NHA Member & Former Member Obituaries
Clarence E. Oltmans
Clarence Emil Oltmans, age 79, of Blue Springs, died Monday evening, April 16, 2018, at the Beatrice Rehabilitation and Care Center. He was born May 18, 1938, at the Lutheran Hospital in Beatrice.
Clarence was the sixth of 11 children of William and Mabel (Stevens) Oltmans. The family farmed between Beatrice and Filley. Clarence was baptized and confirmed in the nearby Emmanuel Lutheran Church. He attended Logan Center Country School through the 8th grade, and graduated from Filley High School in 1956.
He joined the Army National Guard of Nebraska, serving until 1964. He became a mechanic for the Guard, a skill he would use throughout his life, repairing farm equipment, vehicles and nearly anything else that broke down under his watch. He worked for Fritzen Construction, building terraces and waterways. Later he operated a road grader and also worked for Lincoln Plating.
Clarence was a farmer at heart and agriculture became his lifelong career. He learned to farm with horses and even when tractors replaced them, horses remained a special part of his life. He taught each of his children and more than one grandchild to ride.
He liked to say he started farming “one dollar at a time,” putting his wages toward a goal to own his own land. He farmed and shared equipment with his brother, Louis, for a time.
In the mid 1960s he met Elaine (Hohbein) Wieden, then a widow with two young children. He fell in love with all three and became both father and husband when he married Elaine on June 4, 1967, at Zion Lutheran Church at Harbine. They farmed near Harbine, before moving to a farm east of Blue Springs in 1970, adding daughters Anita and Rebecca to their family.
Clarence was proud to squeeze success from their dryland farm in the old Union Center School District. They started out with a few pieces of equipment and a small herd of cattle. Together, they raised row crops and a cow/calf herd and held onto their farm through the 80s Farm Crisis, sending four children to college and retiring with a 120-head herd of purebred Polled Herefords, the breed he unabashedly preferred above all others.
Clarence liked the independence of farming and never lost his appreciation for what it offered; no matter how many springs the pastures turned green; no matter how many times he knelt to tag a newborn calf; the awe never wore off.
His work ethic and ability to compromise were a product of growing up in a large family and served him well in his community service. He served in various roles with the Island Grove Township, Blue Springs Co-op, Lutheran Hospital Board, Thrivent, Lutheran Laymen’s League, and the Nebraska Polled Hereford Association. He was a longtime member and leader in St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Wymore, and was part of the team that guided construction of the current church building in 1986, an event that brought him much joy.
Clarence was a strong man in every way, surviving a heart attack, cancer and a fall from a combine that took months of recovery. In 2008, he lost Elaine to a long battle with cancer. Faith was the compass of his life and those who knew him will remember him saying — in every circumstance — that he was blessed and ‘God would provide.’
At a time when he expected grief to define his future, he found love instead, meeting Henrietta (Gastmann) Klover. They were married at State Line Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Dec. 26, 2009, and their time together brought great blessings to the last eight years of his life.
Throughout his life, he modeled a patience that few can attain. ‘What doesn’t get done today will be done tomorrow’, he liked to say; and ‘’Worry doesn’t work.’ His family and friends benefited from that demeanor, and none more than his children. There was always time to pull a sled, saddle a horse, sneak a cookie, or get down on the living room floor at the request of a toddler. There would be time to plant, he said, and time to harvest; a time to stay and a time to leave.
Clarence is survived by his wife, Henrietta; by a son, Mark Wieden and his wife Sheri of rural Blue Springs; by three daughters, Melissa Mihm of Canon City, Colo., Anita Oltmans of DeWitt, and Rebecca Svec and husband Kyle of Milligan; by stepdaughters Carol Ann Schwerdtfeger and her husband Dennis of Lincoln, and Mary Ann Breeding and husband Roger of Castle Rock, Colo.; by seven grandchildren, Jennifer Mihm of Pueblo, Colo., Curtis and Patrick Mihm of Canon City, Colo., Megan (Wieden) Leithoff and husband Garrett of Pleasanton; Matthew Wieden of rural Blue Springs and Kole and Tucker Svec of Milligan; by two great-grandsons Lucas and Lane Leithoff of Pleasanton; by brothers Louis Oltmans and wife Eunice of Beatrice, Melvin Oltmans and wife Connie of Beatrice; Arnold Oltmans and wife Marcia of Raleigh, N.C.; by sisters Alice Knox of North Platte and Jan Oltmans of Lincoln; sister-in-law Elda Oltmans of Dewitt; brother-in-law Pete Mackey of Decatur; and a host of nieces and nephews. In addition, he took great joy in sharing Henrietta’s large family.
Clarence is preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Lenora Bartels, Frieda Oltmans and Emily Mackey; brothers Delmer and Harlen Oltmans, Ernest, who died in infancy; and by his first wife, Elaine.
Visitation will be Thursday, April 19th, at the Laughlin-Hoevitt Funeral Home in Wymore, with family receiving guests from 5-7 pm. Funeral Services will be 10:30 am, Friday, April 20, at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Wymore. Burial will be in the Blue Springs Cemetary.
written by daughter, Rebecca Svec
Passed away Thursday, April 12, at the age of 89. Visitation 6 – 8 pm, Tuesday, April 17, at the Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home in Belleville, KS. Funeral service at 10:30 am, Wednesday, April 18, at Grace Lutheran Church in Hebron, NE.
Erna E. Melcher
December 21, 1922 – February 28, 2017
Funeral Services for Erna Melcher, age 94, of Page, will be at 10:30 A.M., Monday, March 6, 2017, at the Page United Methodist Church. Burial will be in the Page Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday, March 5, 2017, from 5-7 P.M. at Biglin’s Mortuary in O’Neill. Erna passed away Tuesday, February 28, 2017, at the Alpine Village in Verdigre, NE.
Erna Schwager Melcher was born on December 21, 1922, to Otto and Grace (Bridge) Schwager in Orchard, NE. She was 1 of 7 children. She attended grade school ½ mile from their home, and graduated from Orchard High School in 1939. After graduation, she stayed at her parent’s farm home and helped with house work and cooking.
Erna married Harold Melcher on March 11, 1942, in Neligh, NE. She and Harold lived on the Melcher Ranch until Harold passed away in 2007.
Erna remained on the ranch until April 2016, when she went to Alpine Village in Verdigre.
Erna and Harold were blessed with 3 sons. She kept busy by keeping up with the sons and their activities, along with Harold’s playing ball. She enjoyed going to all the Hereford activities along with Harold and sons as they grew up showing all their Hereford calves. She also enjoyed all the Hereford people who stopped in and looked at their Hereford cattle.
In later years, she was always outside, taking care of her yard and flowers. She loved being with family and friends and, most of all, her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Erna is survived by her 3 children; James Melcher and wife Susan of Papillion, NE, Thomas Melcher and wife Loraine of Hot Springs, AR, Donald Melcher and wife Jean of Page, NE, 6 grandchildren: Lisa Keyes and husband Kevin, Crystal Beissenherz and husband Jason, Kay Storck and husband Matt, Kevin Melcher and wife Sherry, Abby Jacobsen and husband Ryan, Matt Melcher and Fiancé Kristen, 9 great grandchildren, and one Sister-In-Law, Gladys Fink of Orchard.
She was preceded in death by her husband Harold, her parents, 3 brothers, 3 sisters, and one grandson, Jay Dee Melcher.
Lyle Sittler Obiturary
Lyle Dean Sittler, 74, of rural Martell passed away January 29, 2017 surrounded by family. Lyle was born October 24, 1942 in Lincoln to Harvey Clifford and Vera Adelaide (Wissenburg) Sittler. He married Alice Lauritzen on June 13, 1965 in Weeping Water, Nebraska.
Lyle grew up on the farm his family homesteaded in 1873. Lyle was a neighborhood legend for his strength and work ethic, two traits that would only grow stronger throughout his life. Lyle attended School District 130 where he spent his 8th grade year being instructed by his older sister Ruthelen. He attended high school in Crete where he served as school president as a senior, acted in plays, sang in the school choir and played in the band. He held the school record for shot put for many years to follow, played catcher on the legion baseball team and played basketball. Lyle excelled at football and was offered a scholarship to play for the University of Nebraska after his graduation in 1960. Lyle was inducted into the Crete High School Hall of Fame in 2013. Lyle would go on to play center for the Huskers and received All Big 8 Honors, Honorable Mention All American honors and later in life be inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 1999. Lyle was most proud of serving as co-captain and the lifelong friendships he made. Lyle served as president of the N Club and was a member of the University of Nebraska Glee Club and Sigma Chi Fraternity.
Despite all of his accolades on the field his biggest award during his time at the University was meeting Alice. They married soon after Lyle received his degree in education and following a honeymoon trip to the All-American Game, settled first in Lawrence, Kansas where Lyle was a Biology and Physical Education teacher, assistant football coach and helped to start the wrestling program. Lyle and Alice moved back to the family farm after Lyle accepted a teaching and coaching position at Lincoln East Jr-Sr High. Lyle would teach 7th grade social studies/English block from 1969-1980. Lyle was famously known for leading the students in an effort to construct a replica of a dam to demonstrate the needs and impact of both people and the environment. Lyle served as assistant offensive line and defensive line coach winning a state title in 1975. He also was assistant wrestling coach winning a state title in 1971. Along with his involvement in coaching, he also was a wrestling referee and gymnastics judge.
Lyle returned to farming full time in 1980; an occupation he and Alice would work tirelessly at through his retirement in 2011, but Lyle was never fully retired from farming. Lyle leaves an unending legacy of conservation of the land and water he cared for so deeply. While Lyle did not do conservation work for accolades, he and Alice received multiple local, state and national awards for their innovative practices and ethic. Lyle was extremely proud that their legacy with the farm is now carried on in his image by the next generation in both work, passion and love.
Lyle’s legacy extends into two other of his strong passions—community and faith. Lyle served on the Crete School Board, Lancaster County Extension Board and as an advisor in the Nebraska Junior Polled Hereford Association for a number of years. He was very active in the Grace United Methodist Church in Crete through singing in the choir, leading the youth group and tending the flower garden outside the church with Alice.
Lyle spent hours in the garden and was a world champion peanut butter fudge maker. Lyle loved listening to and singing music and was always interested in learning more about people and places. He loved spending time with his family and his many friends. If anyone needed help, Lyle was the first to arrive to help anyone and would work until the job was done or the problem was solved. Lyle always had a smile that would light up the world and laugh to share with anyone around. His very presence
provided such an impact on those he loved—which were so many. Lyle exemplified what it means to live life well and have a life well lived.
Lyle is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Alice, daughter Kristen Eggerling (Todd), daughter Jana, daughter Meghan (Molly Murphy), sister Ruthelen, grandchildren Dylan and Levi Hafer, and Barrett and Lauren Eggerling. Lyle is also survived by countless friends as Lyle welcomed all into his life with open arms. Lyle is preceeded in death by his parents.
A celebration of life is planned for 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 11th at Grace United Methodist Church in Crete. Family will also greet his many friends from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, February 10th at Grace United Methodist Church. The family will be wearing Husker attire in honor of Lyle and encourages all to honor him in that manner if they desire. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the family for future designation. Contributions can be sent to the family or Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home.
Mildred Meeks Obiturary
Mildred Meeks age 98 of Burwell formerly of Taylor, NE, died Monday August 8, 2016 at the Burwell Community Health Center in Burwell.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday August 10, 2016 at 11:00 AM at the United Methodist Church in Burwell with Pastor Alan Petersen officiating. Burial will be in the Taylor Cemetery at Taylor, NE. Memorials are suggested to the Calvary Methodist Church in Taylor or the Taylor Library. Visitation will be held on Tuesday evening 5 PM to 7 PM at the United Methodist Church in Burwell. Govier Brothers Mortuary/Rhoad Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. www.govierbrothers.com
Mildred was born on July 8, 1918 at Stratford, TX to Arthur and Grace (Miller) Brown. She was married to Alfred Meeks in 1934. Mr. Meeks died in 1991.
Mildred is survived by her son Warren and wife Johnnie Meeks of Burwell, four grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren and 6 great great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Alfred, a son and daughter in law Ferrall and Gloria Meeks, her brother Harold Brown and a sister Dora Clark.
Myrna Hespen Obiturary
Myrna C. Hespen, 94 of Syracuse passed away July 16, 2016, at the Good Samaritan Center in Syracuse. She was born to Lewis and Emma (Gartner) Wendeln in rural Syracuse on February 26, 1922. She married Sterling Hespen on August 14, 1941, at St. John’s UCC in Syracuse. She was a proud famer’s wife and loved gardening, cattle, cats and sewing. She was a member of St. John’s UCC Women’s Fellowship, Farm Bureau, Neb. Polled Hereford Assoc., Otoe Co. Extension Club and 4-H as a leader.
She is survived by her daughter, Phyllis (James) Masters; grandchildren, Deb Dettmer, Sheryl Schroer, Joanna (Ed) Zastera, all of Syracuse, Dan Masters (Liza) of Unadilla; great-grandchildren, Taylor and Eli Dettmer, Paige, Ethan and Jackson Zastera, Camden, Calla and Chloe Masters; sister-in-law, Marie (Keith) Goering. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and two infant daughters, Charlotte and Kathryn; sister and brother-in-law, Eunice and Virgil Windhorst; brothers-in-law, Richard and Kenneth Hespen.
Funeral services: 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 20, St. John’s UCC in Syracuse. Burial: Park Hill Cemetery. Visitation: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Tuesday July 19, with family greeting friends from 6-7:30 p.m., all at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to the family’s choice. Arrangements: Fusselman Allen Harvey Funeral Home, Syracuse, Condolences: www.fusselmanallenharvey.com.
Stanley Jahn McMahon
HASTINGS, NEBRASKA March 29, 1929 – January 8, 2016
SEND YOUR CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY
Hastings resident, Stanley Jahn McMahon, 86, passed away Friday, January 8, 2016 at Perkins Pavilion Good Samaritan Society-Hastings Village, Hastings, Nebraska.
Services will be Wednesday, January 13, 2016; 10:30 A.M. at Good Samaritan Chapel, Hastings with Pastor CL Wimer officiating. Burial with military rites by Blue Hill Legion Post #176 will be in Hanover Presbyterian Cemetery at 1:30 P.M. Visitation will be Tuesday, January 12, 2016; 9:00 A.M. – 7:00 P.M. with family present 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M., at the funeral home, and one hour prior to service at the church. Memorials may be given to the family for a memorial to be established at a later date.
Stanley Jahn McMahon, the son of Floyd & Hazel (Jahn) McMahon, was born on a farm east of Bladen, Nebraska, on March 29, 1929. He attended grade school at Prairie Gem and graduated from Bladen High School in 1946. He attended the University of Nebraska – Lincoln for one year. He married Janice (Schnuerle) on December 23, 1951 at Pauline Methodist Church in Pauline, Nebraska. He served in the U.S. Army from 1952-1954 during the Korean conflict. He returned and they resided and farmed south of Pauline until 1989 when they moved to Hastings.
He raised and showed Registered Polled Herefords and spent so much time watching the cows with their calves. The operation became known as MCM Polled Herefords. He took great pride in being part of watching his sons and grandchildren show Polled Herefords and receiving many awards. He was a member of the Nebraska Polled Hereford Association, a former board member of the Nebraska Polled Hereford Association, a lifetime member of the American Hereford Association, and received the Polled Hereford Outstanding Breeder award in 2003. He also served on the Adams County Ag Society, Fair and Rodeo Committees, Extension Board, and on the Nebraska Cattleman’s Classic Board.
Stan attended Hanover Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder and a trustee. He was a former member of the Blue Hill School board and the American Legion Post #176. Stan received the Adams County Ag Appreciation’s Aggie Award in 2005.
He dearly loved his family and was there for them and was an important part in the accomplishments of their lives.
Stanley was preceded in death by his parents and brothers-in-law. Those left to cherish his memory are:
Janice McMahon – Hastings, NE
Children & Spouses:
Craig & Kathy McMahon – Blue Hill, NE
Brian & Jill McMahon – Ayr, NE
Grandchildren & Spouses:
Darbie McMahon—West Des Moines, IA
Randi & Colby Fox – Nelson, NE
Daniel (Fiance, Nicole) McMahon – Hastings, NE
Grady McMahon – Ayr, NE
Mattie & Tyler Humphrey – Dixon, IL
Harrison McMahon – Deweese, NE
Jean Neal – Topeka, KS
Phyllis Langin – Imperial, NE
Ernie Chapek Obituary
Mass of Christian Burial, Tues. (12/29/15) 10 a.m. St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, Wahoo. Celebrant, Rev. Charles Townsend. Visitation, Mon. (12/28/15) 5-7 p.m. with 7 p.m. Knights of Columbus Rosary all at Church. Interment at St. Wenceslaus Cemetery. Memorials in care of the family for future designation.
Visit www.marcysvoboda.com to leave condolences.
Obituary for Beverly Rutt
Beverly Phylaune (Markwardt) Rutt, second child of the late Frank & Gladys Markwardt, was born on a farm north of Campbell, Nebraska on July 12, 1927. She departed this life on Friday, November 6, 2015 at Bethany Home in Minden, Nebraska at the age of 88. Services are Thursday, November 12, 2015 at the Westminster United Presbyterian Church, Campbell, Nebraska, 2:00 P.M. with Pastor Mark Diehl officiating. Burial will be 10:00 A.M. November 12, 2015 at Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Nebraska. Visitation will be Wednesday, November 11, 2015 from 1:00-8:00 P.M. at the Campbell Funeral Home, Campbell, Nebraska. A memorial has been established to be designated at a later date. Campbell Funeral Home, Campbell, Nebraska is in charge of arrangements. For full obituary, BeverlyRuttObituary11-15
Obituary for Stephen Vincent “Steve” Douthit
ST. FRANCIS — Stephen Vincent “Steve” Douthit, 63, died Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015. He was born June 1, 1952, in St. Francis.
Survivors: wife, Melva (O’Dell); son, Thomas Douthit, of St. Francis; daughters, Ana Enfield, Margo Douthit and Courtney Douthit, all of St. Francis, and Erica Gotchall, of Goodland; brothers, Walter Douthit, of St. Francis, and Rudy Douthit, of Loveland, Colo.; sister, Emily Peter, of Denver; and five grandchildren.
Visitation: 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, at Knodel Funeral Home, St. Francis.
Wake: 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Francis Catholic Church, St. Francis
Funeral: 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 12, at Peace Lutheran Church, St. Francis.
Memorials: Cheyenne County EMS, Cheyenne County 4-H and FFA or Knights of Columbus.
Obituary for Kenneth Larsen
Kenneth L. Larsen
1921 ~ 2015
|KENNETH “KENNY” L. LARSEN was born April 29, 1921 to George and Marie (Peterson) Larsen in Decatur, Nebraska. He passed away Wednesday, June 3, 2015, at the Oakland Mercy Hospital in Oakland, Nebraska, at the age of 94 years.Kenneth attended grade school at Deman Country School. He attended Blackbird High School for two years, and graduated from Decatur High School in 1938. Following graduation he spent two years working in California, until World War II, when he enlisted in the Civil Air Patrol. He was in training at Brookings, South Dakota. He was honorably discharged, to help his father with his farming operation, after his brother James died serving in the war.He was married to Lauretta Beard on July 15, 1944. To this union were born two children, Larry and LeAnn. Kenny and Lauretta lived their entire lives on the home farm place; four miles West of Decatur, farming and raising registered Polled Hereford cattle.Kenneth was baptized and confirmed into the Trinity Lutheran Church. He served as an elder and chairman of the church board for several years. He was very active in many organizations. He served on the District 32 School Board, 4H Extension Board, Burt County Fair Board, Decatur Township Board, Citizens State Bank Board, was a 4H leader, a member of the Burt County Feeders Association, and was Director of the Nebraska Polled Hereford Association.He was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Lauretta; his parents; his brothers, Paul and James.
Survivors include his son, Larry (Janice); daughter, LeAnn (Paul) Richards all of Decatur; sisters-in-law: Fran Beard of Oakland, Kay Smilie of Loveland, CO; brother-in-law, Bill Beard of Rockford, IL; five grandsons: Rodney (Stefanie) Larsen of Omaha, NE, Keven (Pam) Larsen of Lincoln, NE, Jason (Linda) Richards of Omaha, Justin (Billie Jo “BJ”) Richards, Joshua (Skye) Richards all of Onawa, IA; three great granddaughters and nine great grandsons; several nieces and nephews, many cousins and a host of friends.
FUNERAL SERVICE: Saturday, June 6, 2015, 10:00 am, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Walthilll, Nebraska
BURIAL WITH MILITARY HONORS: Hillcrest Cemetery, Decatur
VISITATION: Friday, 6:30 – 8 pm with family receiving friends at Pelan Funeral Services Lyons. Visitation will also be held at the church one hour prior to service.
MEMORIALS: To the family for designation at a later time.
Please feel free to send your condolences to the family.