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Rex Nissen

Rex Nissen, age 72, of Aurora, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, March 1, 2019, at Memorial Hospital.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 11:00 A.M., Saturday, March 9th at the St. John’s Lutheran Fellowship Hall in Kronborg. Inurnment will be at a later date. No Visitation. Memorials may be made in care of the family to designate at a later date. Higby-McQuiston Mortuary in Aurora is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.


Rex Nissen was born February 6, 1947 in Grand Island, Nebraska to Delmar and Pauline (Norgard) Nissen. He grew up on the family farm in Hamilton County. Rex passed away on March 1, 2019 at the age of 72.

Rex was baptized and confirmed in St. John’s Lutheran Church at Kronborg, NE and became a member of Aurora United Methodist Church in 1974. He attended school in Marquette, NE and graduated in 1965.

Rex served in the US Air Force from 1966 to 1970. He was an aircraft mechanic on B-52s stationed in Minot, ND, U-Tapo Thailand, and Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha.

On July 11, 1970, Rex married Barbara Bruhn in Giltner, NE. They made their home in Aurora and raised 2 sons there.

After leaving the military, Rex worked for Chief Industries constructing the building site for Bonnavilla Homes manufacturing plant. Upon completion of that construction, Rex became an employee of Bonnavilla Homes working in the metal shop, advancing to foreman and eventually to material buyer. As one of the first employees hired in 1970, Rex always said he worked at the plant from the time it was dirt and his coworkers jokingly titled him “Mr. Bonnavilla”. Rex retired in 2012 after 42 years with the company.

In 1993 Rex and Barb opened their hearts and home to become foster parents. They provided traditional, emergency, and therapeutic care for 34 children during the 22 years they fostered. Rex was a member of the National Foster Parent Association and served on the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Foster and Adoptive Parent Association as board secretary.

Rex was a proud veteran and an active lifetime member of VFW Post 4993, serving as Commander for two terms, member of the color guard, and he enjoyed being the hamburger cook for monthly feeds. In 2016 he participated in the Heroes & Huskies program at Aurora High School.

Rex enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle, hunting and fishing, woodwork, and water sports. Rex enjoyed retirement and joked that “Every day was Saturday”! He loved being a dad and grandpa.

Rex is survived by his wife Barb of Aurora; Sons, Ryan (Janelle) Nissen of La Vista and Matt (Brandie) Nissen of Alma; Daughters, Ashley Nissen of Sevierville, TN, Jamie Nissen of Aurora and Michaela Dahlke of Hubert, NC; Granddaughters, Maddie Ehrke, Lola Nissen, and Finley Nissen and many other relatives and friends.

Rex was preceded by his parents Delmar and Pauline and brothers, Don Henne and Gary Nissen.

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