Plains Obituaries for 8-9-08 | TheFencePost.com
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Plains Obituaries for 8-9-08

Robert “Rob” Howard, 83, of Ogallala and formerly of Lewellen, died July 22, 2008, at Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte.

He was born April 1, 1925, in North Platte, Neb., the son of John M. and Leila P. Wilson Howard. He attended schools in Lincoln and in Keith County, Neb.

On July 31, 1945, he was united in marriage to Margaret E. Driefholt at Big Springs. To this union three children were born – Kathy, Bonnie and Jon.

Early in 1945, he joined the United States Army and served in Germany. He served in three major battles, the Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe which comprised the Battle of the Bulge. He received the European Theater of Operations Campaign Ribbon with three battle stars, the Victory Medal, and the French Cordeau braid (the highest honor given by France for the liberation of its country).

He was also awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Good Conduct Medal and the Bronze Star for capturing eight German soldiers who were laying land mines.

He worked on ranches in Arthur County, moving to Oshkosh in 1963 where he held various positions before retiring from the Nebraska Department of Roads in 1987. His favorite hat was his cowboy hat, as he loved horses and roping. He also enjoyed hunting all game including coyotes, trapping, fishing, arrowhead hunting and using his metal detector.

Survivors include his wife, Margie Howard of Ogallala; two daughters, Kathy (Wayne) Thelander of Oshkosh and Bonnie (Don) Williams of Orchard; one son, Jon (Martha) Howard of Wolbach; one brother, Johnnie (Audrey) Howard of Grand Island; seven grandchildren, Brent (Amy) Thelander, Brinkley (Stacy) Williams, Jeffrey (Tracy) Williams, Tarra (Christian) Nuss, Robert (Sarah) Howard, Dustin Howard and Danial Howard and seven great-grandchildren.

He was preced in death by his parents; two brothers, Marvin D. Howard and Morris L. Howard; two sisters, Maude D. Campbell and Betty M. Howard, and granddaughter, Toni D. Beckett.

Virgil Eugene Leonard “Virg” Salestrom, 89, of Kearney died July 29, 2008, at Mother Hull Home.

He was born March 12, 1919, in Genoa to Victor and Mabel (Gustafson) Salestrom.

On Nov. 7, 1947, he married Janice Copple in Bancroft.

He graduated from Genoa High School, where he had been active in sports and music and was the president of the class of 1937. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 1942 and rose to the rank of staff sergeant. He spent most of his Army career in Cheyenne, Wyo., serving in a variety of automotive machinist capacities.

He also is credited for several inventions and the development of new procedures involving the repair and maintenance of military vehicles. He was honorably discharged in December 1945 and began a lengthy career with Sidles Co., a wholesale distributor of automotive and transportation-related parts.

He and his wife began their 60-year love affair in Omaha. His career with Sidles Co. took the family to Beatrice, Holdrege and Kearney, where he served as store manager. In 1971, he and a brother-in-law, George Thuman, purchased Hill Auto Supply, a NAPA auto parts store in Kearney. They renamed it All Makes Auto Supply and remained in business until 1985, when he sold the store and retired.

He was active as an adult leader in a variety of Boy Scout troops and helped all three sons reach the rank of Eagle Scout. He became very involved in Campus Lutheran at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and served multiple terms on its supervisory board. He also was honored with a Nebraska Admiralship in 1987 for his work in designing tools for special needs workers in a Kearney sheltered workshop.

He was a member of First Lutheran Church, where he was active in choir and the music program. He was a charter member of Kearney Golden K Kiwanis International.

He and his wife also were charter members of Trinity Evangelical United Bretheran Church in Ralston and were actively involved in churches in every community in which they lived.

He loved bass fishing in Minnesota and trout fishing in Colorado and Nebraska. He and his wife traveled extensively in the United States and the world with trips to Great Britain, Europe and cruises in the Caribbean, Alaska and through the Panama Canal. One of his most cherished trips took them back to Sweden and a reconnection to relatives still living there.

Survivors include his wife; sons, Chuck (Kristi) Salestrom of North Platte and their children, Joshua (Shelby) of Clarksville, Tenn., and Jennifer of North Platte; Jim (Pam) Salestrom of Arvada, Colo., and their children, Casey of Spanish Peaks near Big Sky, Mont., and James of Boulder, Colo.; and Tom Salestrom of Sioux Falls, S.D., and his sons, Benjamin and Jack, both of Sioux Falls and numerous beloved nieces and nephews and countless friends to cherish his memory.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Arnold Salestrom; daughter-in-law, Jolene Salestrom; and his parents.

Gerald Frates, 82, longtime Keith County farmer and rancher, died July 23, 2008, in the Ogallala Community Hospital.

He was born April 2, 1926, in Brule, Neb., the son of Ray and Lila Halligan Frates. He attended Brule elementary schools and graduated from Brule High School in 1943.

He worked on the family farm until March 9, 1945, when he was drafted into the Army. He served in the South Pacific as a sergeant in the supplies department. He was discharged in 1946 and then returned to the family farming operation.

He married Virginia M. Seeley in 1948 and they made their home in Brule.

In 1960 the couple moved to Virginia’s family’s ranch north of Lewellen.

The Frates’ then moved to the family farm south east of Paxton in 1964 and continued to farm and ranch. He also did custom haying.

He belonged to the Paxton United Methodist Church , Elks Club, and the Paxton American Legion. He volunteered as a 4-H leader, served on the Brule Fire Dept. for twenty-five years and served on the Keith County Fair and Rodeo Board. In the 1980s he served on the Keith-Arthur Co. Extension Board.

He played basketball in Brule for many years. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, supporting Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia Frates of Paxton; two daughters, Cheri Frates-Tapia and her husband Chuck of Lakewood, Colo., and Beverly Frates-McMahon and her husband Kendell of Paxton; one granddaughter, Savanna McMahon of Paxton; brother-in-law, Hershall Spencer of Hastings and sister-in-law, Joan Frates of Brule.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Harriet Spencer; his brother, Wayne Frates and his nephew, Tim Frates.

Robert “Rob” Howard, 83, of Ogallala and formerly of Lewellen, died July 22, 2008, at Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte.

He was born April 1, 1925, in North Platte, Neb., the son of John M. and Leila P. Wilson Howard. He attended schools in Lincoln and in Keith County, Neb.

On July 31, 1945, he was united in marriage to Margaret E. Driefholt at Big Springs. To this union three children were born – Kathy, Bonnie and Jon.

Early in 1945, he joined the United States Army and served in Germany. He served in three major battles, the Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe which comprised the Battle of the Bulge. He received the European Theater of Operations Campaign Ribbon with three battle stars, the Victory Medal, and the French Cordeau braid (the highest honor given by France for the liberation of its country).

He was also awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Good Conduct Medal and the Bronze Star for capturing eight German soldiers who were laying land mines.

He worked on ranches in Arthur County, moving to Oshkosh in 1963 where he held various positions before retiring from the Nebraska Department of Roads in 1987. His favorite hat was his cowboy hat, as he loved horses and roping. He also enjoyed hunting all game including coyotes, trapping, fishing, arrowhead hunting and using his metal detector.

Survivors include his wife, Margie Howard of Ogallala; two daughters, Kathy (Wayne) Thelander of Oshkosh and Bonnie (Don) Williams of Orchard; one son, Jon (Martha) Howard of Wolbach; one brother, Johnnie (Audrey) Howard of Grand Island; seven grandchildren, Brent (Amy) Thelander, Brinkley (Stacy) Williams, Jeffrey (Tracy) Williams, Tarra (Christian) Nuss, Robert (Sarah) Howard, Dustin Howard and Danial Howard and seven great-grandchildren.

He was preced in death by his parents; two brothers, Marvin D. Howard and Morris L. Howard; two sisters, Maude D. Campbell and Betty M. Howard, and granddaughter, Toni D. Beckett.

Virgil Eugene Leonard “Virg” Salestrom, 89, of Kearney died July 29, 2008, at Mother Hull Home.

He was born March 12, 1919, in Genoa to Victor and Mabel (Gustafson) Salestrom.

On Nov. 7, 1947, he married Janice Copple in Bancroft.

He graduated from Genoa High School, where he had been active in sports and music and was the president of the class of 1937. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in January 1942 and rose to the rank of staff sergeant. He spent most of his Army career in Cheyenne, Wyo., serving in a variety of automotive machinist capacities.

He also is credited for several inventions and the development of new procedures involving the repair and maintenance of military vehicles. He was honorably discharged in December 1945 and began a lengthy career with Sidles Co., a wholesale distributor of automotive and transportation-related parts.

He and his wife began their 60-year love affair in Omaha. His career with Sidles Co. took the family to Beatrice, Holdrege and Kearney, where he served as store manager. In 1971, he and a brother-in-law, George Thuman, purchased Hill Auto Supply, a NAPA auto parts store in Kearney. They renamed it All Makes Auto Supply and remained in business until 1985, when he sold the store and retired.

He was active as an adult leader in a variety of Boy Scout troops and helped all three sons reach the rank of Eagle Scout. He became very involved in Campus Lutheran at the University of Nebraska at Kearney and served multiple terms on its supervisory board. He also was honored with a Nebraska Admiralship in 1987 for his work in designing tools for special needs workers in a Kearney sheltered workshop.

He was a member of First Lutheran Church, where he was active in choir and the music program. He was a charter member of Kearney Golden K Kiwanis International.

He and his wife also were charter members of Trinity Evangelical United Bretheran Church in Ralston and were actively involved in churches in every community in which they lived.

He loved bass fishing in Minnesota and trout fishing in Colorado and Nebraska. He and his wife traveled extensively in the United States and the world with trips to Great Britain, Europe and cruises in the Caribbean, Alaska and through the Panama Canal. One of his most cherished trips took them back to Sweden and a reconnection to relatives still living there.

Survivors include his wife; sons, Chuck (Kristi) Salestrom of North Platte and their children, Joshua (Shelby) of Clarksville, Tenn., and Jennifer of North Platte; Jim (Pam) Salestrom of Arvada, Colo., and their children, Casey of Spanish Peaks near Big Sky, Mont., and James of Boulder, Colo.; and Tom Salestrom of Sioux Falls, S.D., and his sons, Benjamin and Jack, both of Sioux Falls and numerous beloved nieces and nephews and countless friends to cherish his memory.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Arnold Salestrom; daughter-in-law, Jolene Salestrom; and his parents.

Gerald Frates, 82, longtime Keith County farmer and rancher, died July 23, 2008, in the Ogallala Community Hospital.

He was born April 2, 1926, in Brule, Neb., the son of Ray and Lila Halligan Frates. He attended Brule elementary schools and graduated from Brule High School in 1943.

He worked on the family farm until March 9, 1945, when he was drafted into the Army. He served in the South Pacific as a sergeant in the supplies department. He was discharged in 1946 and then returned to the family farming operation.

He married Virginia M. Seeley in 1948 and they made their home in Brule.

In 1960 the couple moved to Virginia’s family’s ranch north of Lewellen.

The Frates’ then moved to the family farm south east of Paxton in 1964 and continued to farm and ranch. He also did custom haying.

He belonged to the Paxton United Methodist Church , Elks Club, and the Paxton American Legion. He volunteered as a 4-H leader, served on the Brule Fire Dept. for twenty-five years and served on the Keith County Fair and Rodeo Board. In the 1980s he served on the Keith-Arthur Co. Extension Board.

He played basketball in Brule for many years. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, supporting Pheasants Forever and Ducks Unlimited.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia Frates of Paxton; two daughters, Cheri Frates-Tapia and her husband Chuck of Lakewood, Colo., and Beverly Frates-McMahon and her husband Kendell of Paxton; one granddaughter, Savanna McMahon of Paxton; brother-in-law, Hershall Spencer of Hastings and sister-in-law, Joan Frates of Brule.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Harriet Spencer; his brother, Wayne Frates and his nephew, Tim Frates.


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