The Roundup -

Niehenke Welding Honors Rocky Norby's Memory With A Touching Tribute


October 21, 2020 | View PDF

The John Deere box containing Rocky Norby's ashes mounted on a tractor during harvest. (Facebook photo)

For over 40 years, Norby, Inc. has been a loyal customer of Niehenke Welding, Sidney. The welding company has always done special projects for Norby but more recently Stan and Ross Rosaaen of Niehenke Welding created a particularly special piece for Norby.

Amidst beet harvest, Stan and Ross welded a small John Deere green-colored box, which was welded on to a Norby beet digger. This box was used to store the ashes of Rocky Norby, an area farmer who passed away in a tragic accident in May 2020.

Since Rocky started the planting process of the beets, the Norby family wanted him to also be a part of beet harvest. "We wanted this to be an opportunity to have him still be a part of all the stuff he already started this year and we thought it would be very appropriate to have the Rosaaen's come out to the field and weld it on," added Jeremy Norby, Norby's son. 

"The Norby family came and talked to me and asked me to build/design a box for Rocky Norby's ashes. So, I sat up here at Niehenke Welding and thought of a way to memorialize Rocky; I knew he liked John Deere, so I painted it green and put an 'R' on it for Rocky," stated Ross.

When Jeremy saw the finished box, it reminded him of how fortunate he is to live in a community and work with people like the Rosaaen's. He said, "It was a very touching moment seeing it all come together."

Jeremy explained that agriculture was a very important part of Rocky's life. "He revolved his life around farming, partnerships, and relationships so we thought this would be a very fitting tribute to him." 

Niehenke Welding employees have always been a big part of Norby, Inc. Ross explained that there was not a week that went by where the company did not do or have something for Norby. They would work on trucks, trailers, beet trucks, beet diggers, and anything else that would need to be worked on for Rocky. "Anything Norby needed done, we would do it. If they broke down, we would fix them. They trusted us 24/7; we were on call for them day and night during harvest," said Ross. 

Ross Rosaaen, Niehenke Welding, welds the box to the tractor. (Facebook photo)

Norbys are not only longtime customers of Niehenke Welding, they are also long-standing friends. Jeremy explained that Rocky and the Rosaaen's treated each other not only as business partners but also as family; "with a lot of respect and a lot of love."

 "Rocky was in a lot of ways like family to us at Niehenke Welding. When I was a little kid, I would ride in the tractor with Rocky Norby while my dad worked on his equipment," added Ross.

Jeremy explained that this box will serve as a reminder that Rocky is always in their hearts and minds. He also said, "It reminds us of all the work that Rocky has been put into these fields and farming. Raising sugar beets was a big part of my father's life and it is also a big part of the community and in my opinion, it is what makes this community really special."


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