Kenneth Edward Nitzel, age 89, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, at his home with his wife and a nephew by his side. He was born on September 6, 1924, at Beaver City, NE to Edward and Elizabeth Meents Nitzel. He married the love of his life, Claudia Bergeon, at First Lutheran Church of South Sioux City, NE on August 10, 1952, after a brief courtship.
Kenneth was raised on the family farm south of Beaver City. He attended a one room country school and graduated from Beaver City High School in 1942. He served in the United States Army during World War II from June 28, 1943 until July 15, 1946. He was assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division in Italy and France as part of the liberating forces that moved from southern France to the Rhine River. He was wounded on February 6, 1945, near Volgelsheim in the Alsace-Lorraine region. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, 3 Battle Stars, an Invasion Arrow, the Croix de Guerre, and a Presidential Unit Citation for his service to our country. After his discharge, he attended Kearney State Teachers College at Kearney, NE and earned his bachelor’s degree. He earned his master’s degree at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE.
Ken, as he liked to be called, taught for three years in eastern Nebraska before moving to California. His teaching career in California spanned 29 years with the last 20 of those being in Driver Education in Fresno City Schools. He retired in 1982, and moved to St. George, UT in 1996.
He was a proud member of the Lutheran Church, The University of Nebraska Alumni Association, the Disabled American Veterans, and the St. George Dixie Elks Lodge.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Lester “Bud”, Dale, Johnie, and Robert; and sisters, Irene Longsine, Viola “Jackie” Weissenﬂuh, and Patty Adams; and four nephews.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years; brother-in-law, Robert Adams, of Duncan, OK; and 10 nieces and nephews.
There is no service planned. Cremation has taken place and interment at Mount Hope Cemetery in Beaver City, NE will take place at a later date.
Arrangements were made under the direction of Heideman Hughes Mortuary, 435-674-5000.