Irma Jeffries was born on Nov. 7, 1908 at Wauneta, Neb. She was the youngest of four daughters born to A.C. and Estella Craig Pence.
She grew up in Wauneta where she attended school, graduating from Wauneta High School in 1927.
Irma was married to Willis Bunyan "Bunnie" Jeffries in 1928. They made their home at Wauneta until 1939 when they moved to the Madrid, Neb., area. Irma worked for Carl Gauger in his grocery store and also assisted Bunnie in their Jeffries Conoco business. Irma later worked at the Perkins County Community Hospital and was in the supply department of the hospital when she retired.
Bunnie died in July of 1983 and Irma continued to maintain her home in Madrid until 1994 when she moved to Westview Retirement in Grant, Neb. Irma was moved to Golden Ours Convalescent Home in 1997 where she died early Thursday morning Dec. 8, 2005. She had reached the age of 97.
Irma had been a member of the Madrid United Methodist Church.
In addition to her parents and husband, Irma was preceded in death by her three sisters Myrtie DeGarmo, Veva Polly, and LaVina Johnson; one daughter-in-law, Marilyn Jeffries and one grandson, Jack Jeffries.
She is survived by her two sons, Don and his wife Margaret of Virginia Beach, Va., and William "Bud" of Grand Island, Neb.; three granddaughters, Jill Dearborn of Massachusetts, Megan Jeffries of New York City; and Jane Richard-son of Grand Island; three grandsons, Craig of Virginia Beach, Bill of Edmond, Okla., and Jim of Grand Island; 11 great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
A memorial service was held on Monday, Dec. 12, 2005 at the Bullock-Long Funeral Home in Grant with John Long officiating. Burial of cremains will be in the Wauneta Cemetery at a later date.
Jesse Deaver was born on May 31, 1934 at Ogallala, Neb. He was the oldest of five sons born to Bernard and Susie Lugenbeel Deaver. Jesse was baptized on June 14, 1934. The family lived west of Grant, Neb., and Jesse attended rural school.
He began high school at Sidney St. Patrick's before returning to Perkins County High School in Grant where he graduated in 1952. Jesse had worked for Kreider's implement and car dealership in high school and continued his employment with them after graduation.
Jesse was married to Idonna Russell on June 5, 1954 at Paxton, Neb. They lived their entire married life in Grant.
Jesse began working for Producer's Grain in 1959, later managing Kellogg Grain, and in 1965 began his career with the Grant Co-op. He eventually became the general operations manager for the Co-op. Jesse served for 30 years before his health forced his retirement in 1995.
Jesse was the recipient of a liver transplant that same year. He stayed active in his retirement with his farming interests and Jesse and Idonna spent their winters in Yuma, Ariz., during this time.
His health had been a continuing issue in his life and he had been transferred to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha the middle of November for treatment. He died at the Medical Center Tuesday morning, Dec. 6, 2005. He had reached the age of 71.
Jesse had been confirmed into the Zion Lutheran Church on March 17, 1957 and had been an active member. Jesse was a founding and charter member of the Grant Jaycees. He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce, the Grant Volunteer Fire Department and the Grant Rotary. He was a member of the Nebraska Feed and Grain Association. When Grant had a functional theater several years ago, Jesse was responsible for running the projectors. He was presently a member of the Imperial Eagle's Club.
In addition to his parents, Jesse was preceded in death by two brothers, John Dale and Jerry.
He is survived by his wife, Idonna; two sons, Kevin and wife Kathy of Lincoln, Neb., and Kent of Kearney, Neb.; one daughter, Carmen Bottom of Kearney; five grandsons, Sean and Mitchel Bottom; Shane, Jacob and Danny Deaver; four granddaughters, Mindy Bottom, Nikki, Megan and Molly Deaver; two brothers, James and wife Virginia of rural Imperial, Neb., and David and wife Kathy of Grant; two sisters-in-law, Sandy and Jody; many other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Friday, Dec. 9, at the Grant Zion Lutheran Church with Pastor Ron Krause officiating. Music was provided by Judy Kurkowski and Lori McCloskey.
Casketbearers were Sean Bottom, Mitchel Bottom, Ted Deaver, Shane Deaver, Danny Deaver and Jacob Deaver.
Burial was in the Grant Cemetery. A memorial has been established. Bullock-Long Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
William E. "Bill" Propst
William E. "Bill" Propst, Jr., 83, of North Platte, Neb., died Dec. 7, 2005 due to an automobile accident.
He was born May 17, 1922 at Brandon, Neb., to William and Hazel Cowles Propst, Sr. He graduated from Omaha South in 1940. He then served in the United States Army during WWII where he received a Bronze Star.
On Sept. 26, 1947, he married Viola "Dolly" McAuliffe in Aurora, Colo. They lived in Denver for a short time before moving to Venango, Neb., where they farmed. In the fall of 1983, they moved to North Platte.
Bill was an avid swimmer and lifeguard in his youth. He also played baseball in the Brandon and Grant area. He loved and lived the game of golf his entire life, winning numerous trophies. Nebraska football was also another enjoyable part of his life.
Survivors include two daughters, Diane Propst of Longmont, Colo., and Linda and husband Rod Atwood of Canton, Ohio; and a grandson, Austin.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Viola "Dolly" in 1996. The loss of his wife was especially poignant; also two sisters, Alice and Jeanne.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Make A Wish Foundation.
Services were Monday, Dec. 12, at Carpenter Memorial Chapel.
Burial was in the North Platte Cemetery.
Pastor Ted Fast
Pastor Ted Fast, a longtime Pastor of Grace Community Church in Dallas, Ore., died on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2005 in Dallas.
He was born on March 8, 1924 in Paxton, Neb., the son of Bernard and Clara Flaming Fast.
Ted grew up in Madrid, Neb., and came to Dallas and graduated from Dallas High School in 1941. He played on the football team.
Ted attended one year at Multnomah School of the Bible. He married Esther Heinrichs on Sept. 7, 1945 at the M.B. Church in Dallas. He later graduated from Fresno Pacific with a Master of Theology degree.
Ted and Esther were Missionaries stationed Daverakonda and Mahbubnagar. They later taught at Shamshabad Bible School in Shamshabad, India. Their first mission work started in 1950 until 1969 when they returned to Dallas where Ted was Pastor of Grace Mennonite Church, now Grace Community, from 1970 until 1980 when they returned to India to continue their mission work. They came back to Dallas in 1982 where Ted was Associate Pastor at Grace. They later went back to India to minister. Three of their four sons were born in India.
They traveled around the world as a family. Everywhere they traveled their father was always teaching. They settled back in Dallas in 1993.
Ted and Esther made several trips back to India most recently in 2003 where they witnessed the fruits of their labor in all the years they shared the message of Christ. They saw multi-generations of the families that had received Christ into their hearts and now these young people were teaching the Gospel to others. The Fruits of the Spirit were ever present.
Ted was the consummate Missionary. He wasn't afraid to tackle anything. He was always teaching. His family was important to him. As a grandparent he was always supportive of family activities. The Bible was always central to all family gatherings and family singing as well.
Ted was a very important part of Grace Community Church, ministering to all including his small group.
He is survived by his wife of Dallas; sons, Roger of West Salem, Ron of Bellevue, LaVern of Dallas and Dennis of Keizer; along with sister, Lucille Drzweicki of Boise, Idaho and Katherine Regier of Madrid, Neb.; along with 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Roy and sister, Alma.
Services were held Saturday, Dec. 3, 2005 at Grace Community Church in Dallas.
Interment was at the Dallas Cemetery.
A memorial has been established.
John "Jack" Lamb
John A. "Jack" Lamb was born on Oct. 18, 1924 at Grant, Neb. He was the son of Charles and Emma Welding Lamb. Jack grew up in Grant and attended school at the Perkins County Grade School, graduating from Perkins County High School.
After school he resided in Denver, Oberlin, Kan., and then Arizona before moving back to Oberlin.
He was married to Lois G. Jordan in Grant.
Jack served in the U.S. Marines and was a jeweler and business owner in Oberlin. He also managed the Oberlin American Legion Post No. 70 of which he was also a member. He also had membership in the V.F.W. and the Second Marine Division Association.
He had been residing at the Cedar Living Center in Oberlin were he died Dec. 6, 2005 at the age of 81.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, daughter-in-law, Patricia Lamb; brothers, Myron and Charles Lamb; and sister, Elaine Lamb.
He is survived by his wife, Lois of Oberlin; son, John A. Lamb, Jr. and wife, Francheska of Topeka, Kan.; sister, Cleone and husband, Thurman Armstrong, of Arizona City, Ariz.; and two step-grandsons.
Services were held Friday, Dec. 9, at Pauls Funeral Home in Oberlin with Reverend George Koch-uvelikkakam officiating. Burial was in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery at Maxwell, Neb.
A memorial has been established to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Oberlin.
Pauls Funeral Home of Oberlin was in charge of arrangements.
Dorothy Johnson was born on Aug. 28, 1914 at Palmer, Iowa. She was the second of six children born to Gerd and Anna Margaretta (Janssen) VanHoveln.
Dorothy was baptized on Sept. 6, 1914 at Lizard, Iowa and confirmed on March 4, 1930 at the Lutheran Church in Lizard.
While growing up the Van-Hoveln family lived in several different locations but Dorothy received most of her education at Grant, Neb. Dorothy graduated from Perkins County High School in 1934.
Dorothy was married to Wendell G. Johnson on Oct. 16, 1940 in Grant. Four children were born to this union. They lived and farmed northwest of Grant until 1961 when they built their home in Grant. Dorothy worked at the Perkins County Community Hospital in Grant for over 20 years as a nursing assistant.
Dorothy continued to maintain her home after Wendell died in 1989 until 2000 when she moved to an assisted living unit in Doniphan, Neb., to be closer to her daughter and family.
In 2002 she moved to the Tiffany Care Center in Grand Island, Neb., where she died late Sunday night, Nov. 27, 2005. She had reached the age of 91.
Dorothy was an active member of the Grant Zion Lutheran Church and the LWML.
She always enjoyed her garden, flowers, sewing and visiting with her family and friends.
In addition to her parents and husband, Dorothy was preceded in death by one son Bill; two sisters Henrietta VanHoveln and Christine Malmkar; an infant brother John VanHoveln.
She is survived by one son John and wife Meredith Johnson of Grant; two daughters, Margaret and husband George Morris of Doniphan, Neb., and Phyllis and husband Jack Jaeger of Marble, Colo.; six grandchildren, Marilyn Lee, Ken Johnson, Jeff Morris, Jody Granstrom, Matthew Jaeger and Miriam Halazon; nine great-grandchildren, Brett and Bridget Kurkowski, Jordan and Jamie Johnson, Samantha, Allison and Max Granstrom, Max and Benjamin Brockman; two sisters, Jo Rundall of Julesburg, Colo., and Georgia and husband Ron Schuh of Topeka, Kan.; other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Thursday, Dec. 1, 2005 at the Grant Zion Lutheran Church with Pastor Ron Krause officiating.
Music was provided by Judy Kurkowski and Lori McCloskey.
Casket bearers were Ken Johnson, Kevin Lee, Brett Kurkowski, Jeff Morris, J.J. Granstrom, Fred Halazon and Edward Goode.
Burial was in the Grant Cemetery. A memorial has been established to the Zion Lutheran Church or the Grant Volunteer Fire Department.
Bullock Long Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Jesse Deaver of Grant, Neb., died Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2005 in Omaha.
Funeral services are pending at Bullock-Long Funeral Home.
Verna Empson, 93, of Chappell, Neb., died Sunday afternoon, Nov. 20, 2005 at Memorial Health Center in Sidney, Neb.
Verna Mae Empson was born on Feb. 2, 1912 in Venango, Neb., the daughter of Carl and Alma (Wostenberg) Drake. She grew up and received her education in Venango and then attended the University of Nebraska, graduating with a teaching degree.
Following college she taught school in Fairplay, Colo., and coached girls basketball for a couple of years before moving to Chappell to care for her mother and also taught second grade at the elementary school.
On June 5, 1940 she was united in marriage to J.W. "Bill" Empson in Kimball, Neb. The couple lived in Chappell for a year before moving to Long Beach, Calif., for five years. While living in California Bill was drafted and Verna returned to Venango while he was in the service. After his discharge they moved to Bushnell for three years and then returned back to Venango where she taught school.
In 1953 they moved to Chappell to make their home. She taught school in the country school for a while and later ran Empson Insurance Agency, retiring in 1983.
She was a longtime member of the United Methodist Church and enjoyed playing bridge.
Survivors include her husband, Bill of Chappell; one son, Mark Empson and wife Merva; one daughter, Priscilla Callihan; one grandson, Matt Kalb and wife Nancy; one great-grandson, Levi Kalb, all of Chappell; two step grandsons, Shad Hansmeier and wife Rebekah of Highlands Ranch, Colo., and Shane Hansmeier of Ogallala, Neb.; and one step-great-grandson, Casey Anderson of Chappell.
Her parents and her brother Ervin Drake and wife Pat preceded her in death.
Funeral services were Wednesday, Nov. 23, in the United Methodist Church in Chappell with the Rev. Harun Gatobu officiating. Burial was in the Chappell Cemetery.
Holechek Funeral Home in Chappell was in charge of arrangements.
Bessie Marie Black
Bessie Marie (Hegwood) Black was born Sept. 14, 1918 to Homer and Minnie (Stevens) Hegwood at Madrid, Neb. She graduated from Madrid High School in 1935, after which she did secretarial work in Grant, Neb.
Marie became a member of the Methodist Church on April 20, 1930.
She married James Elson Black of Grant on Feb. 28, 1942. They moved to Los Angeles, Calif., soon after their marriage. One daughter, Judith Marie, was born to this union. Marie and family later returned to Madrid. They made their permanent home in Kearney, Neb. Her husband died May 28, 1984.
Marie continued to reside in her home in Kearney until her health failed in 2002. She moved to Mother Hull Home in Kearney where she died on Nov. 14, 2005.
Marie was an avid letter writer. Family and friends could always expect a greeting card and letter on every special occasion. She was seldom seen without a smile.
She was preceded in death by her husband and two brothers, Esley and Carl, two half brothers, Jim and Bill Hegwood and a half sister, Claire Cary.
Marie is survived by her daughter, Judy, of Kearney and her sister, Luree Shafer of Imperial, Neb., several nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
Services were held Nov. 18 in Kearney with Reverend Matt Fowler officiating. Interment was at Overton, Neb.