Plains Edition Obituaries |

Plains Edition Obituaries

, 77 of Stapleton died March 5, 2007, at Premier Estates in North Platte.

He was born May 10, 1929, to Forrest and Nina (Upton) Kugler in Arnold. He grew up in McPherson County. He was a jet aircraft mechanic staff sergeant in the Air Force from 1952 until 1956. After his discharge he returned home and ranched with his father near Ringgold.

On October 20, 1962, he married Eileen Christensen in Climbing Hill, Iowa. The couple ranched near Ringgold until they retired in 1997. Hobbies he enjoyed were woodworking and gardening. He was a member of the Ringgold Free Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Eileen of Stapleton; a daughter, Linda Veith of North Platte; grandchildren, Stephanie and Llogan Veith; a great granddaughter, Kailyn Veith; a sister, Marian McPherrin of Kearney; a brother, Milan (Terri) Kugler of Oshkosh; and a sister-in-law, Francis Kugler of Bethany, Okal.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Wesley Kugler.

, 74, of Rushville, died on Feb. 15, 2007, surrounded by loved ones.

He was born June 15, 1932, on a cattle ranch 10 miles southeast of Rushville, Neb.

He graduated in 1953 from college at New Mexico Military Institute. He attained the rank of Lt. General and retired in 1990. He returned to the west he loved, in 1995, allowing him to be close enough to manage his beloved Brown Bros. Ranch, located in the Sandhills of Nebraska.

In 1958, he married Sherry Church. Son, Stephan, and daughter, Christi, were born in Lubbock, Texas, where he taught ROTC and sponsored the 500 member rodeo team at Texas Tech University. In his career, he was stationed in multiple U.S.

locations including France, Germany, Viet Nam and Korea. His last assignments were in the Pentagon, dealing with Middle East Policy. He was happiest in command of troops, but was regarded as a brilliant logistician. As a Brigadier General in Germany, he participated alongside his troops in Rodeo U.S.A. After an absence of 20 years from rodeo, he proudly roped a calf in his personal record time of 8 seconds at age 48, to his troops’ delight.

Although he served in the military for 37 years, in combat in Viet Nam and the Dominican Republic – receiving the Bronze Star with Valor, Legion of Merit (twice) and the Distinguished Service Medal – he was proudest of his pioneer heritage. His grandparents helped settle the Nebraska Territories. His parents ingrained integrity into him, making him the honorable head of his own family, who adored him.

Survivors include his wife and children; daughter-in-law, Terri and three grandchildren, Heather, Lauren and Austin and many friends.

, 75, lifelong resident of North Platte, died March 6, 2007, at his home.

He was born on the family homestead northeast of North Platte Feb. 5, 1932, to Charles and Margaret L. Horne Long. He attended grade school at the Long School and graduated from North Platte High School in 1950. He entered the United States Army, serving in Korea. After his honorable discharge in 1953 he worked as a surveyor for the soil conservation unit.

On July 30, 1955, he married Margaret Hoatson at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sutherland. He worked as the Art Director for KNOP TV for 10 years before becoming a full-time artist and sculptor.

Energized by his love of the outdoors and beautiful rustic surroundings of his studio in North Platte, he dedicated his life’s work to portraying the legacy of the Old West. After returning from the Korean War in 1953, he immersed himself in the history and accounts of a time gone, but not forgotten. Inspired by the journals of Lewis and Clark, tales of the Sioux, Cheyenne and Pawnee tribes of his homeland, the fascinating, often harrowing diaries of settlers and soldiers braving the elements and unknown, his work is a series of discerning impressions depicting a unique time and place, the American frontier.

When he was not in his studio, he spent much of his time researching the sites and artifacts of the events described in his resources. His mediums were oil and bronze, through which he created visions of the past with a romantic flair and a stark touch of realism. His attention to detail and accuracy sets his work in a class by itself.

Bronzes of Chief Standing Bear, residing in the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, and Olympian Frank Shorter on the campus of the University of Colorado in Boulder are among his recent life-size sculptural projects. Since 2002, when not at his easel, he had been working on a series of seven larger-than-life bronzes for the 20th Century Nebraska Veterans Memorial. In 2004 his painting, Winter in the Elk Horns was selected for The ART in Embassies Program, promoting the universal language of art, while enhancing respect and understanding of diverse cultures around the world. This painting is now in the Embassy in Mongolia. His work has been published in The Haub Family Collection of Western Art, Western Painting Today, American Artist of Renown, and many other art publications and internet sites. His paintings and sculptures are displayed in galleries, museums and private collections throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

In 1979 he won the Old West Trails Foundation – William F. Cody Art Award and in 1984 and 1991 he won the Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum Permanent Collection Award. His work is in the Nebraska Museum of Art and Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo. He was a charter member of the Western Artist of America and was instrumental in founding the Nebraskaland Days Art Show and the Old West Museum Art Show at Cheyenne Frontier Days. He was inducted into the North Platte High Distinguished Alumni. He was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus Council #211.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret of North Platte; daughters, Michaelene Long and Catherine (Shane Baker) Long all of North Platte; sons, Thomas (Connie) Long of Gothenburg and Patrick (Kathy) Long of Elko, Nev.; a brother, Jim (Florence) Long of Buffalo, Wyo.; two grandchildren, Trevor and Blair Golter; and three great-grandchildren, Austin, Trenton and Aspen Golter.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

, 74, of Morrill died on Feb. 23, 2007, at Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff.

He was born on May 16, 1932, in Scottsbluff to David and Mary Grasmick. He attended Morrill High School and later married his high school sweetheart, Marilyn Blough.

Following high school, he served in the U.S. Air Force and was stationed in Denver, where his son, Michael was born. Upon his honorable discharge from the service, he joined his father and brother, Art Grasmick and farmed south of Morrill. He operated Grasmick Farming, a custom farm and cattle feeding operation in Morrill until his death.

He was a friend to many and a stranger to few. He devoted his life to his family.

Survivors include his wife, Marilyn of Morrill; his son, Michael (Mary Kay) and grandchildren, Ashley and Kevin all of Madison, Wis.; and many relatives including nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Art, and his sister, Irene Blythe.