Plains Edition Obituaries 6-2-12 |

Plains Edition Obituaries 6-2-12

Darrel “Rocky” Knapp, 77, of Battle Creek, Neb., passed away May 29, 2012, at his home.

Darrel Knapp was born on June 30, 1934, at Norfolk, Neb., the son of Walter and Lydia (Preusker) Knapp.

He was baptized on July 22, 1934 and confirmed on May 9, 1948 at St. John Lutheran Church.

He attended St. John’s Parochial School and then Battle Creek High School and was known as an outstanding football player where held the record for most touchdowns scored in a high school career for many years. Following his graduation in 1952, Rocky then attended Norfolk Junior College.

Darrel married Marilyn Rees on February 14, 1955 and to this union four children were born – Sherri, Steven, Robert and Julie. Marilyn passed away on March 19, 1977.

On August 6, 1983, Darrel married Shirley Wentling.

He retired from active farming in 2004 and then worked part time at Lou’s Thrifty Way. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, gardening and raising kittens as well as being an avid football fan of the area teams.

Darrel is survived by his wife Shirley Knapp of Battle Creek, Neb., his children and their spouses, Sherri and Roy Swoboda of Meadow Grove, Neb., Steven and Donnet Knapp of Elkhorn, Neb., Robert and Darla Knapp of Omaha, Neb., and Julie and Bruce Smith of Lincoln, Neb., two stepsons, Alan Wentling and Chris Wentling both of Norfolk, Neb., 16 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Marilyn, and one son in law Steve Suckstorf.

Funeral services were held June 1, at St. John Lutheran Church in Battle Creek, Neb.

Burial followed in the parish cemetery.

Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at

Ardis Mae Harwick, 96, of North Platte, Neb., formerly of Curtis, Neb., passed away May 23, 2012 at Great Plains Regional Medical Center in North Platte, Neb.

She was born May 8, 1916, in Lincoln County, Neb., daughter of Bruce Isaac and Bernice Alma (Stinnette) Dempcy.

She attended country school at Sleepy Hollow District 4 north of Moorefield, Neb. She then attended and graduated from North Platte High School. Following high school she taught at the Hansen country school for several years north of Moorefield, Neb.

On December 25, 1937, Ardis married Fayette “Bud” Harwick at North Platte, Neb. To this union three children were born – Jolene, Jack and Jim.

Ardis worked as a Bookkeeper for the Firestone stores in North Platte, Neb., and later at the Co-Op in Curtis, Neb. She also worked in the Frontier County Clerk’s office for many years.

Ardis was a member of the Curtis Congregational Church from 1950 until it closed in 2011. She was also a member of the Rebecca Lodge. Ardis enjoyed sewing, knitting, cooking, homemaking, children and horses.

She is survived by her husband of 74 years, Fayette “Bud” Harwick of North Platte, Neb.; son, Jim Harwick and his wife ZoeAnn of Greeley, Colo.; daughter, Jolene Harwick of North Platte, daughter-in-law, Karen Harwick of Dickens; sister-in-law Eugenia Rayback of Roseville, Calif.; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her son Jack Harwick, and her five younger siblings Bruce Dempcy, Wilber Dempcy, Madalene Morris, Jack Dempcy and Bonnie Davis.

Memorial services were held May 26, 2012 at Adams and Swanson Funeral Home in North Platte, Neb.

Inurnment will take place at the Moorefield Cemetery at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Frontier House in North Platte, Neb.

To sign the online guest book, go to

Norbert Carl Alber, 85, of Bridgeport, Neb., passed away May 1, 2012 at Heritage of Bridgeport.

He was born March 2, 1927 in Cheyenne County, Neb., at the family home to Alfred and Gertrude Alber. He attended Center School in Cheyenne County, Neb. The family moved to Morrill County in 1935 and he attended Glendal School.

He served in the U.S. Navy from 1945 to 1946. He married Helen Weitzel September 25, 1949 in Bridgeport. They were married 48 years. They raised their family in Bridgeport.

Farming and tilling the soil was the love of his life. He farmed with his brother-in-law Albert Weitzel for years on the family farm and then for the Lapaseotes family until his retirement.

In his retirement he loved woodworking projects trips to the casino and working in his garden and yard. He loved to dance especially square dancing.

He is survived by his long time companion Shirley Buffington; son Dick (Debra)Alber, daughter Patty (Rod) Swanson, daughter-in-law Ruth Ann Alber, granddaughters Tonja (Chad) Mitchell, Robyn (Chad) Jensen, Kensie (Edward) Walters, Jenny Swanson, April Warren, Amy (James) Vincent, Amber Alber, Aarika Alber, grandson A.J. Swanson; eight great grandchildren; sister Mary Lou (Alber) Weitzel; and Shirley’s family: Patricia (Rex) Wilcox family, Dennis Boman, Gaylene (Larry) Boman family and Frank Boman.

He was preceded in death by his wife Helen, son Norbert Lee, infant son Steven Ray, infant grandson Matthew Swanson; brother Maynard Alber and sister Inez Mitchell.

Services were held May 5, 2012 at All Soul’s Catholic Church in Bridgeport, Neb.

Interment followed at Oregon Trail Memorial Cemetery with military honors.

Memorials may given to the family to be designated at a later date.

Velma May Matthewson, 96, of North Platte, Neb., formerly of Hershey, Neb., passed away May 10, 2012, at Linden Court in North Platte, Neb.

She was born June 27, 1915, to Isaac and Sarah Ethel McKain Curtis near North Platte, Neb. Her mother passed away in 1922 and her grandmother, Olive Erskine, moved to the farm to help care for the family until her death in 1936.

Velma attended country school, Hershey School and North Platte High School where she graduated in 1933. She then attended Grand Island Business College.

On June 17, 1937, Velma married Leroy Alonzo Matthewson at Holyoke, Colo. They lived most of their life in the North Platte, Neb., and Hershey, Neb., area. Leroy passed away October 24, 1966. After that time Velma was employed at the Sutherland Hospital and the nursing home for a number of years. Later she was employed at Scouts Rest Ranch for a few years. Velma was also a caregiver to relatives and friends.

Velma was a member of the Hershey United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Women.

She is survived by her son, Neil (Joanne) Matthewson; her grandson, Brian (Jody) Matthewson; her great-granddaughter, Kellie Matthewson, her aunt, Ruby (Charles) Baskins, all of North Platte, Neb.; and many cousins of the McKain family; and friends, Becky Matthewson and Dale Roxberg.

She was preceded in death by her husband, mother, grandmother, father, Issac Curtis, and stepmother, Edith Snyder Curtis; her brother, Veldon Glen Curtis; three stepsisters, Joy Rima, Pearl Wagoner and Frances Avramenko; and a stepbrother, Harold Snyder; and many close friends.

Velma’s request was for cremation and a private family inurnment and committal service at a later date in the North Platte Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Hershey United Methodist Church.

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