Cover photo for Rachel Anne Nielsen's Obituary
Rachel Anne Nielsen Profile Photo
1972 Rachel 2022

Rachel Anne Nielsen

November 22, 1972 — September 28, 2022

Rachel Ann Nielsen (Young), 49, is at peace following her personal struggle with cancer which came to an end in the early morning of September 28th, 2022 as she passed quietly in her sleep.

Rachel was born November 22, 1972 to a loving father and mother who adored her. She and her brother would play in the basement for hours, and on school days the siblings would walk to Scarlet Oak Elementary School holding hands as they crossed the streets. When she was six the family moved to Homer Township where she would attend Goodings Grove and Homer Junior High schools (1986) and later during her high school years at Mount Assisi Academy in Lemont (1990) she became known as “Todd’s little sister” which was a moniker she was destined to outgrow quickly.

Throughout her childhood Rachel was kind-hearted even when she thought she was getting into a healthy dose of mischief. She had no ill will and did not like to cause trouble. She was honest, well-behaved and a positive influence on those around her. Many of the childhood friendships she formed last to this day, and many of those that now feel the void of her loss will still stop to tell you a tale about themselves from decades ago like it was yesterday.

After attending college at Eastern Illinois University and graduating from Loyola University in Chicago (1994) Rachel quickly climbed the ranks of various organizations as a result of her outgoing personality, her thoughtfulness and her tenacity. She started her own company in the corporate event management space and settled her family in a beautiful home in Indian Head Park, Illinois. Rachel loved spending time with family and friends and always reminded her children to “be your best you, be kind, and have fun”.

Rachel was diagnosed with cancer in Spring of 2021 and went through many painful procedures while maintaining a positive attitude and a zeal for living life despite the setbacks. She had many unusual reactions to the treatments, yet she still befriended her medical staff who nicknamed her “Rachel the Reactor”.

In early September 2022 she fell into sharp decline and, facing her final days with courage and strength, decided she would rather be with her family than live a few more weeks in a hospital. Rachel wanted to spend her remaining time as she lived, at home with her family amongst the chaos of school and sports, homecoming dances, barking dogs and visitors from near and far. She was surrounded by those who loved her every day through her last which came two months before her fiftieth birthday.

It was a source of pride for Rachel to have touched so many lives and, in her own words, to have “lived wholeheartedly in every aspect, leaving her legacy as she went rather than waiting to compile and reflect at the end”. Although Rachel regretted not reaching one of her life goals to own a house on a beach, she was simple in her wants and did not long for status or possessions. Rachel’s accumulation of wealth was in emotional connections rather than material possession and she treated the impact of her time here with us as life’s own reward.

Tributes to Rachel’s personal and professional life come from far and wide including colleagues and clients, professional networking organizations, women’s groups, parents’ groups and so many more places that it makes one wonder how she made such a wide impact on so many people. Rachel indeed went far beyond being known as the little sister and touched the lives of thousands in a way few can.

As she was preparing to leave her physical body Rachel wanted to make sure we would remember her as someone who continually sought the good in people and who was brave enough to be her genuine self. She always wished to make her world around her better even in the smallest of circumstances and she asks the same of us.

Rachel’s story lives on in the hearts of her friends and colleagues as well as her loving husband Mark, their son Chase (15), their daughter Ella (13) and Mark’s beautiful son Collin (21); Dearest daughter of Alan and Linda Young and sister of Todd Young; Cherished daughter-in law of Mark and Mary Ann Nielsen; Sister-in-law to Shannon (Chris) Garbie, Rebecca Tyrrell, Jessica (Mike) Schlamp, and Anthony (Karen) Nielsen; Devoted aunt to Nicholas, Joseph, Connor, Quinn, Lilly, Olivia, Arthur, Charlotte, and Peter; Treasured niece, cousin, and friend to many.


A visitation for Rachel Anne Nielsen will be on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at Zarzycki Manor Chapels, Ltd, 8999 Archer Ave, Willow Springs, IL from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.. On Wednesday, October 5th a funeral service will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. at the Zarzycki Manor Chapels, Ltd, 8999 Archer Ave, Willow Springs, IL. Cremation will be private. For more information call 708-839-8999.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rachel Anne Nielsen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Family Gathering

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

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Prayer Service

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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