Obituaries for Plains Edition for 5-30-09
Melvin E. Serr, 68, of Elm Creek died May 13, 2009, at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.
He was born June 28, 1940, in Stuart to John and Helen (Welfel) Serr.
He worked the majority of his life as a hay mill worker. He enjoyed making numerous things in his garage, jigsaw puzzles and taking care of his lawn. He especially enjoyed any visits he received from family members.
Survivors include his daughters, Pam McCall of Holdrege, Donna Johnson and Marcella Serr, both of Lincoln, and Beverly (Les) Wilsey of Grand Island; sons, Herbert Serr of David City, William Serr of Columbus, Boyd Serr of Marysville, Kan., and Troy Serr of Denver; five brothers; two sisters; 23 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister.
Helen Steinmark, 77, of Kearney, formerly of Scottsbluff, died May 14, 2009, at her home.
She was born May 11, 1932, in Gering to Carl and Mary (Fertig) Hiegel.
On Dec. 3, 1950, she married Reuben Steinmark in Scottsbluff. He preceded her in death.
She graduated from Sunflower Public School in rural Scottsbluff County in 1950. She and her husband lived in Minatare until 1983. They moved into Scottsbluff, where she was the head cook at the Highland grade school. She also worked at Econo Foods in the deli and at Route 66 as a pie maker.
People enjoyed her pie, and her claims to fame were her rye bread and noodle soup and cooking German food for weddings. She moved to Kearney in 2003 and worked as a cook at Prairie View Gardens.
She loved spending time with her family and attending her grandchildren’s sporting events. She also enjoyed gardening, sewing, crafts and making clothes for her children and grandchildren, dutch hop dancing, puzzling, and watching Rough Around the Edges perform.
Survivors include her daughter, Cindy (Cliff) Keslar of Shelton; grandsons, Matt (Teena) Keslar of Lincoln and Chad (Jody) Keslar of Hickman; granddaughter, Alexis (Seth) Jensen of Shelton; great-grandchildren, Alyssa Keslar and Isaac Keslar, both of Lincoln, Zayne Keslar of Hickman and Reilly Jensen of Shelton; sisters, Caroline (Bill) Sommers of Scottsbluff and Delores (Bill) Schmidt of Placentia, Calif.; and brothers, Marvin (Donna) Hiegel of Mitchell and Ron (Lynn) Hiegel of Leawood, Kan.
Earl Hatch, 77, former Grant businessman, died May 14, 2009, at the Perkins County Community Hospital.
He was born May 8, 1932, in Grant to Charlie and Florence (Pankonin) Hatch. He graduated from Perkins County High School in 1949 and attended the University of Nebraska.
He was married to Darlene Hansmeier on Aug. 21, 1955, in Ogallala. They moved to Oakland, Calif., where he was employed by Safeway for five years. In 1960, he bought the Red and White Grocery Store from his father. In 1963, they built Hatch’s Market on the south edge of Grant. He later sold interest in the store to his children and they built the present Hatch’s Super Foods market at the same location. His son Kevin is the present manager.
He had surgery for a malignancy last spring but was able to winter in Arizona and travel to Chicago and the east coast this spring to see family.
He was very civic minded and enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren participate in their activities, especially their sporting events. He was an avid Nebraska football fan.
Survivors include his wife, Darlene; two sons, Kevin (Barbara) of Grant and Kirk of Casa Grande, Ariz.; a daughter, Kendra (Dan) Ourada of Clarendon Hills, Ill.; seven grandchildren; and his brother, Dean of Grant.
Annabell Lee Edy, 90, and William Edward Edy, 91, of Valentine, Neb., died within a week of each other. Annabell of April 18, 2009, and Ed followed on April 24, 2009.
They married on May 4, 1940, and continued a life-long commitment of doing everything together. Theirs was a 69 year love story that lasted to the end.
They raised four children on a ranch near Brownlee, Neb. They were wonderful parents and good neighbors. They were both very active in the community and involved in many organizations.
Annabel was active in the Brownlee Women’s Club and provided many recipes for the Brownlee Cookbook. She was famous for her sour cream raisin pie. She was always involved in her children’s lives and provided opportunities for them to be involved in music, plays and whatever she could come up with.
Besides ranching, Ed was a Brand Inspector for 50 years, a member of the school board, Cherry County Fair Board, Sandhills Cattle Assn., Nebraska Stock Growers and many others. He was a longtime Cornhusker fan and encouraged his kids to participate in all sports.
They enjoyed dancing and socializing with their friends.
Survivors include their four children, Don Eby of Omaha; Bill (Sharon) Eby of Thornton, Colo., Ken Eby of Warrensburg, Mo., and Kay (Rick) Ericksen of Ennis, Mont.; 19 grandchildren; 34 great grandchidlren; and Annabel’s brother, Merrill (Toots) Lee of Valentine and a host of friends and family.
Mollie Mae Bonta, 94, formerly of Hershey and North Platte, died May 18, 2009 at Sutherland Care Center in Sutherland.
She was born March 12, 1915, at Alsbro, Ala., to Bill and Betty (West) Bruton. She grew up in Tishomingo, Miss., Iuka, Miss. and Osborn, Ala. As a young girl she picked cotton and at the end of the year her dad would give her a bale of cotton so she could buy her clothes. In 1940 she moved to Hershey.
She married Henry Franklin Bonta in North Platte and they made their home in Hershey. She worked for Goodall at Sutherland and later for Johnny’s Cafe and several different cafes in North Platte.
She was a member of the Hershey Assembly of God Church. She enjoyed her family, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great great-grandchildren.
Survivors include her son, Frank (Joan) Bonta of North Platte; her daughter, Peggy (Vernon) McNeel of Lincoln; five grandchildren, Ada (Terry) Hopken of Ogallala, Verna Kay McNeel of Phoenix, Ariz., Mark (Robin) Bonta of San Francisco, Calif., Sheila (Rex) Forrester and John Bonta all of North Platte; nine great-grandchildren, LeDonna (Dan) Sponsberg, Gena Roth, Michelle Hopken, JoAnna Hopken, Ashley Forrester, Brittany Bonta, Abby Bonta, Hallee Bonta and Devin Bonta; six great great-grandchildren, Blake, Geana, Mickie, Savanna, Sienna and Colin; many nieces, nephews and other family; and her special friends, Almina German of North Platte and Louise McCune of Sutherland.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Henry; two sisters; nine brothers; a stepsister; and a stepbrother.
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