Irene (Leahy) Saner on a small farm in Fremont County, Iowa. She was born on Palm Sunday and baptized on Good Friday at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Imogene, IA.  At the tender age of twelve, Ellen lost her mother; she carried many cherished memories of her Mom and spoke of her frequently. She was surrounded by her father and siblings, Devona, Paul, Michael, and Joseph, as well as many aunts and uncles in the close-knit community. 

Ellen’s first job was at Earl May in Shenandoah, where she earned 40 cents per hour. After graduating from high school, she moved to St Louis and enjoyed spending time with friends and working. She later moved to Omaha to join her father, who had relocated from Iowa. She enjoyed working in vibrant Downtown Omaha, including a position at Memory Lane which was owned by one of her best friends.

She married Arnold Nielsen in 1957. They lived in Omaha, where they welcomed four children: Mary Ann, Chris, Barbara, and Susan. It was during these years that Ellen gained notoriety among family and friends for her delicious chocolate chip cookies.  

Ellen was a devoted mother and supported her family both in the home and in the workforce. She was an Avon lady, then worked from home typing dictation for a court reporter. She eventually took a full-time position as an Administrative Assistant for Clarkson Hospital. She retired from Clarkson in the 1980s but continued to work from home typing for an attorney and insurance company.

Ellen was fiercely independent and lived on her own until 2017. She loved watching sports and was a fan of the Huskers and Creighton Blue Jays. She enjoyed crossword puzzles and playing bingo. 

She will be dearly missed by all for her generosity, wit, willingness to listen, kind smile, and wonderful sense of humor.


  • Kim Craig Posted July 25, 2019 10:53 am

    Our deepest sympathies in the loss of such an amazing, loving and spirited woman. I loved her sense of humor, can do attitude and warmth. I always felt loved and cared for when I was in Ellen’s presence. Love, peace and prayers.

  • Jason McGee Posted July 25, 2019 4:57 pm

    I was lucky enough to be able to not only meet this great women but lucky enough to be a part of her family! My parents Joe and Carol Saner always took me (8th child) back on trips to spend time with such kind and wonderful people who have really filled me and life with more than just the word family. Spending hours listening to the stories and experiences they all shared and laughed about. Made me feel special and definitely older than I am in age with all the wisdom I collected along the way. My thoughts and prayers to those who need .

  • Douglas Bergman Posted July 25, 2019 5:21 pm

    Sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful person. I have many memories of her when I was a child. I got the chance to visit with her a while back and enjoyed seeing her very much.

  • Nancy Worden Holle Posted July 26, 2019 2:37 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. When I was young we lived two doors from the Saner family home and I remember seeing Ellen in her wedding dress. She seemed like a princess to me. Ellen was a very kind and gentle woman and will be missed by all who knew her

  • Monica Bridget Lanston” Conner Posted July 27, 2019 4:49 pm

    Ellen, was such a great person. She loved plants, especially African Violets, she loved to garden. She enjoyed watching wheel of fortune. She did work with her best friend, Mary Langston @ Memory Lane, in Downtown Omaha, NE, which was an answering service, switchboard operators before there time, in the 1950’s,. The women that worked in Keeline building, 319 S 17th St, Omaha, NE, were a force to be reckoned with. Ellen, was my brother Dennis Langstons’ , God Mother. Ellen was easy to talk to, easy to visit with and easy to get along with. Ellen could laugh at herself and tell the best stories ever. Ellen was a great listener. Ellen was very great mom to all her children and even children that weren’t her own. She knew how to have fun and create a fun environment. I have such fond memories of her and her family grown up. She never met a stranger. She will be missed, dearly.

  • jerry, sharon (saner) baldwin Posted July 28, 2019 5:45 am

    rest in peace.

  • Candace Pibal Posted July 29, 2019 5:30 am

    Please accept my deepest sympathy. Love & prayers, Candace Pibal

  • OPPD Energy Marketing & Trading Posted July 29, 2019 9:35 am

    Mary and Family-

    We are truly sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Wishing you peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead, and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts. You are all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

    -OPPD Energy Marketing & Trading

  • Geri VonTersch Posted July 29, 2019 2:56 pm

    Love and Prayers 💕🙏🏼

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