Neil Nilles

Neil Nilles

1929 - 2023

Neil J. Nilles, 93, of What Cheer, passed away on February 8, 2023 (one day short of his 94th birthday) at Manor House Care Center in Sigourney, Iowa.  

Visitation was held on Sunday, February 12 from 2-5 P.M. at Holland-Coble Funeral Home in What Cheer with funeral services the following day on Monday, February 13 at 11 A.M. with Pastor D.J. Danner officiating.  Burial will be at Indianapolis Cemetery immediately following the funeral.  

Born on February 9, 1929, in What Cheer, Neil was the son of Roy C. And Opal (Moore) Nilles.  After graduating from high school in 1946, Neil immediately joined the U.S. Army following WWII and served in Japan in the Occupation Forces as a military police officer.  At the end of his service, he returned to What Cheer, and after working briefly in a packing plant in Des Moines, he joined his dad in the family business, Nilles Klothing and Kleaning.  He owned and operated the business and enjoyed serving the people of What Cheer and the surrounding areas.  He was a good businessman and he knew his customers’ sizes and what they wanted and needed for clothing and shoes, and he later added a dry cleaning service to the business.  He retired in July 1992, closing the 105 year-old family business.

After returning stateside, he married Arlene Phillips, and to this union two children were born, Monte and Shelley.  They later divorced.  In 1974, he married Anna (McBeth) McClure.

Neil really enjoyed What Cheer and its people.  He ate breakfast daily at the local restaurants and joked and kidded with all; he was a prankster and used his sense of humor to win over many.  He served on the city council for several years, played in a local dart-ball league, played on an adult slow-pitch ball team, coached youth baseball, and co-managed the men’s fast-pitch softball team.  

Neil had a genuine love for dogs and for years he raised miniature schnauzers and sold puppies throughout Iowa and surrounding states.  He won awards showing dogs in American Kennel Club dog show events.  Over his lifetime, he had Great Danes, a poodle, a beagle, as well as Labrador retrievers and coon hounds for hunting.  He really enjoyed pheasant and coon hunting with his son, friends, and relatives.

He is survived by his son, Monte (Marcia) Nilles, a daughter, Shelley (Rich) Hornung, a step-son, Howard McClure, grandchildren Mari Ann (Owen) Heires, Jay Hornung, Tim Hornung, Justin Clarahan, Jessica Glasgow, a sister, Rita Skupien, a brother-in-law and good friend, Jim Murray, and numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Anna Nilles, a step-daughter Rhonda McClure, a sister, Margaret Murray, a brother-in-law, Jack Skupien.




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