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1927 Lois 2022

Lois June Nickel

October 5, 1927 — September 25, 2022

Born October 5, 1927 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and passed away from old age on September 25, 2022, age 94. She was a daughter to Lorenz Hielsberg and Rose Gallatin Hielsberg. Rose passed away in 1936 from pancreatic cancer when mom was eight. In 1937, our grandpa, Lorenz Hielsberg married Annette Hainer who forever would be known to us as Grandma Hielsberg, our mom’s mother. Mom has one brother John (Karen) Hielsberg.


In her early years, mom and her five girlfriends formed a group called the “Mysterious Five”. These five girls became friends for a lifetime, with mom being the last survivor. Mom was also an avid fan of Shirley Temple, which included taking tap dance lessons, dressing up like Shirley Temple and collecting the dolls. She remembered and sang one of Shirley Temple’s songs “On the Good Ship Lollipop” at her 90th Birthday Party.


Mom graduated June 11, 1949 with a Bachelor of Science Degree from the State Teachers College in Oshkosh. Prior to her June graduation, the Oshkosh Northwestern Newspaper on February 16, 1949 noted the following about mom in a newspaper column “Oshkosh Girl to Teach at Waupaca”. Mom was a very caring and creative kindergarten teacher; however, she was married shortly thereafter, and mom and dad began starting a family, which meant she would eventually stay home to raise their children.


Mom was married to Arthur Edward Nickel on November 23, 1949 at St. Paul’s Church in Oshkosh, WI. Immediately following the wedding ceremony, mom and dad reenacted the wedding while it was being filmed. That film has provided many light-hearted moments of laughter over the years, given mom and dad’s limited acting ability. Mom and dad were married 57 years until his death in 2007.


Mom’s care and commitment to her family was second to none. Having a husband, three boys and one daughter and eventually a Black Labrador Retriever (Peggy), did not allow mom to have much down time. She made meals, washed clothes, darned socks, patched holes in pants, made sure we had everything for school, to name a few of her many tasks during that time. Our black Lab became very attached to mom and would find a pair of mom’s shoes and lay by them whenever mom would leave the house for an extended period of time. One other surprise addition to the family was an Airedale Terrier, purchased by Jay and Bruce (Why? We’re still not sure), which was named Morgan. Our black lab was not a fan of this dog as she was getting older, however, eventually mom became the caregiver to Morgan after Peggy passed away.


Mom was an excellent knitter and since 1950 when her first child was born, she knitted Christmas stockings for her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren up until about seven years ago when her eyes and hands were no longer up for the task. Mom made the holidays special with her attention to detail and welcoming all who could attend. In the 1960’s, Mom became a passionate collector of Hummel Figurines and Plates. This gave her so much enjoyment as she appreciated the detail of the artists and the story behind each figurine or plate. Mom also became very passionate about Genealogy as she and Bruce spent numerous hours researching at the library, online and even visiting cemeteries’ where they found many interesting family facts. Mom and dad were not world travelers, but they traveled to Switzerland as she and dad were researching mom’s, mother’s family, the Gallatin’s. She so loved this trip and could still remember it up until a few months ago.


In mom’s later years, she and Don Johnson became friends, and both enjoyed each other’s companionship.


Lois is survived by her four children – Daughter, Nancy (Jay) Merrill and sons, Jay Nickel (Patty Ruff), Bruce Nickel and Bill (Judy) Nickel


Nine - Grandchildren – Rhonda McDonough, Kacie (Luke) Hocker, Lauren Nickel (Michael Braun), Brad Nickel, Kristine (Brandon) Howard, Bryan Merrill, Jon Merrill, Erik Nickel and Elise (Luke) Menges.


Ten - Great Grandchildren – Owen, Kegan and Maggie McDonough, Gus and Plum Nickel-Braun, Ella and McKinley Hocker, Serenity, Zahara and Corriel Howard.


Mom throughout your life, you gave us gift that we’ll never forget. In your quiet way, you lead by example that family is special and make sure you care for and commit to them for a lifetime. You did that graciously. It’s now our turn to remain carrying that out.


God Bless you mom and may you now rest in peace.


There will be a private ceremony with immediate family to celebrate mom’s life. Thank you to Evergreen Manor and Moments Hospice for their compassionate care of mom.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lois June Nickel, please visit our flower store.

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