Clayton Dean Flueckinger, 77, formerly of Gordon, died August 1, 2015, at Crest View Care Center in Chadron, Neb.
He was born March 24, 1938, south of Hay Springs, Neb., the youngest child of Walter E. and Esther Flueckinger. In 1941 the family moved to a farm nine miles south of Gordon. He attended elementary schools at Districts #63 and #126. In eighth grade he began attending Rushville High School where he graduated in 1955. From that time until 1959 he was helping out on the family farm. On his birthday in 1959, he was inducted into the U.S. Army. He finished basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and was then sent to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, for medical corpsman training. Upon completion, he was transferred to Fort Gordon, Ga., where he worked in the operating room until February 1961. He recently talked about this time in his life and said he was glad he was able to travel to other parts of the country. He wrote a letter home to his parents every week. Those letters revealed his scoring higher on some tests than college graduates and his excellent marksmanship skills.
On February 25, 1962, he married Janice Roth at the Methodist church in Gordon and they lived eight miles south of Gordon until 1971 when they moved one mile farther south into a new home they built on the family home place. In 1969 he learned to fly small aircraft and received his pilot’s license in 1969.
Clayton farmed and ranched south of Gordon until his retirement in 1993. He worked as a rural mail carrier for the Gordon Post Office from 1987 to 2003. Upon his final retirement, he and Janice became volunteers in the organization, Laborers for Christ, hooked up the 5th-wheel and traveled to Farmington, N.M. where he and other retired Lutherans helped build a new Lutheran Church. They thoroughly enjoyed their months of service there, making many good friends they kept in touch with throughout the years. When that job was finished they traveled to other locations including Spokane, Wash. and Boone, Iowa. Due to health problems, Clayton and Janice moved to Prairie Pines Lodge in Chadron in 2010.
Clayton was very active as a devout member of Grace Lutheran Church of Gordon and served in many capacities including singing in the choir and performed many solos especially at Christmas and Easter. He also enjoyed singing in community choir performances. He found great joy in carpentry and made many treasured gifts for his children and grandchildren. He loved to read and also enjoyed taking photographs. A favorite activity of his children was when he hooked up the slide projector and we looked at slides of all his pictures (except for those airshows)!
Camping, hunting and fishing were also favorite pastimes and his children look back now and admire him for the patience he showed while helping his young children in the boat bait their hooks and fight over the orange fishing pole. Stopping at museums on family vacations and reading about every last thing on display became a source of family moans and groans but a cross we learned to bear. It was important to him for his kids to have good grammar and to this day we always know where you can find where something was at –“Right before the ‘at.’” He had a special love and connection with dogs and always had at least one including his last beloved little dog, Chelsea. She would hop on to the back of the four-wheeler and they would take off to check fences, irrigation, or just go for a ride. His kind and gentle spirit always seemed to attract small children who he could always manage to make smile and laugh. Throughout his long illness, he could still appreciate and display a sense of humor.
He leaves behind his wife of 53 years, Janice; daughters Jody Rutledge (Zane), of Duvall, Wash., Linda DenAdel (Kurt) of Bellingham, Wash., Mary Fitzgerald (Patrick) of Rapid City, S.D. and his son, Gary Flueckinger, of Gordon. Sisters Doris White of Southampton, N.J., Ruth Spillman, Wendover, Utah and brother, Eugene Flueckinger of Manitowac, Wis. Beloved grandchildren Rose, Matthew, Jacob and Anna Fitzgerald, Erin (Rutledge) Nelson, Jordan and Tessa Rutledge, and Kirby Clayton DenAdel, and many, many nieces and nephews.
Services will be held, Saturday, August 8 at 10 am at Grace Lutheran Church in Gordon. Inurnment burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Rushville.
Family suggests memorial to Grace Lutheran Church in Gordon and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366, Gordon, NE 69343.