Paul J. Niekamp, 86

Paul J. Niekamp, 86, of New Bremen, died at 6:20 p.m. Monday, March 3, 2014, at the Elmwood Assisted Living of New Bremen.

He was born on May 12, 1927, in St. Sebastian.   

He was the son of Bernard and Mathilda (Schmitmeyer) Niekamp.

He was preceded in death by his beloved Ruthie Gerlach on Dec. 20, 2013, whom he had married on July 27, 1949 in Carthagena.

Survivors include his children, Diane (David) Wagner of Celina, Marilyn (Jerry) Nerderman, Linda (Alan) Kelley, Tim (Jeanne) Niekamp and Randy (Jenny) Niekamp all of New Bremen, his daughter-in-law, Kathy Niekamp of Huber Heights, 14 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.  

Also surviving are his siblings, Clete (Hilda) Niekamp of New Bremen, Dorothy Schmitt of St. Henry, Edna (Roger) Lochtefeld of Fort Recovery and sisters-in-law Luella (Melvin) Rindler and Dorothy Niekamp, both of Montezuma.

Preceding him in death was his son, Roger Niekamp, siblings Mark Niekamp, Tom Niekamp and Rose Kramer, one granddaughter and brothers-in-law Ralph Schmitt and Othmar Kramer.

Mr. Niekamp was a member of the Church of the Holy Redeemer in New Bremen, where he had served as an usher for many years and also had served on the parish council.

He served in the U.S. Army as a company cook and was stationed in Japan following World War II.  He was a member of the VFW Post 9019 of Chickasaw and the American Legion Post 241 of New Bremen.

Paul enjoyed sports, especially the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals. He was an avid fisherman and a horseshoe pitching champion. He was a regular in the daily Town Tavern euchre card games.

He farmed his entire life and also retired from Gagel’s Hardware of Maria Stein in 1990, where he was involved with the plumbing department. His family was special to him, always making time for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was always a great uncle to all his “favorite” nieces and nephews.  

A Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Church of the Holy Redeemer in New Bremen, the Rev. Thomas Mannebach officiating.  

Burial will follow in the German Protestant Cemetery, New Bremen.  

Calling hours will take place from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Gilberg-Hartwig Funeral Home in New Bremen and from 9:30 a.m. until the time of the services Friday at the church.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the State of the Heart Hospice.  Condolences to the family may be left at

In Paul’s parting words, “and just remember, if you can’t be good, be careful.”