Alta Mae (Neely) Cogdill

Funeral services for Alta Mae (Neely) Cogdill will be held at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of Chadron, NE on Thursday , December 19th at 10 am with Pastor Peter Bertram officiating.  Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery. Visitation is on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at 7:00 PM at Chamberlain Chapel in Chadron.On Friday, December 13th Alta Mae went to be with her Creator, Lord and Savior early in the morning.  She was born on July 15, 1919 between Hermosa and Rapid City, SD at the family farm located on Spring Creek.  Her father and grandmother (Luella Grein) assisted with the delivery as the doctor got lost en route.  Alta Mae was fifth of eight children born to James Watson and Kitty Belle (Grein) Neely.  She attended the Neely school (built by her father) at Spring Creek through the 3rd grade.  At the age of 10 she became very ill with a ruptured appendix and nearly died.  During third grade her family moved to Black Hawk, SD where her mother managed the railroad depot and her father was the Section Foreman.  Alta Mae attended Rapid City High School graduating in June, 1937.  During her time in Rapid City she worked as a housekeeper to help with family finances during the Depression years.   

After high school her and her older sister, Wanda, moved to Chadron and shared an apartment while Alta Mae attended Chadron State College.  She studied to be a nurse like her older sister, Ruth. She attended CSC from fall, 1937 through the fall of 1938.  In March, 1938 she met John Cogdill at Kelso’s Dance Pavilion located east of Chadron.  They were married on May 28, 1938.  They lived in Chadron for a short time and then moved to the Cogdill family farm on Big Bordeaux Creek southeast of Chadron.  Alta Mae spent her time as a farm wife raising chickens, gardening and enjoying time with her neighbors and friends on the creek including membership in the Jolly Dozen Club.  

On June 18, 1948 she was baptized and confirmed at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Chadron, NE and remained a member the rest of her life.  Her faith was very important to her and she was an active member of the church serving on the Ladies Aid and teaching Sunday school.

In July, 1964 she started work at Chadron State College in the food services as a cook.  She really enjoyed the friendship of her fellow workers at the College where John also worked.  Alta Mae retired from food services in 1977 and then spent twenty more years on the farm as a neighbor, mother, mother-in-law and grandmother.

In the fall of 1997, she and John moved into Prairie Pines Lodge where she remained until her death.  At the time of her passing, she was the longest living resident of Prairie Pines.

Alta Mae is preceded in death by her husband John, and two brothers (Bim and John Neely) and three sisters (Ruth Nelson, Wanda O’Malley, Pearl Noonan).  She is survived by her brother Bob (Lois) Neely of Ridgecrest, CA; sister Helen Westover of Bremerton, WA; her three sons Chuck (Mary Helen) of Chadron; Terry (Betty) of Chadron; Rex (Shawn) of Torrington, WY/Chadron along with 10 grandchildren (Jon Cogdill/Bill Cogdill/Susan Cogdill/Chris Bartlett/Bob Cogdill; Ross Cogdill/Matt Cogdill; Casey Mitchell/Lea Griese/Sami Mitchell Weyers), 21 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren.

A memorial has been established.   Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE. 

Online condolences can be made at

Last modified onMonday, 16 December 2013 13:01

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