Walter Albert Nickolie, age 90, of Ripon/Neshkoro passed away on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at Juliette Manor in Berlin. Walter was born April 10, 1926 in Dakota Township, Waushara County, to Arthur and Elma (Reetz) Nickolie.

Audrey Benfer was teaching at Neshkoro High School when the local butcher suggested Walter give that girl a ride home. They were married September 16, 1950 in Neshkoro. They enjoyed music concerts and visiting relatives before two sons and three houses came along. They shared much in their 53 years of marriage.

Walter was a very religious person. He was baptized, confirmed and married in the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Neshkoro. He served as Sunday School Superintendent for many years. He was one of the founders of the Messiah Lutheran Church after moving to Ripon. He served on the Church Council and Board of Elders. Unable to attend in recent years he found comfort listening to the Lutheran Hour and Messiah services over the radio.

Walter was active in local government his entire life. He received many Oratory Awards before graduating from Neshkoro High school in 1944. He used his skills and enjoyment of people to be a Marquette County School Commissioner for 6 years and Neshkoro Village Treasurer for 11 years. Walter was an alder on Ripon’s City Council for over 20 years beginning in 1968. The city built a new city hall, library and wastewater treatment facility while he was President of the Council and Chairman of the Board of Public Works.

Walter worked for Libby’s cucumber processing plant in Neshkoro until its closing. He joined Green Giant Company in 1962 first in Rosendale and then Ripon as Office Superintendent. He received a company Citizenship Award in 1974 which included a vacation to Hawaii for he and Audrey.

Walter enjoyed gardening and ‘puttering’ around the house. He enjoyed music from a young age. He was a member of the Neshkoro Village Band earning money for his trumpet by picking beans at a penny a pound. Walter was later a member of Ripon’s SPEBQSA chorus and several barbershop quartets.

Walter’s parents also had a daughter Ethel. Walter was barely three when his father passed. Mother Elma later married Ed Ponto. Ed was widowed and had a son LeRoy. Elma and Ed later had sons, Orlo and Gus.

He is survived by one son, Daniel; brother, Gus and Valois Ponto; sister-in-laws: Betty Ponto and Mavis Ponto; several cousins, nieces and nephews. His wife, Audrey; son, David; sister, Ethel Lund and husband Charles; and brothers: Orlo and LeRoy preceded his passing.

Walter and his son would like to thank all the people who provided for his care these past few years. These include the skilled and dedicated staffs at Wolverton Glen Assisted Living, UW Clinics, CHN and Theda Care. We give deep appreciation to the comforting hands of care givers and all those involved at Juliette Manor and Generations Hospice.

Visitation for Walter A. Nickolie will be held at 9:30AM on Monday, February 27, 2017 at Messiah Lutheran Church, Mayparty Drive, Ripon. The funeral will follow at 11:00AM with Pastor Bryan Fritsch officiating. Burial will be next to Audrey and David at Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery, Neshkoro. A memorial has been established in Walter’s name. Divine Passage Funeral Home is proudly serving the Nickolie family.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Thank you for taking part in our commenting section. We want this platform to be a safe and inclusive community where you can freely share ideas and opinions. Comments that are racist, hateful, sexist or attack others won’t be allowed. Just keep it clean. Do these things or you could be banned:

• Don’t name-call and attack other commenters. If you’d be in hot water for saying it in public, then don’t say it here.

• Don’t spam us.

• Don’t attack our journalists.

Let’s make this a platform that is educational, enjoyable and insightful.

Email questions to