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February

2020

James D. Schaaf  • Ord, NE Resident, 56

   James “Jimmy” D. Schaaf, 56, of rural Ord passed away unexpectedly Wed., Feb. 12, 2020, at the Valley County Health System Hospital in Ord.

   A Celebration of Life was held at 11 a.m. on Mon., Feb. 17, 2020, at the Ord Memorial Chapel. Pastor Kyle Campise officiated. Burial was in the Ord Catholic Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the family’s choice. Ord Memorial Chapel was in charge of arrangements. 

   James Dale was born July 4, 1963, at Omaha, NE to Donald E. and Mary K. (Meese) Schaaf. He spent his childhood in Omaha and then moved to Ord where he graduated from Ord High School in 1982.

   Following graduation, James settled on the family farm northeast of Ord. He was united in marriage to Evelyn Maly on March 23, 1985 at Ord, NE. To this union a daughter, Melissa, and a son, Nicholas, were born. Jimmy later married Rose (Patrick) Mulligan on Aug. 21, 2014.

   Jimmy enjoyed farming, cattle and machinery auctions, concerts, dancing, playing cards and rodeoing.

   Survivors include his parents, Donald and Mary Schaaf of Omaha; a daughter, Melissa Schaaf of Ord; a son and daughter-in-law, Nicholas J. and Paige Schaaf of Ord; two grandchildren, Noah and Ryliegh Schaaf of Ord; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Daniel and Lori Schaaf of Lee’s Summit, MO, and Donald and Patty

Schaaf of Omaha; a significant other, Rose Mulligan of Ord; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

   He was preceded in death by his grandparents, James and Phyllis Meese and Elmer and Katherine Schaaf.

Helen G. Roy • Scotia, NE Resident, 89

    Helen Geraldine Roy, 89, of Scotia, died Sat., Feb. 8, 2020, at Howard County Medical Center in St. Paul. Mass of Christian Burial was held at 10:30 a.m. Sat., Feb. 15 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Ord. The Rev. Scott Harter officiated. Burial was at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Scotia. Peters Funeral Home of St. Paul assisted the family.

   Helen was born on March 8, 1930, on the family farm near Ashton, to Harry and Sally Ann (Kaminski) Smedra. As a child, she grew up in different communities and attended country schools. She was a 1949 graduate of Loup City High School.

    In the fall of 1949, with the encouragement of her grandmother, Stella Kaminski, she entered into the Saint Francis School of Nursing. In May of 1952, she graduated as a Registered Nurse. She worked in Pediatrics at Saint Francis until she moved to Loup City where she was employed by Sacred Heart Hospital.

   On June 9, 1953, she married the love of her life, Lawrence George Roy, at Loup City. The couple first made their home on a farm near Dannevirke. In 1957, they moved to irrigated farmland near Scotia, which was her home ever since.

   During her lifetime she has devoted herself to the selfless caring of others and worked as a nurse in the Loup City, Ord and St. Paul hospitals. In 1970, she started working for the Central Nebraska Community Services as the Head Start nurse for the program. She worked with over 350 children and their families each year. She also worked with the Nebraska Public Health starting the first immunization program for Central Nebraska. On May 4, 1989, she received the Nebraska Public Health Association Distinguished Service Award for her pioneering work in this area.

   She retired from nursing in 1995 and has played a critical role in the reason why members of her family have decided to become nurses, a psychologist and a speech language pathologist. Her pioneering spirit lead some of her children and grandchildren to start new businesses, as well as, travel far for education and take chances. She was proud of all her children’s career choices. Helen continued to work after retirement with her family in the dairy business and later cattle business.

   She enjoyed crafts, garage sales, canning, embroidering and making quilts. She was known at the Junk Jaunt®, as the lady with the cinnamon pickles. People would travel as far as from Texas just to make sure to get some of her cinnamon pickles.

   She was a member of Our Lady of Perpetual Catholic Church of Ord and its Council of Catholic Women.

   She is survived by her children and spouses, Martin and Talana Roy of Overton, Kay and Roger Torske of Hastings, Pamela and Mark Geihsler of Dallas, TX, Janel and Mike Tagart of Grand Island, Daniel and DeeAnn Roy of Scotia, Steven Roy of Branson, MO, and Donald and Dena Roy of Scotia; 10 grandchildren, Brian and Christina Roy, John and Lindsey Roy, Jeremey and Kristi Geihsler, Chevis Geihsler, Kelsey and C.J. Toms, Mercedes and Travis Hargreaves, Ashley and Todd Lothrop, Shantelle Roy, Katriona Roy and fiancé Cole Koenig, and Kaitlin Roy; eight great-grandchildren, Peyton, Elle and Brooks Geihsler, Coraline, Adelaide, and Ezra Roy, Kierra and Daryn Hargreaves and two more great-grandchildren on the way; two sisters and one brother-in-law, Betty Damratowski of Grand Island and Bonnie and  Dennis Piontkowski of Bennington; she was also blessed with many wonderful nieces and nephews.

   Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Lawrence G. Roy on Nov. 24, 2012; her parents; infant son, Thomas Roy; brother-in-law, Harold Damratowski; and nephews, Randy Damratowski and Kenneth Piontkowski.

   Memorials are suggested to the American Cancer Society, Scotia Fire and Rescue or Alzheimer’s Association.

   Condolences and memories may be shared with Helen’s family by visiting www.petersfuneralhome.net.

Alma Mae Dee • Grand Island, NE Resident, 89

   Alma Mae “Toots” Dee, 89, of Grand Island passed away Sun., Feb. 9, 2020. Service and celebration of Alma’s life will be Sat., Feb. 22, at 10 a.m. at Trinity United Methodist Church Gollaher Chapel in Grand Island.  Reverend Kelly Karges is officiating.   Burial will be in Mount Hope Cemetery at Scotia at 2 p.m. Sat., Feb. 22. Visitation is Fri., Feb. 21, from 5-7 p.m. at All Faiths Funeral Home in Grand Island.

   Alma was born Jan. 20, 1931, in rural Greeley County, the daughter of Elmer and Helen (Bennett) Gydesen.  She attended school in Glendale and Scotia, graduating from Scotia High School in 1948.  Alma moved to Grand Island for a time and then to Rockford, IL. There she met and married Monte “Bud” Keller on Nov. 21, 1950. The couple eventually settled in Vinton, IA. Bud passed in 1958.  On Nov. 19, 1965, Alma married Raymond Dee and they returned to Grand Island in 1966. 

   Alma was a devoted Christian and a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, serving as a Stephen Minister.  She had a soft spot for animals, loving and being loved by her cat Molly and enjoyed wildlife.  She also enjoyed reading, embroidery and painting.  Alma’s greatest love was for her family, she was always there for her parents, her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

   Those who cherish her memory include her children, Christine Keller of Grand Island, Janee Broadway of Walla Walla, WA, Karen Keller of Phoenix, AZ, Kraig (Linda) Keller of Highlands Ranch, CO and Brenda Dee of Grand Island; 11 grandchildren: Jeremy Peterson, Jessica Allison, Jackie Kiser, Jennifer Broadway, Beth Crenshaw, Amanda (Mark) Broadway, Samuel Broadway, Kimberly (Thom) Ott, Andrew (Sarah) Terry, Monte (Kate) Keller and Ashley Keller; 13 great-grandchildren, Kiera, Hali, Riley, Olivia, Sammantha, Cody, James, Brooks, Evin, Ella, Kellen, Logan and Casey.

   She is also survived by her husband, Raymond; a sister, Ruby (Henry) Kasson of Illinois and sister-in-law, Arlis Gydesen of Ord, NE.

   Alma was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Monte Keller; and brother Marvin Gydesen.

   Memorials are suggested to Trinity United Methodist Church.

   Online remembrances may be sent to www.giallfaiths.com.

Stephen A. Twait • U.S. Army Veteran • Scotia, NE Resident, 68

   Stephen A. Twait (SteveO), 68 of Scotia, lost his courageous battle with cancer Feb. 9 at the VA Hospital in Grand Island. 

   His family moved to a farm by Dexter, MN in 1955.  He attended Elkton High School and graduated in 1969.  Steve served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and worked for Delta and United Airlines.  Steve’s hobby after retiring was bartending, where he became everyone’s favorite bartender. 

   He is survived by his son, Chris (Brianna) Twait of Maryland and a daughter Allison (Matt) Slagel of California; two sisters, Barb (Rich) Hemingway and Linda (Ray) Abriola; and two brothers, Dennis (Pat) Twait and Roger (Jean) Twait.  Additional survivors include three grandchildren, Leo, Cameron and Nora, as well as a host of extended relatives and close friends. 

   Steve was preceded in death by his father, Emmet, mother, Mildred, sister, Bonnie and brother-in-law, Larry.  A Celebration of Life will be held March 1, 2020 at the Scotia Rec Hall from 2-4 p.m. 

   In lieu of flowers, memorials will be accepted at the celebration of life or can be donated to the VA Hospice. 

Kathleen E. Pflaster • Kearney, NE Resident, 79

   Kathleen E. Pflaster, 79, of Kearney, NE, formerly of Eddyville, passed away on Fri., Feb. 14, 2020 at Mother Hull Home in Kearney.

   Visitation will be held on Wed., Feb, 19, 2020 from 5-7 p.m. at Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington.

   Funeral Services will be on Thurs., Feb. 20, 2020 at 2 p.m. at the Eddyville Community Center with Pastor Ryan Findley  officiating.

   Interment will be at Rose Hill Cemetery in Callaway.

   Memorials are suggested to Grace United Methodist Church, Eddyville Community or Eddyville Women’s American Legion Auxiliary.

   She was born Aug. 5, 1940 to Otto and Esther Mary (Hankie) Graul in rural Ord, NE.  Kathleen grew up on a farm southwest of Ord and graduated from Ord High School with the class of 1958.

   Kathleen was united in marriage to Robert Bower in April of 1958 in Ord, NE, and to this union five children were born: Buddy, Connie, Bonnie, Donnie and Johnnie. Their marriage would later end in divorce.

   In 1968, Kathleen moved to Kearney for a year, and then was united in marriage to Dwayne Pflaster on April 17, 1970 in Kearney and would reside in Eddyville.  She opened her arms to four more children as her

own: Debra Lynn, Terrie, Carrie and Scott.

   They owned and operated the Eddyville Café and Bar for many years.  She then went on to work at Plectron in Overton before spending the next 24 years working in Cozad at Monroe Tenneco Automotive before retiring.

   Kathleen loved dancing with Dwayne throughout the years.  She was a very talented piano player and enjoyed watching old Westerns.  She also liked tending her garden and canning.

   She was a member of Grace United Methodist Church in Eddyville, where she kept herself busy volunteering.  She was also a member of the Eddyville Women’s American Legion Auxiliary.

   Survivors include her children, Buddy R. Bower of Arcadia, Connie E. Freeman of Austin, CO, Bonnie S. (Mike) McCrary of Casper, WY, Donnie L. Bower of Casper, WY, J. Joe (Michelle) Bower of Kearney, Terrie E. (Steve) Maloley of Kearney, Carrie I. Polak of Omaha and Scott H. (Monica) of San Clemente, CA; 22 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren; one sister, Ellen E. (Eugene) Paist of Kearney; also survived by nieces, nephews, extended family and a host of friends.

   Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Dwayne in 2013; daughter, Debra Lynn; infant son and daughter-in-law, Jeanette Bower.

   Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements.

   Online condolences may be directed to the family by visiting: reynoldslovefuneralhome.com.

February

2020

12

Jagger L. Nelson • O’Neill, NE

   Funeral Services for Jagger LaRue Nelson, the four-month-old son of Steve and Sunday (Kokes) Nelson of O’Neill were held Mon., Feb. 10, 2020 at Biglin’s Mortuary in O’Neill. Rev. Mike Durre officiated. Burial followed in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, north of O’Neill.  Jagger unexpectedly passed away in his sleep on Thurs., Feb. 6, 2020. Hoping to turn this tragedy into a blessing for someone else, Jagger donated his organs. Memorials may be directed to the family for future designation. Biglin’s Mortuary in O’Neill was in charge of arrangements.

   Jagger LaRue Nelson stormed into this world six weeks early on Sept. 16, 2019. Born to Steven and Sunday (Kokes) Nelson in Norfolk, NE. He spent the first two weeks of his life in the hospital and from the start, he had a strong fighting spirit.

   Once at home in O’Neill, feeding time was his favorite. He loved his bottle and would routinely coo with contentment while eating. Jagger loved to snuggle with mom and dad. He will be missed for his amazing smile and adorable laugh.

   Jagger is survived by his parents, Steve and Sunday Nelson of O’Neill; his grandparents, Larry and Deb Nel-

son of O’Neill, Chuck and Cheryl Kokes of Ord; aunts and uncles, Jennifer and John Schopke of Kearney, Summer and Josh Jess of Ord, Joel and Tier Kokes of Ord, Canon and Melissa Kokes of Ord; many cousins and friends.

   Jagger was preceded in death by his maternal aunt, Royal Kokes in 1997.

Elizabeth A. Grudzinski • Ashton, NE Resident, 88

   Elizabeth A. “Betty” Grudzinski, 88, of Ashton, died Sat., Feb. 1, 2020, surrounded by her family, at Rose Lane Home in Loup City.

   Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Josaphat’s Catholic Church in Loup City. The Rev. Richard L. Piontkowski will celebrate the Mass. Private family inurnment will be in the St. Francis Catholic Cemetery in Ashton.

   A parish Rosary will be recited 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Josaphat’s Catholic Church.

   Peters Funeral Home of Loup City is assisting the family.

   Betty was born to Anton C. and Frances I. (Badura) Stobbe on Sept. 27, 1931, on a farm southeast of Ashton. The family later moved to their home in Ashton, where she attended St. Francis Parochial School and graduated from Ashton High School in May 1949. One of her happiest memories of high school was being a cheerleader.

   She was united in marriage to Eugene Grudzinski on June 21, 1949, at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Ashton, holding the wedding reception at the home of her parents. To this union two daughters and five sons were born.

February

2020

05

   Betty had a passion for farm life and was involved in every aspect of it. Her personal joys were raising pigs, milking cows, raising chickens and baking the most wonderful big cinnamon rolls for her family.

   Her hobbies were embroidering, polka dancing, playing 10-point pitch and occasionally gambling. Later in life, she and Gene traveled to Alaska, Las Vegas and points in between.

   She was a member of St. Josaphat’s Catholic Church and its Council of Catholic Women.

   She is survived by her six children, Cindy Gappa of Ashton, Steve and Sheila Grudzinski of Loup City, Morrie Grudzinski of Grand Island, Scott Grudzinski of Ashton, Brian and Kayleen Grudzinski of Rockville and Carrie and Alan Petska of Ord; ten grandchildren, Nick (Lindsay) Gappa, Pat (Amy) Gappa, Andy Gappa, Candice Gappa, Reenie Gappa, Sydney Grudzinski, Hayley Grudzinski, Augustus Hruby, Lane Hruby, Josie Hruby and Tyler Fike; four great-grandchildren, Jake, Jaymeson, Ashlyn and Maks; a sister-in-law, Aileen Zeleski of Loup City; and many nieces and nephews.

   She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 62 years, Eugene; son, Wayne; five brothers, Clix, Freck, John, Roman and Kuba Stobbe; and three sisters, Ven Rapp, Rita Hoxie and Vivian Smith.

   In lieu of flowers and plants, the family suggests memorials be made to the Sherman County Food Pantry.

   Condolences and memories may be shared with Betty’s family by visiting www.petersfuneralhome.net.

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