Anton Rudolph "Tony" Nitsch, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday in Minot where he lived 95 of those years, died Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, at Trinity Hospital in Minot.
His family noted that he was a fortunate man who did many things well right up until his death. He played the game of golf until age 93 and drove his car until he was 95, quitting then only because he felt it was prudent to do so. But he kept on with his hobby of woodworking until 99 1/2. A stroke stopped him then. He also had an uncanny memory for names.
He was born Aug. 21, 1913, in Bowman, a son of Anton F. and Marie (Braunner) Nitsch. At age 2, he moved with his family to Mobridge, S.D., where his father operated a meat market. He was 5 years old when they moved to Minot. Raised in Minot, he graduated from Minot High School in 1932. That same year, he went to work in the accounting department of Northern States Power Co. He remained with NSP until his retirement as an administrative coordinator in 1976, his employment there interrupted by military service during World War II. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1942, and served in the Pacific Theater until his discharge in October 1945 as a yeoman first class.
He married Ann E. Bankers at St. Leo's Catholic Church on Dec. 29, 1943, in Minot, where they continued to live. She died in 1988, and in 2003, he moved to Somerset Court in Minot. He was a member of St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, Minot, and held a life membership in the Minot Elks Lodge.
Tony was a real gentleman. His life was led by his faith, his love of family, and the game of golf, and in just that order. He attended daily Mass. One of his sons calculated that he had compiled an attendance record of 13,600 daily Masses just since his retirement in 1976. Daily Mass, he told his family, was the best thing about living at Somerset, where two retired priests, the Rev. Henry Schneider and the Rev. Chris Walter, are in residence. The next best thing about Somerset, he said, was that the owner provided a shop where he could pursue his beloved woodworking. Among his many pieces: a number of crosses and a plaque with the Our Father engraved on it.
He kept close at hand for frequent reference a variety of clippings and greeting cards with messages that were especially meaningful to him. One of these: "A good man chooses to do what's right. He places importance on family. A good man changes the world by his own example. He shapes the lives of his children with the strength of his love."
And he told one of his sons: "Germans don't say 'goodbye.' They say 'auf Wiedersehen'-until we meet again!"
Survivors: daughter, Mary Kay (Pat) Jones, Minot; sons, Paul (Karen) Nitsch and James (Cheryl) Nitsch, all of Minot, and Michael (Janis) Nitsch, Clear Lake, Minn.; 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife; parents; and brothers, Karl, William and Herman Nitsch.
Mass of Christian Burial: Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, at 10 a.m. at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, Minot.
Interment: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation and prayer service: Visitation today, Oct. 24, from 3 to 7 p.m., with the prayer service at 7 p.m., at Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot.
Memorials: Are preferred to Bishop Ryan Catholic School, Minot.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).