John Niebruegge



John Steven Niebruegge passed away at home Sept. 5,2023, after a long battle with depression.

He was born June 21,1947, to Chester and Delma Niebruegge in Owensville.

He attended Owensville schools and graduated in 1965. He graduated from the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine in 1972. He said that he had a “blond scholarship,” his wife Patti Ann, whom he married in 1971. During the eleven years they were married, they had daughters Maria Ann and JoAnn Annette. John lost Patti Nov. 1, 1982, after her long battle with cancer.

John and Bonnie Merryman united their families March 3, 1984. Maria and JoAnn joined Andrew “Andy” and Jason Merryman as siblings.

John was one of the lucky people who really loved his work, his 40 years in veterinary medicine. From a youngster he loved animals; cats, dogs, and especially horses. He also really enjoyed working with the people who loved and cared for their animals. He was also passionate about the hobbies he pursued in his time off from work; hunting quail with Martin Borrok; training and riding paso fino horses and gaited mules with Rex and Jana Lee, Dana Amedei, and Bonnie; following his beagles with Jim Bragg; and advising his dear friends Kevin and Annette Griffel on their horse project.

Shortly after Bonnie and he were married, John purchased an old mare to teach Bonnie to ride and a young green mare for himself. After Bonnie’s two-month training period, they went to Cross Country Trail Ride in Eminence, for a week riding all day fast, which John thought was entirely appropriate and left Bonnie with saddle sores and second thoughts about their union. However, for Bonnie, John was the love of her life, and John frequently said that he really knew how to pick women to love, Patti and Bonnie.

John had the kindest heart and was a hugger and not just any hug. He demonstrated that hugs have to be full-body, arms-around-the-back hugs. He had a quirky sense of humor and had the reputation of pulling stunts on his friends in his younger days.

He was a Christian who believed that the intricacies of life could not be happenstance. His belief was reinforced by a near-death experience during a mule-riding accident.

John loved his family with all his heart and leaves to mourn his wife, Bonnie; daughters, JoAnn (Dustin) Cornman and Maria (Gary) Long; step-son, Jason (Nicole) Merryman; and Andy’s wife daughter-in-law, Kelly Merryman; grandchildren, Ainsley, Avalyn, Lauren, Caleb, Chase, Brianna and Jase; great-granddaughter, Camilla; baby sister, Jane Leimkuehler; and niece and nephew, Julie and Justin Berger; he grew up feeling like his cousins were siblings: Mary, Anita, Steve, Dale, Marsha, Diane, Jim, David, Jan, Don, George, and TeriDee; and brother-in-law, William Barkley and his children John, Rose, and Stuart.

Funeral services were held Saturday, Sept. 9, at Davis-Playle-Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home. Burial was in Plain View Cemetery in Sullivan County.

In lieu of flowers for those who wish to leave a memorial, the family suggests a donation to the Adair County Humane Society to honor John’s lifelong dedication to and love of animals.

Arrangements entrusted to Davis-Playle-Hudson-Rimer Funeral Home.