Clarence Nickolas Nilles Jr., 74, Bismarck, died peacefully on Sept. 19, 2012, at Sanford Health, after a courageous battle with cancer. Mass of Christian burial will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at St. Pius Catholic Church, New Salem, with the Rev. Selva Peeriannan officiating. Burial will be in Almont Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, with a vigil/rosary service beginning at 5 p.m., at DaWise-Perry Funeral Services, Mandan. Visitation continues one hour prior to the service at the church.
Clarence, “Junior” was born Aug. 7, 1938, to Clarence and Regina (Timpe) Nilles, north of Almont. He grew up in the Almont area and worked with his dad and uncle in the Timpe & Nilles Coal Co. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1956, and after being stationed in Arkansas, Missouri, Washington and Japan, he spent 19 months and 15 days in Korea. Returning from overseas, he finished his duty in Staten Island, N.Y. He married Norrine Bender in August 1958, and together, they had five children. Along with working for his family, Junior worked for Ansley Dairy Company and Rolfson Construction for many years, and then became a counselor at the North Dakota Youth Correctional Center in Mandan, until his retirement in 1999.
Clarence always had a smile for anyone he encountered and a quick wit that was contagious. He loved learning about history and the vast amount of knowledge he imparted on his family about their heritage in his last months will be remembered and cherished. In his travels, he was drawn to any historical marker, little known museum or piece of U.S. heritage that he could learn about. One of the highlights of his retirement years was a trip to Alaska with his oldest grandson, Trevor. In recent years, he also loved his new home with Pat in Mesa, Ariz.
Clarence is survived by his children, Shannon (Jim) Larson, Mitch (Kathy) Nilles, Judy Muth, Jim Nilles and Mike (Kathy) Nilles, all of Bismarck; along with his 12 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one brother, Darrel (Marion) Nilles; three nieces and one nephew; and his special friend, Patricia Schmidt and her family, all of Bismarck.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Regina; and an infant sibling.
Memorials are preferred to the Bismarck Cancer Center Foundation or the North Dakota Youth Correctional Center Student Fund.
Please sign Clarence’s guest book and share memories at www.dawise-perry.com.