Paul “Nick” Nebel Jr, age 84, lifetime resident of Oshkosh, WI, died on January 16, 2024 at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King. Under the given name of Paul, “Nick” was born on July 29, 1939 to Virginia (Muttart) and Paul Nebel. The eldest of their six children. (Victoria, Virginia, Suzanne, William & Richard) Named Paul according to first born tradition, Nick‘s father decided to give their newborn a “Nick”-name; hence the name Nick came to fruition.
As a boy on a bike or a boat with a bold lake out the back door, Nick adventured, inquisitive, befriending a crow he called Pete; one of countless companions who traveled by his side.
At Asylum Bay on the shores of Lake Winnebago, Nick played, spending summers at the family cottage. In the end, a sacred space lost to him due to circumstances beyond control.
While in his early teens, tragedy struck the family with the untimely death of their mother leaving Nick and his siblings as motherless children.
In a time of vulnerability, the Catholic Priest preyed upon him.
Nick graduated from Oshkosh High School, attended Sacred Heart Seminary and Saint Norbert’s College before he enlisted and married Alexis Buyeske.
In the early 60s, newly wed the couple set off, living on the West coast while Nick proudly served. In time they returned home to Wisconsin in order for Nick to help with the family business alongside his father. Soon thereafter, together with Alexis, Nick became a father to his only child, Leisha.
Nick served with the US Army, Wisconsin National Guard from 1960-1966 obtaining the final rank of Sergeant (Medical Corpsman). His active duty took place during the Berlin Crisis with the 127th Infantry-32nd Red Arrow Division.
Meanwhile, the marriage with Alexis ended, each going their separate ways yet remaining friends until her death years later.
As a passionate man, Nick carried on, sharing his life with several incredible women who he deeply cherished that embellished his life in magnificent ways. Nick was indeed a lucky man!
A love for the arts encompassed every aspect of Nick’s being. In the early days he experienced some wild, wonderful times at UW Oshkosh as a poet and editor for The Wisconsin Review. In those days, on canvas, he painted with broad strokes and constructed steel metal makings. In the theater Nick played multiple rolls, participating with the Slightly Seasoned Players, Drama Lab Inc and Mysteries Made to Order. He also joined forces in saving the Grand Opera House from despair. And spent numerous years working as a Stage Hand with the IATSE Local 470. As a Stained Glass instructor for Fox Valley Technical College, he cultivated curiosity in his students while passing on a classic art form.
The Oshkosh Auto Parts-NAPA remained a central part of Nick’s life. A business he ended up operating with his brother Bill, often alongside several siblings. With a yearning to expand his horizons Nick left the family business to explore video production, becoming known as, “Nick Danger, Video Ranger.” With camera in hand, he captured the hearts of many while illuminating their legacy in light.
As a Videographer his intent for collaboration and documentation grew creating videos for industry, investment, safety, matrimony and memorials, he traveled, chased sail boats across ice covered lakes and the Black Rock Desert. Whether riding shotgun with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department or backstage with burlesque dancers one could count on Nick. With eyes to the sky, he partnered with some remarkable people and captured stories for EAA, Timeless Voices, Sleeping Dog Productions and Warbirds in Review making connections that lasted a lifetime.
In corn fields, he stood, tractor passing, as he gathered video backdrops for glass blown masterpieces built behind barn doors, by one of his dearest friends.
While hot metal hit the crucible Nick dazzled the pour floor community with camera in tow. Whether busting bathtubs or building “Welcome to Armageddon” in red socks, he shanked with the best of You, who carried him on the way.
Eager to participate, Nick belonged to multiple clubs. As a new rider in late-midlife he road motorcycle with the Oshkosh Aces, always joking that he wasn’t playing with a full deck. He also joined the 32nd Red Arrow Division Club and was honored to be a member and Historian for The American Legion- post 70 where he marched in parades, placed flags and wreaths on gravestones and gathered in camaraderie with some truly special people.
At home by the pond, he sat by the fire often reading Twain, toasting with a cup of tea or a glass of Barolo while cawing to crows in the black walnut tree above. In his latter days on walks through the neighborhood one could see him salute each American Flag upon passing. In delight, with a treat from his pocket Nick would greet every dog on his path, returning home ready for the next adventure.
In the last six months of life, increasing challenges with dementia motivated the long-awaited move from Home to King, where Nick received his Wings to Fly. With autonomy, he walked among Heroes, both Members and Staff alike, all treasures in their own regard, a gift for which we are eternally grateful.
Special thanks to all who supported and cared for Nick in his final days and throughout his lifetime. We are especially thankful to Dr. Alzoubi & Jenny & the Aurora Healthcare team, all the caregivers & staff at the Veterans Home at King, as well as, Theda Care at Home-Hospice.
Our deepest gratitude belongs to, Kate Bahr Fuller & Family, Dale & Victoria Bahr, the Buyeske Family, the Taylor Family & Cousins, Michael & Jane Meihlan, Tom & Paula Farley, Scott & Kyle Guyette, Dave Marx, Teresa Lind & Garrett Krueger, Kelley Gierach, Elizabeth, Ryan & Zed Kinsman Kinderman, Tony Flanagan, Kari Uselman & Family, Amanda King, Tim Grasse, Francis Mathe, Bill & Carleen Christianson, Chuck & Donna Butzlaff and a vast number of you who although unnamed here are extremely appreciated. You know who you are and we are ever so grateful for your love, kindness and presence.
Nick is survived by his daughter, Leisha Nebel Taylor; sister, Suzanne Werner; brother, Richard (Robbi Heighway) Nebel; sister-in-law, Jean Nebel; brother-in-law, Terry Quick; niece, Marie (Jeff) Seivers & family; nephew, Nikolaus (Elke) Werner & family; niece, Jessie (Jim) Wiles & family; nephew, Tom (Courtney Johnston) Nebel; the Bartz family children; and the Zizzo family children. Through his former marriage Nick is survived by; sister-in-law, Victoria (Dale) Bahr; niece-in-law, Kate Bahr Fuller (Tim Fuller); her children, Casey and Lily Neumann; nephew-in-law, Adam Bahr. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family members and friends.
In addition to his parents, Nick was preceded in death by his sister & brother-in-law, Victoria (Tony) Zizzo; sister, Virginia “Shon” Nebel; brother, William “Bill” Nebel; brother-in-law, Eugene Werner; nephew, Aaron Werner and countless others who have gone before him. May they rest in peace.
As a father, a friend or family member, Nick wore many hats and will be forever remembered as a generous, kind hearted, eclectic creature who loved to share a spectacular story. May you find joy in your memories of good times with Nick.
Please join us in celebrating Nick‘s life on: Saturday, April 27, 2024 at The Waters, 1393 Washington Ave., Oshkosh, WI from 11am to 3pm Service at 1pm with Military Honors to follow. Burial will take place on a later date at the Central WI Veterans Memorial Cemetery at King.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established.