Saturday, January 12, 2002

Obituary: Rev. R.L. Nieman founded shelter for boys

By Rebecca Billman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — The Rev. Raymond L. Nieman, founder of the Campbell Lodge Boys Home in Cold Spring, died Mondayat his home in Naples, Fla. He was a priest for the Diocese of Covington for 32 years.

        Father Nieman, 80, founded Campbell Lodge in 1958 as a refuge for boys ages 10-18 who were experiencing problems or abuse at home. They were often referred by juvenile court systems in Northern Kentucky, for which Father Nieman served as court chaplain.

        Hundreds of boys have gone on to live better lives because of Father Nieman's attention and devotion.

        “These boys were his boys,” said his cousin, Norma Scott of Villa Hills. “He followed those boys up until the day he died. He traveled thousands of miles over his lifetime visiting these boys and kept up with them always.”

        Father Nieman was born and grew up in Covington. His mother died when he was a year old and his father a few years later, his cousin said. So their grandmother, Elizabeth Nieman, raised him.

        After graduating from Holmes Night School, Father Nieman entered the Army and served in Europe during World War II. He received four battle stars and the Belgian Fourragere Award from the Belgian government.

        In 1947, he entered St. Mein rad Seminary in southern Indiana and attended St. Mary and St. Francis seminaries and Catholic University in Washington. He was ordained at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in 1954.

        Father Nieman served as pastor of St. Catherine of Siena Church in Fort Thomas and St. William Church in Williamstown.

        He retired in 1986 and moved to Naples in 1993.

        Survivors include an uncle, Art Willenborg of Naples; and an aunt, Charlotte Hamm of Erlanger.

        Mass of Christian burial is 11 a.m. todayat the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, 1140 Madison Ave., Covington. Interment will be at St. Pius X Cemetery at the Catholic Center in Erlanger.

        Memorials: Campbell Lodge Boys Home, 150 Skyline Drive, Cold Spring, Ky. 41076-2099.


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