Obituaries for Plains Edition
James N. “Jim” Gilbert, 60, of Kearney died of cancer Oct. 4, 2008, at his home.
He was born Oct. 8, 1947, in Coatesville, Penn., to Byron and Doris (Cohen) Gilbert.
On June 26, 1971, he married Elizabeth “Libby” Martin. She died in 2003.
He grew up in Coatesville. He was a longtime Kearney resident. He was a professor and former chair of the department of criminal justice at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. He received his bachelor of science degree in criminology from California State University at Long Beach, his master of science degree in criminal justice education from Eastern Kentucky University and his Ph.D. in adult education concentrating in criminal justice from the University of Southern Mississippi.
Author of the college textbook, “Criminal Investigation,” he was also a 1996 winner of a Pratt-Heins grant awarded by UNK for outstanding scholarship and research. This award is the most prestigious award a faculty member can receive from UNK.
His teaching career spanned 36 years, of which the last 20 years were at UNK.
Prior to that, he taught criminal justice for four years at Radford (Va.) University, four years at Chadron State College and eight years at Parkland College in Champaign, Ill.
Before joining the academic world, he was in law enforcement, which included positions as a security officer for Wackenhut Security Corp. in Los Angeles, police cadet for the Santa Monica (Calif.) Police Department, police officer and investigator for the Berkeley (Calif.) Police Department and as a special agent investigator for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Jacksonville.
His hobbies and passions included an encyclopedic knowledge of the American Civil War, writing numerous fiction and nonfiction articles and short stories, maintaining his skill as an accomplished artist of sketches and portraits, and continuing to pursue his love for attending and discussing movies and theater.
Survivors include his daughter, Jennifer (Nathanael) Hunter of Kearney; brother, Robert (Irene) of Foster City, Calif.; sister, Susan of Las Vegas; and grandson, Patrick Hunter of Kearney.
In addition to his wife of 32 years, he was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Bennett.
Millie Melvina Langford, 88, of Chadron died Oct. 4, 2008, at Crest View Care Center.
She was born May 30, 1920, in Whitney to Wyatt L. and Minnie Britton Holder. She attended rural schools in East and West Ash. After completion of the eighth grade, she went to work in a restaurant in Crawford to help support the family.
On April 2, 1940, she was united in marriage to George E. Langford. They resided in Crawford for several years before moving to Worland, Wyo., for a short time, and then moved to Chadron.
She was a stay-at-home mom until her youngest child started school. Then she worked at Ideal Supermarket and Crestview Care Center before taking a job in the maintenance department of Chadron State College, which she held until she reached retirement.
She was very actively involved in the Chadron community as a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, the VFW Auxiliary, D.O.E.S., Rebekkahs, Royal Neighbors, and several social clubs. She held many positions in those organizations, both locally and statewide. She loved to travel, and she and George attended American Legion conventions throughout the United States.
She was always involved in PTA and her children’s activities and was a Girl Scout leader for several years. Her hobbies included gardening, sewing, cooking, and canning.
She especially liked cooking for big dinners at the American Legion and VFW clubs and planning parties for the veterans at the Veterans Domiciliary in Hot Springs, S.D.
Survivors include three daughters, Marilyn Hills and Janet Kirby of Chadron and Patricia Preble of Kansas City, Kan.; son, Steven Langford of Chadron; nine grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Olive Dyer of Billings, Mont., and Ellen Norton of Custer, S. D.; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband, George; her parents; brother, Leroy Holder; sister, Gracie Holder, and half-brothers, Ray and Roy Britton.
Georgia I. Lacey, 82, of Hastings died Oct. 6, 2008, at Mary Lanning Hospital in Hastings.
She was born Feb. 23, 1926, at Centralia, Kan., to Christian Carl and Mildred (Weyer) Johnson.
She received her education and grew up in Baylieville, Kan., and later moved to Shelton in 1943. She moved to various places in Nebraska, South Dakota and residing in Wyoming for 17 years before moving back to Shelton. While in Nebraska, she was employed at the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant in Grand Island and also owned and operated businesses in the Shelton area. She moved to Hastings in 1997.
She was united in marriage to John Lacey on May 18, 1954. They later divorced.
She was a member of Shelton United Methodist Church, American Legion and Shelton VFW. She enjoyed gardening, reading, sewing and her dog, Pete.
Survivors include two sons, Pat (Kay) Lacey and Larry (Karen) Lacey, all of Rock Springs, Wyo., and a daughter, Denise (Bud) Harper of Casper, Wyo.; 14 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and a special friend for 30 years, Clayton Burmood, and his four children, Bill and Linda Adair, Nancy and Mike Ragains, Dean and Carol Burmood and Susan and Gary Isam.
She was preceded in death by a son, Earl ‘Squeaky’; her parents; three sisters, Laverne, Nellie and Virginia; three brothers, Floyd, Vernon and Leroy; and a grandson, David Wayne.
Douglas Dean Watson, 62, of North Platte died Oct. 11, 2008, at the home of his daughter.
He was born July 12, 1946, in Sutherland to A. Mason and Elsie Wells Watson. He grew up in North Platte attending North Platte Public Schools before entering the United States Navy, serving during Vietnam.
After his discharge he lived in Oregon for a short time before returning to North Platte marrying Yvonne Anderson on Oct. 4, 1974, in North Platte.
He attended Mid Plains Community College and Kearney State College graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice. On July 5, 1977 he went to work for District 9 Probation Office, becoming a Chief Deputy on July 1, 1979, and then was appointed Chief Probation officer presiding over a 17 county area on October 25, 1998.
He served on the North Platte City Council for the 4th Ward from 1984-1996, feeling his greatest achievement was the Cody Park Carousel Shelter. He was involved in the Employers Support of the Guard and Reserve for over 20 years. He was active in many civic associations and Vietnam Veteran’s reunions and activities. He was a member of the Lighthouse Foursquare Church for many years, being instrumental in the building of the current church.
Survivors include his wife, Yvonne, of North Platte; daughters, Glenda Meyer and Pam (Ken) Johnson all of North Platte; sons, Mason (Lora) Traub of Grants Pass, Ore., and Justin Watson of North Platte; grandchildren, Kortnee Heinzen, Kayla Meyer, Allie Johnson, Brandon Traub, Eddie Richardson, Mekayla (Kyle) Roach; a sister, Suzy Fisher of North Platte; mother-in-law, Vicki Anderson of Sutherland; and brother-in-law, Chuck (Karen) Marcum of Denver, Colo.; and many other family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Bonnie (LeRoy) Orvis and Norma Jean Lovejoy; and father-in-law, Glenn Anderson.
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