HAYES CENTER -- William "Joe" Joseph Nitsch, age 70, died Saturday, Sept. 15, 2007, at the Cheyenne County Hospital in St. Francis.
Joe was born on Aug. 31, 1937, on the family farm in Hayes County to Carl Louis and Leona Elinor (Lewin) Nitsch. He attended country school through the eighth grade and graduated from Hayes Center High School in 1954.
He returned to Nebraska and worked for Bushman Construction and on the family farm. Joe married Sandra Kay Fraiser on July 23, 1960. To this union two children, Debra S. and Michael C. were born. The couple divorced in 1986.
Joe served over 30 years with the Hayes County Fire Department, acting as fire chief for several years. He was the Hayes Center Marshall and Hayes County Deputy Sheriff for seven years. He was an avid sports fan and drove the school activity bus. He not only followed the Hayes Center Cardinals, but also all of the grandkids' sporting events. He made many trips to watch college sports that Hayes Center graduates were competing in. He also enjoyed fishing, golfing, hunting, canoeing and family, especially his grandchildren.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Carl and Leona Nitsch and two sisters, Norma Jean Peterson and Carol Nadeen Fuller.
He is survived by his son, Michael Carl Nitsch and wife, Jackie of Hayes Center; daughter Debra Sue Gohl and partner, Lance Long of St. Francis; four grandchildren, Timothy James Gohl, Lorielle Renee Gohl, Shaina Rae Gohl and Jonathan Joseph Nitsch; three step-grandchildren, Faith Marie Cook, Jessica Lynn Rowden and Jerry Rolland Rowden; three step-great-grandchildren, Bailey Chandler Cook, Kayden Michael Merrit and Elijah Merrit. We will always love you, and you will be missed forever!
Memorials may be given to the Joe Nitsch Sports Memorial Scholarship.
Funeral services will be Thursday, 10 a.m., at the Union Congregational United Church of Christ in Hayes Center with Pastor Fay Ann Blaylock officiating. Burial will be in the Hayes Center Cemetery.
Visitation is today until 5 p.m. and Wednesday 9 a.m. -- 8 a.m. at Carpenter Breland Funeral Home in McCook. Friends may sign his book at the funeral home or send condolences online at www.carpenterbreland.com.
Carpenter Breland Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.