Charles Tharp, renowned auctioneer and former owner of Tharp's Machinery Sale, was born on Nov. 7, 1917 at Juniata, Neb. He was the oldest of two children born to Frank and Hazel Craven Tharp. Charles lived on a farm near Maywood, Neb., as an infant and the family moved to Grant, Neb., when he was a young boy. Charles attended school in Grant, graduating from Perkins County High School in 1936. After high school Charles went into the auctioneering business with his father. They ran the sales barn in Longmont, Colo.
Charles was married to Gladys Kent on Oct. 9, 1938 in Grant. They made their home in Grant where Charles began a custom haying business. In 1944 he was drafted into the United States Navy during World War II. He was stationed in New Orleans, La. After his discharge in 1946 he returned to Grant where the Tharps operated a dairy. Chuck and Gladys established Tharp's Drive-Inn in 1953 which they operated for 15 years. In the early 1970s they established Kenton Heights, a housing development north of Grant. At Kenton Heights Charles also operated a sod farm and was the first greenskeeper at the Grant Golf Course.
Charles and his father established the annual Tharp's Machinery Sale which they ran for many years (and is still held every February) before selling it to Dudden Implement in 1976. Charles retired from his real estate business and auctioneering service in 1978 and they wintered in Yuma, Ariz., for several years.
Chuck had been battling health problems for several years and was living at the Golden Ours Convalescent Home in Grant when he died late Tuesday morning, Aug. 31, 2004. He had reached the age of 86.
Charles was a very civic minded and youth oriented person. He served as the first president of the Grant Lions Club when they chartered in 1947. He still maintained his membership in the Lions and the Grant Chamber of Commerce. He was a member for over 50 years in the Masonic Lodge and Eastern Star. He was an active and longtime member of the Grant United Methodist Church.
He was a longtime member, supporter, and leader of the scouting program through the Lions Club. He received several scouting leadership awards and was presented the prestigious Silver Beaver Award. He provided employment opportunities in the summer for many Grant area youth with his baling operation and the drive-inn.
Charles is survived by his wife of nearly 66 years, Gladys; three daughters, twins Dee Etta Long of Fort Collins, Colo., and Dee Ann and her husband Riley Dubbert of Holyoke, Colo., and Charlene and her husband Gordan Dvorak of Atkinson, Neb.; one son Kenton and his wife Diane Westfall-Tharp of Amherst, Mass.; 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren; his sister Dorothy and her husband Ed Leahy of Buena Park, Calif.; other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Thursday, Sept. 2, 2004 at the Grant United Methodist Church with pastor Sally Ruggia-Haden officiating. Burial was in the Grant Cemetery. A memorial has been established. Bullock-Long Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Irene E. Webster
Irene E. Webster, 80, of North Platte, Neb., died Oct. 31, 2004 at Linden Court.
She was born Feb. 6, 1924 in Elsie, Neb., to Clarence and Nellie Coppersmith Matson. She graduated from Elsie and then graduated from Hastings Business College.
On Nov. 5, 1944, she married Howard Webster in Elsie. They moved to Hastings, Neb., in 1945, then moved to their farm south of North Platte in 1950, where they remained.
Mrs. Webster was a member of the First United Methodist Church. She loved her home and family.
Survivors include a daughter, Janelda and husband Donny Younghams of North Platte; two sons, Gary and wife Carole of Central City, Neb., and David and wife Lori of North Platte; six grandchildren, Brandon, Justin and wife Darcie Webster, Amy and husband Brad Herrick, Clint Younghams and Jared and Shelby Webster; three great-grandchildren, Ethan and Jadon Webster and Skylar Herrick; a sister, Ruby Longmore of Elsie; a brother, Kermit and wife Chico Matson of Tacoma, Wash.; nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband in 2001; and a daughter, Joyce.
Services were held Wednesday, Nov. 3. 2004, at First United Methodist Church in North Platte with Dr. Charles Spence, III officiating.
Burial was at Floral Lawns Memorial Gardens south of North Platte.
Memorials are suggested to the Methodist Radio Ministry.
Carpenter Memorial Chapel of North Platte was in charge of arrangements.
John Oliver Reiter
John Oliver Reiter, 76, of Holdrege, Neb., died unexpectedly on Monday, Oct. 18, 2004 at the Phelps Memorial Health Center in Holdrege.
He was born Nov. 19, 1927 in Greeley County, Neb., on a farm near Spalding, Neb., the fourth of seven children of John G. and Martha (Bloomquist) Reiter. While growing up, he attended rural school near the family ranch southwest of Spalding. He completed high school in three years at Spalding Academy and was inducted into the U.S. Navy in 1945, returning home to graduate with the Class of 1946. He was a veteran of World War II.
In 1954, he married Rosemary Meysenburg. To this union eight children were born. They resided in Holdrege where Mrs. Reiter was a teacher in the Holdrege Schools.
Mr. Reiter was very active in his church and community. He had an exceptionally high tenor voice and was the tenor in the Plainsman Barbershop Quartet, which was well known in the mid and late 50s in the Midwest.
He was a cantor at All Saints Catholic Church and sang in the choir for many years. He also sang tenor with The Group and was stage manager and board member of the Knights of Columbus and served as financial secretary for several years.
Mr. Reiter was active in the BPOE (Elks) and the Knights of Columbus.
Survivors include his wife, Rosemary, of Holdrege; three sons, Michael Reiter of Lincoln, Neb., Bernard Reiter and his wife Robin of Baltimore, Md., and Steven Reiter and his wife Julie of Bellwood; four daughters, Mary Lempke and husband David of Wallace, Neb., Annette Kruke-meyer and her husband Richard of Gothenburg, Neb., Leah Proctor and her husband Jeff of Minneapolis, Minn., and Jane Barber and her husband Scott of Kearney, Neb.; 19 grandchildren; two brothers, two sisters, seven brothers-in-law, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Susan; parents; and two grandchildren.
Mass of Christian burial service for John O. Reiter was conducted from the All Saints Catholic Church in Holdrege, on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2004 with Father Steve Cooney officiating.
Interment was in the Prairie Home Cemetery at Holdrege. A memorial has been established in his memory.
Sara (Sally) Block
Sara (Sally) Block, 81, of Hesston, Kan., died Oct. 20, 2004, at Schowalter Villa in Hesston. She was born May 16, 1923 in Lustre, Mont., to Jacob and Sara Toews Martens.
Sara was married to David D. Block Dec. 19, 1941, at Dallas, Ore. A homemaker, she moved from Newton, Kan., to Hesston in 1998. She was a member of the Hesston Mennonite Brethren Church.
She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers and two sisters.
Survivors include her husband, David Block of Hesston, former pastor at the Grant Mennonite Brethren Church; one son, Jeffrey Block of Wichita, Kan.; one daughter, Jacqueline Albright of Lubbock, Texas; one brother, Nick Martens of Dallas, Ore.; four grandchildren including Tucker Albright, Nicol Leonard, Jeffrey Block, Jr., and Kristina Kate Block; and five great-grandchildren.
Services were held Saturday, Oct. 23, 2004 at the Hesston Mennonite Brethren Church in Hesston with Rev. Steve Toews officiating. Burial was at the Eastlawn Cemetery near Hesston.
A memorial has been established to the Hesston Mennonite Brethren Church or Mennonite Brethren Missions, Box 96, Goessel, KS 67053.
Miller Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Leonard Steinke was born May 14, 1931, near Venango, Neb., to Henry and Emma Miller Steinke.
Leonard attended school in Venango and later Milford Trade School in Milford, Neb., for two years, in watch and jewelry repair. On Aug. 24, 1958, he was united in marriage to Jean Dahlke in York, Neb. They were the parents of four children. The family lived in York until December of 1961 when they moved to Wisner, Neb. From 1967 to 1974, the family lived in Norton, Kan., and then moved to Seward, Neb., in 1974.
Leonard was the owner of Leonard's Jewelry in downtown Seward. He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church, the Seward Chamber of Commerce and he was a charter member of Seward Lions Club.
His wife, Jean, passed away in 1997 and Leonard was united in marriage to Ruth Sheumaker Johnson on Oct. 28, 2000, at Faith Lutheran Church in Seward.
Leonard passed away on Oct. 5, 2004 in Seward. He had reached the age of 73 years.
Preceding Leonard in death were his parents, Henry and Emma Steinke; his wife, Jean Steinke; one son, Charles Steinke; one sister, Dorothy Steinke.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth Steinke, Seward; his children, Rosemary Schulz of Lincoln, Denise Steinke of Springfield Mo.; and Paul Steinke and his wife Natalya of Gardner, Kan.; his stepchildren, Mark and Valerie John-son of Staplehurst, Neb., Darlene and John McElwee of St. Louis, Mo., Denise and Bill Sebek of Osceola, Iowa; his brothers and sister-in-law, Ed and Elnora Steinke and Richard Steinke all of Venango; sisters and brothers-in-law, Margaret Krems and Irene and Mike Abs all of Big Springs, Neb., Marcine and Larry Steward of Littleton, Colo., Marlene Sharp of Aurora, Colo., Laurie and Frank Smith of Wheatridge, Colo.; three grandchildren, Anthony Schulz, Lisa Stone and Cody Stone; 12 step-grandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews and a host of friends.
Wood-Zabka Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Don Svoboda was born on Oct. 9, 1926 at Lincoln, Neb. He was the youngest of three children born to Frank and Anna Beck Svoboda. Don grew up in Lincoln where he attended school, graduating from Lincoln High School. He joined the United States Army in the spring of 1944. World War II ended as Don's platoon was headed to Japan, so they served as occupational troops in Tokyo until 1946. Don served as a Military Policeman where he reached the rank of sergeant.
After Don's honorable discharge in 1946, he returned to Lincoln where he attended the University of Nebraska. He graduated in 1950. Don was married to Dolores "Laurie" Vinlove on Dec. 17, 1949 in Lincoln. They made their home in Lincoln and Don had farming interests around Ashland, Neb. Don and his brother Frank became active in purchasing ground in southwest Nebraska.
The Svoboda family would spend their summers in Grant until 1967 when they moved to Grant on a permanent basis. Don remained active with buying and selling land until his death. Don and Laurie had spent their last 18 winters in Yuma, Ariz.
He had made a trip with his son Mike on Saturday to check their ranch near Rushville. Don died at the Svoboda farmstead southwest of Madrid on Saturday evening, Oct. 23, 2004. He was 78 years old.
Don was always an exceptional athlete. He was the first Caucasian to earn a black belt in judo when stationed in Tokyo. He was a boxing champion at both Ft. Hood and the University of Nebraska. In later years, he excelled in tennis, racquetball and golf until eye problems prevented him from participating.
Don was preceded in death by his parents and an infant son, John.
He is survived by his wife of over 54 years, Laurie; two sons, Tom and wife Kathy of Iliff, Colo., and Mike and wife Angela of Ogallala, Neb.; two daughters, Christine Svoboda and her husband, Gene Silverblatt of Salado, Texas and Lisa Svoboda of Kearney, Neb.; nine grandchildren; one brother, Frank and wife Ann of Ogallala and one sister, Roseanne Hannah of California; other relatives and friends.
His body was cremated. A vigil service was held on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2004 at the Grant Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Wednesday morning, Oct. 27 at Mother of Sorrows Church with Father Bill Grant officiating. Burial of cremains was in the Grant Cememtery.
Bullock-Long Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Alfred Lempke was born on July 20, 1916 in Johnson County near Tecumseh, Neb. He was the second of three children born to Joseph and Frances Hindra Lempke. Alfred grew up on the farm near Tecumseh and attended country school through the eighth grade. After his schooling he worked for area farmers before he moved to Herington, Kan., where he was involved in farm work.
Alfred met Mildred Schumer who had come to Tecumseh for a family wedding and they later married at Wallace, Neb., on Jan. 22, 1942. They lived south of Grainton, Neb., their entire married life. Mildred died in 1984 and Alfred moved to the Golden Ours Convalescent Home in Grant, Neb. He fell at Golden Ours and broke his hip and had been transferred to the Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte, Neb., for surgery. He died at Great Plains early Monday morning, Oct. 18, 2004. He had reached the age of 88.
In addition to his parents and wife, Alfred was preceded in death by one sister, Irene Kamen and one brother Arthur Lempke; one grandson Ezra Lempke.
He is survived by one daughter, Margaret and husband Mark Berry of Lamar, Neb.; two sons, Vincent and wife Marilyn of Columbus, Neb., and David and wife Mary of Wallace; seven grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
Rosary was recited on Thursday, Oct. 21 at Wallace St. Mary's Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m. CDT at St. Mary's with Rev. Jim Benton officiating. Music will be provided by Shirley Aylward and Doug and Michelle Sullivan. Casket bearers are Roger and John Lempke, Clifford McGregor, Brendon Vlasin, Brad Schumer and Jim Artz. Burial will be in the Grant Cemetery. Bullock-Long Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Reuben Friesen was born on Feb. 24, 1916 at Plymouth, Neb. He was one of 10 children born to Abram and Elisabeth Reimer Friesen. Reuben grew up in the Plymouth area attending rural school. Reuben later began working for his father who was a watchmaker.
Reuben was married to Lola Cheesman on June 7, 1942 and they made their home in Beatrice, Neb. He owned and operated his own watch shop in Beatrice. He also worked for Kee Manufacturing in Beatrice and later for the Peterson vise grip company in DeWitt, Neb. Lola died in 1987.
Reuben was married to Pearl Fadenrecht in 1989 and they moved to California. He returned to the Westview Retirement Center in Grant, Neb., last year where he was closer to his family. He suffered an apparent stroke the first week in October and had been moved to the Golden Ours Convalescent Home in Grant where he died late Thursday afternoon, Oct. 21, 2004. He had reached the age of 88.
In addition to his parents and first wife, Reuben was preceded in death by three brothers, Nick, Martin and Milton; six sisters, Anna, Aganetha, Matilda, Katharina, Virginia and Helena; and an infant daughter, Beth Ann.
He is survived by his wife Pearl of Grant; two sons, Dale and wife Sharyl of DeWitt and Bob and wife Sandie of Lewellen, Neb.; six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
His body was cremated. Memorial services will be held on Friday, Oct. 29, 2004, at 11 a.m. at the Holmesville Church of the Brethren with Minister John Snyder officiating.
Burial of cremains will be in the Brethren Cemetery.
Bullock-Long Funeral Home was in charge of local arrangements.
Jackie Lee Pump
Jackie Lee Pump was born Nov. 27, 1945, at the Chase County Hospital in Imperial, Neb. Jack was the first born child of Lessly William Pump and Jessie Annabel Brown Pump of Venango, Neb.
Jack was raised on the family farm southeast of Venango, where he began his education in a one-room schoolhouse about one-and-a-half miles south of the farm. He graduated from Venango Public School in 1963.
After graduation, he moved to Denver to be an electrical apprentice. In December of 1965, he was drafted into the United States Army and served as a microwave repairman at various bases in the United States and Thailand.
While in the Army, he developed a love for photography that lasted his entire life. After an honorable discharge from the service, he went back to work in Denver as an electrician.
On Oct. 10, 1970, Jack married Mary Ann Brown in Imperial at the Westside Church of Christ. They lived in Denver until 1974 when they moved to the Pump family farm southeast of Venango. From this union of 25 years, three children were born, Paula, Sarah and William.
Jack's comfort in life was his spiritual life in Christ. He was buried with him in baptism by immersion on Feb. 8, 1959. Jack loved spending many hours with his extended family and friends. His sense of humor, honor of love and gentle heart will be greatly missed by all. His children remember his laughter, his grandsons remember his unending love and his family and friends remember his life.
During his career as a farmer, he enjoyed nothing more than being on the tractor, harvesting the crops and being a part of God's creation. He enjoyed working on older farm equipment, especially Minneapolis Moline tractors, with family and friends. He was always more than willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. Jack was an avid hunter and fisherman who spent many days with family and friends and teaching his children and grandsons the wonders of the outdoors. During the last few years even though he did not personally participate in every hunting event, he enjoyed going along with family and friends during the hunting seasons.
Jack passed away suddenly after a heart attack on Oct. 12, 2004. He was 58 years of age.
Jack was preceded in death by his wife Mary Ann Pump in 1996, his father Lessly Pump in 1986, and father-in-law Wayne Brown in 1976. He is survived by his daughters, Paula Seals and husband Terry of Kearney, Neb.; Sarah Falk and husband Bryan of Kearney; son William Pump of Venango; mother Annabel Pump of Venango; mother-in-law Elnor Brown of Imperial; grandsons Cody, Alan and Alex Seals of Kearney; Zach Fredericks of Bellevue, Neb.; and Lucas Falk of Kearney; sisters Linda Churda and husband Alan of Lincoln, Neb.; Edith Jones and husband Gary of Fountains Hills, Ariz.; and Sharon Daigger of Fountain Hills; sister-in-saw Susan Kramer and husband Lyle of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; brother-in-law Mike Brown and wife Jeanie of Huntington Beach, Calif.; many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Friday, Oct. 15, 2004 at the Westside Church of Christ in Imperial, Neb., with Bill Lewis officiating. Interment followed at Mount Hope Cemetery in Imperial. Casketbearers were cousins Jim Pump, Andy Brown, Chuck Brown, Dick Brown and close friends Leroy Grams and Dale Grothman.
A memorial has been established in Jack's memory.
Liewer Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Laura Mae Silvrants
Laura Mae Silvrants was born on Feb. 28, 1917 near Elsie, Neb. She was the oldest of three children born to Carl and Harriet Churchill Schumacher. The family lived on different farms in the Madrid and Elsie area and Laura graduated from Madrid High School in 1935.
Laura was married to Richard Raymond "Dick" Silvrants on June 6, 1935 at Holyoke, Colo. They made their first home south of Elsie and lived on several different farmsteads in Perkins and Chase Counties. They later lived in Colorado and Nevada before returning to Burlington, Colo., where they lived for 20 years. Dick and Laura were involved in the sale of bulk oil while living in Burlington. They retired to Elsie in 1981.
After Dick died in 1991, Laura continued to maintain her home in Elsie until September of 2001 when she moved to Imperial Manor in Imperial, Neb. In December of 2003 she moved to Golden Ours Convalescent Home in Grant, Neb., where she died peacefully early Wednesday morning, Oct. 13, 2004. She had reached the age of 87.
Laura had been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
In addition to her parents and husband, Laura Mae was preceded in death by her sister, Mary Jean Sparks and an infant brother, Howard Schumacher.
She is survived by one daughter, Mary Ellen and husband Dick White of Burlington, Colo.; two sons, Ron and wife Kay of Spokane, Wash.; and Carl and wife Carolyn of Fredricksburg, Va.; seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; brother-in-law Clayton Sparks of rural Elsie and sister-in-law, Gladys Silvrants of Grant; other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held on Monday, Oct. 18, 2004 at 10:30 a.m. at the Bullock-Long Funeral Home in Grant with John Long officiating. Music was by Lynn Flaming and Carolyn Harms. Burial was at Fort McPherson National Cemetery near Maxwell, Neb. Bullock-Long was in charge of arrangements.