Abbie Olivia (Gray) Westover, 77, of Ashby, Neb. went to be in the presence of her Lord and Savior on Oct. 15, 2016, at The Hospice House in Rapid City, S.D. She was born to Scott and Vera (Mickkelson) Gray on Nov. 5, 1938, in Lynch, Neb. She grew up on a farm on the Niobrara River and went to country school until her mother’s ill health forced them to move into Lynch. She graduated from Lynch High School in 1956. She attended Miltonvale Weslyan College in Miltonvale, Kan. and Chadron State University. She loved teaching and taught country school for a year at Niobrara.
In 1958 she moved to the Sandhills to teach school and met her sweetheart Joseph Burton Westover. They were married on May 24, 1959, in Lynch, Neb. They lived in Wessington Springs, S.D. for two years while Joe attended college. Later, they moved to Huron, S.D. In 1965, Joe, Abbie, and their five sons moved to the family ranch in the Sandhills, south of Gordon, where they still reside today. To this union, they added two more sons and three daughters.
Abbie worked alongside her husband on the family ranch and loved the cattle and animals. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She loved being a mom and grandma. She loved all the celebrations with the family, especially Christmas. She enjoyed giving the perfect gift and seeing the joy on their faces. Her grandchildren cherished many memories of going to the ranch. They called themselves the “Westies of Nebraska.” They loved her smile and hugs. She would often make their favorite foods. Ice cream for breakfast was a treat and they enjoyed otter pops all day long. They loved riding horses, especially Fiddler, hunting, fishing and all the fish fries that followed, playing in leaky lake, all the treasure hunts, crafts, playing in the pool, jumping on the trampoline, playing haunted house and bank, catching tadpoles, going on lunch hikes, and pretending they were cattle in the corral. She enjoyed gardening to keep up with her ever-growing family. She was an amazing cook and will always be remembered for her wonderful meals, Thanksgiving dinner, Sunday pot roast, oyster dressing, and delicious pies. Her beautiful flowers brought her so much joy. She loved attending church, teaching Bible school, spending time with friends, and listening to old gospel hymns. She was truly a blessing to so many lives, and will always be remembered for the wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother that she was.
She is survived by her loving husband of 57 years Joe; her children, David (Carina) Westover of Kent, Wash.; Mark (Melissa) Westover of Estes Park, Colo.; Steve (Penny) Westover of Harrison, Neb.; Philip Westover of Kimball, Neb.; James Westover of Alma, Ga.; Daniel (David Ramos) Westover of Vancouver, B.C.; Mary (Kevin) Marquart of Estes Park, Colo.; Debbie (Edwin) Pomales of Rushville, Neb.; Sarah (Chance) Cole of Ainsworth, Neb.; her grandchildren, Autumn Westover of Fife, Wash., Danielle, and Joseph Westover of Kent, Wash., Jessica (Brandon) Borries, Jordanne (Jason) Bradley, Dylan and Ellen Westover all of Estes Park, Colo.; Megan (Ryne) Hamman of Coos Bay, Ore., Jackie (Charles) Walker of Casper, Wyo., Erin (Chance) Gonka of Riverton, Wyo., Kyle Westover of Harrison, Neb.; Olivia Westover of Alma, Ga., Brandon and Justin Marquart of Estes Park, Colo.; Cameron and Nathaniel Pomales of Rushville, Neb.; Wyatt, Brittany, and Tory Cole of Ainsworth, Neb.; her great-grandchildren, Jack and Lucille Borries of Estes Park, Colo.; Emma and Kenzie Walker of Casper, Wyo.; her siblings, Richard (Irene) Gray of O’Neill, Neb.; Margaret (Dennis) DeBlauw of Hartington, Neb.; Betty (Dave) Wemhoff of Virginia Beach, Va.; Beverly (Mike) Miller of Alamogordo, N.M.
Abbie was preceded in death by her parents, Scott and Vera Gray, infant sister Mary, sister Ruth Ann Frye, and infant son Timothy.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016, at Morse Memorial United Methodist Church in Rushville, Neb. Interment followed at Gordon Cemetery. Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements.