Cantril Nielsen

I am honored to be able to celebrate the life of Dr. Cantril Nielsen.

For those of you who do not know me, I am Jake Roberts, also known as the man who was honored to be a student, friend, and business partner with Dr. Nielsen for over 15 years.

I would like to take a moment and say thank you to his family for sharing him with all of us. I know it must not have been easy having a spouse and a father who was on-call all the time. If it was not for his family’s support and understanding, none of this would have been possible.

I stand here today amazed by the out pouring of love and support that we all have had over the past few weeks from the community and all those he came in contact with. He truly blessed the lives of all those around him.

I met Dr. Nielsen when I was a student Nurse at the hospital. He would tell the story that I was the one who woke him up after his heart surgery, when in reality was I was assigned to the nurse that was taking care of him that day. I like the way he told the story so better.

While working towards my degree, he was my preceptor and mentor. He taught me that in my own moments of frustration, overwhelmness, and disappear, what it meant to love with an open heart.

As a business partner, Dr. Nielsen brought wisdom and a collaborative spirit, emphasizing the importance of empathy and connection in our work. Together, we forged not just a professional alliance but a friendship built on trust and shared values. I can count on one hand the disagreements we have had over the 15 years of our friendship.

One of his ways of telling you he was proud of you was by telling you you had an “S” on your chest. He would point at my chest and tell me it stands for “Superman”, I would comment back that my “S” most likely stands for ‘stupid’, and we would both laugh.

Last year for his birthday, I wrote him a card, for those who know me, I really don’t like writing in CARD. BUT I figured it was time to tell him what I thought the “S” on his chest stood for.

Today I  will share some of the words in that card with all of you:

The S stands for-

and most of all – SUPERMAN.

I was lucky enough to have been able to be with him 12 hours before he passed. In our time spent together that day, he asked a number of questions about my life. He was never one that like to be the patient.

He asked if the Utes won, and of course they did, he talked about a “blue bird day” which is talk for beautiful skiing weather, He asked when ski season starts. He asked what adventure I was going on next. And many other things.

He also told me he would be at work Monday…We both smiled…In that moment he knew that his journey was coming to an end.

I am sure he was seeing patients by 8 am sharp Monday…and he is already back to working 10 hour days because that is the kind of MAN he was… He truly loved his profession, his family and those in came in contact with.  

Dr. Nielsen had an unparalleled ability to listen, to truly hear the unspoken words and provide comfort. His dedication to mental health was evident in every interaction with both patients and colleagues.

Dr. Nielsen showed his love, by being in the service of others. He loved to bring coffee to the office staff (always making sure Lollipop got her pup-icino, lollipop I think has everyone well trained even STARBUCK), he would take donuts to the volunteer clinic and every Thursday gave countless volunteer hours to serve those in need of mental health, and even he would take Vitamins better known as Candy and give them to kids at the treatment center when they met.

A few of his sayings that will always be part of this new journey without him here.

Over the last year when you would ask how he was doing he would often respond with:


When things were difficult he would say,


And last when he would leave the clinic after working 10-12 hours. he would always turn to Lollipop and say:

“Come on baby girl, let’s go see your mom and your sister the cat.”

So today he will always be remembered by all of us. Let us carry forward the lessons of compassion, understanding, and the belief in the power of healing.

He will be greatly missed and will never be forgotten. I truly hope that all of US can learn from the way he treated others, and the love he had in his heart.

So once again I want to publicly thank his family for allowing all of US to share their father, Husband, and Grandfather and for letting him be our own Superman.

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