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.

Charles “Bud” Hayes – WØOCS SK

WAØZCM -Neva Murphy SK

1937 – 2016


Life Story for Neva Murphy

Neva Jean (Barnes) Murphy was born August 30, 1937 to Charles ‘Ike’ and Gladys (Lane) Barnes at the Rock County Hospital in Bassett, NE. She was born weighing only 2 lbs. 14 oz. which was her life’s first big hurdle. Growing up, she was involved in Elkhorn Valley 4-H Club. She showed beef and was involved in cooking, canning and sewing. She was Rock County fair queen in 1955. Neva was awarded the Federal Cartridge Cooperation trip to conservation in Chadron in ’53 and ’54. She graduated from Rock County High School in May 1955 and began teaching that fall. Hers was the last class that was able to teach right out of high school.

Don was honorable discharged from the Army after a tour of duty in Korea on November 25, 1958. Neva married Donald L. Murphy at the United Methodist Church in Bassett on January 1, 1959 and they made their first home seven miles west of Sargent, NE. They were blessed with two children: Bryan Kent and Brenda Kay. In 1961, they purchased a house in Sargent. She continued to teach school in Custer, Loup and Garfield.

In 1970, Neva received her Ham radio license WA0ZCM. In 1975, the Murphy family moved to Camp Rockhaven four miles east of Gothenburg for the next 13 years. Neva then became the lay pastor and served the churches in Gothenburg and Ogallala. In 1993, she resigned from the Ogallala church due to her diagnosis of breast cancer. After several years and a courageous battle, she took on the job as pastor at the Congregational United Church of Christ in Ainsworth, NE. October 8, 2006 was a special day for Neva when she was ordained as pastor in the Church of God. She retired from the church in 2015. Neva, a cancer survivor, served as a Sandhills Cancer Fund board member. She enjoyed quilting, crafting and attending tractor pulls with her family. Neva passed away November 21, 2016 at the Rock County Hospital in Bassett.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother Lloyd Barnes; 17 day old infant brother Charles Kay; and parents-in-law Dan and Bessie (Rogers) Murphy.

She is survived by her husband Don of Ainsworth; son Bryan (Juliene) Murphy of Ainsworth; daughter Brenda (Mark) Knight of Ord; 6 grandchildren: Ashley Victoria Murphy, Tanner Charles Don Knight, Jordyn Jean Knight, Marley Juliene Murphy, Hayley Clarissa Murphy and Brandt Kaleb Murphy; and one great grandson Teague Bryan Braun.

Memorials may be made in care of the family to support the Heifer Project.


November 2016                                                                                                                                       Issue 101


 November POOP from the Loup..
           Well, a new season.. I think the Agricultural part of the local population have their crops harvested..Our neighborhood have their beans and corn in the sheds.. Maybe the dust will  settle a bit now..  No-one uses less then 16 row harvesters around here.. Then they haul the profits to the grainerys with nothing less then 18 wheelers.. They all seem to need 18 wheelers to haul their harvest to the bins.. A generous use of the old JAKE brake keeps the air full of dust and noise..
                I’ve been having some problems with blood circulation.. I spent a couple days
in the Kearney hospital a few weeks ago. They decided one of the arteries from
a three way pass  25 years ago wasn’t  doing its share of the work.. 
 They decided an application of a NITROGLYCERIN patch everyday should wake
 that artery up.. The DR gave me a generous supply and said to come back in
 six months, so we’ll see how it goes..
              he seasons are changing..  LuEllen stays busy chasing the young white tails out of her flower patches..
             73 …. W0EJL


August 2016                                                                                                                                              Issue 100


Sorry, no poop this month..  Just can’t get in the mood..
   Had an appt with my heart doctor.. Guess I have some lazy parts of my heart that he was concerned about.. We spent a couple days in Kearney and they think I should get to feeling better soon..
    They seem to think  a little tinkering will get me going on all cylinders, so we’ll try it..  It amounts to using some nitro power to tell the heart when to beat.. I have always been able to hear when m heart misses a beat, usually every 10th to 17th beat.. So with the help of some nitro-aid, the  empty beats should be filled in..
    I’ve been working on an old John Deere model MT and have it going pretty good.. Guess I’ll run it for a while to see if it will be worth a new paint job.. I have a 6 foot dozer blade on it, it’s sure  fun to operate, even if just to dig a hole and then fill it back in again.. It’s a 1949 model..                           
    The neighbors are getting excited already.. Been getting some silos filled for Winter feed..
    Guess that’s it for now.. Maybe use it for a PFTL this month…….   73 all  EJL..


September 2016                                                                                                                                Issue 99


Hello again from the Loup..  Pretty quiet around here, except for a few noise makers..
   I think someone built himself an air boat.. Fortunately, he doesn’t fish after dark, so
   we are still sleeping well.. A neighbor brought his air boat a few years ago.. I don’t
   recall what the problem was, but after we fixed it and cranked it up for a test, as lilic
   bush about 50 feet behind it laid down flat..
   Speaking of sleeping, we must have a den of young coyotes.. They have been pretty
  scarce lately, but we hear them barking and yapping, usually after dark when we have
 a window open..  
    Keeping to the wild life, we also have young hoot owls.. One perches
   south of the other and the other north.. They converse quite often..
    Pretty neat seeing them atop my antenna poles..
    I have an old John Deere tractor, model MT.. Something was wrong with
      it so I parked it in a shed and forgot about it..  I was looking at it a few weeks
   ago and decided to get it running again.. 
   It is a 1949 model, so do the math.. The main problem was the wiring was
  all frayed and greasy.. Surprising our JD joint could order a new wire assembly..
    I told them to order it.. I came in a couple days, in a box..  Cost $168.00.. Well,
like a dummy, I gave them a check for it.. There were only 4 wires in a cable all
about 5 feet long.. Well, I gave it back and told them to keep my check until I order
whatever else I need.. 
    I hired an old mechanic to help with it..  He looked out at the lake alot and
inquired if there was fish in it.. Well, some people have caught some nice ones,
 so told him yeah..
    When we got the tractor popping, I asked what I owed him.. Well, he said, If I
 can try your fishing, we’ll call it even.. Can’t beat that.. I brought him on the porch
 where there were a dozen cannons and told him to pick one out.. So he did and
now we are both happy.. 73 W0EJL..