Fred J. Nikles (1916 - 2008)

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  • "Fred, Ellen & Grandma Fough lived just South of us near..."
    - Ruth Lee Giebel
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Fred J. Nikles, 91, of Belgrade passed away Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008. He was born to Julius and Elsie (Sharrer) Nikles on Sept. 24, 1916, in the upper Bridger Canyon area. He was raised by his aunt and uncle, Alfred and Anna Nikles, and attended the Upper Bridger School.

"Freddy" married Ellen Fogh on Dec. 5, 1945, in Livingston, and they resided south of Belgrade on the family farm.

Fred was a member of the Belgrade Friendship Club (Senior Center), the Gallatin County Historical Society, and the Peace Lutheran Church of Belgrade. He was an officer in the Mammoth Ditch Company for many years.

He was a rancher his whole life, ranching in both the Bridger Canyon area and south of Belgrade. Since 2003, he has resided at Gallatin Rest Home, where he made many friends with both the staff and residents.

Fred enjoyed hunting and fishing, a little traveling, and spending time with his friends. He traveled to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas for several years and spent several summers in Alaska, spending time visiting relatives in Saskatchewan, Canada, along the way. He will be remembered for being just an ole country boy. He dearly loved a good joke or a prank, and laughter was his mainstay in life. Freddy never met anyone he couldn't tease.

Fred was preceded in death by his wife, Ellen in 1979; his brother, John; and three sisters, Clara, Ann, and Margaret.

Survivors include nieces, Patty (Chuck) Miller of Silver Star, Shirley (Ed) Garver of Council, Idaho, Linda (Bruce) Vadnais of Bismarck, N.D., Faye Hagler of Boise, Idaho, Mary Lee Nelson of Minnesota; nephew, John Hacker of Kingman, Ariz.; cousins, Genevieve Nikles, Bernice Otsig, Marguerite (Henry) Baier, and Kay (Bill) Morton of Saskatchewan, Canada; along with his many friends.

A funeral service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 18, at Peace Lutheran Church in Belgrade. Interment will follow in Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman. Visitation noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Dahl Funeral Chapel.

Memorials in his name may be made to Bozeman Deaconess Hospice, 931 Highland Blvd, Suite 3200, Bozeman 59715; or to the Gallatin Historical Society, 317 W. Main St., Bozeman 59715.

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Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 17, 2008
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