"So God Made a Farmer" - Paul Harvey
John Denver "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" 1974
John Denver "Take Me Home, Country Roads" 1971

Sadly, most of the rural neighborhoods are gone...an era where neighbors helped each other on the farms, played cards together, had get-togethers, many times were related, but most of the time were good close friends.
October 1959 shelling corn on the Mel Kusel farm

Doug Kusel, Merle Anthony (sheller), Amos Kusel, Emil Ress, Al Kusel, Hugo Ahrendsen, Melvin Kusel, Melvin Nissen

I remember stopping by when Melvin Nissen was still living and visited with he and Edna.
One time I was cultivating next to the Nissen farm when Melvin was also cultivating, and we stopped and talked for an hour...this is sadly what's missing in today's world where farm neighbors and people in general don't even seem to have time to wave at each other, let alone stop to actually talk to each other - now it is some useless/mindless texting or maybe an occasional call over a cell phone.

All of the Nissen and Kusel children grew up around each other and attended school together.
We would occasionally help the Nissens on their farm and I remember when Bob Nissen helped us take down our corn crib...if you see him ask him about when he climbed up into the cupola.

Kusel corncrib torn down in 1969

Today the old Manning family names have all but disappeared and the few that are left, won't be around much longer.
The only one left in my neighborhood is Gladys Schmidt.
One other lady who once lived in our area, Dorothy (Moore) Strosahl, moved into Manning from her farm many years ago. My mother died this past December, so the Kusels, Schroeders, Lengemanns, Andresens, Genzens, Hansens, Hills, and more are all gone from that older generation.

Fortunately I have been able to scan a lot of the old Nissen/Bruhn history and will show you some of it in this tribute to Randy...he came from old Pioneer Stock going back several generations in the Manning area.


Funeral Service Friday, September 2, 2022 - 11:00 a.m. Ohde Funeral Home - Manning
Officiating Pastor Jonathan Conner, Zion Lutheran Church - Manning
Prerecorded Music Selections "Amazing Grace" "How Great Thou Art" By Alan Jackson
"Fathers and Daughters" By Michael Bolton
Casket Bearers: Mark Stueve, Chad Stammer, Rick Dammann, Ben Pauley, Jeremy Carr, Dayan Mossberg, Zach LeMaster, Marc Thorson
Honorary Casket Bearers: Ava Pauley, Will Pauley
Place of Rest Manning Cemetery
Randy's family invites you to join them for lunch and fellowship at Zion Lutheran Church following the graveside service.

Randall Dean, son of Melvin and Edna (Bruhn) Nissen, was born November 21, 1960, in Manning, Iowa. He grew up on the family farm north of Manning. Randy attended Manning Community Schools.

During his younger years, Randy was employed with McLaughlin Construction and at APG. Randy was a devoted son, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. He was a simple, loyal, strong, and protective man who without a doubt put family first. At the age of 27, Randy was blessed with the birth of his daughter, Jessica. Family was Randy's top priority in life; he was always there to offer guidance and support to his loved ones. For many years, he was a good and faithful caregiver to his mother Edna. Randy enjoyed supporting and guiding his granddaughter Ava in trap shoot. While his grandson Will kept him on his toes at all times, he encouraged him to be respectful and mindful of others. When time allowed, Jessica, Ava, and Will enjoyed gathering at the farm to appreciate Randy's famous meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and peas. Ava and Will often bragged to their mom that "Grandpa's mashed potatoes are better than yours."

Besides family, farming and livestock were Randy's hobby and passion in life. Randy took great pride in his work with the land and animals, he always made sure things were done properly. He loved teaching his family to farm, always on a John Deere. Randy valued the helping hand offered to him by his sister Judy on the farm and in the field. During his free time, you could find Randy enjoying a cold Bud Light in the shop. Randy was well known for his signature black Carhartt t-shirts.

On Sunday, August 28, 2022, Randy passed away unexpectedly at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska, at the age of 61 years, 9 months, and 7 days.

Randy is survived by his daughter Jessica Pauley of Denison; two grandchildren Ava and Will Pauley of Denison; four siblings: Robert (Linnet) Nissen of Manning; Gloria (Marc) Thorson of Akron; Judy Hines of Urbandale; and Joan Carr of Slater; eight nieces and nephews: Trent, Tracy, Lindsay, Chris, Timothy, Shelley, Jeremy, and Katlyn; an uncle William (Louise) Bruhn of Manning; and by numerous great-nieces, great-nephews, other relatives and many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother-in-law Murray Hines.

1967 Randy Nissen in the hole created by an engine that fell off the wing of a military plane (as best I can remember).
This was in a farm field up northwest of Manning - somewhere on the Orville Thiedeman farm - southwest of the Five Mile House in Hayes Township, Crawford County...but I'm waiting for some help with my memories.

1967 Dave Kusel & Randy Nissen
This was one of first major community events in the area that I used the Kodak 110 Color camera that my sister gave to me when she graduated from high school in 1965.

1970 Back: Randy Nissen, John Pratt
Front: Dave Kusel - Dave's Postage Stamp birthday cake made by his sister, Angela.