Cover photo for Wilma Jean Niichel's Obituary
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1933 Wilma 2023

Wilma Jean Niichel

January 5, 1933 — February 25, 2023

Sheldon, Iowa


Wilma Jean Niichel

Sheldon, Iowa

     Wilma Jean Niichel, age 90, of Sheldon, Iowa passed away on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at the Sanford Sheldon Senior Care in Sheldon, Iowa. Her funeral will be at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday, March 4, 2023 at St Patrick Catholic Church in Sheldon, Iowa with Fr. Siby Punnoose ~ Officiating.

     Burial will be in St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery in Sheldon

     Visitation with the family present will be from 5:00~7:00 P.M. on Friday, March 3, 2023 at the Vander Ploeg Funeral Home in Sheldon, Iowa with a Parish Rosary prayed at 5:00 P.M. and a Christian Wake Service at 7:15 P.M.

The Family would appreciate if Hawkeye Colors are worn for the funeral

The Vander Ploeg Funeral Home in Sheldon, Iowa is in charge of the arrangements.





BORN:  January 5, 1933 ~ Sheldon, Iowa

PASSED AWAY:  February 25, 2023 ~ Sheldon, Iowa



10:30 A.M.  Saturday, March 4, 2023

St. Patrick Catholic Church; Sheldon, Iowa

Father Siby Punnoose ~ Officiating



“On Eagle’s Wings” Congregational

“Amazing Grace” Sung by Ali Jinkinson

“Prayer Of St. Francis” Congregational

“O Loving God” ~ Song of Farewell

“Be Not Afraid” Congregational

Cantor:  Tyler Youngers

Organist: Margaret Anderson



“The Grandchildren”


Bill Matthes                                                       Nile Laake

Aaron Laake                                                     TJ Caravan

Christopher Wiarda               Dustin Niichel-Hegwood



St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery

Sheldon, Iowa


The Family would appreciate if Hawkeye Colors

are worn for the funeral


After today’s graveside service relatives and friends

are invited to join the family in the

 fellowship hall of the church.


Arrangements are under the care of the:

Vander Ploeg Funeral Home; Sheldon, Iowa

     Wilma Jean Niichel, 90, of Sheldon, Iowa passed away on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at Sanford Sheldon Senior Care surrounded by her loving family. She was born January 5, 1933 in Sheldon, Iowa, to Peter and Jacoba (Tammes) Wildeman. She was the oldest of nine children. Wilma attended school in Sheldon where she enjoyed cheerleading and participated in the Girl Scouts. She was taught at an early age to work hard to help support her large family. On January 29, 1951, Wilma was united in marriage to Joseph “Joe” Peter Niichel from Granville, Iowa at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Sheldon, Iowa. In 1952, Joe entered the army and served in California and Fort Hood, Texas. Wilma worked in the Officers Club and fondly remembered waiting on Bob Hope, Jane Russell and Van Johnson. They returned home to Sheldon to start their family. In 1972, Wilma and joe purchased the M&M Meat Market. They owned and operated the store until 1984. After retiring, Wilma and Joe began growing produce to sell at area Farmer Markets. Wilma enjoyed baking breads, bars and pies from her home rendered lard. She also took pride attending her grandchildren’s sporting events and music concerts. Wilma loved following the Sheldon Orabs, the Iowa Hawkeyes and parades, traveling with family members to Five Bowl Games, Her Life dream was to become a sports commentator. Nobody was a stranger to Wilma. She loved to shop especially at Younkers for family Christmas presents.

     Wilma was a member of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Sheldon, Iowa. She was a member of St. Patrick Ladies Guild and had served on the churches financial board and on the St. Patrick Catholic School board. She loved to pray and say the rosary. She enjoyed fishing and in their younger years, Wilma and Joe enjoyed dancing to the Glen Miller Band at the Roof Garden in Okoboji, Iowa. Wilma was a two-time cancer survivor. She will be missed.

     Left to cherish her memory are her children, Barb Matthes of Sheldon, IA; Pat (Cammy) Niichel of Spirit Lake, IA; Julie (John) Jinkinson of Sheldon, IA; Jane (Gary) Blair of Sheldon, IA and Mary (Ken) Niichel-Hegwood of Urbandale, IA. She is also survived by 9 grandchildren, Trisha (Aaron); Theresa (Michael); William (Lori); Haley, Carly (TJ); Ali, Hannah; Christopher and Dustin; 11 great-grandchildren, Nile, Adeline, Dru, Jack, Blake, Shiloh, Boston, Mia, Declan, Ellie and Evelyn; 2 sisters, Sherry (Hank) Moller of Rushville, NE; Becky (Mark) Klemme of Sheldon, IA; a brother, Joe (Wanda) Wildeman of Sheldon, IA; 3 sisters-in-law, Greta Wildeman, Ruth Ann Wildeman and Jolene Wildeman and many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.

     Wilma was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, a son-in-law, Mark Matthes, 3 brothers, Arnie, Pete and Terry Wildeman; 2 sisters, Marilyn (Francis) Pulscher; and Marlys Wildeman in infancy; and a special adopted sister, Alice Murray.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wilma Jean Niichel, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, March 3, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Vander Ploeg Funeral Home - Sheldon

724 Sixth Avenue, Sheldon, IA 51201

5:00pm Parish Rosary
7:15pm Christian Wake Service

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Saturday, March 4, 2023

10:30 - 11:15 am (Central time)

St. Patrick's Catholic Church

310 10th St., Sheldon, IA 51201

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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