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March 18, 2013
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Plains Edition Obituaries 3-16-13

Katherine Jane Gilligan Manning

Katherine Jane “Kathy” Gilligan Manning, 78, passed away March 6, 2013, at Linden Court in North Platte, Neb.

She was born the third child and only daughter to Nick and Hilda (Sauerberg) Gilligan on August 29, 1934, on the family farm outside of Milburn, Neb., that her grandfather homesteaded.

Kathy attended grade school at Milburn by traveling horseback or walking the mile and a half with her older brothers with whom she played many practical pranks! She attended high school at the University of Nebraska School of Agriculture at Curtis, Neb., where she met and made many lifelong friends, including her husband of over 50 years.

Mart W. Manning and Katherine Gilligan were married December 28, 1950, at Seward, Neb. They lived and loved most of their married life on the home ranch north of Thedford, Neb., where they were partners in life and raised their four children. As a family they worked hard, always having fun and playing harder. There were no limits on all of the fun adventures and there were no boundaries put on their childrens’ imaginations and curiosities. In the early years, every Sunday afternoon was spent at a local lake, grilling hamburgers over an open pit, swimming and water skiing until their children started rodeoing. Everything was done as a family.

Her children always knew there was a God because we could see His love for us through their mother Katherine! Kathy cooked for the hay crew and extended family every summer, as well as filled in on any of the tractors, wherever she was needed. The Manning door was always open and many Sunday mornings they awoke to a living room with one or more guests that their children had brought home from the night before. They always took the time and enjoyed visiting whenever any of their neighbors or a stranger stopped in. The living room was always full on Nebraska football game day where everyone enjoyed Kathy’s chili and cinnamon rolls. Kathy loved to visit and socialize and never met a stranger.

She loved to fish, dance and hunt arrowheads. She took pride in her yard and drug a lot of hoses to keep it watered and green. She was always one to stretch a penny and she could spot a bargain. She loved to shop at Goodwill and always dressed and looked like a million dollars.

Kathy loved her home and thought the Sandhills was the most beautiful of any place she had ever seen or visited and would tell you so when she returned home. Kathy commented many times that she never tired of the trip to Valentine, Neb., and her favorite view was coming back home and seeing “Hack Berry Hill” at the Brownlee turnoff from the north.

Kathy was proud of her roots and her heritage, but her greatest pride was in family and her cherished grandchildren.

She is survived by her son, Bill (Marj) Manning of Valentine, Neb.; her daughters, Ann (Rod) Warren of Thedford, Neb., and Kari Sue Manning of Milburn, Neb.; 10 grandchildren, Angie (Kevin) McCully, Nat (Mindy) Warren, Justina (Keven) Benscoter, Clayton (Tiffany) Manning, Erin Manning, Sara Manning (Jeremey), Matthew (Kelley) Manning, Kati Pearman (Kevin), Molli (Ford) Miller and Tammy (Mark) Swanson; 19 great-grandchildren; daughter-in-law and son-in-law Becky Manning and Lynn Pearman; two nephews; three nieces and their spouses; the Thayer family and many “adopted” children and grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband Mart in 2003 and their son Hain in 1999; her parents, Nick and Hilda; brothers, Tom and Bernard (Norma) Gilligan; her father and mother-in-law William H. and Eleanor Manning; brother-in-law Jack (Micky) Manning; sister-in-law Bee and special friend and dancing partner, Lester Thayer.

Graveside services will be held March 16, 2013, at 2 p.m. CDT at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Thedford, Neb., followed by a continued celebration of her life at the Thomas County Fair Building in Thedford, Neb.

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Thomas County Fairgrounds or to the Hillcrest Cemetery. ❖

Kenneth L. Brock

Kenneth L. Brock, 84, of Grand Island, Neb., passed away March 7, 2013, at Wedgewood Care Center surrounded by his family.

He was born March 29, 1928, at Highmore, S.D., to Floyd and Vera (Maginnis) Brock. Kenny grew up in Highmore. S.D., receiving his education in Highmore. He helped farm the family farm in Holabird, S.D.

He married Zada Barnes on December 11, 1948, at Harold, S.D. They lived in Harold where they farmed and Kenny sheared sheep. They moved to Canton, S.D., in 1957, they farmed, raised pigs, milked cows and fed feeder cattle. He also worked for several years at the Canton Sale Barn. In 1974, they moved to Mitchell, S.D., where Kenny began training thoroughbred race horses for Jack Koltes. In 1976, they move to Grand Island, Neb., where he continued to follow the Nebraska and South Dakota horse racing circuit until retiring in 2008. Ken loved farm life and in his retirement stayed connected by helping anyone out that needed an extra hand.

He loved to coon hunt, especially with his Red Bone Coon Dog, Lucky. He was a handyman who could fix anything, was an excellent horse shoer, he enjoyed fishing, tending to his vegetable garden and of course watching the horses run.

He attended the United Congregational Church.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Zada Brock of Grand Island, Neb.; two daughters, Mary Brock of Aurora and Linda Peers of Grand Island, Neb.; a son and daughter-in-law, Randy and Carrie Johnson of Valentine, Neb.; and a sister, Faye Grable of Rapid City, S.D.; grandchildren, Mindy VanWinkle, Samantha Robb, Carrie Robb, Matthew Brock, and Amanda Brock; a great-granddaughter, Morgan VanWinkle; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Darrel, Earl J. “Shorty”, Larry, sisters, Ellen Kliensasser, Sr. Marie Therese Brock.

Memorial services were held March 15, 2013 at Curran Funeral Chapel.

Inurnment was in the Grand Island City Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the family’s choice.

Online condolences may be given at

John Lyle Abbott

John Lyle Abbott, 94, of Lincoln, Neb., passed away March 4, 2013.

Born in Kearney, Neb., on December 11,1918, he was adopted into the loving home of Loyd and Edith (Wilterdink) Abbott in January of 1919.

He lived his early years on the family farm near Martell, Neb., moving to the Greenwood area in the spring of 1933.

He graduated from Alvo High School in 1936. He served in the Army during World War II from 1942 -1945 and was assigned to the 562nd Engineering Boat Maintenance Battalion. He served in the Southern Pacific theatre, including Australia, New Guinea, Wadke Island and the liberation of the Philippines where he was injured. He returned to Barnes General Hospital in Washington for recovery. Discharged in November 1945, he worked as a machinist for the Department of Roads for 36 years prior to his retirement in 1982.

He was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, a long-time member of VFW Post 131, a life member of DAV Chapter 7, and a 52 year member of American Legion Post No. 3.

He enjoyed his family, fishing and maintaining his yard and garden, Nebraska football, as well as travel, which included several fishing trips to Canada. He made every effort to always keep in touch with his army buddies by attending reunions.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Ruth; a daughter and son-in-law, Doris and Ron Rathje of York, Neb.; two grandsons and their spouses, Matt (Traci) and Marty (Sara) Rathje of Lincoln, Neb.; four great grandchildren, Mason and Brea Rathje, and Jackson and Harper Rathje; nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Services were held March 7, 2013 at Redeemer Lutheran Church

Burial followed with military rites at Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery. ❖

Steven L. Rasmussen

Steven L. Rasmussen, 59, of Scotia, Neb., passed away March 11, 2013, in Omaha, Neb., with his family by his side after his courageous battle with cancer.

He was born March 1, 1954, in St. Paul to Dennis and Maxine (Yax) Rasmussen.

He was a lifetime farmer and rancher from Scotia, Neb. His pride was the loyal customers he met and the services and supports he provided them. He greatly valued the friendships gained during his 17 years with ADM.

The family would like to thank the doctors and staff from the St. Francis Cancer Treatment Center for the excellent treatment and support that was given to Steve.

He is survived by his father, Dennis of Cotesfield, Neb.; and three sisters and brothers-in-law, Cindy and Jim Watson of Omaha, Neb., Vicki and Doug Hughes of Lincoln, Neb., and Mary Jo and Dan Veskrna of Blair, Neb.; and nieces and nephews.

He was preceded by his mother, Maxine Rasmussen.

A private family burial was held March 15, 2013 in the Mount Hope Cemetery in Scotia, Neb.

Memorial contributions may be made to the family’s choice.

Condolences for Steve may be left at

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The Fence Post Updated Oct 17, 2013 09:33AM Published May 28, 2013 04:40PM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.