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Don Edward Rager

Don Edward Rager, a Wellington, Kansas, resident for 54 years and a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away on Thursday, September 19, 2019, at Ascension Via Christi - St. Francis in Wichita, Kansas, at the age of 94.

Don was born the son of Arthur Wayne and Selena Rachel (Kyles) Rager on Saturday, January 24, 1925, on a farm four miles South of Gordon, Nebraska. It was here that Don was raised by his mother after his father passed away when he was only one and a half years old. His mother continued the family farming business using their six horses. Don helped on the farm and attended a country school through the eighth grade and then high school in Gordon, graduating in 1941. During this time, Don and his family were members of the Presbyterian Church. Following his graduation, he attended Success Business College in Denver, Colorado, until he was called to war. He served withe US Army, 100th Infantry Division in Europe, where he was a member of a twelve man rifle squad working day and night to seek out numbers and positions of the enemy. Don was taken to a field hospital in France on Christmas Eve of 1944, and spent the next eight months in four different hospitals where he was medically discharged in 1945. 

Don then went to work for the J.C. Penney Company in November 1945, and on March 16, 1947, he was married to Bonnie Blare. To this union two children were born, one son and one daughter. The young family was transferred to North Platte, Nebraska, in 1951, Fort Morgan, Colorado, in 1957, Yuma, Colorado, in 1960, and finally to Wellington, Kansas, in 1965. Don retired from the company in 1985.

He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and served on the Retail Committees. Don served on the Board of Directors at the Wellington Senior Center, but also helped with Noon dishes and meal delivery for many years. He was a member of the American Legion, VFW, First United Methodist Church and the Wellington Lions Club where he has served as treasurer since 1986.

Don was a great fan of all Crusader sports and enjoyed selling tickets for the home football games with his fellow Lions members. Don was also an avid Nebraska Cornhusker fan and a fan of the Denver Broncos. He enjoyed the friendships he made on the golf course, in Lions Club and at his coffee group. Don loved his family and the joy that his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought to him. 

Survivors include his son, Rick Rager and his wife Virginia; grandson, Steven Ross; granddaughter, Samantha Ross; great-grandson, Zane Ross all of Wichita, Kansas; grandson, Dustin Rager and his wife Michelle and great-grandchildren, Alyssa, Wyatt and Katelyn all of Onega, Kansas; granddaughter, Lindsay Rager of Wellington, Kansas; daughter, Connie Biles and her husband Wayne of Wellington, Kansas; grandson, Sam Biles and his wife Anne of Belle Plaine, Kansas; great-grandchildren, Cameron Sanchez of Augusta, Kansas and Katie Marchese and her husband Roger of Navarro Beach, Florida; great-great-granddaughters, Kira and Iris of Navarro Beach, Florida, Tyler Biles; great-grandson, Rylan Biles both of Wellington, Kansas; granddaughter, Abby Torres and her husband Chris; great-grandson, Henri Jackson and Cooper Torres all of Wellington, Kansas. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, sisters, Ila Borders and Inez Davis, brother, Wayne Blare; great-grandson, Chance Jackson and special nephew, Gerald Davis. 

Visitation was held at the funeral home from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 24, 2019, with the family present from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Funeral services for Don will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church, Wellington, Kansas. 

Interment with Military Honors will follow at Prairie Lawn Cemetery, Wellington, Kansas.

A memorial fund has been established in his loving memory to the Wellington Lions Club. Contributions may be mailed or left with the funeral home.

To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit

Arrangements are by Cornejo|Day Funeral Home & Crematory, Wellington, Kansas.


Thomas Malmberg

Thomas Malmberg died September 4, 2019, in Amberg, Germany. Tom, known as Joe to his older siblings, is survived by Charlie, Jack, June, Nancy and Sally. A reputation for being ‘ornery’, Joe would lock himself in the pickup to postpone attending country school. School for him was what had to be endured before he could practice his ice skating skills with his sister, Sally. At one time or another he worked as a ranch hand with his dad, Emil, and each of his brothers in the Sandhills and Chadron and team roped with Jack. Joe graduated from Gordon High School as a champion wrestler in 1967, and was drafted into the military in 1968.

Upon completing his military duty in an Army airborne unit with the rank of sergeant, Tom headed to Australia by way of Kodiak, Alaska, in 1971. His bride of 46 years, Grace, met him in the middle of America and after chasing him coast to coast for seven years caught him with his back to the sea, and they were married. Grace referred to her Tom as the ‘ocean going cowboy’ as he stubbornly avoided giving up his Stetson for a ball cap. 

Known for his great ingenuity and self reliance, he built and moved giant structures without heavy machinery or formal training. Tom built a house from scrap lumber in Kupreanoff Straits, winched it onto a raft of his own creation and towed it to its final location in Pile Bay. In the wilds of Kodiak Island, he and Grace reared six successful children (three of whom he delivered). The saddest day of his life was losing his homestead in a land dispute.

Tom is survived by his wife, Grace, and six children; Mieke, Tatiana, Annika, Adriana, Ayesha and Cort. Memories of their father will be marked by wild skiff rides looking at phosphorescent blooms, time spent admiring the beauty of the northern lights and constellations, ice skating, paddling the bay, wood finding excursions, hunting trips and the art of firewood stacking. He returned from commercial fishing trips with giant hermit crabs for his kids to treat as pets and styrofoam blocks for them to turn into makeshift boats. 

Tom worked as a Port Engineer at Port Bailey cannery, an engineer on a salmon tender, and a deckhand on commercial fishing boats to support his family. After 33 years, Tom left Kodiak in 2004 for a college degree in HVAC, graduating with a 3.7 GPA. He spent the last 12 years of his life as an excellent mechanic, fixing military land vehicles and traveling the USA and Germany for work. Tom’s recent work family remembers him as OMT (Old Man Tom)– a dependable, hardworking mechanic who was fun to travel and spend time with; always up for an adventure and happy to help anyone in need. 

Tom’s passing is met with extreme sadness and loss; yet with an appreciation for the humble, funny, fearless and loving man he was; a man who was awed by every sunset he ever saw; eager to try new foods and curious about all people and cultures . He will especially be remembered, by anyone he ever spoke to, for the great pride he took in his children and his love for Alaska.

No matter how old they get, Tom’s children will miss their Pops. He was their hero and protector; a consummate explorer with boundless energy and wit, but they know that he is off on his next adventure – A Raven living on whatever land he wishes and an Emperor penguin in Antarctica… Why choose if you can split your dust in more than one place?


James “Jim” L. Cox

James “Jim” L. Cox, 75, of Cedar Rapids, Neb., passed away surrounded by his family on Sunday, September 8, 2019, at the Bryan Medical Center East in Lincoln, Neb.

Funeral services were at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, September 12, 2019, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Cedar Rapids, Neb., with Rev. Vern Olson officiating. Interment followed at St. Anthony’s Catholic Cemetery in Cedar Rapids, Neb., with military honors conducted by the Army National Guard, Dan Cox American Legion Post #44, of Cedar Rapids, Neb., and American Legion Riders. Visitation was from 5-7 p.m., Wednesday at the church with a 7 p.m. prayer service.

In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to the Dan Cox American Legion Post #44 and the Cedar Rapids Fire and Rescue Unit.

Levander Funeral Home of Cedar Rapids, Neb., is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family at: 

Jim was born November 29, 1943 in Cedar Rapids, Neb., to Marjorie (Robinson) and Maurice Cox and baptized April 16, 1950, at the United Methodist Church of Cedar Rapids. Jim graduated from Cedar Rapids High School in 1961. He attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln after high school and had several jobs in between. Jim felt the calling to serve his country and joined the Army National Guard in 1965. After joining the National Guard, Jim served in the Vietnam War from 1968-1969. Following his service for his country, Jim returned to finish his education at University of Nebraska at Lincoln and graduated with a degree in agriculture in 1971.

Jim married his wife, Susan Bethscheider, on July 27, 1972. They built many memories together for the next 47 years. Together they had two children, Carroll and Kelly. Jim wore many hats and dabbled in everything from horse trading to banking. In 1972, he began working at the Cedar Rapids State Bank and served as the vice president in 1983. Jim was co-owner of the Cedar Rapids Insurance Agency for many years. He was the 5th generation to farm the Cox family farm, as well. In 2003 he and his wife Sue bought the New Frontier in Belgrade, Neb., where he had the perfect audience for his stories, especially the famous Chucky story that everyone loved to hear over and over again. Jim was known to write out his best business deals on a napkin and complete his daily Omaha World Herald crossword puzzles in pen. The highlight of each year for Jim was to attend his son’s cattle branding in Rushville with his longtime friends, Buford and Olie. 

Jim was always giving of his time and served on many organizations throughout the years. He served on the Cedar Rapids Town Board, Cedar Rapids and Belgrade Fire Department, was also an EMT, and coached Legion Baseball. He was an officer of the Cedar Rapids Alumni, Cedar Rapids Community Club and helped with the Sunset Cemetery Board. Jim participated in Post #44 American Legion as a commander and was also the American Legion Boone County commander along as serving on the Boone County Fair Board for many years. Jim was a Mason member of the Scottish Rite and the Sesostris Shrine Temple of Lincoln and a Nebraska Diplomat.  His most recent commitment was serving on the Nance County Tourism Committee.

Jim will forever be remembered as the local historian, for his humor, hospitality, along with his dissertations which always had a lesson to be learned. His words of wisdom will forever be repeated by the ones who loved and respected him… “Be a giver, not a taker and don’t let your emotions run away with your good judgement.”

He is survived by his wife Sue; children: Carroll (Hallie) Cox of Rushville, Neb., and Kelly (Cody) Simmons of Alma, Neb.; along with his three grandchildren; Christopher, Maddison, and Kathryn; and his brother; Larry (Jean) Cox of Henderson, Neb.; along with many other relatives and friends.  

Jim is proceeded in death by his parents and infant sister: Sharon.


Kenneth H. Leach

Kenneth H. Leach passed away on August 1, 2019, at Cascades Living Facility, Grass Valley, Calif. He was 93. He was born on August 27, 1925, near Merriman, Nebraska.

Ken is survived by his wife, Delores; his children, Christopher Blum (Norma), Martha Blum, Louisa Lucie-Smith, Janet Bailey (Steve), Marsha Burch, and Karen Anderson (Jeffrey); fourteen grand-children, Nick Bailey, Christopher Bailey, Samantha Bailey, Anna Burch, Gavin Burch, Luke Anderson, William Anderson, Jordan Anderson, Jennifer Blum, Jeanne Blum, Cecilia Babcock; Theodore Babcock; Sophie Lucie-Smith; Robert Lucie-Smith; and 5 great-grandchildren. 

He is predeceased by his parents, Esther and Virgil Leach; his brother Millard, and his sister, Lorraine. Millard served in the Navy and was killed in 1945 in the Pacific on the U.S.S. Calhoun. 

Ken grew up in Merriman, Nebraska, until his senior year in high school year when the family moved to Portland, Oregon, where he graduated from Lincoln High School in 1942. A few months thereafter, he joined the Marine Corps and served in the Pacific Theater in World War II, participating in the consolidation of the Northern Solomon Islands. He was honorably discharged in 1945 with the rank of Sergeant. 

In 1946 he attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. In 1948 he attended Stanford University, and in 1950 the University of California, Berkeley. In 1953 Ken received his LL.B. (bachelor of laws) degree from Boalt Hall.

Ken practiced law in Berkeley and Oakland, and in 1968 he became an Assistant District Attorney in Butte County, California. In 1971 he was appointed as the District Attorney. He served as the District Attorney of Butte County from 1971 until 1979, and then moved to Penn Valley, California, where he practiced law until 2010.

Ken enjoyed golf and was also an avid duck hunter. He loved his Labrador retrievers, and had four throughout his lifetime. Many of his fondest moments were spent in the company of his hunting dogs. 

Interment will be in the Gordon Cemetery in his beloved Sandhills of Nebraska in a private ceremony. 


Ruth JoAnn Kockrow Pauly

Ruth JoAnn (Kockrow) Pauly passed away on September 14, 2019, at Sanford Ava’s Hospice House in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, at the age of 87.

JoAnn (as she preferred to be called) was born on October 4, 1931, to Raymond and Lillian Kockrow in Fairbury, Nebraska. The family lived on several farms before purchasing a farm near Rushville, Nebraska in 1945. JoAnn attended high school there, graduating in 1947. After high school she attended Chadron State College for one year and earned an education certificate. She taught at a country school north of Gordon, Nebraska, for the year 1948-1949 before marrying Edward Pauly in 1949. She and Ed moved to Martin, S.D., living on the Pauly home place and then in town before they purchased their farm eight miles east of town. They opened Pauly Oil and Equipment in Martin in addition to the farming operation. JoAnn worked with Ed in supporting the farming work and also helped run Pauly Oil. After Ed died in 1969, JoAnn went to work at Blackpipe State Bank. She worked at the bank until she retired at the age of 81.

JoAnn was active in the Order of Eastern Star since 1955 and held all of the offices in the Martin Chapter several times. She also served as a Grand Officer in 1978 and a Grand Representative twice in the Grand Chapter of South Dakota. At the time of her passing she was a member of Evergreen Chapter 97 in Kadoka.

JoAnn spent many hours piecing and sewing beautiful quilts and made sure each of her family members received one or more. Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. JoAnn also enjoyed gardening. Many of her friends in Martin enjoyed the produce from her garden as she loved to share.

JoAnn was a member of the Lindsey Memorial Presbyterian Church and Bennett County Extension Homemakers. She could always be counted on to support her church, lodge, and extension clubs by donating salads, desserts, and baked goods whenever she had the opportunity to do so. JoAnn loved to cook, try out new recipes, and share her baked goods with others. She kept the employees at the bank happy with her caramel rolls and treats. Her generosity was experienced by many people throughout the area.

JoAnn is survived by her daughter Donette (Bruce) Gering of Sioux Falls; sons Eddie Joe (Denise) of Rapid City and Johnnie Ray (Nancy) of Martin; grandchildren Annette (Jason), Rachel (Robert), Joel (Katie) and Rebecca; great-grandchildren Amelia, Elliott and Emma; brother Dean (Beverly) Kockrow of Valentine, Neb.; sisters-in-law Marilyn Kockrow of Rushville, Neb., and Florence Pauly of Martin; many nieces and nephews and a host of special friends.

She was preceded in by her husband Ed; brothers Donald and Tom and her parents.

Blessed be her memory.

Funeral Service will be held Friday September 20, 2019, 10:00 a.m. at the Activity Center in Martin, S.D. Burial will be held in Martin Community Cemetery. A memorial has been established for the Lindsey Memorial Presbyterian Church or the Bennett County Library and donations may be sent in care of Bennett County Funeral Service, PO Box 65, Martin, SD 57551.


William Reinhert Perry, Jr.

William Reinhert Perry, Jr. died Sept. 11, 2019, at the age of 83 in the Chadron Hospital. Bill was born May 31, 1936, to William and Wilma (Eitler) Perry in Gordon, Neb. He grew up on the family farms south of Rushville and north of Gordon, where he attended rural schools.

He worked as a ranch hand on various Sandhills ranches in the Merriman and Gordon areas for many years. He also was employed at Goetzinger’s, Sheridan County Road Dept., and the City of Martin. Bill spent the last five years helping his cousins Dave and Mary Hansen at the Hay Springs Hardware and Lumber Yard.

In 1972, Donna Babby and Bill were married and raised her six children together.

Bill and Kay York were married in the Zion Lutheran Church of Hay Springs, Neb., Sept. 9, 2008.

Survivors are his wife Kay, her children Wayne York and family, Lila (Ron) Marrs and family, and Steve York and family, brother Alvin (Pat Snook) Perry, Alvin’s children Dawn and Allen, and numerous other relatives and friends.

Graveside services will be at 2:00 p.m., MT, Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Gordon, Neb. For those unable to be at the cemetery services, you are invited to visit family at Zion Lutheran Church in Hay Springs at 3:00 for coffee and cookies.

A memorial has been established for Zion Lutheran Church.


Adam John Cross

Adam John Cross left his earthly body on September 4, 2019, at his home in Rapid City, South Dakota. He was born on January 8, 1993, in Dickinson, North Dakota, to his loving parents, Richard L. and Kimberly J. (Hanstad) Cross.

Adam received his Bachelor of Science in Music Production from Full Sail University in 2014. He continued to pursue his love for music by playing numerous instruments and producing music. He enjoyed his sales career at BestBuy and the many relationships he made there.

Adam loved many things in life, but nothing was more important to him than his family and friends. He was most happy spending time with others, a good cup of coffee in hand. His joy and laughter saw many people through both joyous and difficult times. Anyone who came in contact with Adam could not help but feel his immense love for them and sense his relentless selflessness. Although his time was short, his love will continue to transcend this earthly plane as he ascends to the loving embrace of his Lord, Jesus Christ.

Adam is survived by his father and mother, Richard and Kimberly Cross; sister, Amanda (Cross) Bannan; sister and brother-in-law, Brianna (Cross) and Nolt Nicholson; maternal grandparents, John and Fran Hanstad; paternal grandmother, Clara Cross; nephews, Finn and Ben Bannan; nieces, Harper and Emma Nicholson; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Adam was preceded in death by paternal grandfather Harry Cross and beloved canine companion, Max.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11:00 am at Chamberlain Chapel (1700 Hwy 20, Chadron, NE 69337). A reception will be held at EJ’s BBQ (251 Main St., Chadron, NE 69337) following the service.

Contributions in memory of Adam may be made to the Epilepsy Foundation of America at


Barbara Jean Jones

Memorial services for Barbara Jean Jones, 71, will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, September 13, 2019, at Our Savior Lutheran Church with Reverend Scott Firminhac officiating. Barbara died September 6, 2019, at her home and cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Beta Sigma Phi-Cancer patient assistance. Arrangements are by the Colyer Funeral Home and condolences may be sent to

Barbara was born July 13, 1948, in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, the daughter of David and Dorothy (Kennedy) Stricker. She received her early education at a rural school near Bayard, Nebraska, and in 1955, the family moved to a farm south of Torrington, Wyoming, and she graduated from Huntley High School in 1966. She attended one year of college at Goshen County Community College (EWC). She married Terry Jones on July 24, 1967. She worked as an office manager at the Credit Bureau, Jones Cable Company and then at Terry’s Tire Center which they started in 1985, where she also did the bookkeeping.

Barbara enjoyed gardening and doing family genealogy. She was a member of the Grassroots Garden Club where she served in many offices, the Curves Coffee Clutch, Our Savior Lutheran Church and the Southeast Goshen Chapter of American Historical Society of Germans from Russia which she helped established in 1999.

Barbara is survived by a son Ty (Carolyn) Jones of Helena, Montana; a sister Patti (Gary) Sellenrick of Sheridan, Wyoming; a brother Jim (Kathy) Stricker of Torrington, Wyoming; an Uncle Leo (Wilma) Stricker; an aunt Rosie Stricker; eight nieces and nephews; and numerous cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband Terry; and a niece.


Laird E. (Tom) Kockrow

Laird Eugene (Tom) Kockrow was born on March 11, 1940, to Raymond and Lillian (McFarland) Kockrow at Fairbury, Neb.  He went to be with God on August 28, 2019, at his home surrounded by his loved ones. 

His family moved to Hay Springs, Neb., in 1942, where they lived on the east side of Walgren Lake until they purchased the farm northeast of Rushville in 1945. Tom attended Rushville Public School and graduated in 1958.  He was a several sport athlete and was honored as Homecoming King his senior year.  During his high-school years he worked part-time for Bud Beguin, and often moved haystacks past the Mill School.  He loved waving at the kids at recess as he went by.  After graduation, he drove a semi for Fleece Brothers Trucking out of Sutherland, Neb., until the untimely death of his father in 1965.  He returned home to help his mother with the farming and cattle.  He worked for the county road department as well as for George Cox building dams.  He also farmed for the three Hollstein Brothers for 30 plus years, which he enjoyed as they were very appreciative and kind to him, and later to his family.  He was a Vermeer dealer for close to 20 years, where he sold new equipment and parts.

Little did he know that the 8th grade girl that always waved back at the Mill School would become his bride. He married Marilyn Norton on October 13, 1968. To this union, two beautiful little girls, Karena Lynn and April Leann, were born.  Karena on March 26, 1974, and April on March 26, 1978.  Friends would ask when he was going to try for a son.  His response was, “That was computer work as predicted, and we have turned it off”.   As everyone knows, Tom loved telling jokes and visiting. 

Tom moved his family to the home place in 1994, after the passing of his mother in 1993, where he continued farming and raising cattle.  His mules had a special place in his heart, so they were a joy for him to ride and pack.

Tom’s greatest love was his family.  He enjoyed teaching his grandchildren gun safety and shooting with accuracy during many hours of target practice and blue-rock shoots as well as watching Karena’s kids during shooting sports practice and competition. 

Tom and Marilyn took many fun trips from North Carolina to California visiting April’s family.  They enjoyed the sight-seeing trips as well as many sporting events all the way from professional wrestling, throwing events, little league baseball, basketball to water polo.

Tom and Marilyn purchased deer permits every year that their health would allow.  Many hours were spent on the Vincent meadows and the Norton ranch spotting deer.  Tom loved pack trips to the mountains with his mules and tent to Durango, Colo., and to Wyoming.  His brother-in-law, Tom Rose, went with him and enjoyed many hunting trips together, even to Boone, N.C., bear hunting.

A very memorable trip to Alaska for six weeks, with a special friend, Ginny, and her husband was a dream come true.  Tom talked about going back and taking both daughters and their families.  Wildlife was his passion alive or dead.

Tom spent many hours playing cards with special friends and neighbors, one week at our house the next week at their house.  Other special friends spent hours on the telephone every week, sometimes, nightly. Those memories last forever.

Tom is survived by his loving wife, daughter Karena (Travis) Denton, and their children, Stetson, Wrangler (Jayde) and great grandson Jeremy, Roper and Bailey, and daughter April (Bob) Smith, and their sons, Andrew and Derek. Also, he is survived by Sister JoAnn Pauly of Martin, SD, and her family, and brother Dean (Beverly) Kockrow of Valentine, Neb., and their family, sister-in-law Dorothy Norton and family and other relatives, neighbors, and friends.

Preceding him in death were his parents, his in-laws (Bill and Mollie Norton), his brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Elaine of North Platte, Neb., brothers-in law Ed Pauly of Martin, S.D., and Ralph Norton of Rushville, and brother/sister-in-law Tom and Ileen Rose of Kilgore, Neb., and his grandparents, and other relatives too numerous to name.

He left this world suddenly, but we know he is looking down, guiding his family, and loving God.  He will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

Memorial Services were held Thursday September 5, 2019, 10:00 a.m. at Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home. Inurnment was held in Fairview Cemetery, Rushville, Nebraska. A memorial has been established and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366 Gordon, NE 69343.


Melvin Charles Krotz

Funeral services for Melvin Charles Krotz, 66, were held at 3:30 p.m. Friday, September 6, 2019, at St Joseph Children’s Home Chapelwith The Reverends Bill Baker and Diane Carlton officiating. Burial took place Saturday, September 7, 2019, at the Holly Cemetery in Rushville, Nebraska, at 11 a.m. Melvin passed away at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, on Friday August 30, 2019. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to either All Saints Episcopal Church, Lion’s Club or the Bent Barrels and Crooked Arrows 4-H Club. The casket was open prior to the service at St Joseph’s. Arrangements are by the Colyer Funeral Home and condolences may be sent to

Melvin was born on August 26, 1953, to Charles and Barbara (Landreth) Krotz in Rushville, Nebraska. He graduated from Rushville High School in 1971. He moved to Chadron, Nebraska, and learned the trade of carpet installation. Melvin met his wife, Paula (Miglia) Krotz in January of 1990 at a square dance held in his old country school house. They were married eight months later on September 1, 1990. They began their married life in an old, rented trailer house in Rushville. A year later, they moved to Torrington, Wyoming. Scott Charles Krotz was born to their union on August 31, 1993. Hayley Rae Krotz joined their family in January of 2011. Melvin worked a variety of jobs while living in Torrington. His first job was at the Christmas Tree Farm. From there, he moved to Kelley Bean. He then decided to put his training as a carpet layer to good use and had his own business, Krotz Karpeting, for a couple of years until he suffered a back injury. He then moved on to the Oak Tree Inn in Morrill, Nebraska. His final work experience was at Century Lumber in Torrington. He retired from that position in October of 2017. Melvin joined the National Guard shortly after high school and became part of the Chadron artillery unit. When he moved to Torrington, he joined the Torrington National Guard Unit and learned the MOS of canvas repair specialist. He retired from the National Guard after almost twenty-four years of service.

Melvin thoroughly enjoyed people. He was happiest when he was giving someone a bad time. He always seemed to have a smile on his face and was a very laid back person. He seemed to know almost everyone due to his variety of work experiences. No one was a stranger. He was a member of the All Saints Episcopal Church. He also belonged to the Torrington Lion’s Club, the American Legion and the Bent Barrels and Crooked Arrows 4-H Club.

Melvin is survived by his wife Paula; son Scott (Katie) Krotz of Torrington; daughter Hayley Krotz of Torrington; brothers Tom (Judy), John (Julie), and Wayne (Rena) of Rushville, Nebraska; sisters Kathleen (Bill) Kocourek of Martin, South Dakota, and Rosalie (Don) Pierce of Fountain, Colorado; and various nephews, nieces, cousins, aunts and uncles. He was preceded in death by his parents.


Carol Lynn Hankins

Carol Lynn Hankins, 58, of Hay Springs passed away on August 22 in North Platte.

Visitation will be August 27, at 7 p.m. at the Rushville Methodist Church. 

Funeral Services will be held at 2 p.m. August 28 at the Rushville Methodist Church with Pastor Paul Smith officiating. Burial will follow at the Fairview Cemetery. Arrangements are by Chamberlain-Drabbles Mortuary. 

Carol was born in Rushville to Harold and Barbara Taylor on September 6, 1960. She went to school in Rushville. She married Gale on March 5, 1983, in the Rushville Methodist Church. She worked as a waitress and cook in many places including Helen’s Cafe, Hotz drive thru, and the Gordon/Rushville sale barn cafes. She was also a clerk at the Gordon Alco and the Ideal Market. Her last job was at the Rushville Senior Center. 

Carol is preceded in death by her parents, Harold and Barbara, and her sister Donna.

Carol is survived by her husband Gale; children David, Kimberly(Chris), and Kelli; grandchildren Julie, Brooklyn, Bailey, Dustin, Ellie, Addison, Isabelle, and Ely. Carol also considered great nephews and nieces grandchildren, so extended grandchildren are Dylan, Kalynn, Justyn, Austin, Tony, Shawn, Steven and baby Marco. She is also survived by her brother David(Margaret), sisters Patricia(Kenny), Sandra, and Linda; in-laws Gyna(Bruce), Bill(Doris), Don(Judy), Rick(Shirley), and many nieces and nephews.


Craig Bannerman

Craig Bannerman, age 72, died July 31, 2019, in Leesburg, Fla. Craig is survived by a sister LaRee Bannerman, N.Y, five children: Beau Douglas Bannerman, Calif., Bree Ahna Bannerman, Ga., Bret Michael Bannerman, Mass., Cory Anthony Bannerman, Ga., and Todd Anthony Bannerman, Fla., and two granddaughters: Olivia Bannerman, Wash., and Talia Elise Bannerman, Calif. Craig was preceded in death by his mother Bernadien Tiensvold Bannerman Pochon, father Anthony Bannerman and his step father George Pochon; grandparents Isabel and Ferdinand Tiensvold and Anthony and Rachel Bannerman.

Craig was from Rushville, Neb., and was in the Navy from 1966 to 1969, during the Vietnam War. He served as a sonar technician on the submarines USS Whale and the USS Trutta. He was a Petty Officer second class. His artistic abilities were often utilized for drawings and paintings for the ship’s use.

A military memorial is being planned at a later date in Rushville, Neb., his home that he loved. He was also a man of the sea, the family has designated the charity “Save The Whales” in honor of Craig Bannerman for memorial contributions.

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