Charles Fredric Niess

Charles “Charlie” Fredric “Fritz” Niess, age 87, of Lincoln, Missouri, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at his home.  He was born on August 16, 1930 in Natchez, Mississippi, the son of Fred and Grace (Greenwood) Niess.
Charlie started life in very humble beginnings on the banks of the Mississippi at Natchez in 1930.  He believed greatly in the value of education to help overcome even the poorest of backgrounds and dedicated his career to public education.  Ultimately this passion lead him to the training of future teachers in his role as Dean of Education and Psychology at Missouri Southern State University.    In this role, in 1966, he designed, implemented and achieved accreditation of a total Teacher Education Program for the new state college in Joplin.   He was also passionate about providing children and the public with quality television programming and was instrumental in the creation of the Ozarks Public Television (OPT) KOZJ-26 Joplin, Missouri.   He served on the OPT Board of Directors for four years.  
He also believed in education through travel and took his family on wonderful camping trips each summer.  The family explored the United States and Canada, enjoying visits eventually to all 48 continental states and most of the provinces of Canada.    Through these trips he discovered a love of the beach and the mountains.  In remembrance of these great times together, the family celebrated his 80th birthday with a family reunion at the beach.   He and his wife, Nancy recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary earlier in February.
During his lifetime he served in the U.S. Army in Korea, he earned a Doctorate of Education and started a small business.    He was dedicated to civic service and was a key member of the National Exchange Club serving in many leadership roles including on the National Board of Directors.   During this service he was instrumental in starting two organizations dedicated to the prevention of child abuse, one in Joplin Missouri, the Child/Parent Center of S.W. Missouri and the National Exchange Foundation for the Prevention of Child Abuse.
In his years, Charlie was able to pursue his passion for singing and for musical theatre.  He enjoyed performing and entertaining as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the Joplin Community Theatre.  His favorite songs were those made famous by Frank Sinatra and Neil Diamond.  He had the pleasure of singing, “New York, New York” at his grandson’s wedding reception.  Charlie began his career as a high school coach and continued his passion for sports throughout his life.  In his later years he never missed a game of the Kansas City Chiefs.  
Charlie has been a resident of the Warsaw area since 2004 when he retired from his business, GME Hot Water Company.  He grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and raised his children in Joplin, Missouri.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy Niess, four children; Charles F. Niess Jr. and his wife Martha, Barbara Orr, and her husband, Jim, Carolyn Amparan, and her husband Gabe and Michael Niess, and his wife Susan Allen, seven grandchildren; Garrett Orr, and his wife Marijo, Calder Orr, and his wife Dana Coyle, Hayden Orr, Andrea Niess, Dan Amparan, and his wife Jenny, Jazmine Tezak and Zoey Niess, eight great grandchildren; Aubrey Niess, Bailey Niess, Garrison Orr, William Orr, Mary Elizabeth Orr, Aster Orr, Xavier Amparan and Bishop Amparan.
Memorial Services were held at 11:00 A.M. Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Reser Funeral Home in Warsaw, Missouri.  Visitation was held one hour prior to the service from 10:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M.  Charlie was also a man of faith and was a member of Calvary Episcopal Church of Sedalia.  Following cremation the ashes will be placed in the Calvary Episcopal Church Columbarium in Sedalia.  Memorial contributions may be made to Ozarks Public Television (optv.org/memorial), KOZK-21, Springfield and KOZJ-26 Joplin, Missouri.  www.optv.org/memorial.

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