Cover photo for Bernard "Bernie" Nieman's Obituary
Bernard "Bernie" Nieman Profile Photo
1939 Bernard 2019

Bernard "Bernie" Nieman

June 26, 1939 — January 17, 2019

Bernard "Bernie" J. Nieman

Bernard "Bernie" J. Nieman, 79, of Van Wert died Thursday, January 17, 2019 at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Bernie was born on June 26, 1939 in Effingham, Illinois to Celia (Hoene) and Allie F. Nieman who are both deceased.  He is survived by his wife, Judy (Stewart) Nieman, whom he married on July 9, 1960 in St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Sigel, Illinois.

Bernie is also survived by his children, Julia (Mike Warden) Perkins of Van Wert, Barclay (Jennifer) Nieman of Louisville, Kentucky, Bradley J. (Amy) Nieman of Cascade, Colorado and Jennifer Nieman Rhea of Columbia City, Indiana; his much loved grandchildren, Kelsey (Brad) Strock, Daniel Perkins, Noah Nieman, Marlee Nieman, Zachary Rhea, Mackenzie Rhea, and Marissa Rhea; a brother, Virgil of Desert Hot Springs, California; and three sisters, Marlene Nieman of Effingham, Lucille (Tom) Hewing of Effingham, and Joyce (Jim) Monk of Chicago, Illinois.

In addition to his parents, Bernie was preceded in death by a son in law, Alan Perkins; and a brother, Harold Nieman.

Bernie attended Quincy University in Quincy, Illinois and graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1962 and then went on to work for the Shell Oil Company in Indianapolis.

In 1964, he joined Federal Mogul Corporation in Frankfort, Indiana and held various accounting positions at Federal Mogul plants in Redwood City, California, Van Wert, and Southfield, Michigan.

In 1973, he was named Plant Manager of the Velumoid Gasket Plant in Worchester, Massachusetts and then in 1976 he came to Van Wert as the Plant Manager of the Sealing Products Plant.  He left Federal Mogul in 1991 and worked for Alexander and Bebout until he retired in 1995.

Bernie was an active member of St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in Van Wert where he served on the Finance Committee for many years, serving as Chairman numerous times.  He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus.

He was also a member, and Past President, of the Van Wert Rotary Club.  During his term as President, he helped initiate the annual Rotary Benefit Auction and was instrumental in using the auction proceeds and Rotary labor to construct the Nature Center at Camp Clay in Van Wert.

As member, and Past President, of the Business Development Corporation (formerly the Industrial Development Corporation) Vision Park was purchased and developed during his term as President.

Bernie also served on the Y.M.C.A. Board of Directors during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  He was very active at Camp Clay, as he and Judy were very close friends of the Clay’s during their lifetime.

Bernie was a member of the Elk’s Lodge and co-chaired the building committee in 2004, when the current lodge was constructed.

He also spent time in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with his buddies, Wayne Compton and Dick Allen, working on Habitat for Humanity houses.

A Mass of Christian Burial will he held at 10:30 AM, Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, in Van Wert, with Father Stanley Szybka officiating.  Burial will take place at a later date.

Visitation will be from 3:00-7:00 PM on Monday, January 21, 2019 at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory.

Preferred memorials may be directed to St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic School.

Arrangements are being handled by Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory.  Online condolences may be expressed at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bernard "Bernie" Nieman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, January 21, 2019

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory

722 S Washington St, Van Wert, OH 45891

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church

601 Jennings Rd, Van Wert, OH 45891

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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