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October 1, 2012
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Plains Edition Obituaries 9-29-12

William Burford

William Fredrick Burford, 84, of North Platte, Neb., passed away September 8, 2012 in North Platte, Neb.

He was born in Grand Junction, Colo., on March 23, 1928, to Darwin and Neva Bragg Burford. He attended schools in Grand Junction, Colo., graduating in 1946.

Bill served in the U.S. Army of Occupation in Japan before entering Colorado State University.

He married Shirlee Flagg in 1949.

In 1954, he graduated as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and in 1956, moved his family to North Platte, Neb., to set up a vet clinic where he practiced for 35 years.

He served as the Buffalo Bill Rodeo veterinarian and was awarded the Trail Boss Award in 1985. In 2008, he was inducted into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame.

He also served as president of the North Platte Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Optimist Club and Moose Lodge.

He is survived by three children; two grandchildren; brother, Pierce, and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by Shirlee and brother, Lee.

Memorial services were held September 29, 2012 at the Messiah Lutheran Church in North Platte, Neb.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name and condolences shared at

William Grant Crouse

William “Bill” Grant Crouse, 91, of Ashby, Neb., passed away September 20, 2012, at the Box Butte General Hospital in Alliance, Neb., surrounded by his family following a brief illness.

He was born May 12, 1921, in Grant County south of Ashby, Neb., on the family ranch to Odell and Rosa Mae (Brumgaugh) Crouse. He was the seventh of nine children.

As a teen, Bill worked on numerous ranches including the Suttons, Minors and Abbotts Ranches before going into the Army in 1942.

He served overseas in Europe during WWII. He was honorably discharged on November 19, 1945. After being discharged, he returned to the Sandhills and worked for his brother Pat on the Abbotts Daly Place.

While working there he met the love of his life, Virginia Fodge, at a Rackett Hall Dance. They were united in marriage on May 17, 1947, in Hyannis, Neb. To this union four sons were born, Sam, Russel, Mark and Shannon.

In September 1952 he started his own repair shop, calling it “Bill’s Garage.” He owned this business until December 2005. During this time he had an Oliver Tractor franchise and an International Truck franchise. He later sold his business to his two sons, Russel and Shannon.

He was Grant County Commissioner from 1962-1966. He also served on the Ashby School District No. 7 board several years. He was a member of American Legion No. 57, of Hyannis and VFW No. 1517, of Alliance, Neb.

He is survived by his four sons and their spouses, Sam (Carol) Crouse, Russel, Mark and Shannon (Janet), all of Ashby, Neb.; five grandchildren, Dolly (Randy) Freeman, of Sanford, Fla., Mike (Brenda) Crouse, of Rapid City, S.D., Lisa Crouse, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Jada Pickettpin, of Alliance, Neb., Chrissi Crouse (Kendall Koch), of Hershey, Neb.; six great-grandchildren, Rebekah Freeman, of Sanford, Fla., Allexus Sutton, Aubre and Chauncie Pickettpin, of Alliance, Neb., and Charlie and Jake Koch, of Hershey, Neb.

Memorial services were held September 25, 2012 at the Ashby Congregational Church in Ashby, Neb.

Burial was at the Ashby Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Ashby Congregational Church or donor’s choice. ❖

Barbara Katherine Simonson

Kitty Simonson, 89, of Mullen, Neb., passed away September 22, 2012 at Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte, Neb., surrounded by family.

She was born January 4, 1923, at the family’s 1887 homestead at Swan Lake in Cherry County. Family members still own and operate the ranch. She was the seventh of nine children born to Jay Edward “Ed” and Katherine Barbara “Katie” Krueger Miller.

Kitty attended country schools through the seventh grade, graduating with the Mullen High School class of 1941. She was united in marriage with Jack N. Simonson on August 3, 1941, in Alliance, Neb.

Kitty and Jack lived north of Mullen, Neb., on the Middle Loup River until 1945, when they bought their own place in southern Cherry County.

In 1958, Kitty started working in the Mullen, Neb., school cafeteria when the family moved to town during the school year. She was head cook and worked at the school until multiple sclerosis limited her physically in 1975.

Kitty was an avid bridge player and enjoyed golfing, bowling and gardening.

After Jack’s death in 1990, Kitty moved to Pioneer Memorial Rest Home in Mullen, Neb. She still enjoyed cards with her card club, refunding, making greeting cards and jewelry. She had a ready smile and loved joking with family and staff.

She is survived by sons, Doug (Donna) of Fremont, Neb., and Pat (Wanda) of Seneca, Neb.; grandchildren, Kevin (Niamh), Mark (Anna) and Kristine (Doug Biegert), Craig, Sid and Brenda (Smolarkewiecz), Aaron (Liza), Mike (Kami) and Nick (Melissa); and 13 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Helen Miller of Columbus, Ind., Louise Miller of North Platte, Neb., Jean Harding of Mullen, Neb., Peg Garner of Golden, Colo.; and brother-in-law, Donn (Judy) Simonson of Fullerton, Neb.; many nieces and nephews, the staff of Pioneer Memorial Rest Home and countless friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband; son Joe; her parents; six brothers; and two sisters.

Always a generous and giving person, Kitty had made arrangements to donate her body to multiple sclerosis research.

Memorial services will be at 3 p.m. (MST) on Saturday, October 13, at the Methodist Church in Mullen, Neb.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Pioneer Memorial Nursing Home or donor’s choice. ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Oct 17, 2013 09:33AM Published Dec 10, 2012 10:22AM Copyright 2012 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.