Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

January 3, 2013

Donald Nilius


Knoxville —  

A Mass of Christian Burial for Donald Dean Nilius of Knoxville was held on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at the St. Anthony Catholic Church with Father Stephen P. Ebel, Celebrant.  Burial with Military Honors accorded by the United States Navy, the V.F.W. John Myers Post #3519 and the American Legion Baty-Tucker Post No. 168  followed in the Graceland Cemetery.  Musical selections of:  “Here I am Lord”, “Be Not Afraid”, On Eagle’s Wings” and “As the Deer Longs” were shared by Mary Burke and a CD selections of “Grandpa” was played.  Casket bearers included:  Jason Klootwyk, Corey Roush, Scott Nilius, Chris Bates, Brandon Nilius and Michael Nilius.  Honorary casket bearers were:  Jamie Klootwyk, Bradley Bates, Karri Scheffers, Ashley Nilius, Joe Klootwyk, Bryan Schlotterback, Brandi Bates, Greg Pitt, Scott Pitt, Andy Bates, Bobbi Karr, Melanie Nilius and Jake Pitt.
Donald Dean Nilius was born March 14, 1930, in Chicago, Ill., the son of Charles, Sr. and Olga (Wires) Nilius.
Don was raised in Omaha, Neb., where he graduated from high school.  Following high school, he enlisted in the United States Navy, during the Korean War.  Don was honorably discharged and returned to Omaha.  On Feb. 14, 1953, he was united in marriage to Shirley Mae Bourg.  He worked as a heavy equipment mechanic for many years.  During the construction of the Lake Red Rock Dam, Don and Shirley moved their family to Knoxville.  After the dam was completed, Don worked for a pipeline company for several years.  Later he and Shirley ran restaurants for the Centerville Country Club and Pine Knolls Country Club in Knoxville.  Don also spent 20 years working with his son, Don, Jr., at Nilius Construction.
Don passed away on Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, at the V.A. Medical Center, in Des Moines, at the age of 82 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Shirley and three brothers:  Gerald, Eugene and James.
He is survived by his children:  Dan (Raye) Nilius of South Carolina, Don, Jr. (Ali) Nilius of Knoxville, Linda Klootwyk of Wisconsin, Toni (Jerry) Pitt of Knoxville, Sherry (Bob) Bates of Knoxville and Shawn (Michele) Nilius of Florida; 16 grandchildren:  Bryan (Amanda) Schlotterback, Jason (Jenny) Klootwyk, Jamie (Trina) Klootwyk, Bobbi (Scott) Karr, Brandon Nilius, Corey (Jana) Roush, Joe (Rochelle) Klootwyk, Karri (Mike) Scheffers, Chris (Nicole) Bates, Andy Bates, Scott Nilius, Melanie Nilius, Bradley Bates, Brandi Bates, Ashley Nilius and Michael Nilius; 29 great-grandchildren; his brother, Charles (Phyllis) Nilius, Jr. of Nebraska; in-laws:  Joyce Nilius of Nebraska, Pat Nilius of Nebraska, Mary Alice Nilius of California, Ronald Bourg of Nebraska, Donald (Peggy) Bourg of Nebraska, Lois Schneiderwind of Nebraska, Elaine Vilnow of Arizona, Arlene (Paul) Charron of Texas, Helen (Carl) Beyers of Kansas, Naomi Bourg of Nebraska and Melvin (Charlotte) Bourg of Colorado and many other family members and friends.
For those desiring, a memorial fund has been established in Don’s name.  Online condolences may be left at

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