NHA Members & Former Members
A public Funeral Service for Jean will be held on Friday, June 26, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at the Fairmont Community Church in Fairmont, Nebraska. Pastor Seungli You will officiate the service. The service is open to all members of their Hereford family. Lunch will be served after the service, at the Fairmont American Legion.
There will be no public visitation per Jean's wishes. Following the Funeral Service, Jean will be cremated and her ashes will be interred at the Fairmont Public Cemetery at a later date.
Memorials are suggested to the Neil Priefert Scholarship Fund or the Fairmont Community Church.
Due to the Covid 19 Epidemic, we will be practicing social distancing guidelines at the Funeral Service
Jean was a long time member of the Pollette Organization both on the State and National level. Jean was one of the 12 founding members of the National Organization of Pollettes. Jean was a Nebraska Hereford Woman of the year, as well as the National Hereford Woman of the Year recipient in 2017.
Steven Ray Messersmith, 70, of Alliance, passed away May 28, 2020 at the age of 70.
The youngest of three children and the only boy, Steve was born May 11, 1950 to Robert and Myrtle Emily (Bauer) Messersmith of rural Alliance. Steve grew up and spent the majority of his life on the Messersmith Ranch, founded by his grandfather F.E. Messersmith.
Steve attended grade school at a one-room schoolhouse in Sheridan County. A “herd” of nearby Messersmith and Bauer cousins – who were more like siblings – provided Steve with ample playmates growing up. As a freshman he attended the Nebraska School of Agriculture in Curtis then went on to graduate from Alliance High School in 1968, where he was selected Prom King and elected Senior Class President. He was also an active member of 4-H, FFA and the wrestling team.
Following high school, Steve attended the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and graduated with a degree in animal science. He was a member of FarmHouse Fraternity and a lifelong Cornhusker football fan. A fond memory was driving to Miami with his frat brothers and sleeping on the beach to watch Nebraska beat LSU and win their first national championship. During his time in Lincoln, Steve met Lynne Black of Central City, Nebraska. Following graduation from UNL he enlisted in the army. His background and love of animals served him well during his time in the service, where he was stationed at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, working as an army veterinary and research assistant. Steve and Lynne married October 15, 1972, at Fairview United Methodist Church near Central City. To this union, son Clay and daughter Cara were born.
Steve and Lynne made their home at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma, as Steve finished out his service, then moved back to Nebraska where they entered a partnership with Steve’s parents in the family ranch. Steve continued the family tradition of raising registered Hereford cattle, annually showing bulls at the Denver Stock Show, Rapid City Stock Show, and Kansas City Royal. He drove many long hours delivering bulls across the United States and even Canada. In fact, such a trip was how Steve and Lynne spent their honeymoon.
Steve was heavily involved in his children’s activities, especially showing cattle at the Box Butte County Fair. Even after Clay and Cara were out of high school, he was a regular at the 4-H and FFA Beef Show, always ready to lend a hand and a not so subtle opinion. Steve was a lifetime member of the Alliance United Methodist Church, the Nebraska Hereford Association, serving two terms as President and served on the Board of Education of Box Butte County District #65-J. He officially retired in 2016 after celebrating the Messersmith Ranch Centennial. At this time, he leased out the land and cattle as he and Lynne moved into Alliance. In retirement, Steve and Lynne enjoyed traveling with Lynne’s sisters: Susan and her husband Mark, and Deb and Delbert. Steve always remained devoted to Nebraska football as he and Lynne would gather with their “Corny Club” friends to watch games. He also loved the outdoors, including hunting at the ranch or fishing at McConaughy with Clay, nephew Brian and brother-in-law Jade. Most importantly, he loved the friends and family with which he participated in those activities. His favorites amongst those people called him “Pops.”
Steve will long be remembered for his booming voice, renditions of the Macarena at weddings, the ability to always be the life of the party and his meticulously grilled steaks.
Steve is survived by his wife Lynne, son Clay (Micki) Messersmith of Alliance, daughter Cara (Aaron) Wade of Alliance; grandchildren Kaitlyn, Shaylee, Jenna and Kaci Messersmith and Camden, Bryce and Amelia Wade; sisters Evelyn Phillips of Kearney, and Carol Eilts of Lincoln; sisters-in-law Susan Black (Mark Seader) of New York, NY, and Debra King (Delbert Bender) of Kenesaw; along with several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Herman and Myrtle Bauer and F.E. and Luva Messersmith, and Gertrude Evans Messersmith; his parents; his father and mother-in-law Merlin and Lois Black; and his brother-in-law Jade Phillips.
Due to the Covid-19 mandates, a private family service will be Friday, June 5, at the United Methodist Church with Rev. Dr. Gideon Achi officiating. Inurnment will be in the Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance.
Memorials may be given to: PAWS (Providing Animals With Shelter), PO Box 117, Alliance, NE 69301; the Alliance United Methodist Church, 704 Box Butte Ave, Alliance; Wounded Warriors Project, or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences may be left at with Bates-Gould Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
Opal Pauline (Stephens) Haumont, passed away March 25th, 2020, at Brookestone View Nursing Home in Broken Bow, NE. Pauline and Elmer Stephens operated KEG Herefords at Broken Bow, NE until Elmer’s death in 1986. She later married Steve Haumont of Broken Bow. . Pauline is survived by daughter Carol Mathis of Elida, NM and son Ken Stephens of Valentine, NE.
Gene Weldon Grabenstein of Eustis, Nebraska passed away Monday, July 22, 2019 at St. Luke's Assisted Living in Kearney at the age of 77.
He was born to Paul Grabenstein and Clara (Holbein) in Cozad, NE on May 13, 1942. He was baptized on July 5, 1942, and confirmed on March 26, 1956 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Eustis, NE and was a lifelong member. He served two terms on the Church Council in the late sixties.
He was married to Linda Witthuhn on August 1, 1971. To this union, two children were born: Terri and Todd.
Gene was passionate about Herefords, and was a committed volunteer for the Eustis community. He was a member of the Nebraska Hereford Association, and served as President. He hosted five Nebraska Hereford tour stops, and held 22 production sales at his ranch near Eustis, NE. In addition, he was a member of the Heart of Nebraska Hereford Association from the mid-sixties into the mid-seventies, and won several trophies over the years.
Gene was honored for his 50 years of service as a Eustis Fair Board member, and was a leader of the Rolling Meadows 4-H Club for 25 years. He organized several horse shows for the Frontier County area held in arenas near Farnam and Eustis.
Gene was preceded in death by grandparents: Dan and Minnie Grabenstein and Christian and Marie Holbein; parents Paul and Clara Grabenstein, and sister Phyllis Svoboda.
He is survived by children Terri (David) Bierbower of Lincoln and Todd (Tricia) Grabenstein of Smithfield; grandchildren Jillian and Joel Bierbower of Lincoln, Cooper and Cailey Grabenstein of Smithfield; siblings Lyle (Lonna) Grabenstein of Eustis, Janet (Don) Fleischmann of Cozad, brother-in-law Jon Svoboda of Elkhorn; and many other family and friends.
Online condolences may be shared at berrymanfuneralhome.com. Memorials are suggested to Eustis Fire and Rescue or Eustis Fair Board. Services will be Monday, July 29, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at St. John Lutheran Church in Eustis with Pastor Steve Berke officiating. Burial will follow at Eustis East Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at St. John Lutheran Church. Berryman Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.