Mildred Niemann Stigge, 99, passed away Friday, February 20, 2015 at the Linn Community Nursing Home in Linn, Kansas. Mildred was born on January 18, 1916 near Hollenberg KS, the fourth of thirteen children, to Fred and Mary Niemann. She attended school at Trinity Lutheran Church and public schools in the Hanover area. She was employed by County Sheriff Fred Diederich in Washington when she met and later married Lawrence Stigge, an area farmer and business man in Washington. After living in rural Morrowville and Washington, they moved to Frankfort KS in 1947 where Lawrence purchased the local Gambles Store. In 1955, they returned to Washington when they opened Stigge’s Department Store. Stigge’s grew to become a landmark business on Washington’s Main Street and a shopping destination for Washington and the surrounding area. After the death of Lawrence in 1961, Mildred and her family continued to run the operation until its closing in 1986. In addition to her husband Lawrence, she was preceded in death by: her parents; sisters: Martha Koeneke, Marie Lyle Mishey, Selma Kolle; and brothers: Henry, Wilfred, Walter, Wilmer, and Frederick Niemann. Survivors include her children: Merlin (Sheryll) Stigge of Las Cruces NM, Verda (Tony) Barnes of St. Joseph MO, Vern (Cathy) Stigge of Hillsborough CA, and Larry Stigge of Washington KS; sisters: Loretta Stigge of Washington KS, Norma Haley of Topeka, KS, Florence McGrath of Greenleaf KS, Verla Harrison of Hanover KS and a nephew Delmer Koeneke of Lincoln NE, who was raised like a brother; her 7 grandchildren; 21 great grandchildren 2 great great grandchildren, and many nephews and nieces. The funeral was held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, February 25, at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church of rural Greenleaf, Kansas. Pastor Timothy Lorenz officiated. Arlene Miller, Neal Patron and Nathan Patron were the musicians. Hymns were “Christ, the Life of All the Living”, “In Christi Wunden schlaf ich ein”, “On Eagles Wings”,“Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me”, “The Lord’s Prayer” and “Jerusalem the Golden.” Pallbearers were John Stigge, Nathan Haley, Denni Stigge Delmer Koeneke, Robert Haley and Lavern Meyerhoff. Burial was in the church cemetery. The family requests all memorials to Bethlehem Lutheran Church Greenleaf, Kansas.
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