Gems in the Coulee: Sharon Nissen


The name Nissen has been heard in Coulee Country for years, but it was just a few years ago when I actually met Ray and Sharon. Since that time I have gotten to know Sharon and have found out a lot about her, some of which I can’t tell you about because she would disown me.

The truth is, she might be one of the strongest women I know. Despite her small stature and her seemingly meek attitude, she is a spitfire who will tell you exactly what is on her mind and never ask for much help, even when it is needed. She has a large family and is truly the heartbeat of her clan. All her kids have done things that have influenced people from Omak to Grand Coulee and well beyond. She came from humble beginnings, but adapted and grew. Ray and she raised their kids the right way and all of us get to benefit from that right now today. But this story is not about her kids.

When I think of words to describe Sharon, the words dedicated, passionate, Christlike and humble come to mind first. Quickly after that come the words golf, food and humor. She is one of the funniest ladies, with story after story of her upbringing and of her early life with Ray. She always picks her words carefully, even though sometimes she must add a dramatic pause for effect, or remembering, but either way we always laugh. Her golf game, I hear, is aggressive and very good. She would live on the course if she could. In the heat or the cold, if she has enough free time, the golf course is where you will find her with her group of golfing buddies.

Coulee Medical Center ER and Walk-In Care

But truly, when I think of her, the phrase “love of family” cannot go without notice. Family means everything to this lady, and it shows in her everyday life. She lives next to one daughter and grandkids can be seen running back and forth daily. She can be seen at church, at powwows, at sporting events and Buffalo Lake, supporting family in every endeavor. She has helped raise many children over the years and continues to support them all by just being there constantly. Even those not related to her have been blessed by her mere presence.

She will not like this column. She will probably smack me when she sees me because she is very humble despite all of these great things. That’s OK, I will take her strike. She deserves to be recognized as one of the strongest, most influential, and sweetest ladies in our community. She is a pure joy to be around, and my family and I are blessed to know her. Thank you, Sharon, for just being you.

By the way, she is a mean weed puller too. I’m just saying.


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