Katherine June was born June 26, 1920, to A.N. (Bert) and Cassie (Davis) Gehrt at Rushville, Neb., and she went to Heaven January 7, 2012, at the age of 91.
Katherine was raised on a farm just southwest of Rushville, along with her brother Albert and two sisters, Sylvia and Lotus. She attended a rural school south of Rushville through the 8th grade. She then attended Rushville High School graduating in 1937. She also attended Chadron State College getting her certificate to teach in rural schools. She married Leonard (Lee) Hamilton from Ellsworth, Neb. area in 1939. To this union 3 children were born, Sonja, Wendell and Caroline (Ginger).
She later taught in several rural schools in the area. She went on to teach elementary school at Pine Ridge, SD and for many years taught elementary grades at Batesland, SD, all the time furthering her education. She received her BA Degree from Chadron State College and went on to receive her Masters Degree from Black Hills State University at Spearfish, SD. She was a recipient of many teaching awards.
Katherine was a lady with a big heart. Her little home was open to anyone and everyone and there was never a shortage of guests at her house. There was always a meal on the table and she could whip up a banquet in an hour. Her hospitality was enjoyed by countless friends, relatives, teachers and kids. At canning time, her kitchen was a real busy place. She cooked constantly and was always taking food to shut-ins and elderly and those without means. She was constantly making afghans and stitchery’s for everyone and her hands were never idle.
Her motto was to never see her students or anyone without mittens or coats. She was always concerned about her nieces and nephews happiness and welfare. She was a mentor to many young teachers and students over the years.
She was a member of the Rushville Legion Auxiliary, Sheridan County RSVP, the Gordon Historical Society, and enjoyed many years as a member of her card club and also her faithful Bible Study Groups.
She was totally loved and admired by her children, grandchildren and extended family. She succeeded in keeping all her children and extended family very close knit. Dozens of family Christmases and other holidays were enjoyed at her home by all.
In her later years, she suffered many illnesses and decided to go into assisted living at Hay Springs, and later to the Countryside Care at Gordon where she resided until her passing.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Albert, sisters Sylvia and Lotus, and grandson-in-law Dave Dougherty.
Katherine is survived by her 3 children, Sonja (Chub) Wilcox Hot Springs, SD, Wendell (Monica) Hamilton Ft. Collins, Colo., and Caroline (LeRoy) Watson Gordon, 6 grandchildren, Marty (fiance’ Diane Byrd) Wilcox Rapid City, SD, Sheree’ Wilcox Clift (Tony) Rushville, Stacey Watson Kline (Tim) Gering, Jamie Watson Gordon, Gabrielle Hamilton Murdock, New York, Louise Letner, Ft. Collins, 6 great grandchildren, Winston (Kristyn) Wilcox Struthers, Ohio, Spencer Wilcox Sioux Falls, SD, Madison Wilcox Hamilton (Alex) Omaha, Rheaven Clift Rapid City, SD, Sheldon Clift Rushville, Jaima Watson McCook, Neb. – 6 great-great grandchildren, Brynna, Adelyn, Braden and Trezden Wilcox, Audriana Hamilton and Jairet Clift and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be Thursday January 12, 2012, 10 a.m. at the Wesleyan Gospel Chapel with Pastor Jason Hurd officiating. Burial will be held in Fairview Cemetery, Rushville, Nebraska.
A memorial has been established for the Gordon Countryside Care or to the Wesleyan Gospel Chapel and donations may be sent to: Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366 Gordon, NE 69343.