Barry M. Nimtz, 65, of Onalaska, WI, began his final “road trip” home on Monday July 25th, 2016. He was a patient at Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, WI. He was born in Bloomer, WI, on September 12th, 1950 to Walter G. & Genevieve (Hartmann) Nimtz.
As a child, Barry moved with the family from Wisconsin to Bozeman Montana, San Mateo California, and San Jose California where he graduated from Blackford High School. At the young age of 19 he started “Maple City Furniture” with a business partner which they ran for several years. He married and started his family while in California, having 3 children, at which time he moved to Blue Springs, MO. to be closer to his parents. Through several job transfers in the dairy and deli industry the family moved around the Midwest to places such as Arkansas, Georgia, Texas and finally back to Missouri for family where he divorced in 1981.
Barry’s knowledge of the cheese industry was impeccable and rivaled by few and his search for more knowledge landed him in places such as London and Paris. Through his work in the cheese industry he met and married the love of his life Lynda C. Maret (Fierling) on January 25th 1982 at Unity Village in Kansas City, MO.
While in Blue Springs, MO, Barry had 3 more children and became father to Lynda’s 3 children. Again due to a job opportunity in Onalaska, WI, he uprooted the family and made the move. After only a few short weeks he made many friends through work and through his children’s sports. He was the Plant manager in Whitehall until it changed ownership in 1993. At this time Lynda persuaded him to open up his own cheese brokerage business (LCN Marketing). Over the years he has represented dozens of cheese manufacturers and customers, mostly throughout his beloved state of Wisconsin.
Onalaska was a warm, family oriented community that accepted all of the Nimtz family from the beginning. The scariest undertaking of Barry’s life became one of the best and last he’d ever make. While maintaining his brokerage business, an incredible opportunity arose in late 2006. Two of his 6 sons were employed in the restaurant business and thought the opportunity to own their own was a fantastic idea. With the love, guidance and help from mom and dad, the deal came to fruition in January of 2007 with the purchase of the Blue Moon (formerly Chicken Steak and Chocolate Cake). He helped grow a tremendous business over the years expanding the restaurant in size, hours of operation and finally into the catering world. Life, as he knew it had changed drastically. He now had a brokerage co, and the partnership in the restaurant plus his club affiliations and organizations. GM Classics, Coulee Region Mopars, National T-Bucket Alliance, and the Onalaska rotary club just to name a few. He was a supporter of the Onalaska police and fire departments and tried to aid them in any way he could to further interaction between them and the community. He was heavily involved in antique and classic cars and shows, often helping to raise funds for such organizations as Children’s Miracle Network, Operation Homefront, the Humane Society, and New Horizons Women’s Shelter. He loved the microphone at any event (even though it wasn’t necessary for him to use it) to encourage more donations.
He had an unending love of classic cars and formed many lasting friendships over the years with fellow enthusiasts. He was extremely thankful and lucky that Lynda loved cars as well, often showing his love and appreciation by surprising her with a new one. Barry also passed his love of cars and his “lead foot” on to his children. His favorite car remained the Plymouth Roadrunner, as it was his first car, owning 16 of them in his lifetime. His favorite expression was “drive it like you stole it”, and he lived that motto every time he stepped behind the wheel.
He also had an unparalleled love for his family, friends, and those who he became a “2nd Father” to over the years. No matter how busy he was, he rarely missed an opportunity to support his children and grandchildren on and off the field in sports, plays, school events or around their homes. He could often be found on the back of the bleachers giving someone a piece of his mind on his cell phone, or letting the referees know what a horrible job they were doing. Any time a problem arose, he was the first to pull out the power tools, even though his knowledge and capabilities with them were limited. It is said that Dad was a larger than life guy with a lot of opinions, which he wasn’t scared to make known. Those who knew him knew he truly loved and cared for not only is family, cars, businesses, but also deeply for his community.
This summer he had an amazing trip planned with his loving wife Lynda. They were to drive to Houston, TX, then to Florida and finally up the east coast to Hilton Head, SC. before heading back home. He had great plans to build a massive garage to hold all of his beloved cars and memorabilia as well. Unfortunately, none of this was in his future. Instead, he was diagnosed on June 1st with Multiple Myeloma cancer and stage 5 kidney failure. He underwent dozens of treatments, transfusions, chemotherapy, and injections over the following 2 months. Unfortunately, everything that could go wrong, did. The strongest man this family has ever known was unable to match the strength of the cancer rushing through him. Always remember, when you look up into the sky “The Big Cheese” is up there drinking a cup of coffee, giving orders, smiling and flipping you the bird.
He is survived by his wife; Lynda of Onalaska, WI, two daughters; Theresa (Dough Borgman) Niemeyer of Blue Springs, MO, Jennifer (Mike Krueger) Zielke of Holmen, WI, six sons; Thomas J. Wynne of London England, Walter (Laura Delahoya) Nimtz of Turlock, CA, Shawn Kottmann of St. Charles, MO, Patrick (April) Nimtz of Onalaska, WI, Dustin (Kimberly) Nimtz of Onalaska, WI, and Scott (Sam Solare) Nimtz of La Crescent, MN, nine grandchildren; Taylor (Zachary) Malone, Jacob Niemeyer, Samantha, Hayden, Alexis “Ally Cat”, and Carson Zielke, Parker “Mr. P” Nimtz, Brynna Stuhr, and Mason Nimtz, one great grandson; Marley Malone. He is further survived by one sister; Patricia (Herman) Boettcher of Bloomer, WI, and one brother; Scott (Marlys) Nimtz of Lenexa, KS, one God Son; Marc Boettcher and several nieces and nephews, family and many, many friends
He was preceded in death by one son Adam Nimtz, two grandsons Ethan and Evan Zielke, his parents, and one brother Paul Nimtz.
A Visitation will be held at Blaschke & Schneider Funeral home in La Crosse, WI. on Wednesday, August, 3, 2016 from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM. On Thursday, August 4, 2016 viewing will be from 11:00 AM till the Funeral at 12:00 (noon) at the Omni Center in Onalaska, WI. Immediately following the Funeral will be a Celebration of Life at the Blue Moon in Onalaska, WI. On Friday, August 5, 2016 at 12:00PM the burial service will be held at the Emmanuel Evangelical Cemetery in Tilden. Immediately following the burial will be a small service and Celebration of Life at 9th Ave Park Large Pavilion in Bloomer, WI.
Blaschke & Schneider of La Crosse and Olson Funeral Home in Bloomer are assisting the family with arrangements.
Memorials are preferred to go to any of the numerous organizations previously mentioned that Barry helped over the years.
Online condolences may be made to www.blaschkeschneider.com or olsonfuneralhomebloomer.com