Plains Edition Obituaries 1-28-12
Francis Lloyd Wescott, 86, passed away January 6, 2012.
He was born on November 19, 1925 at his grandmother’s house a mile and half north of Brewster, Neb., just one half mile from where he lived most of his life. He attended school at Dunning, Neb., and then Brewster, Neb.
He rode his horse to Ogallala, Neb., when he was 16 all by himself. He then worked around Lisco, Neb., working cattle.
He joined the Marines at the start of WWII, and was part of the 6th Marine Division. He fought in a famous battle on Easter Sunday April 1, 1945 during the South Pacific Invasion of Okinawa. He was part of the third wave. The ship he was on was the SS Sea Bass, renamed the USS Bayfield in 1943. He was one of four or five who survived from his platoon. He was a lineman and had to string communication wires. He fought all the way across Okinawa.
He would not talk much about it but the horror of death and the heat stuck with him all his life. The beach was littered with dead Americans and Japanese. He said it was just something we had to do. He lost a buddy he had spent a three day pass with in San Diego, Calif., before shipping out.
He was with the force getting ready to invade Japan when Japan surrendered. He went by train to Nagasaki and saw it after the atomic bomb hit. He saw a lot and probably thought ‘if I ever get home, I’ll never leave.’ He didn’t.
He made pets out of his cows, horses, chickens, guineas and dogs. He loved ranching and enjoyed his life. He was a friend to all who stopped by. He loved to hunt and fish, and was a crack shot right up to his hospital stay recently. He did very little hunting, but could really hit his target.
Francis married June Woodward December 19, 1951. Their 60th Anniversary was December, 2011.
He accepted Christ into his heart in the Dunning Open Bible Church at an early age and renewed his commitment to the Lord while in the hospital.
His greatest pride and joy were his children Rozan (CJ) Anderson and Kevin (April) Wescott and his ‘adopted’ child Peggy (Roy) Spencer. He took great enjoyment in his grandchildren Nikki (Dave) Myers, Brittany (Tim) Godsell, Heather (Isaac) Costley, Rachel (Tyson) Cox, Grant (Mar) Anderson, Adrien (Jake) Youngblood, Cameron (Laura) Anderson, and Ashley Wescott; and great-grandchildren Andrew, Alison, Thomas, and Daniel Godsell, Kyle and Kallan Cox, and Ellie and Steve Myers (and step-grandchildren Bekah, Jake, Rachel and Zeke he had not met yet.) He also helped care for his sisters children Sallie and Tom Backlund. They thought of him as “dad.”
Ralph L. Greenlee, 84, passed away January 15, 2012 at David M. Dorsett Healthcare Center in Spearfish, S.D.
He was born December 22, 1927, at McCook, Neb., to Alva and Velma (Downs) Greenlee. He grew up on a farm near Curtis, Neb., graduating from Curtis High School in 1946.
He joined the Army in 1946-1947 and was stationed in Japan.
When he returned he worked for Northwestern Bell Telephone and later for the Union Pacific Railroad in North Platte, Neb. He later went to work at the Hot Springs Veteran’s Administration Hospital as an electrician, refrigeration/air conditioning mechanic until his retirement in 1988.
He married his wife of 61 years, Erma, in June of 1950. Together they had three children.
He is survived by his wife Erma, of Spearfish, S.D.; sons, Bruce and wife, Virginia Greenlee of Springlake, Mich., Michael and Jill Greenlee, of Powell, Wisc.; daughter, Kim Greenlee of Spearfish, S.D.; sisters Nita and husband, Kenny Mallack of McCook, Neb., Karen and husband, Marion Tatum, of Lincoln, Neb., and Ida Mae of Oregon; two brothers, Tim and wife, Lael Greenlee and Jim Greenlee of Missouri; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Doris Swanson and brother, Kenneth Greenlee.
Memorial services were held January 17, 2012 at Spearfish, S.D.
Interment was at the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis, S.D.
LeVeda Opal (Burton) Heagney, 84, of North Platte, Neb., passed away January 22, 2012, at Great Plains Regional Medical Center.
She was born July 7, 1927, on the family farm north of Bartley, Neb., to Levi Francis Burton and Lota Faye (Wymore) Burton.
On September 23, 1944, she married John Richard Heagney and they had three children. They lived in Curtis, Neb., and then moved to North Platte, Neb., in 1967.
On July 18, 1995, she married Jesse Warren Ross.
She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and St. Patrick’s Church.
She is survived by sons, Francis (Jackie) Heagney of Gillette, Wyo., and Gerald (Carol) Heagney of Arvada, Colo.; a daughter, Pamela (Michael) Cain of North Platte, Neb.; six grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren, and many other family members and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; and a grandson, Scott Allan Heagney.
Memorial services were held Januray 28, 2012 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in North Platte, Neb.,
Burial was at the St. Catherine’s Catholic Cemetery in Indianola, Neb.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church or the Callahan Cancer Center.
Online condolences can be made on http://www.AdamsSwanson.com.
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One out of every three acres in the U.S. is rangeland. Two-thirds of these are privately owned, mainly by ranchers who graze their livestock in the open country of the American West.