Bernard John Nilges, age 98, of Iola, passed away Thursday, June 17, 2021, at his home. He was born August 24, 1922, in Scipio, the son of Samuel P. Nilges and Mary Catherine Peine Nilges. He served with the United States Army from 1942 to 1945. While with the Army, he participated in the Battle of the Bulge and later helped with relief efforts at the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany. He was proud of his time spent in the military where he faithfully served his country. Hospice had given him a plaque in honor of his military service just prior to his death.
Following his military service, he returned to Anderson County, where he married Norma Jean Blubaugh on July 16, 1948. He owned and operated his own farm and dairy for forty years. He was a farmer and proud to be one. He loved to see things grow and to know that he had a part in that. He loved to be outdoors and enjoyed nature. Following retirement from farming in the mid 1980’s, Bernie and Norma Jean moved to Iola. He worked for twelve years as a bus driver, and was also a very good carpenter.
He loved working with his hands and was good at whatever he was doing. Bernie was a soft-spoken man. He never asked for much and yet he gave so much to anyone and everyone. He will be dearly missed not only by his family but by anyone who ever knew him.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Dawn Henshall, Melissa Preston, Tammy Snyder, Melissa Andres, Rodney Andres and Debra Wools who have served as caregivers for both Bernie and Norma over the years.
Survivors include his wife of seventy-two years, Norma Jean, of the home; and daughters, Cristine Bacon (Chuck), of Moran, and Connie Hiner (Sam), of Burlington. Also surviving are grandchildren, Bryan Bacon (Brenda), Jessica Bacon, Tina Withers (Chris), Erica Combs (Donnie) and Renee Fischer (Chancy); great-grandchildren, Abigail, Caleb, Austin, Hannah, Collin, Cassidy, Evan, Ava, Addison and Jocelyn; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Joe, Fred, Herman and Mark; and three sisters, Cecilia, Agnes and Rose.
Memorials are suggested to the Wounded Warrior Project and may be left in care of Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, Kansas 66701.