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May 19, 2014
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Plains Edition Obits 5-17-14

Bernard (Ben) Francis Winkenwerder

Bernard (Ben) Francis Winkenwerder, 82, passed away May 9, 2014 at the Golden Living Center in Broken Bow, Neb.

He was the 12th (and the youngest boy) of 14 children born to Richard and Amelia (Miller) Winkenwerder, at their home southwest of Hershey, Neb., on March 7, 1932.

He attended the Lamont country school, and Sutherland High School. He helped run the family farm while his older brothers were in the military during WWII. Ben was very active in the Rural Youth, where he met many friends and his future wife. He joined the Army in 1954 and was sent to Korea where he was a military police officer.

He married Alice Bloomquist on Oct. 21, 1962. They adopted son Craig in 1966, daughter Karen in 1968, and daughter Carol in 1970.

He worked at Armour Meat Packing, then started his own business laying carpet. He was known to be a perfectionist at his work. He laid carpet for 35 years until his health forced him to quit and even then would do small carpet jobs to help out a friend or neighbor.

He moved to Dunning, Neb., to live with his sister Dotty Roseberry for several years until his declining health sent him to the nursing home-first in Sutherland and then in Broken Bow.

He is survived by his daughter Carol (Trever) Staff of Lexington, Neb., son Craig of Sutherland, Neb., and daughter Karen; five grandchildren, Jesse “Jess” Schroeder of Gothenburg, Neb., Wolfgang Schroeder of Canon City, Colo., Konrad Schroeder of Lexington, Neb., Katrina Stiefel of Canon City, Colo., and Amber (Daryl) Jones of Lexington, Neb.; and seven great-grandchildren, Kyle, Cameron, and Dominick Stiefel, Alexia Deck, Izayah Jones, Bella Jones, and Melody Cervantes ; sisters Edith (Gordon) Phetteplace of LaCrosse, Wisc., and Dotty (Jim) Roseberry of Dunning, Neb.; and numerous nieces and nephews and cousins.

He is preceded in death by his wife Allie, son Todd Allen, and 11 of his siblings.

Funeral services were held May 16, 2014, at the Grace Lutheran Church in Sutherland, Neb. Burial was in the Lamont Cemetery southeast of Sutherland, Neb.

Please send memorials to the Kearney Area Ascera Hospice, the Sutherland Senior Center or the Grace Lutheran Church.

Online condolences can be made at

Melvin R. Simms

Melvin R. Simms, 75, of Kimball, Neb., passed away at the Kimball County Manor on May 7, 2014.

Melvin Richard Simms was born in Sterling, Colo., on September 18, 1938, the son of Lawrence and Esther (Clermont) Simms.

He was raised on a farm/ranch near Padroni, Colo., and graduated from the Padroni High School in 1956. While in high school he learned the trade of welding in his classes and FFA, this trade became his livelihood.

Melvin was married to Roxie Chambers on September 28, 1958, in Sidney, Neb. Melvin moved his family to Kimball, Neb., in 1964 and owned and operated Simms Welding Service until 2005. He built many gas plants and laid miles of pipeline in Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming and Kansas. From 1987 until 2012 he also helped with the farm/ranch near Padroni. Melvin had a love for working hard, fishing, and animals.

Survivors include his wife Roxie of Kimball, Neb.; daughters LaValla (Rodney) Reher of Padroni, Colo., Lisa (Todd) Parsons of Bushnell, Neb., and Loretta Simms of Kimball, Neb.; sisters Janice (Donald) Shriver of Commerce City, Colo., and Genevieve (Mark) Ramey of Sterling, Colo.; grandchildren Crystal (Jeff) Cook, Spencer Teasley, Sierra (Corey) Kramer, Woodrow Parsons, and Cody Simms; step granddaughters Amanda, Natalie, and Nicole; numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial services were held May 12, 2014, at the Cantrell Funeral Home in Kimball, Neb. Inurnment will be held at a later date.

Memorials may be given in Melvin’s name to the Kimball FFA Scholarship fund. ❖

John H. “Johnny” Freiberger

John H. “Johnny” Freiberger, 84, passed away May 12, 2014, at his home surrounded by his wife and children.

He was born on September 9, 1929, to Gust and Lillian (Goos) Freiberger at Bridgeport, Neb.

Johnny lived with his parents and older sister on a farm outside Bridgeport, Neb. He swam, with friends, in the river, herded turkeys, broke Shetland ponies, attended school and teased his sister. His family moved to Alliance, Neb., when he was 12-years-old.

Johnny graduated from Alliance High School in 1947. He received many music awards, including a four year scholarship to Chadron State College. While at CSC he had the great honor to sing for the governor. He had worked for the Peterson Brothers Ranch and fallen in love with one of the owners’ daughters. They decided in 1948 that he would quit college and start ranching. John and Tina were married on December 19, 1948 in Alliance, Neb. They ranched south of Alliance in the Sandhills until they retired in 2010 and moved into town.

Johnny enjoyed the community he lived in and believed in helping out. He was active in the First Christian Church as Elder, Treasurer, Chairman of the Board, Sunday School Teacher, Choir Director, Children’s Music Director, State Music Minister, Local Lay minister to National Conferences and faithful prayer warrior. He was the Alliance Chamber of Commerce Agricultural Chairman. He was active in the Storm Lake 4-H club where his children attended. He was on the board of the Nebraska Boys Ranch. Many of the Boys Ranch boys worked in his hay field to gain working experience. He belonged to the Nebraska Stockgrowers for 60 years and served as Chairman of the Western Nebraska area. He served on the State Water Board and even won the State Award for Ditching on his ranch. Johnny was the REA Country Telephone repairman for many years and helped establish the original phone lines. He was the rural fire chief for two terms and was responsible to keep all equipment ready for an emergency. He sang at many funerals and weddings in the area, even riding in the hearse to sing for out of town funerals. He loved his family, his ranch and his community giving them all he had to give. He will be missed.

He was a devoted dad, husband and grandfather.

He is survived by his wife, Tina, their four children, Carolyn Godwin of Minden, Neb., Peggy (John) Sampson of Alliance, Neb., Linda (Jim) Wodke of Loveland, Colo., and Don (Vic) Freiberger of Alliance, Neb. He is also survived by 78 grandchildren and great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

Services were held May 16, 2014, at the First Christian Church. Burial was in the Alliance Cemetery.

Memorials may be sent to the First Christian Church or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Online condolences may be left at

Marvin “Mert” Stivers

Marvin “Mert” Stivers, age 77, of Callaway, Neb., passed away May 8, 2014 as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

He was born on October 27, 1936, in Callaway, Neb., to Walter and Laura (Wilborn) Stivers.

Mert graduated from Callaway High School in 1955 where he was an all-state football player. After graduation, he returned to the family farm.

On September 13, 1959, Mert married Beverly West in Oconto. The couple moved to the family place where they farmed for many years. Later in life, Mert worked for All Points Fertilizer, and then for Trotters for the past several years.

Mert was a member of the Callaway Lutheran Church, the Masonic Lodge, and the Rodeo Association for over 45 years.

He loved farming and working his cattle, and still enjoyed going to bull sales. He loved to visit, especially one on one. Mert enjoyed his life and his work and always tried to keep a positive attitude.

Survivors include his wife Bev of Callaway, Neb.; three daughters, Deb Stivers of Omaha, Neb., Marjorie (Paul) Sararo of New Jersey, and Cindy Stivers of Tuscon, Ariz.; three siblings, Lorna Gannon of Portsmouth, Iowa, Frances Fuller of Grand Island, Neb., and Lynn (Sharleen) Stivers of Callaway, Neb.; and numerous other family members and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter Marilyn; and brothers, Johnny, and Bob; and an infant sister.

Services were held May 15, 2014, at the Callaway Community Building. Burial was at the Rose Hill Cemetery.

A memorial has been established in his name and online condolences can be made at

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The Fence Post Updated May 19, 2014 01:55PM Published Jul 21, 2014 04:04PM Copyright 2014 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.