William Frederick Nienstedt


William Frederick Nienstedt, age 82, went home to be with the Lord and his beloved wife Bette Lou on September 27, 2011 while at the University of Kansas Hospital undergoing treatment for cancer.  Bill had resided in Lancaster, Kansas for the past 25 years and was a retired General Manager of the Atchison County CO-OP.  He also served as Lancaster City Clerk for several years.  He started his agricultural career with the Security Milling Co. in Abilene, Kansas; Doughboy Industries in Rochester, Minnesota; Hales and Hunter in Chicago, Illinois; Critic Mills in Beardstown, Illinois and M.D. King Milling Company in Pittsfield, Illinois.

Bill was born on May 3, 1929 in Emporia, Kansas, the son of William Wallace and Louisa Cora Martin Nienstedt.  He grew up in the Rosedale area of Kansas City, Kansas and Emporia, Kansas graduating from Emporia High School in 1947.  He obtained the rank of Corporal in the U.S. Army while serving from 1948-1952.   As a young man he was a Boy Scout and belonged to the Civil Air Patrol.   He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at the Roanoke Baptist Church.

He married Bette Lou Upton on July 21, 1950 at City Hall in Chicago, Illinois.   Bill attended Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, graduating in 1957 with a B.S in Accounting.  He worked at night for the AT&SF railroad and went to class during the day.  He enjoyed fishing, had been a member of Benevolent Lodge No. 98, AF&AM, Abilene, Kansas and the Atchison, Kansas Genealogical Society.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents and infant brother Richard Wallace Nienstedt.  Bette Lou died  August 21, 1986.

Bill and Bette had four children who survive them:  John Wallace Nienstedt of Pensacola, Florida, Richard Upton Nienstedt and wife Rita, Ottawa, Kansas; Mari Lou Nienstedt, Lancaster, Kansas; Byron Martin Nienstedt and wife Patricia, Detroit, Kansas.  6 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren also survive.  He is also survived by his brothers Byron and wife Lenora of Haven, Kansas and Gary of Neosho Rapids, Kansas.

As per his wishes, Bill was cremated and graveside services will be conducted at a later date in the Fredonia, Kansas City Cemetery.  There may also be a memorial service at a later date in Lancaster.  Donations in lieu of flowers are encouraged to be given to the University of Kansas Hospital Palliative Care Program or to a Cancer support group of your choosing.  Online condolences can be left at www.CremationCenterKC.com.

“I cried when you passed away. I still cry today . Although I loved you dearly, I couldn’t make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hard working hands at rest. God broke my heart to prove to me He only takes the best.”


  1. David Engelmann on October 6, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    To Mari Lou and family
    So sorry to read of your loss, may God Bless
    David Engelmann

  2. Habitat for Humanity of Franklin County on October 4, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Our thoughts are with Rita and Richard during this time of sorrow and loss. May Bill’s memory live in your hearts forever…
    Habitat Board of Directors, 2011

  3. Jon Garrison on September 30, 2011 at 7:58 am


    Condolences to you and your family.

    Jon Garrison
    Pittsburg, Kansas

  4. Keith H. Fannon on September 30, 2011 at 6:57 am

    It is with a heavy heart that I write this last message. My most sincere condolences to all of the family and friends. I met Bill at Emporia Senior High and we always stayed in touch. We did have some great “adventures” together. I will see you later Bill.

  5. Terry and Karen Cloutier on September 30, 2011 at 5:57 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours. God bless and be with you all.

  6. Debbie Harshman on September 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    To the family that always treated me like their own, so sorry. Mom and Dad are together. What a happy time for them!

  7. Leslie Quillen on September 29, 2011 at 7:49 am

    The Quillens send their thoughts and prayers.

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