Alta Jeanette (Gardiner) Haslow, 85, passed away Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, at Box Butte General Hospital, Alliance, Neb.
Alta was born March 22, 1932, in Gordon, Neb., to L. Jay and Evelyn B. (DeFrance) Gardiner. She attended elementary school at Merriman and Valentine. Before her sophomore year, she moved with her family to Gordon, where she graduated from high school in 1950.
On Aug. 26, 1951, she married her high school sweetheart, Richard W. “Dick” Haslow. The two had met at age 15, while attending a Methodist Youth picnic, and after four years of courtship, they were happily married for more than 60 years. To this union, four children were born; Debbie in 1952, Rich in 1954, Carla in 1956, and Robbie in 1962.
Alta had many occupations, including bookkeeper, school bus driver, and ‘cowhand’ as she assisted her husband on their small cattle ranch north of Bingham. Alta and Dick moved to Alliance in 1968, and became instrumental in the development of the Nebraska Boys Ranch, where Alta did everything from cooking, to laundry, to office manager. She retired from Boys Ranch in 1997, but her love and care for so many boys will have a lasting impact for many years to come.
Her favorite job of all was that of being a wife, mother, and homemaker. She was deeply saddened at the loss of two of her children, Debbie at 14 months, and Rob at 19 years, to Cystic Fibrosis. But she found great joy in spending time with the rest of her family; her husband, her children, her four grandchildren, and her three great grandsons. She also loved attending reunions and gatherings with her extended family, and staying in touch with friends.
Alta joined the Methodist Church at Valentine when she was 12 years old. As a teenager, she was a member of Jobs Daughters, and was chosen to serve as Honored Queen of Bethel #50. She was a member of the Alliance United Methodist Church, and served as President and Secretary for the UMW. She was a life member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, a member of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 34, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Auxiliary #136. After serving in the local offices for the Eagles Auxiliary, she served in the state offices and was elected Nebraska Madam State President in 1985. She then advanced to the National level and served in the capacity of Grand Madam President from August 1992 to August 1993. During that year, Alta visited all fifty states in the US, and all seven Canadian provinces. In 2007, she was selected as Nebraska State Auxiliary Mother. Many great friendships were formed and many great memories were made.
Alta and Dick loved to travel whenever and wherever they could. They also enjoyed watching Huskers and Broncos football, and PRCA Rodeo. In her later years, she loved to do crossword puzzles, watch game shows and ‘window shop’ on the Home Shopping Network. Alta was a woman of strong faith and rarely missed a day doing her Bible study. Her kind heart and beautiful smile will be missed by her family, and all who knew her.
She is survived by her children Rich (Rhonda) Haslow, and Carla (Reid) Block, all of Alliance, one grandson, Richard Haslow of New York, NY, three granddaughters, Tammy (William) Suit of Alliance, Lyndsey (Ben) Rauert of Kearney, and Lauren (Justin) Patterson of Wahoo, three great-grandsons, Nathaniel, Alex and Isaac Suit of Alliance, a sister, Roberta Cozad of Henderson, NV, a brother, Wayne (Dianne) Gardiner of Ocala, FL, and a sister-in-law Lavone Gardiner of Gillette, WY, along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her parents Jay and Evelyn Gardiner, her husband Richard W. Haslow, a daughter Debra Lynne Haslow, a son Robert Jay Haslow, a brother Wallace Gardiner, and a sister Shirley Whitney.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9, 2018, at the United Methodist Church in Alliance, with the Rev. Gideon Achi and Jeanie Sedivy officiating. A graveside service will take place at 2 p.m. at the Gordon Cemetery, Gordon, Neb. Following the graveside service, coffee and cookies will be served at the Gordon United Methodist Church. Visitation will be on Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Bates-Gould Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to the Alliance United Methodist Church, the American Heart Association, or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Online condolences may be left at www.batesgould.com