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Johann "John" Nichter


1929 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Johann "John" Nichter Obituary
Nichter, Johann "John"

Johann "John" Nichter, age 88 of the Town of Poy Sippi, rural Berlin, passed peacefully on Friday evening, September 30, 2017 at his home. Johann passed knowing he was loved and respected by his family and friends.

Johann was born May 19, 1929 in Nova Bukovica, Croatia. He was the son of Johann and Katerina (Yost) Nichter. They raised pigs and had a vineyard in their village that boarded a large forest. Johann lived what he called, an idyllic childhood, in beautiful Croatia until the war broke out. As an adolescent, Johann experienced firsthand the horrors of war.

In 1944 Marshall Tito ordered all Germans to evacuate. Johann and his mother evacuated; his father did not. He assumed the responsibility of driving a team of Haflinger horses to Hungary. There Johann and his mother were placed on a train and taken as refugees to a small farming village in Kainisch, Austria. This adventure solidified Johann's love of horses and the native Haflinger breed.

Johann worked as a farm hand in Kainisch until 1946. He and his mother relocated to a small village in Bavaria, farming once again. Johann had a great spirit for adventure and he knew he wanted more. In 1947 he left for Munich. There he learned a trade; he apprenticed as a Mason. Life in post-war Germany was not easy.

He relocated again in 1950, this time to Neibsheim, Germany. There he met Maria Theresia Kraut, his future bride. Wanting a better life for himself and his fiancé, Johann went to the Canadian Embassy to seek out his future. In November 1951 he sold his motorcycle and booked passage on a boat across the Atlantic. He landed on the eastern shores of Canada with a small suitcase and $100 in his pocket. He rode the train across to Alberta arriving November 11th, finding shelter at the Salvation Army.

Johann worked as an electrical lineman, in the Atlas Coal mine in Alberta and in construction building new structures for Uranium City's uranium mine. Construction became his livelihood.

By 1953 he had saved enough money and sent for his bride. Johann and Maria were married at St. Mary's Cathedral in Calgary, Alberta on December 20, 1953.

A Packers game brought Johann to Milwaukee. He wanted to see what American football was all about. While watching the game he learned that he could make more money working construction in Milwaukee than in Calgary. The family moved to Milwaukee, where he worked for Heitzer and Drobeck and later TriCo Masonry.

On June 24, 1965, Johann Nichter became a US Citizen. It was a proud moment for the German native with no more than a grade school education. He often stated that was the day he became "Mr. Nichter".

A farmer at heart, Johann and Maria bought a dairy farm in West Bloomfield in 1967 as well as starting Nichter Construction Company. He was able to buy his first Haflinger team in 1983 and started another career, breeding, raising and showing Haflingers. You could see Johann and Maria and their team of Haflingers at parades, local fairs and exhibitions.Johann and Maria sold their cows in 1988 and the dairy farm in 1990 to Chuck and Lynn Brewer who became part of his extended family. A 40 acre hobby farm near Auroraville is where Johann lived until his death.

Johann was a man of great adventure, great stories and great spirit. He could strike up a conversation and "shoot the breeze" with anyone. If you visited with him at his home you were sure to be offered a glass of "holy water"; Slivovitz, a plum brandy native to Croatia.

Survivors include: daughter, Monica Nichter and son-in-law, Loren Becker; son, Gary Nichter and daughter-in-law, Kathy. Grand children include Olivia Nichter, Erica (Dan) Neal and Jess (Brian) Kaehny. Great grandchildren include Jonathan and Andrew Neal and Caitlyn and Evan Kaehny. Johann is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and their respective families in Wisconsin and Germany.

Preceding Johann in death are his beloved wife and constant shadow, Maria Theresia; parents, Johann and Katerina (Yost) Nichter; brother, Gottfried Nichter; sister, Theresa (Nichter) Selthofner; and nephew, Fred Selthofner.

The family wishes to extend special thanks to Brenda Henkel and her family for the loving care they gave Johann (Opa) during his last months. Their care allowed Johann's wish to be fulfilled - that he die in his home.

Funeral Services for Johann "John" Nichter will be held Thursday, October 12th. (PLEASE NOTE THE DATE.) at 11:00 A.M. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 2304 Liberty Street (1 Block West of Highway 49) in Poy Sippi, Wisconsin. The family will greet relatives and friends at the Church from 10:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. Thursday morning Only prior to the Mass. Burial will be in the Brushville Cemetery, Town of Bloomfield.

The Ruminski Funeral Home of Redgranite, Wisconsin is assisting the family with arrangements. (920) 566-2313.
Published in Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter on Oct. 3, 2017
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