Wyuka Blog


Edna E. Simpson

February 27, 2014

SimpsonEdna Emma (Carlson) Simpson, age 84 of Lincoln, widow of Harding (Curly) passed Wednesday, February 26, 2014.  Born to Carl Gustav and Emma Sophia Carlson on January 20, 1930 in Lincoln.  Married Harding Simpson October 16, 1948.  She is a member of the Order of Eastern Star, StarCraft Chapter #307.

Left to cherish precious memories are her daughters, Denise Hager and Lois Simpson.  Grandchildren: Jandrea (Erwin) Swiney, Lamelia (Justin) Miles, Bryan (Kristy) Simpson, Carissa Hager, Cassandra (Robert) Menyweather, Candis Hager, Artesia (Joshua) Holmes, Tarae Dowd and Miranda Hager.  14 Great grandchildren.  Brother: Arvid Carlson.  Preceded in death by her husband, sons Jon and Dennis Simpson.  Granddaughter Jaci Simpson, Sister, E. Ruth Smith.  Brothers, Kenneth and Edwin Carlson and her parents.

Services will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Wyuka Funeral Home.  Visitation will be Friday, February 28th from Noon until 8:00 P.M. with family greeting friends from 6:00-7:00 P.M. at Wyuka Funeral Home.  Burial at Wyuka Cemetery.

Memorials to the family for a later designation.

Norma E. Bennett

February 21, 2014

BennettNorma Evangeline Johnson Bennett was born to Albert J. and Ida Sandell Johnson on October 3, 1920.  She was born at home on a farm three and one half miles Northeast of Stromsburg, Nebraska.  Twenty-two years later she was married to C. Donald Bennett in that same house.  Norma was the youngest child of seven in the Johnson family.  This meant that she was surrounded by activity and attention during her “growing up”.  However, since her siblings were considerably older she learned to be very independent.  Norma’s love of music began at age seven when she started piano lessons.  This led to her accompanying for groups in High School and Church at an early age.  She would often stay after school accompanying for someone and then go directly across the street to the Baptist Church to play for special events or midweek prayer meeting.  At the University of Nebraska, Norma majored in English and minored in public speaking and music.  She taught classes in all three areas in Burwell and Osceola after graduation.  Don and Norma were married on November 27, 1942.  They made their home in Lincoln, Nebraska where their two daughters, Kathi and Kris were born.  When the girls were both in school, Norma began accompanying again.  She worked at Park Junior High School for two years and at Northeast High School for nineteen.  Norma joined Second Baptist Church in 1957.  She helped organize Junior and Youth choirs and later a small group of Senior women who loved to sing.  Although age and arthritis had taken their toll, Norma’s love of music had never waned.  Norma’s daughters, her grandchildren and great grandchildren were the love of her life as evidenced by the hundreds of cookies she baked each time they came to visit.  Each child had his own favorite and she made an effort to satisfy each one.  Games were also an important part of entertainment with the children.  Old Maid, Skip Bo, Uno and Rook were all a part of the fun.  Many Sunday afternoons were spent in serious competition.  Those happy times are all part of the good memories we cherish as we remember “Gran” Bennett.

Survivors include her daughters and son-in-law, Kathryn Friesen of Lincoln; Kristine and Douglas Crabtree of Arlington, Texas.  Nine grandchildren, ten great grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her husband and her parents.

Services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Tuesday, February 25th at Second Baptist Church, 525 N. 58th street, Lincoln.  Burial of ashes will be at 9:00 A.M. on Tuesday, February 25th at Wyuka Cemetery.  Cremation, no visitation.

Memorials to Second Baptist Church.



Grace A. Ryon

February 18, 2014

Grace A. Ryon, 96 of Lincoln, peacefully passed away on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014.  Born to Walter & Irene (Morneau) Whitburn on April 17, 1917, in Sioux City IA. Retired City of Lincoln, Purchasing Dept.  Member First Lutheran Church.  Former member LaSertoma Club.  Volunteer for Meals on Wheels.  Grace was a member of the Circle 8, square dance club and the Terpsichorean dinner dance club, she was also an avid reader.

Survivors: daughter, son-in-law Patty & Harry Goeglein, son Mike Ryon, granddaughters, spouses, Kristi & Dave Slama, Courtney & Tom Schwisow, granddaughter Heidi Goeglein, grandson, spouse Rick & Jody Marshall, great-granddaughter Karlee Slama, great-grandsons Dawson Slama, Tre & Tyler Marshall all Lincoln. Sister-in-law Eleanor Whitburn, Novato CA. Brother-in-law Tom Douglas Villa Hills KY. Nieces, nephews.

Preceded in death by husband, Allen C. Ryon, parents, brothers Robert & Roger Whitburn, sister Lois Harrop & brothers/sisters-in-laws.

Cremation. Internment on March 6, 2014, 1:00 p.m., Wyuka Cemetery. Memorials to Tabitha Health Care, Orchard Park Assisted Living or First Lutheran Church.

Condolences at www.Wyuka.com.

Patricia R. Pester

February 17, 2014

PesterPatricia R. Pester, age 85, of Lincoln passed away February 16, 2014.  She was born November 13, 1928 in Lincoln to Harry and Grayce (Frost) Perkins.  Patricia worked as a bank teller supervisor, training all of the bank tellers for Havelock and Pinnacle Banks.

Survivors include her son and daughter-in-law: Jim and Carolyn Pester and grandson: Curtis Pester all of Lincoln.  She is preceded in death by her Husband: Jack Pester and her parents.

Services will be at 1:00 P.M. on February 19, 2014 at Wyuka Funeral Home.  Interment will be at Wyuka Cemetery.  Visitation on Tuesday, February 18th from 6:00-8:00 P.M. at Wyuka Funeral Home.

Memorials to the family.

Chip Black

February 15, 2014

Black, ChipIt is with sadness and regret that we announce the passing of Chip Black from his mortal coil.  At the time of his passing, in the early morning last Tuesday, February 11, he was 67 years old.  Known to his friends and family as Chip, James E. Black II was born on November 2, 1946 in Denver, Colorado, to Retired Major (USAF) James E. Black and Viola Belle Klingens Black.  As the son of an Air Force major, Chip spent his early life journeying around world with his family as they moved from post to post:  Japan, Mississippi, Utah, and, ultimately, returning to Denver.  Theater and modern dance were a part of his early life, and his love of the arts continued throughout his life.  As a teenager, he was a member of the Limelighters and National Thespians.  He appeared in The Threepenny Opera company production of The Wizard of Oz and the Denver Post Opera Company’s  The King and I and My Fair Lady, to name a few.  An active Boy Scout, he also achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, and he later graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School.  Chip began college in Colorado, but he transferred to Dana College in Blair, Nebraska, where he met and married Lora Lunzmann.  In 1970, Chip graduated from Dana with a baccalaureate degree.  In July of that same year, Chip enlisted in the Air Force medic program and traveled with Lora and their new son to Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Mississippi, and then to Wilford Hall Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.  In April of 1974, he was discharged honorably from the Air Force.  After living for several years in Johnson, Nebraska, in the summer of 1980, Chip and his family settled in Lincoln.  During his career, Chip worked for various health care support services:  the Beatrice State Home, ENCOR of Omaha, and the Nebraska State Departments of Health, Developmental Disabilities, and Aging.  Chip Black was a champion of the arts.  In his retirement, he enjoyed spending time with his friends in the First Plymouth Singles group, and he loved to dance with the folk, contra, Irish, and tango dancing communities in Lincoln.  He also was heavily involved in the Mary Riepma Ross theater, serving on their supervisory board, and he was active for a time with the Lincoln Association for Traditional Arts.  While he enjoyed socializing, he was also a man of solitude.  Those who know him best will remember that he identified himself in retirement as a “professional beachcomber.”  While he scarcely saw a beach in the last half of his life, he was a beachcomber in spirit.  In Nebraska, that meant that, when the weather was nice, one might find Chip reading a book in a quiet park or maybe taking a break from time to time to watch the goslings play near the pond at Wyuka Cemetery.

Chip is preceded in death by his parents and Grammy Estella Klingens.  He is survived by former spouse and friend, Lora Lunzmann Black; his children, Andrew James Cognard-Black, Zachary Raymond Black, and Rachel Sophia Estella Black; their spouses and life partners, Jennifer Cognard-Black, Lisa Vann Black, and Todd Bush; his grandchildren, Katharine Anne Cognard-Black and Korben Silas Black; his sister, Barbara Black; and his niece, Sarah Payseno.

Memorial services will take place Wednesday, February 19 at 11:00 in the sanctuary at First Plymouth Congregational Church in Lincoln (2000 D Street), with a reception to follow in the fellowship hall.  In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that those who wish to contribute a memorial send donations in Chip’s name to The Friends of The Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center at:  Friends of the Ross, P.O. Box 880253, Lincoln, NE 68588-0253.

Carl K. Hart

February 11, 2014

Carl K. Hart died February 10, 2014 in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Born in Ft. Madison, Iowa on November 17, 1928, Carl lived in Janesville, Wisconsin, Fostoria, Ohio and Evanston, Illinois, before attending primary school in Winnetka, Illinois.  At the advent of World War II, Carl’s father re-entered the army as an officer from World War I, during which time Carl attended high schools in Flint, Michigan, St. Petersburg, Florida, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Winnetka, Illinois, where he graduated in 1947.  Carl received his undergraduate degree in 1951 from Carroll College, Waukesha, Wisconsin, and thereupon entered the United States Marine Corps, attaining the rank of sergeant, serving in the Korean Conflict.  In 1953, Carl married Eleanor Pauls of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, as well as attended graduate school at the University of Chicago.  Carl worked as an advertising salesman for Madison Newspapers, The Capitol Times and The Wisconsin State Journal, in Madison, Wisconsin for seventeen years before moving to Door County, Wisconsin, where in partnership with his wife he owned and operated several Fish Creek businesses:  The Blue Willow Restaurant and Cottages, The Proud Mary Hotel and Shops, and Hart & Hart Co.  During retirement, Carl lived in Stuart, Florida, David City and Lincoln, Nebraska.

Survivors include: his wife Eleanor (Elly) of Lincoln; a sister, Carolyn (Murray) Randell of Stuart, Florida; two sons, Carl K. Hart, Jr. (Barbara) of Columbus, NE and Peter (Lynne) of Cedar Rapids, IA; four Hart grandchildren: Elizabeth of Portland, OR, Daniel (Christine) of Asheville, NC, Stella of Iowa City, IA and Roland of New York City, NY.

A memorial service will be Saturday, February 15 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church at 12th and M Streets, Lincoln, with graveside ceremony following at Wyuka Cemetery.

Memorials may be given to the historical St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Lincoln, NE.

MarshMike Marsh passed away February 4, 2014 in Lincoln, Nebraska surrounded by his family and friends following a lengthy illness.  Mike was born December 29, 1952 in Leon, Iowa to Ernest Marsh and Darlene (Dobesh) Marsh.  He was a graduate of Hastings High School in Hastings, Nebraska and attended pre-med at Kearny State College in Kearny, Nebraska before joining the United States Navy and serving with distinction.  Mike was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Rifle Expert Ribbon, Navy Achievement Medal and Meritorious Unit Commendation, as well as many other commendations during his service to his country.  He retired from the Navy in September of 1996 and felt it was a great privilege and honor to have served his country.  In addition to serving in the Navy, Mike earned his BS in Hospital Management from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL, and completed a Medical Assistant certificate program at the University of Nebraska.  He loved people and was always willing to lend a helping hand to others in need, volunteering at St. Elizabeth’s, HHS, and with the Special Olympics.  He was also a proud member of St. John’s parish, the Knights of Columbus, VFW Lodge 131 and the DAV.  Mike enjoyed a good joke, drawing, painting, animals, and spending time with his family.  He was also an avid Nebraska Cornhusker fan.


Mike was preceded in death by his parents.  He is survived by his wife Phyllis Rosemarie (Cassese) Marsh of Lincoln, a daughter Deanna Marsh of Lincoln, a brother, Steven Marsh of Chicago, IL, a sister Melody (Marsh) Spence of Elberon, Iowa, a nephew, Garrett Spence of Elberon, Iowa, a niece, Jaime Spence of Vinton, Iowa, and his two faithful friends, Bogo and Georgia.  His ready smile and generous nature will be truly missed by all who knew him.


Services for Michael Marsh will be held on Saturday, February 8 at 2 p.m. at St. John the Apostle Parish in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Memorials to the Children International Fund in care of the family.

Lois C. Bodtke

February 3, 2014

Lois C. Bodtke, age 85 of Lincoln passed away February 3, 2014.  She was born April 27, 1928 at home near Hubbell, Nebraska to Thomas C. and Emma (Meyer) Laverentz.  Lois married Marvin Bodtke on July 6, 1952, together they owned and operated Marv’s Central Market in Hebron, Nebraska until retiring in 1993.

Survivors include her husband, Marvin E. Bodtke; daughter, Debra Bodtke; son and daughter-in-law, Greg and Dana Bodtke all of Lincoln.  Sister, Mildred House of Clyde, Ohio and a brother, Ralph Laverentz of Broomfield, Colorado.  She is preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Donald Laverentz.

Services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Friday, February 7, 2014 at Wyuka Funeral Home.  Visitation will be on Thursday, February 6, 2014 from 2:00-8:00 P.M. with family greeting friends from 6:00-7:00 P.M. at Wyuka Funeral Home.

Interment will be at Wyuka Cemetery.

Memorials to the St. Paul United Methodist Church television ministry or The Capitol Humane Society

Rebecca Ruth Miller

February 1, 2014

Rebecca R. Miller, age 30 of Lincoln, passed away on January 31, 2014 following a hard fought battle with brain cancer.  Rebecca was born on January 28, 1984 in Ft. Benning, Georgia to John and Brenda (Smith) Davis.  She graduated from Lincoln Southeast High School and attended Southeast Community College and Nebraska Wesleyan University.  Rebecca played AAA ice hockey with the Wisconsin Challengers and later served in the U.S. Army.  A devoted mother, she lived for her children; as evidenced by her participation with them in their activities.  Rebecca was a Cub Scout Leader and a Girl Scout Leader.  She coached YMCA Soccer and T-Ball teams, youth Roller and Ice Hockey Teams, and was a past member of the Lincoln Ice Hockey Association Board of Directors.  Her can-do attitude, fighting spirit, and infectious smile will serve as a lasting influence to all who knew her.

Survivors include her husband Stewart Miller, her children Alex, Brandon, Ruth and Suzanne.  Parents John and Brenda Davis all of Lincoln.  Brothers and sisters-in-law: Rick & Heidi Davis of Ft. Rucker, Alabama and Steve & Chandra Davis of Cusseta, Georgia and her  Grandparents Richard and Audrey Davis of Grand Island, Nebraska.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at Wyuka Funeral Home from 2:00-8:00 P.M.  The family will greet friends at the funeral home from 6:00-7:00 P.M.

Services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Wednesday, February 5, 2014 at Southwood Lutheran Church, 9300 S. 40th, Lincoln.  Graveside services will be at 2:00 P.M. on Wednesday, February 5th at Wyuka Cemetery.  Family and friends will meet at the “O” street entrance of Wyuka Cemetery.

In lieu  of flowers memorials to the American Cancer Society.

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