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Richard H. Niemann, Sr.

Richard H. Niemann, Sr.

Richard H. Niemann, Sr., 91, died on September 25, 2022, in his home. He will be remembered, first and foremost, as a loving and dedicated husband, father, and son. His legacy includes his reputation as a hard-charging, successful entrepreneur, engaged in the formation and operation of Niemann Foods, Inc. and many other businesses, as well as that of a life-long, devout Catholic.

Richard Henry Niemann, Sr. was born on February 18, 1931, to Ferdinand and Antoinette (Heckenkamp) Niemann. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and from Quincy College, now Quincy University, with a bachelor's degree in marketing. While at Quincy College, he played baseball for four years.

On Oct. 6, 1951, he married Constance M. Volm, which was the result of his "love-at-first-sight" while they were attending Notre Dame High School. He joined the high school band solely for the opportunity to meet Connie. Rich and Connie had eight children, Linda M. Ebbing, Constance A. Wheeler, Richard H. Niemann, Jr., Daniel M. Niemann, Ted M. Niemann, Christopher J. Niemann, Margaret M. "Peggy" Guse, and Amy E. O'Keefe. All survive with the exception of Constance A. Wheeler.

He experienced the loss of his wonderful and dedicated mother, Antoinette, "Nette," when he was 13 years-old, relying on his dad, Ferd Niemann, Sr., and his sisters, Mary Shankland and Catherine Johnson, to fill that void. While growing up, he was also close to his brother, Ferd Niemann, Jr.

Rich was introduced to the family retail and wholesale grocery store businesses at an early age. As a grade schooler, Rich would often accompany his dad on visits to Niemann Brothers (and later Food Center) grocery stores. He first began to work at Niemann Brothers Wholesale Grocers at age 12.

During his Quincy College years, Connie and he began to raise their family while Rich played college baseball, worked at Niemann Brothers Wholesale Grocers on North 3rd St., in Quincy, and was engaged with his dad and brother in developing and operating Niemann Pony Farm, a Shetland pony business. After graduation, he managed Niemann Brothers Wholesale Grocers until 1969, at which time his dad passed and Rich became president of Niemann Foods, Inc., known at that time as Quincy Foods, Inc.

Rich acquired from his father an interest in other family businesses, including the Mississippi Grill restaurant and Sinclair gas station, both located in West Quincy, MO, and the Colonial Inn in East Hannibal, IL.

In 1969, after the death of his father, Rich and his brother, Ferd, purchased the balance of the Niemann Foods' stock from other extended family members and sold their interests in the restaurant and gas station. This opened the door to enable Rich to expand Niemann Foods (known as Quincy Foods at that time). He focused his attention on the Niemann Foods grocery stores and ceased the grocery warehouse operation, having the self-confidence and determination to convert this grocery business into a profitable, retail grocery business and planning to expand the number of locations throughout the Midwest.

This goal was accomplished over more than 50 years under his involvement as president in 1969, chairman and CEO in 1994, later as chairman, and, most recently, as chairman emeritus of Niemann Foods, most of which was in conjunction with the substantial efforts of his sons, Rich Niemann, Jr., as president, CEO. and, later, chairman, and Chris Niemann, as executive vice-president and CFO. Today, Niemann Foods, Inc. operates 130 retail stores in 5 states, including Harvest Market, County Market, Save-A-Lot, Price Cutter and ValuCheck grocery stores, as well as Haymaker convenience stores, Pet Supplies Plus stores, Ace Hardware stores, Perk Coffee Company, and Little Caesars pizza restaurants.

Throughout his retail store business career years and while rearing a family, Rich was involved in a myriad of volunteer and professional organizations and charitable activities. He served as vice chairman of Food Marketing Institute, on its board of directors, as well as chairman of FMI FoodPAC, chairman of the Illinois Food Retailers Association, and on the board of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association. He served as finance chairman and on the board of trustees of Quincy University, as well as on the boards of Culver- Stockton College and Western Illinois University Foundation. He also served as the grand knight of the Knights of Columbus, Fourth Degree, and served as president of the Quincy School Board, Quincy Public Schools. In addition, he served many years on State Street Bank's board of directors and on the Quincy Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Moreover, he served as chairman of St. Mary Hospital's board of trustees and as president of the St. Mary Hospital Foundation. He was a founding member of the Great River Economic Development Foundation and a founding member of the Quincy Business and Technology Center. In addition, he served as president of the Rotary Club of Quincy and has been a long-standing member. In 2006, Rich, along with his sons, Rich Niemann, Jr. and Chris Niemann, established the Niemann Foods Foundation, benefitting children and their families throughout all the markets served by Niemann Foods' retail stores.

He was recognized as the "Illinois Retail Merchants Association Retailer of the Year" and the Illinois Food Retailers Associations' "Food Industry Leader of the Year." He also received the National Grocers Association's "Spirit of America Award" and Food Marketing Institute's "Sidney R. Rabb Industry and Community Service Award." In addition, he was inducted into the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce Business Hall of Fame and received its "Parker S. Gates Industry Leader Award." He also received Quincy University's "Alumnus of the Year Award" and an honorary doctorate degree from Quincy University. Connie and he have received the "Quincy Notre Dame Band Award", the Quincy Catholic Elementary Schools Foundation's "Friend of Catholic Education Award," and the "Catholic Charities Distinguished Service Award." In memory of their late daughter, they established the "Connie Niemann Wheeler Scholarship Fund" at Quincy Notre Dame.

Rich has also been involved in many charitable fundraising campaigns, including Connie and he as co-chairpersons of the Salvation Army Annual Fund Campaign and as co-chairpersons of the United Way Annual Fund Drive. In addition, they have chaired the Annual Sammy Fund Campaign.

Always mindful of giving-back to the community, Rich and Connie, in conjunction with the Niemann Foods Foundation, partnered with Quincy University to establish the Connie Niemann Center for Music in 2013, a testament to his love for Connie and their love for music.

First and foremost, Rich was a great husband, father, and son. His main family emphasis, on a daily basis, was Connie's and their children's (and later their extended family's) health, welfare, happiness, and success, which was the subject of many before-meal prayers. He enjoyed countless family dinners, which produced many thought-provoking family discussions, as well as lots of laughter. Despite that fact that he worked to achieve success in Niemann Foods and his other retail businesses seven-days-a--week, he found time to take the family on summer Florida beach vacations and winter Colorado ski trips. He enjoyed many family birthday and holiday celebrations, as he loved spending time with his family.

Rich enjoyed world travel with grocer trade organization members, as well as with his daughter and son-in-law, Peg and Randy Guse. In his later years, you could find him teaching his grandchildren how to ride a pony, celebrating their birthdays, and having a treat with them after a swim in the family pool.

His legacy includes the example he set in showing love and respect for Connie which, along with his strong Catholic faith, were the foundation for an exemplary 70+ years marriage. In that same vein, he stressed the importance of family and showed that love and respect in relation to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. As a businessman, he will be remembered for his mental toughness regarding his willingness to take calculated business risks, willingness to employ his strong work ethic in accomplishing the goals associated with such risks and endless curiosity. He will also be remembered for his integrity and living life to its fullest, not taking anything for granted.

Rich is survived by his wife, Connie, children, Linda (Steve) Ebbing, Rich (Susie) Niemann, Jr., Dan (Angie) Niemann, Ted (Suzanne) Niemann, Chris (Tammy) Niemann, Peggy (Randy) Guse, Amy (Patrick) O'Keefe, and son-in-law, Paul (JoJene) Wheeler II, as well as grandchildren, Dr. Jonathan (Dr. Devon) Ebbing, Abigail (Matthew) Klarner, Matthew (Erin) Ebbing, Jessica (Brett) Gerig, Paul (Dana)Wheeler, III, Audrey (Andy) Hermsmeier, Rich (Heather) Niemann, III, Brad (Jenna) Niemann, Andrea (Brian) Doellman, Doug (Erin) Niemann, Lisa (Adam) Hemmen, Ashley (Robbie) Mayfield, Mark (Lauren) Niemann, Scott (Amanda) Niemann, Genevieve (Max) Miller, Celeste (Joseph Gobble) Niemann, Angelica Niemann, Elizabeth (Chris) Dreste, Dr. Adam (Cathy) Niemann, Eric Niemann, Caroline Niemann, Lindsay Cardosi, Christopher Cardosi, and Alex Cardosi, and 39 great-grandchildren.

Predeceasing Rich are his daughter, Connie Niemann Wheeler, his parents, Ferd Niemann, Sr. and Antoinette (Heckenkamp) Niemann, and his siblings, Catherine Johnson, Mary Shankland, and Ferd Niemann, Jr.

The Niemann family would like to thank the physicians, medical staffs and all caregivers who rendered medical treatment and care during Rich's illness.

There will be a Catholic funeral Mass at the Church of St. Peter, 2600 Maine Street, Quincy, Illinois at 11:00 AM on Thursday, October 6, 2022, followed by private graveside services at Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of visitation, a celebration of Rich's life will be held at the Connie Niemann Center for Music at 1909 N. 18th Street, Quincy University, Quincy, Illinois on October 6, 2022, from noon to 3:00 PM. Family and friends are invited to attend.

Memorial contributions may be made to:
Quincy University, Quincy Notre Dame, or to the Church of St. Peter.

Contact Duker & Haugh Funeral Homes (217-222-1011 or haugh@dukerandhaugh.com) for additional information.

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Condolences

From:
Julie Reardon
Comments:
I am very sorry for your loss
From:
Judy Graham
Quincy, IL
Comments:
I am so sorry for your loss. I have always enjoyed the wonderful conversations that I have had with your dad and mom.
From:
Mark & Kate Schuering
Quincy, IL
Comments:
Very sorry to learn of the passing of Rich. He was so very kind to me and my family and a pillar of our Quincy community who made our town special. Rest in Peace.
From:
Mary Felker
West Des Moines, IA
Comments:
Sorry for your loss. Wonderful life , great family will be missed.
From:
Dan Starnes
Fowler, IL
Comments:
Rest In Peace Sir. Always admired and appreciated your leadership. My condolences to the family.
From:
Jay Grawe
Quincy, IL
Comments:
Rich is with Jesus - how great that is! He was always very gentle and kind to Nan and I. Peace to all of you as you remember all the good times.
From:
Paul Havermale
Quincy, IL
Comments:
Sorry for your loss!

Doing business with NFI and speaking with Rich often, I don’t think I ever met a more upbeat and
energetic guy. Always a kind greeting and he knew your name!

Rest In Peace!
From:
Jodi M Bliven
QUINCY, IL
Comments:
To the Family,
I'm so sorry for your loss. The Quincy community has lost a very dedicated, caring, giving man in Rich Sr. My deepest condolences to you all.
Sincerely,
Jodi Schaffnit-Bliven
From:
Tom and Diane (Bergman) Frese
Quincy, IL
Comments:
Connie and family, our very deepest sympathy on the loss of Rich. I know mom and dad are welcoming him into Heaven. Hugs and prayers to Connie and the family.
From:
Mary Morgan (Gallaher)
Plymouth, IL
Comments:
My mother was cook at Mississippi Grill and my sister waited tables while I did the dishes. I remember his little animals down in the pit. Always good to us.
From:
Andrew Salsman
Palmyra, MO
Comments:
Sorry to hear of your families loss and glad that I had the opportunity to know him.
From:
Mike Lavery
Quincy, IL
Comments:
A man of great commitment, to his family, to his business and to our community. How he accomplished it all is almost beyond comprehension. God bless his as he set an amazing example for all to admire and try to emulate. May he rest in eternal peace!
From:
Paul K.Geers
Quincy, IL
Comments:
Dear Niemann family ,
Thank you for sharing Richard with us all these years. My mother who was a close friends of Richard's sister Mary, remembers his family over 80 yrs as she now is 100.

Richard was very kind to me over the yrs. As our family was in the grocery business a long time too.

When we opened St. Rose church for the Latin mass. He wanted to give me a donation for the good it will bring in quincy as he said.
Yes he and his wife attended some masses here.
Please know that masses will be offered for his soul now.
May God grant his joy in returning to Him who made him.
Requiem aternum.
Paul K. Geers
Pres. Of the Latin mass society of Quincy/Historic St. Rose if lima parish.
From:
Clyde Patterson
Barrington, IL
Comments:
I was fortunate to meet most of the members of this extraordinary and remarkable family when three of the Niemann sons and 2 daughters and I attended college together. The impact of watching how such a large family interacted, watched out for one another and faced life with grace was a life lesson for me. I send condolences to you all, but especially to Mrs. Niemann, who is such a special lady.
From:
James (Jim) Neckopulos
Scottsdale, AZ
Comments:
May the memories of your father sustain you! Thinking of all you.
From:
Charles N Krueger
Palatine, IL
Comments:
My deepest condolences to the entire Niemann family and my Illini brothers Rich, Chris and Ted, may your grief pass quickly and the celebration of your father's life be eternal.
From:
Tanja Wells
Barry, IL
Comments:
I have worked for the company for 31 years. I enjoyed seeing Rich and Connie everytime they came in the store. He will be greatly missed. Very sorry for your loss.
From:
Randy Vasel
Greenville, IL
Comments:
So sorry for your loss. Always enjoyed talking with him at IFRA and NGA conventions. I learned a lot from him in my early years in the grocery business. He was always willing to share. Blessings to the family.
From:
Kristina (Gerig) and Robb Hunter
Portland, OR
Comments:
We are very sorry for your loss. Sending our love to the beautiful family he created and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
From:
Kathy Emerick
Quincy, IL
Comments:
Thanks to Rich Niemann, Niemann Foods, and my husbands employment as a meatcutter for thirty years, we always had bread on our table. Mr. Niemann always knew our childrens names and would always ask about them. He was a very caring man. Extending my heartfelt sympathy to the Niemann family.
From:
Peter Simpson
Arlington Heights, IL
Comments:
Requiescat in pace, Mr. Niemann. Thank God for this wonderful man!
From:
Bill & Debbie Greving
Camp Point, IL
Comments:
Please accept our sincere sadness on the loss of Mr. Niemann. He was always so kind whenever we would see him. We met him in 1972, Bill worked at Food Center on 12th Locust and I met him while working at Food Center on 9th Jefferson, we were students at QND and Catholic Boys. He always remembered the Greving family, and would inquire about our family. Our prayers are with you all.
From:
Jeff & Joanne (Powers) Bergman
Quincy, IL
Comments:
To the entire Neimann family our thoughts and prayers are with you all at this sad time. RIP
From:
Bob Jensen
Sun City West, AZ
Comments:
As a former employee, me and QU alum, thanks for all of yours and Connie's support to your your employees, QU and Quincy
. THANK YOU. PLEASE SAY HELLO to all your favorite alums, former alums and Roger Godwin
From:
Friends of St.Mary Hospital
Quincy, IL
Comments:
We would like to express our sincere thanks to Mr. Neumann for all the years of leadership & service on both the St.Mary Hospital board & Foundation he has left his footprint on the St.Mary Hospital legacy .
Our sympathy to the entire Niemann family ,

St.Mary Hospital Community
From:
Teresa Duesterhaus
Quincy, IL
Comments:
I'm so sorry for this loss, not only the family, but the County Market family as well. In my 15 years there I always looked forward to seeing Mr Niemann on Sunday morning, just stopping by to say hello and Thank you for your hard work. What an inspiration he was.
From:
John & Jean Buckman
Palmyra, MO
Comments:
We extend our sincere sympathy on Rich Sr. passing. He was a wonderful gentleman with such an outgoing personality. May he rest in God's peace. 🙏 Jean & John Buckman ,Palmyra Mo.
From:
Jane Brink Luke
Broadview Hts, OH
Comments:
I am so sorry for your loss. All of your family are in my prayers
From:
Jane Peterson
Quincy, IL
Comments:
May the angels carry him into paradise. May the family find comfort in all the memories.
From:
Helga Williams
Quincy, IL
Comments:
Our sincerest condolences to the family. Rich was a sweet and gentle soul. He will remain in our hearts thoughts and prayers.

From:
All of the Williams Family
From:
Kent Adams
Quincy, IL
Comments:
A wonderful man who championed many causes to enrich the lives of us all.
From:
Kevin Wensing
Alexandria, VA
Comments:
“#RIP Rich Niemann. My father Bert Wensing (1926-1977) grew up as a friend & contemporary of this superior gentleman & joined him in service to the #QuincyIL & @Quincy_U community through @KofC & other groups that help those in need & encourage #excellence. We were fortunate indeed to have such people in our lives. May God Bless & comfort his family. 🙏❤️”

Sending our prayers & love to the Niemann family from the family of Bert Wensing (1926-1977). Rosemary Breen Wensing of Winter Park, FL, & families of Timothy Wensing of Coral Gables, FL & Kevin Wensing of Alexandria, VA. May God bless each of you and comfort you now and always.
From:
Lonny Lemon
San Tan Valley, AZ
Comments:
To the entire Niemann family. I was saddened to hear of your loss. Rich was one of the greatest ambassadors Quincy has ever seen. He loved all of you, and all of Quincy. I will pray that God gives you the strength you need in the days ahead and that HE fills your hearts and souls with only the great memories you created, and shared with your family patriarch. God Bless.
From:
Bonnie Kemp
Fort Wayne, IN
Comments:
Such an outstanding visionary and leader. My heartfelt sympathy goes to the entire Niemann family.
From:
Ramon Mendoza
Chicago, IL
Comments:
Chris, Ted & extended Niemann Family,
Having known both of you since our days at the Phi Psi house at University of Illinois but never meeting your dad or mom, I knew there had to be a strong basis for the character both of you have exhibited throughout your lives. Having read your dad’s accomplishments especially with his family, I fully appreciate his contributions to your upbringing.

With sincere condolences to you and your family, your brother and friend.

Ramón