Virgil Kleensang

Funeral services for Virgil Kleensang of Hay Springs will be held on Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM at the Zion Lutheran Church in Hay Springs with Pastor Michael Wittrock officiating. Burial will be at the Hay Springs Cemetery. A visitation will be at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 23, 2012 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Hay Springs.

Virgil Fred Kleensang, 85, of Hay Springs passed away Friday, April 20, 2012, at Pioneer Manor in Hay Springs.

He was born on January 9, 1927, as the first of five children to John Max and Adela (Buss) Kleensang in Hoskins, Nebraska. He was baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church located north of Hoskins. He attended School District #78 in Wayne County. Despite being sent home occasionally because of the odiferous side effects of trapping skunks on the way to school with his brothers, Virgil earned his eighth grade diploma on May 24, 1941. Virgil also encouraged his baby sister, Alice, to hone her skills as a trapper. He enjoyed bragging about her quick hands that caught mice to feed the farm cats.

Virgil worked as a farmhand near his hometown until friends of the family who had settled in Nebraska’s Panhandle needed extra help working on a ranch south of Hay Springs. Virgil took the train west and met his future wife. On March 10, 1950, he married Betty Ann Nickels. The couple farmed near Hoskins before returning to Betty’s home south of Hay Springs to engage in ranching. This union of 52 years was blessed with three children David Lee, Linda Sue, and Alan Ray.

Betty passed away on December 30, 2002. Virgil was happy to find another loving partner, Wilma Hastings, whom he married on April 30, 2004.

Virgil enjoyed raising cattle, fishing, hunting, long drives in the country to look at the wildlife, and John Deere tractors.

Virgil was preceded in death by his son, Alan; his parents; wife, Betty; brother, Johnny; brother and sister-in-law, Vern and Pat; nephew, Steve; and niece, Joann.

Virgil’s life is celebrated by his remaining family including brother, Willard (Virginia) Kleensang of Hoskins; sister, Alice (Don) Radenz of Norfolk; sister-in-laws June Kleensang of Fort Morgan, Colorado, and Marlene Kleensang of Norfolk; son, David (Bernita) Kleensang and daughter, Linda (Leonard) Smith both of Hay Springs; grandchildren Luke (Jamie) Smith, Jaclyn Smith, Sarah (John) Kah, Lynden (Alisa) Smith, Becky Hall, Candace (Kyle) Nelson, Colby (Tia Malewski, fiancé) Kleensang; great-grandchildren Nathan, Jazlyn, Laney, Breely, Lex, Talan, Evan, James, Kaden, and Keila, with two more expected arrivals in Summer 2012; wife, Wilma of Hay Springs, and the extended families of Lloyd Hastings, Don Hermansen, and Don Jorgensen.

A memorial has been established for the Zion Lutheran Church, the Hay Springs Volunteer Fire Department, and Pioneer Manor. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Drabbels Mortuary, PO Box 443, Hay Springs, NE 69347.

Online condolences can be made at

Chamberlain Drabbels Mortuary of Hay Springs is in charge of arrangements.

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