In loving memory of Kenneth (Butch) William Nissen, a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather.
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Kenneth William Nissen
August 13, 1931 – May 24, 2020
Kenneth Nissen was born August 13, 1931 in Lead, S.D. Kenneth was the 2nd of Alfred and Anna (Hamilton) Nissen’s 6 children. Kenneth passed away May 24, 2020 in Billings, Mt. He was 88.
Kenneth’s father worked in Homestake gold mine until Ken was 10 years old. At that time his father’s brother, Matt, was killed in a mining accident and Alfred moved the family back to Nebraska, where he and Anna had grown up. Ken spent his teen years farming alongside his father and siblings.
About the time Ken turned 20 he met a young lady from the Black Hills of South Dakota named Augusta (Gussie) Compton, whom he lovingly called his “mountain girl”. They were married in May of 1952 shortly after he joined the Coast Guard. They just celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary.
They were blessed with 3 children, 5 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great granddaughter.
After his discharge from the Coast Guard, Ken and Gussie spent a few years back in Nebraska before moving to Boise, Idaho in 1956. It was there he began a long career in construction.
It was also in Boise that Ken learned the Bible truths that would shape the rest of his life. Gussie started studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses but Ken stated “I don’t want anything to do with it.” That sentiment would soon change when Ken began seriously examining the Bible to see if the Witnesses were teaching the scriptures accurately. He discovered they were, and from that point on Ken made changes to conform his life to please his heavenly Father, Jehovah. He dedicated his life to Jehovah and he and Gussie were baptized in 1958. It took more than one attempt to completely immerse Ken in the bathtub that was used as their baptismal pool!
In 1970 Ken and Gussie and family moved to the small Wyoming town of Newcastle to assist the congregation in preaching “the good news of the Kingdom”. While in Wyoming he assisted in the new concept of “quick build” Kingdom Halls. He served on the Regional Building Committee, helping build many Kingdom Halls in Wyoming, South Dakota and Colorado.
In 1983, Ken and Gussie moved to Monmouth, Oregon where Ken was again asked to serve on the Regional Building Committee and faithfully worked hard in that assignment for many years.
In 2003 Ken and Gussie moved to Milton-Freewater, Oregon. There they developed close friendships with many in their congregation and truly enjoyed the eleven years they spent there. In 2014, due to
failing health, they moved to Billings, Montana to live with their daughter June and her husband Robin
and family. There they developed more friendships and were well cared for.
During his life as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, Ken helped many others to learn the truth from the
Bible. Included are his mother, two of his sisters and their families. He faithfully served as an elder
in the congregations for many years. We look forward to welcoming him back to an earthly paradise, a hope Ken firmly believed in.
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, infant sister Una Wilhelmine, sisters Virginia Willet and Rose Marie Holcomb, and his brother, Dean Nissen.
He is survived by his wife, Augusta Nissen of Billings, Mt., his sister Delores Little of Papillion, Nebraska, son Kenneth Jr. (Butch) (wife Jane) of W. Richland, Wa., daughter Nancy Bronemann (husband Robert) of Rickreall, Or., daughter June Rush (husband Robin) of Billings, his 5 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, one great-great-granddaughter, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Caleb Bronemann (wife Alison)
Forest Rush (wife Bobbie)
Desmond Rush (wife Amanda)