My dad passed away a few weeks ago. was it 2 weeks ago tonight? It seems like it JUST happened, and it seems like it happened a long time ago. it's been a long 2 weeks. I will miss my dad terribly. I tried to write something that would capture a few of the quirks my dad had...he had a lot of them.
John Walter Nieman
May 17, 1943-November 2, 2013
John Walter Nieman, fish oil advocate, wood enthusiast, trend setter, died on Saturday, November 2, 2013.
John was suspicious of non-circular desserts. He primarily fancied pies & doughnuts but made special exception for the Fig Newton. No matter what dessert graced his lips, you could be sure it was washed down with a giant glass of milk, 1% was his fat content of choice.
John raised six children with his wife Patti. When not practicing dentistry, he traveled the I-80 corridor. Always looking for opportunities to spoil the children, he made sure they stayed at only the finest of Travel Lodges or rest stops (and only ONCE did he drive off, leaving his wife stranded at a gas station for 30 minutes. Only once.) A “vacation” was never complete if it didn’t start and end with a major car repair.
John would not pay money for something he could do himself. This applied to apple pies, air conditioning, root canals, the shipment of heavy machinery and eating out (he sought out buffets for their DIY philosophy). Other things John did not like to pay money for include rototillers, post VHS technology and wood.
His utilitarian style was often copied, but never duplicated. Pocketed shirts held his patented 3 x 5 card day-planning system. His jeans identified the work to be done, be it changing the oil, painting, or tarring the roof. When children came “of age” they were taught the many virtues of Red Wing shoes, and given a pair of their very own. He took his look from “around the house” to “office” with the zip of a turquoise smock, and completed his ensemble with a black Casio watch.
John excelled at fabricating pine wood derby cars, coaching little league, slingshotting squirrels, pressure washing, making an entrance, teaching his children to hike tall mountains, and serving those around him. He had a long career as a city-league fast pitch softball pitcher and loved being involved in church basketball. He had a firm belief that mentholatum could cure most ailments, and a Shop Vac could clean most messes. While in college he worked three jobs and lived in a bomb shelter JUST so his future children could not complain about ANYTHING they had to do.
He detested speed traps, limitations on freedom, necklaces, playing games, “women drivers” and low flow toilets. He loved his dog Montana, his 12 grandchildren, was the only dentist with a paper route on the block, and never thought of time spent in the service of others as wasted. John was well loved and loved well and will be missed by all those who had the pleasure to know him.