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
PO Box 97251, Washington DC 20090-7251
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.
OBITUARY: MARY ALICE SPRAY
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.
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.
For the news letter.
Francis Thavenet, 80
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 Joseph “Bud” Hayes
Charles Joseph “Bud” Hayes, 89, of Arvada, Colorado, passed away peacefully Nov. 15, 2016, in Littleton, Colorado.
Bud was born on April 10, 1927, in Glendale, California, and raised in North Platte, the oldest of the four children of Charles “Mike” and Elsie Hayes. He attended Saint Patrick grade school and high school, and in 1945 was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served for the duration of World War II.
After release from the army, he attended Creighton University in Omaha, where he graduated with a degree in accounting. Working briefly in Omaha after graduation, he moved to Los Angeles and began his career as a traveling auditor for Union Pacific Railroad.
Soon thereafter he married his high school sweetheart, Marjorie Rosemarie Perlinger. While living in Los Angeles, he was an active member of Visitation Parish and the Knights of Columbus. He relocated the family to Arvada in 1971 as he pursued his career as an executive with the Rocky Mountain Energy Company, ultimately retiring in 1987.
He was a member of St. Joan of Arc Parish in Arvada, actively participating in parish life and serving as a member of the parish council, as an usher, a financial adviser for St. Joan’s and other parishes in the Denver area, and as a member of the Serra Club.
Like his father, brother and son, Bud was an avid Amateur Radio operator (W0OCS). Bud enjoyed bowling, playing pool, watching football, mountain drives (with occasional stops at the casinos!), ocean cruising, model railroading, vacationing in Maui, attending St. Patrick High School reunions, music and being Irish.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Marjorie, and his sisters, Mary Ann McCullough and Patricia Hayes.
Bud is survived by his children, Robert (Kathi), Mary Sharkey (Tom), Teri Meyers and Peggy Schulte (Steve); brother, Francis “Mick” (Ruth); grandchildren, Christopher, Jonathan (Allison), Joseph Meyers and Derek (Julia) and Kelsey Schulte; great-grandchildren, Steel and Dylan; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the North Platte Catholic Schools Endowment, P.O. Box 57, North Platte, NE 69103 or The Alzheimer’s Association, alz.org/join_the_cause_donate.asp.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 22, at St. Joan of Arc Parish, 12735 W. 58th Ave., Arvada, Colorado. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall, followed by private interment at Mount Olivet Cemetery. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, at the Archdiocese of Denver Mortuary at Mount Olivet Cemetery, followed by the Rosary. Archdiocese of Denver Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Life Story for Neva Murphy
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.
Eugene H. “Gene” Seier, 93, of Grand Island, passed away Monday, July 25, 2016, at Riverside Lodge Retirement Community in Grand Island.
Funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home, with the Rev. Jim Golka officiating. Burial will be in the Westlawn Memorial Park Cemetery following the service.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Livingston-Sondermann Funeral Home Chapel, followed by a Christian wake service at 7.
Memorials are suggested to St. Mary’s Cathedral. Online condolences may be directed to www.livson.com.
Mr. Seier was born June 15, 1923, at Grand Island to Rudolph and Helen (Buettner) Seier. He attended Grand Island Public Schools and graduated from Senior High School in 1941. He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War II from May of 1943 to January of 1946 and the Korean War from October of 1950 to September of 1951.
He married Bertha Rodabaugh on Jan. 15, 1947. She passed away on Oct. 28, 1988. He married Claire Rogers on April 6, 1991. She passed away on Nov. 26, 2007.
At the age of 16, Gene studied and passed the examination for an Amateur Radio Operator’s License. As a result, he was offered a part-time job as a control room operator at the radio station KMMJ during his last semester in high school. After more study and obtaining his commercial operator’s license, he eventually became a full-time staff member and Chief Engineer, a job that lasted for 27 years. As television grew he eventually became employed by the Nebraska ETV Commission as Transmitter Supervisor at KHNE-TV for 22 years.
Gene was a member of St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Knights of Columbus. He served in the Boy Scouting program as Scoutmaster of Troop 109 for a time until becoming involved in the organization of the Northwest High School District, serving as the first president of the Northwest High School Board of Education, serving a total of 12 years on the board. He also served for many years as a member of the Hall County School District Reorganization Committee. During this time he also served as a volunteer fireman with the Grand Island Rural Fire Department for 27 years.
As an Amateur Radio Operator, he was a member of the American Radio Relay League, Quarter Century Wireless Association, and the Grand Island Amateur Radio Society. Professionally, he was a member of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers.
He was also a member of the Platt-Duetsche, Saddle Club, and in the past a member of Eagles, Liederkranz and the VFW.
Survivors include two sons and daughters-in-law, David and Sally Seier of Highlands Ranch, Colo., and William and Julie Seier of Lincoln; a daughter and son-in law, Lois and Joseph Eisenberg of Lincoln; a stepson and two stepdaughters-in-law, Sharon A. Rogers of Davey, Neb., Roy E. Rogers and Linda Rogers of Fremont; three stepdaughters and stepsons-in-law, Edith and Charles Humiston, and Debra and Mark Christenson, all of Grand Island, and Sharon and Terry Brooks of Dannebrog.
Additional survivors include five grandchildren, 18 stepgrandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and 26 stepgreat-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wives, Bertha and Claire; a brother, Lester Seier; a sister, Marilyn Seier; and a stepson, Frank Rogers.