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Miscellaneous Seward County, Nebraska Obituaries


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Florence S. Bender
Florence S. Bender, 90, Seward, died June 22, 2003, in Seward. She was born March 31, 1913, near Staplehurst to William and Margaret (Brown) Menze. She attended Staplehurst High School and worked as a telephone operator. She married George Bender on July 17, 1955, at Staplehurst. She worked at Seward Memorial Hospital until her retirement. She was preceded in death by her husband, George Bender; brother, Les Menze; and granddaughter, Kamela Lamberty. Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Dennis and Debbie Bender, Seward; stepsons and daughters-in-law, Cletus and Marty Bender, Marlin and Jeanne Bender and Alvin Bender, all of Seward; stepdaughters and sons-in-law, Donna McMillen, Seward, Retha and Lloyd Dowding, Bellevue and Elaine and Larry Lamberty, Omaha; sister-in-law, Glorine Schulstad, Barnesville, Minn.; nieces and nephews. Funeral services are Wednesday, June 25, at 2 p.m. at United Methodist Church in Seward with the Rev. Eric Ford officiating. Casketbearers are Calvin, Chris, Corey, Tom and Dustin Bender and Bob and Ben Lamberty. Interment is at Seward Cemetery.

Elmer Sternberg
Elmer John Freidrich Sternberg, 82, Cordova, died Aug. 20, 2003, in Friend. He was born Dec. 16, 1920, near Cordova and Beaver Crossing to Hugo Carl and Emma Marie (Fischer) Sternberg. He attended country school District 62. He worked as a truck driver his entire life, retiring from John Noler Trucking in 1962. He enjoyed reading trucking magazines and local newspapers, working crossword puzzles, spending time with nieces and nephews and reminiscing with family. He was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church and Lutheran Laymen's League, Cordova. He was preceded in death by his brother, Lloyd Sternberg; and brother-in-law, Raymond Wiemer. Survivors include his brother and sister-in-law, Leroy and Carol Sternberg, Cordova; sisters and brother-in-law, Lorraine and Willard Zastrow, Cordova, and Mildred Wiemer, Seward; sister-in-law and husband, Mary and Robert Scheer, Cordova; nieces; nephews and special family friends. Funeral services were Aug. 23 at St. John's Lutheran Church, Cordova, with the Rev. Arnold H. Jurchen officiating. Casketbearers were Duane and Brian Zastrow, Vernon and Verle Wiemer, Russell Sternberg and John Noler. Interment was at Zastrow Cemetery, Cordova. Memorials may be sent to the family or the donor's choice.

Warren M. "Bud" Erickson
Warren Monroe "Bud" Erickson, 69, Milford, died Oct. 30, 2003, in Seward. He was born Dec. 12, 1933, in Bird City, Kan., to Monroe McKinley and Lillie Alice (Farrell) Erickson. He graduated from Bird City High School in 1951 and was a graduate of Coyne Electrical and Radio Television School in Chicago, Ill., Federal Aviation Academy (FAA) in Oklahoma City, Okla., and Upper Level FAA Academy in Palm Coast, Fla. He served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He married Margie Frieda Wolken in Bird City on Jan. 15, 1956. The couple lived in North Platte and Hastings before moving to the Milford area in 1974. Mr. Erickson was the FAA airway facilities manager of all federally owned facilities in southeast Nebraska, including the control tower at Lincoln Municipal Airport. He currently served as director of emergency management with the City of Seward and Seward County, and as bioterrorism coordinator for Four Corners Health District. He was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Seward. He was preceded in death by his parents, Monroe and Lillie Erickson; sister, Norma Erickson; and brother-in-law, Bill McConnell. Survivors include his wife, Margie Erickson, Milford; son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Kimberly Erickson, Kearney; daughter and son-in-law, Gayle and Dennis Adams, Lincoln; nine grandchildren; one great-grandson; sister, Phyllis McConnell, Peoria, Ariz.; nieces and nephews. Funeral services were Nov. 4 at Wood-Zabka Funeral Home in Seward, with the Rev. Rod Thelander officiating. Casketbearers were Brandon and Scott Erickson, Gary Fett, Dean Lewis, Joe Ruzicka and Bill White. Interment was at Blue Mound Cemetery in Milford. Military honors were provided by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4755 in Seward.

J.R. Pool
J.R. Pool, 75, Lincoln, died June 9, 2003, in Lincoln. He was born July 18, 1927, in Shelton to Herman and Juanita (Smith) Pool. He was a member of the Seward Presbyterian Church and served in the United States Navy. He was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie. Survivors include his sons, Jeff Pool, Seward, and Tim Pool, Lincoln; daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Ed McGuire, Wheaton, Ill.; sister, Avnelle Lauer, Gibbon; two grandchildren; nephews and cousins. Funeral services were June 12 at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home. Interment was at Lincoln Memorial Park. Memorials may be sent to the American Lung Association.

Edna L. Vogt
Edna L. Vogt, 87, Seward, died Aug. 22, 2003, in Seward. She was born Sept. 24, 1915, near Seward to William and Flora (Kilzer) Jeary. She graduated from Seward High School in 1932. She taught at Star School 58 south of Seward, where she met and married Robert J. Vogt on Aug. 9, 1936, in Exeter. The couple farmed near Seward and moved into town in 1986. Mrs. Vogt was a seamstress, and made many wedding dresses. She enjoyed gardening and loved flowers. Mrs. Vogt was a member of the Goehner Grange, the United Methodist Women and several square dance clubs. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Vogt; triplet sister, Edith, and infant brother; sister, Leona Robbie; and brothers, Walter and Robert Jeary. Survivors include her sons and daughter-in-law, Jeary Vogt, Philadelphia, Pa., and James and Linda Vogt, Ohumwa, Iowa; daughters and son-in-law, Margaret and Verle Stahr, Waco, and Marilyn Vogt, Seward; 11 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. Funeral services are Thursday, Aug. 28, at 9:30 a.m. at Salem Methodist Church near Seward. Casketbearers are Bruce, Tom and David Stahr, and Anthony James, Tony Albert, Stuart and Johnathan Vogt.

Robert R. Roth
Robert R. Roth, 79, Milford, died Nov. 9, 2003, in Lincoln. He was born Sept. 23, 1924, near Chappell to Abe and Mary (Gasho) Roth. He married Grace Troyer on Sept. 16, 1945, at West Fairview Mennonite Church near Beaver Crossing. The couple lived in Wood River before moving to the Beaver Crossing area to farm and work as hog and cattle feeders. Mr. Roth was a member of Bellwood Mennonite Church. He enjoyed spending time with his family and enjoyed baseball and playing horseshoes. In 1997, he and his wife retired and moved to Linden Village in Milford. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Chet and Ed; and sister, Irene. Survivors include his wife, Grace Roth, Milford; daughters and sons-in-law, Diane and Gene Stutzman, Lincoln, and Charlotte and Russ Roth, Milford; sons and daughters-in-law, Terry and JoAnn Roth, Lonnie and Charlotte Roth, and Robert, Jr., and Barb Roth, all of Lincoln; 14 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, Delmar and Evelyn Roth, Colorado Springs, Colo.; sisters, Josie Pankoke, Beaver Crossing, and Agnes Daughtery, Colorado Springs, Colo.; nieces and nephews. Funeral services were Nov. 12 at Bellwood Mennonite Church in Milford, with the Rev. Marlin Kym officiating. Casketbearers were Jason, Jered, Brent, Aaron, Corey, Bryan and Adrian Roth, and Todd and Tyran Stutzman. Honorary casketbearers were Abe, Amber and Destiny Roth, Charnel Graber and Roxie Blowers. Interment was at Milford Mennonite Cemetery. Memorials may be sent in care of the family.

Dean E. Schroeder
Dean E. Schroeder, 53, Ulysses, died Nov. 14, 2003. He was born Dec. 2, 1949, in Seward to Elmer and Emaleen Schroeder. He graduated from Seward High School in 1968. Mr. Schroeder served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, and was a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4755 in Seward. He worked at Hughes Brothers Manufacturing, Seward. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Emaleen Schroeder. Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Amy and Gryder, Seward, and Gail and Shawn Howe, Lee Summit, Mo.; three grandchildren; brothers and sisters-in-law, Gerald and Eloise Schroeder, Halfway, Ore., Roger and Wendy Schroeder, Staplehurst, David and Theresa Schroeder, Garland, and Dennis and Christee Schroeder, Seward; sisters and brothers-in-law, Sharon and Joe Mumaugh, Seward, Sandra Schroeder, Seward, and Lisa and Michael Decker, Staplehurst; nieces and nephews. Funeral services were Nov. 18, at Seward United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Eric Ford officiating. Interment was at Seward Cemetery, with military honors provided by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4755. Memorials may be sent in care of the family.

Helena Van Andel
Helena Van Andel, 80, Lincoln, died Nov. 14, 2003, in Lincoln. She was born Oct. 1, 1923, in rural Lincoln to Oltman W. and Emma (Lostroh) Busboom. She married Walter C. Van Andel near Emerald on May 7, 1944. Mrs. Van Andel was a stay-at-home mother. She also worked part-time in the cafeteria at Milford Public Schools and General Arnold School in Lincoln. She enjoyed cooking and baking for family gatherings, helping her husband farm, playing cards, attending social luncheons and attending her grandchildrens' activities. She was a member of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Lincoln, where she was a Sunday School teacher for 15 years. She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter Van Andel; infant son, Greg Van Andel; son-in-law, Roger Thomas; and brother, Harry Busboom. Survivors include her daughters and sons-in-law, Diane and Ken Andelt, Valparaiso, Marilyn and Leonard Ferguson, Denton, and Wanda and Jim McNally, Pleasant Dale; 12 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; sister, Wilhelmina Schroeder, rural Lincoln; and sister-in-law, Dorothy Schluckebier, Goehner. Funeral services were Nov. 18 at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lincoln, with the Rev. Glatha Rathjen officiating. Casketbearers were Brad Andelt, Jeff Borgman, Keith Bruder, Kevin McNally, Doug Russell, Marc Tejral and Cory Thomas. Interment was at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery.

David H. Hofer
David Harvey Hofer, 67, of Benkelman died March 3, 2002, at Dundy County Hospital in Benkelman. He was born April 19, 1934, to Harvey and Alice (Bunning) Hofer in Pine River, Minn. He attended school at a rural school east of Benkelman and graduated from high school at the Platte Valley Church School in Shelton in 1952. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Jan. 25, 1956, where he served for two years aboard the USS Newport News, Atlantic Fleet. He remained a member of the U.S. Naval Reserve until Jan. 24, 1962. On Jan. 24, 1959, he married Sally Anstine at Seward. He lived near Seward and Staplehurst, working at the Burlington Northern Railroad shop in Lincoln until Aug. 1, 1978. He then moved to the farm his grandfather homesteaded more than 100 years ago near Benkelman, where he farmed and ranched for 24 years. Mr. Hofer enjoyed working with the livestock and the farm. He was a leader of Boy Scout Troop 255 for 15 years and was a hunter safety course instructor. He was also a member of American Legion Post 65 of Benkelman and was a past member of the Staplehurst Volunteer Fire Department, where he also trained in emergency medical services. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Alice Hofer. Survivors include his wife, Sally Hofer, Benkelman; daughter and son-in-law, Angie and Russell Stamm, Benkelman; sons and daughters-in-law, Greg and Diane Hofer, Seward, and Shawn and Terry Hofer, Ogallala; brothers and sisters-in-law, Lynn and Carol Hofer, Seward, and Alan Hofer and Robert and Latisha Hofer, all of Rock Springs, Wyo.; sisters- and brothers-in-law, Kathleen and Del Peters, Seward, Becky and Ward Grosser, Tioga, Texas, and Candy Herrold, Seward; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Paul Anstine of Kona, Hawaii, and Don and Kathy Anstine, Seward; and five grandchildren. Funeral services were March 6 in the Forch Funeral Chapel with Rev. Norman Prather officiating. Casketbearers were Dustin Stamm, Josh Hofer, Gayle Jensen, Bill Cawthra, Clayton Baney and Pat Redden. Honorary casketbearers were Alison Hofer, Lindsey Hofer and Katie Hofer. Interment with military honors followed the services at the Benkelman Cemetery.

Maria Guenther
Maria (Pysni) Guenther, 88, Seward, died June 29, 2002, in Seward. She was born Dec. 10, 1913 in Reuschendorf, Germany, to Johann and Bertha (Konvalervski) Pysni. She attended school in Germany and then was a cook in a hotel in Germany until the start of World War II when she was drafted into the German Army as a field nurse. In 1956, she came to the United States. On Feb. 11, 1956, she married Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Guenther in Madison. The couple farmed north of Goehner and after her husband's death in 1992, she moved to Seward in 1993. Mrs. Guenther was a member of St. John Lutheran Church in Seward and formerly a member of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Goehner. She was preceded in death by her husband, Carl Guenther; and two half-brothers. Survivors include her half-sister, Frieda Glowienka of Hagen, Germany; nieces; nephews, great-nieces and -nephews; and cousins. Funeral services will be Wednesday, July 3, at 10:30 a.m. at St. John Lutheran Church with the Rev. Dirk Reek officiating. Burial will be at Mound Prairie Cemetery in Goehner. Memorials may be directed to the donor's choice in care of the family.

Lydia C. Hans
Lydia C. Hans, 96, Shelby, died Dec. 16, 2003, in David City. She was born in Garland to Gotlieb and Agusta (Medow) Forke. Mrs. Hans was a longtime resident of Seward and owner of Lydia's Beauty Shoppe. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Raymond Schneberger and Orvil Hans; six brothers and three sisters. Survivors include her daughter, Doneita Schneberger, Shelby; sons and daughters-in-law, Donald and Marilyn Schneberger, Shelby, Thomas Schneberger, Vienna, Va., and Lucky and Jannett Schneberger, Lincoln; step-daughters and sons-in-law, Phyllis and Vern Mullner, York, and Janice and Lavern Reetz, Kramer; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; nine step-grandchildren; 23 step-great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews. Funeral services were Dec. 20 at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Gresham. Casketbearers were Stephanie Fisher, Paulett Nicol, Terry Reetz, Scott Schneberger, Sherri Rediger and Brenda Alt. Interment was at Immanuel Cemetery, Utica.

Lloyd R. McLarty
Lloyd Robert McLarty, 83, Chehalis, Wash., died Feb. 10, 2002. He was born Feb. 5, 1919, near Ryderwood, Wash., to John and Cassie (Curtit) McLarty. A 1938 graduate of Ryderwood High School, Mr. McLarty worked for the Long Bell Co. as a logger and for the Washington State Patrol as a radio dispatcher. He was also the office manager for the Department of Transportation. During World War II, Mr. McLarty served in the U.S. Army. He trained with the 7th Division, 49th Field Artillery Battalion and was sent to Attu as a liaison sergeant, then to Kwajelein, Leyte, and on to Okinawa, where he received the Bronze Star, Silver Star and Purple Heart. On March 30, 1047, he married Thelma Fosler, formerly of Seward. Mr. McLarty enjoyed hunting, fishing and woodworking. He was a member of the Chehalis United Methodist Church, was a seventh degree member of the Grange and for more than 30 years had been a member of the Logan Hill Grange. He served as a deputy to the Washington State Grange from 1987 to 1993 and for many years was a member of the Southwest Washington Fair Board, where he worked on many projects, including horse racing. He was a longtime 4-H leader. Survivors include his wife, Thelma McLarty, Chehalis, Wash.; daughter and son-in-law, Katie and Frank Newboles, Chehalis; and two grandchildren.

Jean A. Moritz
Jean A. Moritz, 78, of Milford, died June 26, 2002, at Memorial Hospital in Seward. She was born Feb. 2, 1924, in Harvard to Alwyne and Iva (Chaney) Sole. She attended Grafton High School and graduated in 1942. On Feb. 27, 1945, she married Robert J. Moritz in Belleville, Kan. Because of her husband's job in road construction, the family lived in many different communities over the years and moved to Milford in 1961. Mrs. Moritz was employed in her early years with LT&T Telephone in Geneva and then as a clerk at the 5 cents to $1 store in Milford. She enjoyed spending time keeping her house clean and working outside with her flowers and garden. She also loved traveling with her husband, playing cards and spending time with family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Moritz, in 1995; brothers, Owen and Earnest Sole and Claire Dailey; and brothers-in-law, James Hochreiter and Melvin Moritz. Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law, Michael and Arlene Moritz, Milford; sisters and brother-in-law, Jennie Griess, Grand Island, Bernice Hochreiter, Grand Island, June Sole, Pleasant Dale, Iva Bussard, Pleasant Dale, and Alison and Dale Patten, Roy, Wash.; brothers and sisters-in-law, Richard and Deloris Sole, Waterloo, Iowa, and George and Peggy Sole, Denton, Texas; sister-in-law, Marian Cochrell, Munising, Mich.; a granddaughter and husband; nieces; and nephews. Memorial services were June 29 at Milford United Methodist Church with the Rev. Jim Miller officiating. Burial was at Grafton Cemetery in Grafton. Memorials may be directed in care of the family or to the donor's choice.

Betty June Dowding
Betty June (Barger) Dowding, 76, Omaha, formerly of the Seward area, died March 1, 2002, in Omaha. She was born June 5, 1925, in York. She and her husband, John Dowding, were 1943 Seward High School graduates. Mrs. Dowding was a housewife. Survivors include her husband, John Dowding, Omaha; sons and daughter-in-law, Greg Dowding and his fiance, Arlis Dawkins, Macedonia, Iowa, and Jim and Mona Dowding, Omaha; daughter and son-in-law, Laurie and Chris Peterson, Omaha; seven grandchildren; sisters, Arvella Beaman, Ceresco, and Irene Fox, Omaha; and sisters-in-law, Helen Barger, Omaha, and Lois Barger, Fremont. A memorial service was held March 6 at Miller Park Presbyterian Church, Omaha. Memorials may be directed to the church, American Diabetes Foundation or National Kidney Foundation of Nebraska.

George R. "Jiggs" Cradick
George R. "Jiggs" Cradick, 90, Utica, died Jan. 3, 2004. He was born Feb. 14, 1913, in Utica to Nicholas and Mary Cradick. He was a farmer and served in the United States Army during World War II. He was preceded in death by his brothers, John, Tom, Oran, Harry, Ivan, Bob and Richard Cradick. Survivors include his wife, Darline Cradick, Utica; sons and daughters-in-law, Dan and Dot Cradick, Gresham, Tom and Cindy Cradick, York, and David and Karin Cradick of Utica; daughter and son-in-law, Gail and Bruce Forney, Columbus; 13 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Funeral services are Wednesday, Jan. 7, at 11 a.m. at the Gresham Community Center, with the Rev. Steven Waite officiating. Inurnment is at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in Gresham. Memorials may be sent to the family.

Irene S. Mueller
Irene Shuta Mueller, 91, Seward, died March 10, 2002, in Seward. She was born July 23, 1910, at Olyphant, Pa., to John and Mary (Nemrick) Matushak. On March 3, 1972, she married Reinhardt Mueller at St. John Lutheran Church, Seward. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Joseph Shuta; daughter, Beverly Shuta; son-in-law, David Rudat; brother, Joseph Matushak; and sisters, Anna Sestak, Mary McAlary, Emma Shevchick, Margaret Demare, Lena Glinsky and Mildred Mazak. Survivors include her husband, Reinhardt Mueller, Seward; son, the Rev. Dr. Richard Shuta, Ann Arbor, Mich.; daughter, Marcia Rudat, Archbald, Pa.; three grandsons; step-sons and -daughters-in-law, Edward Mueller, Seward, Martin and Paula Mueller, Omaha, and Henry and Gloria Mueller, Deale, Md.; and step-daughters and -sons-in-law, Rosalie and Charles Volz, Mary and Steve Spinsley and Emily Schroer, all of Albuquerque, N.M., and Dorothy Mueller, Seward. Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at St. John Lutheran Church, Seward, with the Rev. Mark Cutler officiating. Additional services will be held at St. Stephens Lutheran Church, Dixon City, Pa., with the Rev. Allen Vomhoff officiating. Burial will be at Peckville, Pa.

Adolph "Ed" J. Soucek
Adolph "Ed" J. Soucek, 80, of Seward, died July 1, 2002, in Seward. He was born Dec. 28, 1921, in Dwight to Florian and Maria (Karl) Soucek. On May 10, 1949, he married Vivian Vrana at St. Mary's Catholic Church in David City. During World War II, he served in the U.S. Army in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, the invasion of southern France and into Germany. He was retired from the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and Seward VFW Post 4755. He was preceded in death by his brother, Frank Soucek. Survivors include his wife, Vivian Soucek; son and daughter-in-law, Terry and Debra Soucek, Bee; daughter and son-in-law, Sandra and Mike Vercellino, Lincoln; three grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters-in-law, Ernest Soucek, Middletown, Calif., Joe and Leona Soucek, Dwight, and Margaret Soucek, Denver, Colo.; sisters and brother-in-law, Marie Soucek, Clearwater, Fla., and Lucille and Robert Cuba, David City; brothers- and sisters-in-law, Verlon and Elaine Vrana, Seward, Don and Gladys Vrana, Syracuse, Jerry and Sondra Vrana, Tomah, Wis., and Janice and Larry Sorge, Merced, Calif. Funeral services will be Friday, July 5, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Seward with the Rev. Brad Zitek officiating. Burial of cremains will be at Seward Cemetery with military graveside service by Seward VFW Post 4755.

Goldie W. Dunker
Goldie Winifred Dunker, 81, died Jan. 4, 2004, in Seward. She was born June 2, 1922, in Greenup, Ky., to Alvin G. and Julia (Davis) May. She earned a beautician's license in Arizona and married Lowell Frederick Dunker at Stockton Field, Calif., on June 22, 1943. The couple moved to a farm near Surprise in 1945, then to Columbus in 1974 before moving to Seward in 1995. Mrs. Dunker was a member of the United Methodist Church in Surprise, a 4-H leader and a member of the Butler County 4-H council. She worked at Douglas Lomason in Columbus for 21 years, retiring in 1989. She was preceded in death by her sister and brother-in-law, Edna and George Bradley. Survivors include her husband, Lowell, Seward; son and daughter-in-law, Wayne and Lois Dunker, Seward; daughter, Kay Eagle, Marinette, Wis.; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; brothers and sisters-in-law, Lloyd and Virgie May, Bullhead City, Ariz., and Jim and Elizabeth May, Laveen, Ariz.; sisters and brothers-in-law, Mariam and Sam Crother, Laveen, Ariz., and Juanita and Ted Peckum, Tempe, Ariz.; nieces and nephews. Funeral services are at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 7, at Wood-Zabka Funeral Home in Seward with the Rev. Alvin Smith officiating. Casketbearers are Keith and Ken Dunker, David Leising, Albert Patterson, Jim Pearl and Truman Prange. Honorary casketbearers are Don and Zoe Doehling, Betty and Leo English, Audrey Janak, Barbara Noonan and Dorie Stracke. Interment is at Blue Valley Cemetery, Surprise.

Ella M. Erks
Ella Margareta (Lubbe) Erks, 86, Utica, died May 28, 2003, in Utica. She was born June 22, 1916, in Elbow Lake, Minn., to August and Margareta "Grace" (Baumann) Lubbe. On July 11, 1934, she married Herman George Erks at St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church east of Gresham. The couple farmed in the Gresham and Utica areas until moving into Utica in 1978. Mrs. Erks was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, Utica, and the Merry Mixers Extension Club. She was preceded in death by her husband, Herman G. Erks; son, Howard Erks; and sister, Hulda Dey. Survivors include her daughters and sons-in-law, Margie and Maurice Sergent, Columbus, and Joyce and Frank Schmidt, Lincoln; son and daughter-in-law, Ronald and Beverly Erks, Utica; three grandchildren and their spouses; three great-grandchildren; sister, Erma Haberman, York; sister-in-law, Martha Peterson, Seward; brother-in-law, Elmer Erks, Seward; nieces; and nephews. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m.n Saturday, May 31, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Utica, with the Rev. Rob Gadeken officiating. Casketbearers will be Phillip and Paul Sergent, Robert Haberman, Delane Mailand, Hubert Dey and Charles Vandeloo. Interment will be at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery, Utica.

Dora S. Bulgrin
Dora Steffens Bulgrin, 88, Baton Rouge, La., died May 27, 2003, at Baton Rouge. She was born Sept. 24, 1914, at Utica to Carl A. and Estella Maeder Steffens. She attended Utica Public School, graduating with the Class of 1931. Besides living in Utica, she resided in several other Nebraska cities, including York, Lincoln and Omaha, before moving to Baton Rouge, La., to be close to her daughter and family. She was preceded in death by her husbands, Louis Dinkelman, Bill Klemsz and Randall Bulgrin, and her brother, Gordon Steffens. Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Deanna and Dick Miller of Ethel, La.; five grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, Mildred Steffens, Seward; three nieces; stepdaughter, Wilma Powell, Ohio; and stepson, Loyd Klemsz, Arkansas. Funeral services were May 29 at Trinity Lutheran Church, Baton Rouge, with interment at Baton Rouge.

Betty Jane "B.J." Ray
Betty Jane "B.J." (Porterfield) Ray, 79, died April 27, 2002, in Grand Island. She was born October 19, 1922, in Wymore to Albert Maxwell and Lydia Elizabeth (Tennent) Porterfield. She grew up in Barneston where she attended grade and high school and graduated in 1940. She then attended beauty school in Beatrice. After graduating, she wokred with her sister, Melvia,, at Allgood's Beauty Shop. Then she worked in Mead at the bomber plant and at Offutt Airforce Base in Omaha where she did office work. In September, 1944, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served until her honorable discharge in June of 1945. In 1947, she married Walter Cauldwell. On October 19, 1949, she married Calvin Lee Ray. Mrs. Ray worked at the Lincoln State Hospital for over fourteen years as a recreational therapist. She satred the Sunshine Center for the Elderly, and wokred hard to help the Teen Center. She also worked as a secretary for a doctor at the State Penintentiary in Lincoln and eventually became a guard for seven years until her retirement. She was a member of the United Methodist Church of Seward, the VFW Post 4755 Auxiliary of Seward, the American Legion of Tecumseh and she served as a member of the Advisory Council of the Nebraska Veterans Home of Grand Island. She was preceded in death by her husband, Calvin; brothers and sisters-in-law Ross and Pualine Porterfield, Ralph and Alice Porterfiled; and granddaughter, Teri Horton. Survivors include her daughters and sons-in-laws, Elizabeth Ann Brown, Virginia Beach, Va.; Claudia Lynn and Richard Horton, Seward; Janelle Marie and Paul Duntz, Crete; Janette Ruth and Rod Yencensky, Rapid City, S.D.; sons and daughters-in-law Lee Albert and Vicki Ray, Thedford, Patrick Michael and Gail Ray, Ulysses, Kan.; 11 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren, brother and sister-in-law Don and Rosemary Porterfield, Overland Park, Kan.; sister Melvia Allgood, Beatrice; sister-in-law Marjorie Edwards, Kearney; brother-in-law and wife, Roger and Fidelia Ray, Kearney; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Funeral services will be Tuesday, April 30 at 10 a.m. at the All Faiths Chapel of the Nebraska Veteran's Home in Grand Island with the Rev. Alvin Smith officiating. Graveside services and interment with military honors by Fred Kozisek will be at Vesta Cemetery in Tecumseh.

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