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Kenneth "Wally" & Esther Nickelsen, Sr. Obituaries

A Celebration of Life Service will be held for Kenneth “Wally” and Esther Nickelsen, Sr. on Saturday, Dec. 21, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Schleicher Funeral Homes, Lake City Chapel.  Burial will follow in the Hillside Cemetery at St. Charles.
    Kenneth “Wally” Nickelsen, Sr. passed away on Saturday morning, Dec. 14, 2019 at the Mayo Clinic Health System – Lake City Care Center, and Esther Nickelsen, passed away Sunday afternoon, Dec. 15, 2019 at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Saint Marys Campus in Rochester.                     
    Kenneth “Wally” Wallace Nickelsen, Sr. was born June 8, 1930 in the Whitewater area, to Ernest and Mary (Waby) Nickelsen.  He attended country school in that area and lived and farmed in the Eyota, Elgin, and Chatfield areas, and then moved to Lake City in 1965 and continued farming.  Wally’s whole life revolved around his family and farming.
    Esther Mae Rehbein was born Dec. 29, 1934 in Chatfield, to Leonard and Rosemary Rehbein.  She grew up and attended school in the Chatfield area.  She loved spending time in her gardens and especially her strawberry patch. Esther also worked part-time at the Lake City Graphic and Shopper.  She also enjoyed weaving rugs, making quilts, canning garden produce for her family, making cookies and spending time with her family.
    Wally and Esther were married in 1952, enjoying 67 years of working together on their farms, and raising their four children.
    Wally and Esther are survived by their three children, Ken (Shannon) Nickelsen of Lake City, Kevin (Mary) Nickelsen of Frontenac, and Kristopher Nickelsen of Lake City; grandchildren, Nate Nickelsen, Jolie Berktold, Ryan Nickelsen, Kari Nickelsen, Evan Nickelsen, Brooke Wiese, Tyler Nickelsen, Hailie Foster, Marriah Nickelsen, Brian Glander, and Cory Glander; great-grandchildren, Shelby Berktold, Myles Berktold, Garrison Berktold, Charlotte Berktold, Emma Fricke, Ella Mae Fricke, Hunter Mae Westzstein, Walker Nickelsen, Mallory Wiese, Owen Wiese, Brynley Wiese, Avery Foster, Brayden Foster, Elaina Meir, and twin great-grandchildren on the way.  
    Wally is also survived by his brother, James (Barbara) Nickelsen of Homer, N.Y., and sisters, Sharon "Kay" (Allen) Wachholz of Wykoff, and Jeanie Theuner of Kellogg, and a sister-in-law, Peggy.  
    Esther is also survived by a brother, Edwin (Delores) Rehbein of St Charles, and a sister, Mary Ann (Clarence) Boelman of Rochester.
    Wally and Esther were preceded in death by their parents, infant son, Kermit, son, Keith, daughter-in-law, Linda, grandson, Dean Nickelsen, and stillborn grandson, Kyle. Wally’s brothers, Charles, Clarence, and Lavern, and sisters, Marge, Rosemary, and Iola.  Esther’s brothers, Donald Rehbein and Rodney Rehbein, and sisters, Agnes Niemeyer and Betty Urban.
    Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Schleicher Funeral Homes, Lake City Chapel.  Guest register may be signed at

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