Obit: Nied, Laura Victoria (1920 - 2016)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Nied, Kiewra, Sawicki

----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI) 5/18/2016

Nied, Laura Victoria (17 March 1920 - 12 May 2016)

With the lilacs in full bloom, and the spring peepers singing in the ponds, Laura Victoria Nied passed on from this world peacefully in her sleep on the early morning of May 12, 2016. Laura was born at home in South River, NJ to Stanley and Victoria (Kiewra) Sawicki on March 17, 1920.

She was of the greatest generation, surviving financial hardships during the Great Depression and supporting the struggles of World War II. She shared with her children many stories of growing up in South River. She loved to go hiking along the river with her brother and two sisters, adventures with the “Can’t Tell Club,” and trips to the beaches and boardwalks of the Atlantic Coast. To help earn money to save the family home she had to leave school after two years of high school, working first in a cigar factory, and then once WWII began, in the print shop at Johnson & Johnson. It was while volunteering as a hostess at at USO Club that Laura met the love of her life, Phil Nied of Thorp, WI, while he was waiting to be shipped out with the Army Air Corp to North Africa. They corresponded for the duration of his 2-1/2 years overseas. Upon his return from Europe, they married on August 5, 1945. The next day, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, leading to the end of WWII. They lived in South River for their first seven years of marriage, producing in quick succession children: Barbara, Mary, Tom and Pauline.

Growing up Laura loved the western cowboy movie stars, such as Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Since Phil had grown up “Out West,” she saw in him her cowboy hero. So it was in 1952 that the growing family packed up everything they owned into a car and trailer and moved “Out West” to Thorp, Wisconsin, where they purchased a 55 acre farm. That farm was to be home to Laura for nearly the rest of her life. Four more children, sons: John, Peter, Joe, and Frank were born. Milking cows, putting up hay, threshing oats, harvesting corn, tending a large garden, picking berries, and apples, canning, pickling, baking, washing and mending clothes, the farm and home chores were never ending.

Yet as the last of the children were in high school, Laura found time to pursue a dream to continue her education. She enrolled in technical college and became a certified nursing assistant. She worked, and then volunteered, for many years at the Thorp Nursing Home. Because Laura was literate in Polish, she also began teaching Polish language and culture classes at the local technical college, and became well known in the local area as the “go to” person for Polish language translations and letter writing. Laura was very artistic, took up quilting, and loved to read, especially later in life as she had more time.

She was a strong supporter of her children’s educational and professional pursuits, providing numerous foundational scholarships to the family. For the last 2-1/12 years of her life Laura lived at the Neighbors of Dunn County in Menomonie, Wisconsin. She enjoyed life at the Neighbors free of worry, loved playing bingo, reading, and corresponding with friends and family near and far. The family much appreciated the services of her caring, concerned staff at the Neighbors.

Laura was a kind, considerate, and very giving person. All who came to know her came to love her, and appreciate her kindness and generosity.



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