In loving memory of

William 'Bill' Lee Nietz
March 1, 1929 - January 20, 2023

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of William 'Bill' Lee Nietz. He passed away at Madonna Towers Memory Care Unit on January 20, 2023.
Bill was born in Rochester, Minnesota March 1, 1929, the son of Margaret and Lawrence Nietz. He attended grade school in Rochester and high school in Savanna, Illinois where his father worked in a munition factory. Bill was in the army during the Korean War and after discharge, he came back to Rochester where he worked as a manager at the Jewel T grocery store. After a few years he started working at the Mayo Clinic. He was on general service for several years and then moved to the Division of Education and eventually became the first Mayo Clinic medical meeting planner. He helped plan meetings on and off campus. Working with Mayo staff was something he thoroughly enjoyed.
Bill was married to Lois Klabunde, a nurse at Methodist Hospital, on March 30, 1957.
Bill loved fishing, gardening, cooking, following the Twins and U of M basketball and football, and enjoyed providing reading assistance to students at local grade schools. He was a proud member of the American Legion.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Marilyn Denny of Chatfield, MN.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years and their sons, Bill (Sandra) of Rochester, MN and Scott of Chicago, IL; and one sister, Diane Lange of Chatfield, MN.
Memorials can be made to Zumbro Lutheran Church, Mayo Clinic Hospice, or a charity of your choice.
The family wishes to thank Mayo Hospice and Madonna Towers Memory Care Unit staff. They also want to thank caring friendships of the Gramercy Park community where Bill and Lois lived. It was greatly appreciated.
A Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 am on Thursday, January 26, 2023, at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes (5421 Royal Pl. NW, Rochester, MN 55901). Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Oakwood Cemetery in Rochester.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home is honored to be serving the Nietz family. To share a special memory of condolence, please visit


Libby Martens wrote on Jan 29, 2023:

"Lois and family: My mother was the function supervisor at the Kahler Hotel in the lat 70's and 80's. I recall her mentioning what an amazing person Bill was to work (and share fishing stories) with. I'm certain she would want me to offer her deepest condolences at this difficult time. Sending healing prayers and comforting hugs. Sincerely, Mary Beas' daughter, Libby Martens"

Libby Martens wrote on Jan 29, 2023:

"Lois and family, My mother was the "function" supervisor at The Kahler Hotel back in the late 70's and 80's. I recall her mentioning what a great person Bill was to work with and how he knew some wonderful trout streams. If she was still here I know she would express her heartfelt love and prayers to you at this time of loss. Sincerely, Mary Bea's daughter... Libby Martens"

Stacey Vanden Heuvel wrote on Jan 26, 2023:

"Lois, Bill, Scott, and families: I am so sorry to hear of Bill?s passing. His was a life well lived for sure. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate his life!"

Bill Kleis wrote on Jan 25, 2023:

"Lois, I only met Bill a few times when I stopped by your home on 11th Ave many years ago, but I had the sense of a solid relationship that included a little humor. You were and will always be the best person I ever met as a fellow Rotarian, and I imagine Bill benefitted from some of that Service above Self that is part of your DNA. My prayer is for peace and comfort and hope as I express my sympathy to you and your sons. Sincerely, Bill Kleis"

Alice Baldwin wrote on Jan 23, 2023:

"Lois and family, I am so sorry to hear this. I worked with Bill in the Division of Education and helped him with many of the medical meetings he was responsible for. Bill was great to work with and I have good memories of that time. "

Karla (Garrelts) McDowell wrote on Jan 23, 2023:

"Scott - So sorry to hear of your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. "

Karen Steige wrote on Jan 22, 2023:

"Lois, I am so sorry for your loss. I know how much my mom enjoyed her time with you and Bill at Grammercy. I will always be so grateful for the help you both gave her."

Scott Litin wrote on Jan 21, 2023:

"I will always remember Bill fondly and with great respect. I worked with him directing a number of Continuing Medical Education courses. Now there is an army and entire section of meeting planners, specialists, and assistants to help make these meetings come to life. When Bill started, he did it all. He worked on marketing, help with the set up when we got to the venue, organized and helped with receptions. You name it he did it all. He was a great ambassador for Mayo Clinic. The course directors, faculty, and attendees loved interacting with him and his down to earth yet professional style. He will be remembered, fondly and missed. Scott Litin MD"