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OBIT: Thomas “Tom” Joseph Niess

Thomas (Tom) Joseph Niess, formerly from Osage, IA, age 71, died unexpectedly on May 27, 2022 in Sonora, CA after a brief illness, while visiting family.

Thomas (Tom) Joseph Niess, of rural Buffalo Center, IA, formerly from Osage, IA, age 71, was born July 12, 1950, and died unexpectedly on May 27, 2022 in Sonora, CA after a brief illness, while visiting family.

A Knights of Columbus Rosary will start at 2:00 p.m. on June 5,2022, with a visitation immediately following until 5:00 p.m. The funeral is June 6 at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Osage. Burial at Orchard Cemetery with full military honors followed by a reception immediately following at the church hall.

Tom was born to parents Matthew Joseph and Dorothy Ann (Bonoff) Niess. He attended Sacred Heart Catholic School and Osage High School in Osage before attending NIACC to major in History Education and play football.

Before earning his degree, his draft number was called for the Vietnam War. He served his country as part of the Berlin Brigade. Tom was honorably discharged and moved home to pursue his love of farming.

While attending NIACC, he met Patricia Rae McGee of Cresco, IA. They wed August 7, 1970. To this union were born 5 children. Tom farmed in the Osage/New Haven area for 30 years and in 2002 moved to Buffalo Center where he was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. He worked for Golden Oval Eggs in Thompson, IA, Kuchenbecker Excavating, Yegge Farms and other ag-related entities in the Buffalo Center/Rake area.

Tom loved farming, planting, harvesting crops, creating metal art, and cherished time with his family. Tom was known for his gardening skills. He fed the world as a farmer and his neighbors, friends, and family with his garden. He nurtured us not only with food but with his wisdom, guidance, and understanding. He enjoyed sharing his unique metal gifts with family and friends.

Tom was an active member of numerous community and church groups including: Mitchell County Cattlemen, Knights of Columbus, Farm Bureau at the local and state level, 4-H Youth Advisory Council, CCD instructor, Orchard American Legion, Sacred Heart School Board, Archangels Catholic Cluster Council, and as District Director and board member for the Iowa Cattleman’s Association.

Tom is survived by his wife Patricia Rae (McGee) Niess, of nearly 52 years. Children: Kathryn Josephine (David) Bruhn of Ely, IA; Elizabeth Rae (Scott) Ludwig of Wilmar, MN; Amy Marie (Josh) Kelly of Independence, IA; Bradley Thomas Niess (Brett Vaughn) of Long Barn, CA; and Michael Patrick (Danielle) Niess of Leland, IA. Grandchildren: Brandon and Kevin Bruhn; Ben and Courtney Kelly; Tyler Ludwig; and Tyler, Ellie, and Isabel Niess.

He is also survived by his mother, Dorothy Bonoff Niess, siblings: Julie (Greg) Vulk; Jody (Dale) Ellickson; Cindy (Randall) Schissel; Timothy (Jane) Niess; Christy (Richard) Truxaw, Laurel (William) Gisleson; Scott (Julie) Niess; Brian (Cari) Niess; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his father Matthew Niess, and paternal and maternal grandparents.

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