Marion Kenneth Houser was born Nov. 23, 1916, at Henderson, Iowa, to William E. and Marian Kate (Harover) Houser. He was the third of eight children.
In 1918 the family relocated to a farm south of Venango, Neb.
Kenneth attended District #49 rural school through the eighth grade. He then went on to attend high school in Venango for one year. Kenneth quit school after the death of his mother, to assist his family in farming. Hard work and wheat farming were the center of his life.
On Feb. 1, 1939, he married his life long companion, Willa Rhea Norman, at the Norman farm west of Lamar, Neb.
To this union three children were born: son Leslie and daughters, Sharon and Marla.
In 1953, the couple moved to the farm, where they lived the majority of their lives. Kenneth took great pride in the farm and his wheat crops.
His great skill as a machinist and welder was superior. He created many toys of metal and other treasures through the years for his family and friends.
He loved to pitch horseshoes and won numerous trophies in tournaments from Nebraska to Arizona.
Shooting pool was also a passion and he was always looking for some "Good Competition." He loved to hitch up the ponies to the handmade cart and give the grandkids a ride.
Winters found the snowbirds in Apache Junction and Green Valley, Ariz. Due to a decline in the couple’s health, they moved to the Imperial Manor in 1998. In September of 2001 they relocated to the Emerald Court in Scottsbluff, Neb., a very special place for Alzeimers patients.
Kenneth passed away on Aug. 29, 2003, at West Nebraska Regional Medical Center in Scottsbluff after surgery to repair a hip fracture. He was 86 years of age.
Kenneth was a long time member of the EUB Church of Lamar and later became a member of the First Baptist Church of Holyoke, Colo.
Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Milburn, sisters Ethelyn Mae, Mary Hester and Wilma, brother-in-laws Oliver Davison and Morse Hagemann.
Survivors include his wife Willa of Scottsbluff, Neb.; son Les Houser and wife Janice of Wauneta, Neb.; daughters Sharon Harris of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. and Marla Smith and husband Jim of Grant, Neb.; 10 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; sisters Robert Hagemann of Fort Collins, Colo. and Ramona Terwilliger and husband Kenneth of Grant; brother William Houser and wife Carol of Black Forest, Colo.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2003 at 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church in Holyoke, Colo. with Pastor Gary Jones officiating.
Mrs. Laurie School played keyboard, Mr. David Colver played piano and soloist was Mr. Jim Bohlender.
Casketbearers were Craig and Lori Collins, Rae Houser and Marcia Uden, George and Leslie Lee, Judd and Tish Houser, Troy and Marja Harris, Rendale and Shaun Meyer, Rick and Susanne Smith, Chad Smith and Kim McCann, Kelly and Ashlee Smith and Josh and Stacy Clark.
Honorary casketbearers were Sam Unzicker, Les Smith, Stan Smith, Will Tomky, Kenny Tomky, Jim Tomky, Russell Goddard, Gene Smith, Tom Russell, Calvin Pierce and Bob Colson.
A memorial has been established to the Alzmeimer’s Association, 5601 South 27th Street, Suite 101, Lincoln, Neb. 68512.
Interment was at Venango Cemetery, Venango, Neb.
Liewer Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Ada (Potter) Mather was born near Lamar, Neb. on Oct. 16, 1916. She was the fourth of six children born to Andrew Floyd and Minnie C. Kunkel Potter.
She grew up on the Potter pioneer farmstead southeast of Venango and attended rural school in Chase County, later graduating from Chase County High School. She was married to Richard Mather on May 17, 1935 at Culbertson. They lived in Imperial and moved to Idaho for a brief period before returning to Imperial.
Ada was a dedicated school teacher for 37 years. She began teaching in a one room school house in Chase County and later in Lebanon, Ore. from 1944 until 1946.
She returned to Chase County and taught rural school until she taught school at Grant Elementary from 1950 until 1955. It was during this period and prior to that that Ada earned her Bachelor of Education Degree from Kearney St. Teachers College.
She dedicated herself to reaching this goal by many hours of night classes and summer school.
In 1955 Ada moved to Ft. Collins, Colo. and taught there until she retired in 1981.
Ada was a member of the First Christian Church her entire life. She was active in the church in Ft. Collins, holding many offices and doing volunteer work. She was able to attend church up until two weeks before her death.
She had a keen interest in genealogy and tirelessly researched and wrote about her family roots for her favorite organization, Daughters of the American Revolution.
Ada loved gardening, travelling and visiting with family, especially her children.
Ada was able to live an independent lifestyle until July when her health required hospice care. She died peacefully at home on Friday afternoon, Aug. 26, 2003. She had reached the age of 86.
Ada was preceded in death by her parents, one sister Viola Gifford and three brothers Levi, Dale and Floyd Potter Jr.
She is survived by one daughter Kay (Ron) Larsen of Mission Viegjo, Calif.; one son Ben (Betty Jean) Mather of Gainsville, Fla.; seven grandchildren Rhonda Ferguson, Pamela Larsen, Jacquelyn Goldsmith, Russell Larsen, Kyle, Brian and Marla Mather; seven great grandchildren; one sister Helen Brown; other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be Friday, Sept. 5, at the Bullock-Long Funeral Home in Grant with John Long officiating.
Burial will be held in the Venango Cemetery.
A memorial has been established.
Bullock-Long Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
A memorial service for Hazel Beck, 85, will be at the Community of Christ Church in Imperial, Neb. Saturday, Sept. 6 at 1 p.m.
She was born Sept. 3, 1917, to Mary and Seldon Smith on a farm near Champion, Neb. and died Aug. 29 at her home near Hillsdale, Okla.
She graduated from Chase County High School in Imperial, Neb. in 1935. On Aug. 26, 1938, she married Norman Beck at North Platte, Neb.
After her husband’s retirement from teaching in Holyoke, Colo. they moved to Enders, Neb. and made it their home for 15 years. In 1992, she moved to Hillsdale, Okla. to be near her daughter and family.
She had been a school teacher, had worked in retail, had been a daycare provider and had worked with disabled children. She was a member of the Community of Christ Church.
Surviving are two daughters, Mary and husband Joe Divis of Lincoln, Neb. and Norma and husband John Wedel of Hillsdale; one brother Stanley Smith and wife Goldie of Imperial, Neb. and two sisters, Maudie Isley of McCook, Neb. and Frances Lubeck of Alma, Neb.
Hazel’s pride and joy were grandchildren Mathew and Vicki Wedel of Santa Cruz, Calif., Todd Wedel of Norman and Ryan Wedel of Stillwater.
She was preceded in death by her husband, two brothers and one sister.
Memorials may be made to the Hospice Circle of Love.
Lena E. Lindsey
Lena E. Lindsey, 92, longtime New Raymer area resident, died Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2003, at Valley View Villa in Fort Morgan, Colo.
Mrs. Lindsey was born April 15, 1911, in Unionville, Mo., to Willis and Lora Lee (Bishop) Mullanix. She married Harry Lindsey on Dec. 22, 1926, in Holyoke, Colo.
In 1929, the Lindsey family moved to the New Raymer community. She worked as a cook for the New Raymer School District for 11 years and worked as a housekeeper for several families in the area.
Mrs. Lindsey enjoyed sewing, quilting, embroidery work and crocheting. Additionally, she enjoyed canning produce and cooking.
Survivors include her children, Vera Fiscus of New Raymer, Helen Wilson of Brush, Florence Hays and Benny Lindsey, both of Fort Morgan, Colo. and George Lindsey of Akron, Colo.; three sisters, Dollie Browning of Imperial, Neb., Helen Kopisch of Forsythe, Mo. and Betty Mueller of North Platte, Neb.; 18 grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren and 11 great, great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Harry; one daughter, Alice Krager-Davis; one brother; one sister; two grandsons and two great grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Aug. 23, 2003, at 11 a.m. at the Heer & Jolliffe Mortuary at 225 E. Platte Ave. in Fort Morgan. Interment followed at New Raymer Cemetery.
Friends who wish may make memorial gifts to the Lena Lindsey Memorial Fund, c/o Heer & Jolliffe Mortuary.
Central Nebraska lost a tireless crusader for children and many more lost a devoted mother, grandmother, sister, and friend when Janice McGinn died in Lincoln on May 30.
Jan was born on Oct. 7, 1935, the youngest daughter of Martin Fetherston and Nancy (Little) Fetherston.
She attended rural school north of Elsmere, Neb., before attending high school in Halsey, graduating in 1953.
She married Kenneth Dale Harris on March 7, 1958, and they started a family in Halsey. They had three children, Kenneth Craig, Valerie Joy, and Julie Jean.
After Dale died, Jan and her children married William McCamley and moved to Valentine, where they welcomed Max Michael into the family. The family grew by one more when Wally Dodson entered the fold, and they raised him as one of their own.
The family moved to Imperial, Neb., in 1979. After the marriage ended, Jan decided to go to college and enrolled at Kearney State, where she earned her degree in social work.
In 1987 Jan married Mike McGinn of Dunning, Neb.
Mike did not realize that the family would continue to grow with the addition of Jerri Edelman. Jan would often bring other children home when they needed a safe place to land. Mike affectionately referred to them as her "strays."
In her last job with Good Samaritan Early Intervention Services Coordination, she finally found that perfect fit, helping to ensure children got a good start in life.
Jan went to be with God on May 30, 2003.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Kenneth Dale Harris, and her son Kenneth Craig Harris.
In addition to her husband, Mike McGinn, her children and their spouses, and her brothers, James and Evelyn Fetherston and John and Dorothy Fetherston, she is survived by 10 grandchildren.
She touched countless lives during the short time she was with us. The world will surely miss her as much as we all do now.
Barbara E. Breit
Barbara E. Breit, 72, Hoxie, Kan. died Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2003.
Mrs. Breit was born July 12, 1931, in Stratford, Texas to H.H. and Marie (Spencer) Cooper.
She and her husband were owners and operators of Cooper Dry Goods in Hoxie until retiring.
She married Dale Breit on June 4, 1950, in Danforth Chapel on the University of Kansas campus in Lawrence.
She was a member of the United Methodist Church in Hoxie, where she served as organist for many years. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star and was active in the Hoxie Area Chamber of Commerce, where she held several offices. She also played trumpet in the community band.
Her husband, Dale, died on Aug. 9, 2003.
Survivors include a son, Blaine and his wife Pamela of Greeley, Colo.; two daughters Ladeane Reese and husband Rick of Mount Hope and Janeece Woofter and husband Alan of Imperial, Neb.; four grandchildren; four step grandchildren; a great grandchild; and seven step great grandchildren.
Funeral services were at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 15, 2003, at the United Methodist Church in Hoxie with the Rev. Dick Robbins officiating.
Burial followed in Hoxie Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Barbara Breit Piano Memorial for the United Methodist Church of Hoxie in care of Mickey Leopold Funeral Home, 1024 Sheridan Ave., Hoxie, Kan. 67740.
Dorothy (Bonnie) Stephens
Dorothy (Bonnie) Yvonne Stephens, 73 years old, passed away at her home on Aug. 24, 2003.
She was born on Sept. 1, 1929 in Dubue, Saskatchewan, Canada to Alfred and Florence Foreacre.
Bonnie attended elementary schools throughout Canada, and moved to Imperial, Neb. to attend high school.
In 1950 she attended Colorado Women’s College.
In 1951 she married Conrad Joseph Stephens.
Bonnie had three children and chose to continue her education in 1956 at the University of Denver earning her teaching degree while raising her three children with the assistance of her mother Florence.
In 1960 Bonnie and her three children moved to Santa Maria.
She taught for the Santa Maria Elementary School District for two years before transferring to the Orcutt District where she taught for 30 years.
Bonnie loved Santa Maria and its friendly people. Her favorite role was that of mother and grandmother.
Upon retirement, she cherished her many activities that included: First United Methodist Church, along with many church committees, Delta Kappa Gamma International, Gamma Pi, California Retired Teachers, University of Denver Alumni Association, Santa Maria Valley Museum Docent, Tutoring many children and adults to speak, read and write English.
She is survived by her three children and their spouses, son and daughter-in-law Kent and Marian Stephens; her daughter and son-in-law Gayle and Rocky Macias and her son and daughter-in-law Craig and Brenee’ Stephens; six grandchildren, Kenny and Ryan Macias, Conrad and Evan Stephens and Cameron and Chad Stephens.
She loved her Canadian family and has numerous relatives there.
A memorial service was held at the First United Methodist Church in Santa Maria, Calif., today (Thursday, Aug. 28, 2003) at 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Bonnie requested that a contribution be made to one of the following: First United Methodist Church—Building Fund at 311 S. Broadway, Santa Maria, Calif. 93454 or Bonnie Stephens-Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Allan Hancock College Foundation, P.O. Box 5170, Santa Maria, Calif. 93456.
Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary and Crematory was in charge of funeral arrangements.