Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - Arthur Winfield "Bill" Niebling's memorial

Arthur Winfield "Bill" Niebling
Feb. 3, 1924-Sept. 24, 2017
Napa, CA

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September 24, 2017 at 11:09 a.m. - Loving husband, father, war veteran and entrepreneur, Arthur Winfield "Bill" Niebling left this world at the age of 93 years, 7 months and 21 days. While deeply saddened by their loss, Mr. Niebling’s family is very grateful that he is free from his recent suffering and pain, and is now at peace.

A lover of classical music, opera, big band jazz, ballroom dancing and classic black and white movies, Bill was a strong-willed and courageous man. He had an incredibly independent spirit, and was a great patriot of this country, having served in the Army Air Force during World War II.

He was stationed in the Philippines and worked as an aircraft mechanic. Bill had an incredible knack for fixing things. Tinkering with repairs or building some of his imaginative custom creations was his place of comfort and solitude. With an incredible ear for music, Bill loved to play the piano and write some of his own music. He could easily play a recognizable tune after hearing it only a couple of times.

In the late 1940's and early 1950's, Bill Niebling was a TV cameraman for Betty White. He must have left an incredible impression on her as she thoughtfully mentions him in her book, "Here We Go Again" on page 53.

In 1967, Bill, his wife Nancy, and their three sons moved from Pacifica, California, to Menlo Park, California, leaving his job of 10 plus years at Zack Electronics. They purchased the local “Sturz Kaiser” hardware store, later to become an Ace Hardware.

Bill Niebling quickly became known as the "Ace Hardware Man" of Menlo Park, California, during the 1970’s and 1980’s. His wife, and all three of their children worked in the hardware store for many years.

Their family-run business became a well-known community icon and was the premiere "go to" hardware store for Menlo Park and neighboring communities.

Many local teenagers worked at Ace Hardware throughout the decades. It seemed as if many local youth saw working at The Niebling's Ace Hardware as a coming of age or a rite of passage milestone toward building their future. Many talented and wonderful people grew up in The Niebling’s hardware store business and learned a great deal about running a business and strong communication skills, all while gaining a good knowledge base and confidence level to prepare them for their next phase in life. He will be missed by so many whose lives he touched in significant ways.

Please keep the entire Niebling family in your thoughts as they navigate the grieving period in the days, weeks, and months to come. Bill Niebling is survived by his wife Nancy, their three sons Jon, Jeff, and James, Jon’s wife Sonya and their 5 children – Katie, Heidi, Jenica, Randy, Madison, James’ husband Esteban, and Bill & Nancy’s dog Lucy.

Tags: veteran, business

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