KØRJE SK Don Launer

Donald J. Launer
February 4, 1927 – November 3, 2019

Donald J. Launer, 92, of Fremont,
died Sunday morning, Nov. 3, 2019
at Methodist Fremont Health

He was born Febr. 4, 1927 in Columbus, NE to Jacob and Louise (Johannes) Launer. He grew up in Fremont, graduating from Fremont High School in January 1945. Don then served in the United States Navy in 1945 and 46, then returned to Fremont. He went to work in the parts dept. of Diers Ford Motor Co. before going to work for the US Postal Service in Fremont. He eventually retired from the Postal Service.

Don was first married to Mildred Hester and they had a son, Steven. Later on April 7, 1957, Don was married to Lila Grubbs. Don and Lila spent many summers taking trips and attending horse shows. In recent years, Don enjoyed his afternoon coffee breaks with his friends.

Don was member of the First Congregational Church, UCC. He was also a member and Past Master of Fremont Masonic Lodge No. 15 A.F. & A.M., and a member of Arbor Vitae Chapter 92 Order of Eastern Star. He belonged to the National Association of Letter Carriers. And he was a 64 year member of American Legion Post 20, and a member of the Fremont Amateur Radio Club.

Don was preceded in death by his son Steven (this past July), grandson Jacob, and 2 brothers Richard and Robert.

Survivors – wife Lila
nieces-Sue DeHoogh and Nancy Jansson of Iowa
nieces and nephew – Sandy, Barbara, and Michael (Launer) of Grand Island

Visitation at the Ludvigsen Mortuary Chapel will be on Wednesday, 3 to 7 PM, with a Masonic Service at 7 (the public is welcome). The funeral service will be 2 PM Thursday (Nov. 7, 2019) at the First Congregational Church, UCC with Rev. Linda Newman. The committal will follow in Memorial Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the Masonic Eastern Star Home for Children in Fremont.

online guestbook @ www.ludvigsenmortuary.com

Obituary Provided By:
Ludvigsen Mortuary
1249 E. 23rd St.
Fremont, NE  68025

KØSW SK Larry Martens

March 30, 1949 – April 30, 2019

Larry Martens, age 70, of Fremont passed away on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at Lakeside Hospital in Omaha. He died peacefully, surrounded by family members, music, and Morse code.

Larry Doran Martens was born March 30, 1949, in Fremont to Raymond and Dorthey (Derr) Martens. He was confirmed at First Lutheran Church and graduated from Fremont Senior High School in 1967. In 1968 he married Sharon Ray Martens (Gannon) at First Congregational Church in Grand Island. Larry attended United Electronics Institute in Des Moines, Iowa, and worked for Collins Radio in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before he moved back to Fremont and began working for Valmont Industries in 1970. He worked there for 46 years as an Electronic Tech in the Structures Maintenance Department. He also worked for several years as an engineer for the local radio station KHUB.

Larry was a well-known as an enthusiastic amateur (“ham”) radio operator whose call sign, K0SW, was frequently heard on the local ham networks. He was an active member of the Pioneer Amateur Radio Club and enjoyed participating in club activities such as Field Day, attending local conventions, and helping fellow hams. Through his radio expertise, he served his community in emergency preparedness training and communications support during natural disasters such as our recent flood. Larry was also a trained storm spotter. He and Sharon served as volunteer National Weather Service observers for over 30 years and were members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie 200.

In addition to his love of amateur radio, Larry’s other great passion was music. He played guitar in several bands throughout the decades, including the Comets, British Invasion, Yesterday and Today, and Fever and the Funkhouse. Playing for family and friends at local venues was one of the great joys of his life. Fans will remember his bass solos in songs like “Brown Eyed Girl,” his cool rendition of “Hey, Bartender,” and his sincere appreciation for the people who came out to his shows to dance, sing along, and enjoy live music together.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Dorthey Martens; his sister, Sherry Garfield; and his brother, Ranny Martens.

KØMZV SK – Steve Meyer


Clare “Steve” Stephen Meyer


Hastings resident Clare Stephen Meyer, 75, passed away Sunday, December 2, 2018, at his home.

A funeral service will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, December 7, at Faith Lutheran Church, 837 Chestnut Avenue in Hastings with Pastor Paul Dunbar officiating. There will be no viewing. The family will be present one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial with military rites will be at Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Nebraska, at a later date. Memorials may be given to the family.

Steve was born December 28, 1942, in Hastings, NE, to Floyd Frederick and Harriet “Elender” Grace Harvey Meyer and raised in Sargent, NE. At a very young age, he became an amateur radio operator licensed as K0MZV his entire life. He enlisted in the US Air Force serving in the 6994th Security Squadron as a Morse intercept operator while stationed at Tan Son Nhut Airbase, Vietnam from 1966-1967. He flew over 100 missions and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Steve worked as a disc jockey at radio stations in Nebraska and around the country. While attending college in Chadron, Steve met Carole Jean Schwinck, and they married on December 26, 1970, in West Point, NE. He completed a Bachelor’s degree in teaching in 1971 in Speech/Theatre. His life career took a different direction as a certified Physician’s Assistant after graduating from Chadron State College in pre-medical sciences in 1974 and Baylor College of Medicine in 1978. Steve served as a medical officer in the US Army serving at Ft Riley, KS, and Mainz, Germany from 1982-1986. He resigned his commission to spend more time with his newborn daughter, Erika. After relocating to Hastings in 1986, he began as a “locum tenens” PA securing work mostly in small towns in Nebraska. In his retirement Steve enjoyed spending time with his granddaughter Ella, researching genealogy and traveling especially driving the Alaska Highway.

Steve was a member of Amateur Radio Association of Nebraska, Central Nebraska Amateur Radio Club, Amateur Radio Relay League, VFW, American Legion, DAV, Vietnam Veterans of America, Masonic Mid-West Lodge #317, Adams County and Nebraska State Historical Societies, and Adams County and Nebraska State Genealogical Societies.

Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Floyd and Elender Meyer; infant sister, Kathleen Ruth Meyer; and brother, Floyd Frederick “Fred” Meyer.

He is survived by his wife, Carole; daughter, Clare Elizabeth Frederika “Erika” (Aaron) Martinez; and granddaughter, Clare “Ella” Marie Martinez all of Hastings; brother, James Alex (Sarah) Meyer of Onawa, IA; sister-in-law, JoAnn Meyer of Sargent, NE; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

WBØPRH – SK Lynn Miller

KEARNEY — Lynn E. Miller, 78, of Kearney died Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, at CHI Health Good Samaritan.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at First United Methodist Church with the Rev. Alan Davis officiating. Burial will be at Kearney Cemetery.

Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Tuesday at Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral and Cremation Services and one hour before services Wednesday at the church.


Lynn was born on Jan. 14, 1940, in Kearney to Edward E. Miller and LoDesca A. (Nyquist) Miller. He was a lifelong resident of Kearney.

He was a graduate of the Kearney High School class of 1958 and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music education from Kearney State College in 1965.

On Sept. 1, 1963, he was united in marriage to Peggy I. Rogers in Alliance. After graduating from college, he began farming and ranching and later worked in the appraisal and real estate field.

He was a member of First United Methodist Church and the Friendship Sunday School Class in Kearney. He enjoyed serving his community through his involvement in Habitat for Humanity and was an active member of the Midway Amateur Radio Club and Nebraska Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.

Lynn was an avid University of Nebraska at Kearney Lopers and University of Nebraska Huskers fan and never met a stranger. He will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his wife, Peggy of Kearney; and daughters, Robyn (John) Forkner of Spring Hill, Kan., and Brooke Miller of Kearney.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Lynn’s family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of Good Samaritan Hospital for the kind and compassionate care given to Lynn during his illness.

Memorials are suggested to the First United Methodist Church Endowment Fund or Habitat for Humanity.

WØART – SK Art McEntire

Arthur Ennis McEntire “Pop”, age 72, of North Platte passed away Friday March 23, 2018 at his home surrounded by his loving family. Art was born July 2, 1945 in North Platte to Coyton and Florence (Campbell) McEntire. He worked as a painter and other jobs before hiring on with UPRR In 1976. He was also an ordained minister with the Assembly of God Churches. He loved to read the Bible and studied it tirelessly. Pop loved the great outdoors and passed his love of nature on to his children and the generations that followed. On October 8, 1962 he married the love of his life, Patricia Ann Stubbs in North Platte. Survivors include his wife, Patricia of North Platte; children, Lori (Patrick) Clinch, Patti (Pat) Condon, and Misti (Michael Torres) McEntire all of North Platte; brother, Rick McEntire of North Platte; 10 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Jean Triplett of North Platte, and Delores Buell of California; brother-in-law, Bill Olson of North Platte; and numerous other family members and friends; not to mention his beloved dog, Gizmo (aka Geeters McLadd), He was preceded in death by his parents Coyton and Florence McEntire; his beloved son, Artie in August of 2016; nephew Dustin McEntire; and brother, Timmy McEntire. Memorials are suggested in his name and online condolences may be shared at www.adamsswanson.com. Funeral services will be 10:00 a.m. Tuesday March 27, 2018 at the Assembly of God Church with the Reverend Gary Goodwin officiating. Burial will follow at the North Platte Cemetery. Visitation will be from 9:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Monday March 26, 2018 at Adams & Swanson Funeral Home which is in charge of arrangements.

WAØAES Donald Thompson SK


Donald Thompson, 86, longtime Arthur County rancher, died Wednesday, January 17, 2018, in the Centennial Park Retirement Village in North Platte.

Donald Edgar Thompson was born March 2, 1931 in Sutherland, Nebr. the son of Orville D. and Lena (Kruger) Thompson. He lived all his life in Arthur County, attending grade school at Center Valley District 12. He graduated from Arthur High School in 1948.

On December 31, 1950 Don married Helen Reichenberg in Napa, Cal. They lived near Duck Lake in Arthur County until moving to Arthur in 2012.

Don helped his Dad ranch until his death, and then continued to help his Mother until her death. Besides ranching he did electrical and construction work. For many years he was Highway Superintendent and Weed Superintendent for the three counties of Arthur, McPherson, and Logan.

He was a member of the Center Valley Baptist Church and then the Arthur Baptist Church. He and his brother Dean and many others provided a Summer Christian Ranch Camp for several years. He was also a member of the Ogallala Gideon Camp for many years.

Don enjoyed many hobbies. He was an amateur radio operator for over 50 years and spoke with people all over the United States and around the world. He enjoyed wood working and making tricycle puzzles and giving them away.

Preceding him death were his parents, sister and brother-in-law Evelyn and Robert Shimmin, sister-in-law Doris Thompson, and great-grandson Gideon Clark.

Survivors include his wife Helen Thompson; three sons: Raymond (Mary) Thompson of Celina, TX., Tommy (Terri) Thompson of Olathe, KS., and Billy Thompson of Arthur; one daughter Mary (David) Edwards of North Platte; two brothers: Dean Thompson of Arthur and Jack (June) Thompson of Loveland, Colo. Also seven granddaughters: Jill Johnson of Glenwood, IA; Sarah (Adam) Smith of Wheat Ridge, Colo.; Martha (Nicholas) Suddarth of Olathe, KS; Lynn Thompson of Olathe, KS; Rebecca (Josh) Clark of Gillette, WY; Rachel Thompson of McKinney, TX; and Dara Edwards of Chadron; two grandsons: Nathan Edwards of Lincoln and Shane Thompson of Ovid, Colo.; 12 great-grandchildren and lots of nieces and nephews.

The Memorial Service will be Saturday, February 3, at 2 p.m. in the Arthur Baptist Church with Tommy Thompson and Pastor Blake Wilkes officiating. The Service will be live streamed , for those unable to attend. Inurnment is in the Arthur Cemetery. Memorials have been established to the Arthur Baptist Church and to the Gideons International Organization.

Draucker Funeral Home of Ogallala is entrusted with the arrangements.

Charitable donations may be made to:

Arthur Baptist Church
215 Elm Street, Arthur NE 69121
Tel: 1-308-764-2439

Gideons International
PO Box 97251, Washington DC 20090-7251
Tel: 1-866-382-4253
Web: https://www2.gideons.org/donate

KA7DMW SK Mary Alice Spray

Mary Alice Spray

Mary Alice (Burns) Spray, age 91, of Aurora, passed away peacefully Thursday, January 18, 2018, at Memorial Community Care.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 A.M., Wednesday, January 24th at the First Christian Church in Aurora. Rev. Bruce Bradley will officiate. Interment will be in the Plainfield Cemetery west of Bradshaw at 2:00 P.M. Visitation will be from 5 – 7 P.M. Tuesday at Higby-McQuiston Mortuary. Eastern Star Rites will be at 6:30 P.M. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.


Mary Alice was born on the family homestead February 9, 1926 in Adams County, Nebraska to John C. and Mary Helen (Coon) Burns. She graduated from Hastings High School in 1943 and Hastings College in 1947. While teaching in Wolbach, NE she met Don Spray of Bradshaw, NE. They married in Hastings on July 18, 1948. Don worked for the Burlington Railroad and Mary Alice and their growing family moved with him to many small towns in Nebraska as well as Billings, MT and Torrington, WY.

Mary Alice was active in her church and went back to teaching in 1960 where she taught or was Library Specialist in rural Valley County, Sargent, Nebraska and Goshen County, Wyoming. She earned her Master’s Degree in School Media, working in that area until retirement. Mary Alice was a life member of the Order of the Eastern Star, serving many offices within that organization, her favorite being the Office of Ruth.

She loved Don, her children, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed traveling and handwork and crafts of all kinds. She was a superb seamstress and quilter. Mary Alice also mastered crocheting, knitting and tatting and needlepoint.

Mary Alice was preceded in death by her husband Don, her parents and siblings Barrows Burns, Thalia Utecht, Twila Schumacher and Joan Rutherford, as well as her sons-in-law, Lee Miller and Wayne Noller.

She leaves to cherish her memory her children, Mary Lou Miller, Betsy Noller, Ken (Ramona) Spray and Phyllis Hays; 9 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

N0BBX – Pode Waggoner SK

Clarence Rolland “Pode” Waggoner
(July 8, 1930 – January 13, 2018) 

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Clarence Rolland

Memorial Services for Clarence Rolland “Pode” Waggoner will be held on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Alma, Nebraska with Reverend Jim Bendorf officiating. Inurnment will follow at the Republican City Cemetery near Republican City, Nebraska.

Clarence Rolland Waggoner, better known as “Pode,” departed this life peacefully at the age of 87 on Saturday, January 13, 2018 under the tender care of the staff at the Good Samaritan Colonial Villa, Rural Med Hospice, and Harlan County Health Systems in Alma. Pode was born on July 8, 1930, in his grandparents’ (Lamphere) home in Republican City, to Clarence Rolland Waggoner, Sr. and Mildred (Lamphere) Waggoner. He lived his entire life, in his home on the farm north of Republican City, which was built by his grandparents, Frank and Maggie Waggoner in 1904. One of Pode’s greatest joys in life was his home. He had great pride in tending to the yard and maintaining the landscaping. Pode would tell you that, he and Elma Jean worked very hard over the years and the result was: a nice home, a great family, and much to be thankful for. In early 2017, he and Elma Jean moved to Alma, to the assisted living, and that was the first time in his life, he had ever changed residences. In March of 2017, he became a resident of the Good Samaritan Colonial Villa.

He attended school at the District #72 School, a country school 1 ½ miles west of the home place, through the 3rd grade. He and his sister, Bobbette, then transferred to the Republican City School, when he was in 4th grade. During these years: he obtained his nickname of “Pode”, quarterbacked the football team, played in a no-hit baseball game one Sunday night against Norton, Kansas with his dad, and played basketball at the Alma City Auditorium, which at the time, was one of the few decent courts in the area. He frequently flew in his dad’s plane, to go on insurance appointments or to see the Nebraska Huskers, play football in Lincoln, Nebraska. After graduating high school in 1948, he enrolled in the UNL Agriculture College and joined the Reserve Officer Training Corporation (ROTC).

In the summer of 1948, he met Elma Jean Dow, at a dance hall called Clink’s Park in Alma and by Christmas of 1949, he asked her to marry him. They were married on September 10, 1950, at the First Christian Church in Alma. They quickly started their family and they were blessed with four children: Julia, Jeanne, Paul, and David. Pode would tell you, the biggest heartbreak of his life was losing their daughter, Jeanne, to cancer in 2006.

Pode was a passionate farmer, who raised dryland and irrigated crops, and had enough pasture to graze cows. He loved to restore old John Deere tractors and several years ago, he drove the John Deere 630 in a tractor drive through Republican City. He learned how to operate the Ham Radio, through his brother-in-law, Elden Dow, who had an Amateur License. Pode obtained his “A” Class Radio Operation License in 1950 and was assigned the call letters N0BBX. He communicated with people all over the world using this skill. He greatly enjoyed his hobby as an Amateur Radio Operator.

Pode loved the game of golf and was a member of the Alma Country Club for many years. He served on the Republican City School Board and CO-OP Board for several years, and was a member of the Republican City United Methodist Church.

In 2013, Pode wrote an autobiography of his life. In his Closing Sentiments, he states that growing up, he never thought about doing anything other than farming, for a living. He believed it was fate, that he met Elma Jean and together they formed a productive farm, beautiful home, and created a big family, full of love and lots of laughter.

Pode is predeceased by: his parents, Clarence and Mildred Waggoner; daughter, Jeanne Hawley; sister, Bobbette Backes, and brother-in-law, Bernard Backes; and niece, Brenda Molzahn, her husband, Paul, and their son, Ian.

He leaves behind his wife of 67 years, Elma Jean (Dow) Waggoner of Alma; his daughter, Julia Richardson and spouse, Robert, of Alma, two sons, Paul Waggoner, and spouse, Cheri, of Alma and David Waggoner, and spouse, Randy Swalwell, of Chandler, Arizona; son-in-law, Ryan Hawley, and spouse Jo, of Alma; ten grandchildren: Eric Haussermann and spouse, Shondra, of Republican City, Emily (Haussermann) Anderson and spouse, Shon, of Holdrege, Nebraska, Elissa (Haussermann) Priess and spouse, Matt, of Scottsdale, Arizona, Erin (Hawley) Sevier and spouse, Jon, of Sacramento, California; Rebecca (Hawley) Finlayson and spouse, Barry, of Washington, Kansas, Matt Hawley and spouse, Celeste, of Hastings, Nebraska, Nate Waggoner and significant other, Charlien Longoria, and her son, Phillip, of Alma, Shanna (Waggoner) Peterson and spouse, Clay, of Lincoln, Nebraska, Erica (Waggoner) Thomas and spouse, Keath, of Phillipsburg, Kansas; and Lauren Waggoner of Louisville, Nebraska; 17 great-grandchildren: Kenley, Connor, Case, and Cannon Haussermann; Brenna Anderson; Elizabeth and Ethan Sevier; Evyn, Easton and Eli Finlayson; Nolan, Keegan and Graham Hawley; Landri and Blakely Peterson; and Baker and Raegan Thomas; and many other relatives and friends.

Francis Thavenet WB0SMU SK

Francis Thavenet, 80


  • Francis Thavenet

TULSA, Okla. — Francis (Fritz) Dean Thavenet, 80, passed away on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, at home, after a long battle with lung and heart disease.

Fritz is survived by his wife of 54 years, Carol (Sorensen); three children, Diana Jones (Russell) of Galivants Ferry, S.C., Mike Thavenet (Teri) of Eldridge, Iowa, and Donna Trentman of Tulsa, Okla; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; and a host of other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Emma (Putman) Thavenet; his older brother, Orville Thavenet of Hastings; and his sister, Margaret Albers of Grand Island.

He was born on June 16, 1936, in O’Neill and raised in Hastings. Fritz was a graduate of Hastings High School in 1954. He loved the Nebraska Cornhuskers and attended games at home and away for many years. Fritz served in the U.S. Navy as a machinist mate stationed out of San Diego, Calif. He worked for Berkeley Pump Co, (Sta-Rite) for 40 years as a machine shop supervisor.

He was also an amateur Radio Operator with the call sign of WBOMSU. He was the first form of communication after the tornadoes of 1980 in Grand Island, where he operated for 48 straight hours. He assisted the Red Cross in many of their efforts during disasters.

Private family services were held for Fritz Thavenet in Tulsa, Okla., on Dec. 31, 2016.