Plains Edition Obituaries 6-30-12 |

Plains Edition Obituaries 6-30-12

William F. “Bill” Hays, 82, of Oxford, Neb., passed away June 25, 2012 at the Phelps Memorial Health Center in Holdrege, Neb.

He was born June 8, 1930 at Oxford, Neb., the ninth of 10 children born to Joseph and Anna (Haffey) Hays. He received his primary education at the Hardscrabble District School and graduated from Edison High School with the class of 1947. Following his education, Bill served his country in the U.S. Army from February 18, 1953 until his honorable discharge on February 17, 1955.

Bill was united in marriage to JoAnn D. VonHollen on December 24, 1952 in Norton, Kan., and to this union five children were born: William M., Terry, Katherine, Stanley, and Jerry. They made their home on the family homestead northeast of Edison, Neb., where Bill engaged in farming and also worked at the Edison CO-OP – 76 years of his 82 years was spent on this family farm. In July of 2008, Bill and JoAnn moved into Oxford, Neb.

Bill loved to play softball, especially enjoyed pitching, and also enjoyed playing pool and cards. He loved to watch all his children and grandchildren in sporting events and activities and liked to reminisce with his family and friends about stories of his childhood.

Bill was a member of the American Legion Post No. 343 of Edison and was recognized as a 50 plus year member. He was also a member of the St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Oxford and later in years transferred membership to the St. Germanus Catholic Church in Arapahoe.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, JoAnn of Oxford, Neb.; five children, William “Billy” Hays of Edison, Neb., Terry Hays and his wife, Sally, of Alma, Neb., Katherine McQuiston and her husband, David, of Oxford, Neb., Stanley Hays and his wife, Kathy, of Hazelton, Kan., and Jerry Hays of Oxford, Neb.; nine grandchildren, Crystal Daniels and her husband, Curtis, Clinton McQuiston and his wife, Kimberly, Andrew McQuiston, Nicole Hays, Jesse and Brooke Hays, Tanner, Hannah and Haley Hays; two great-grandchildren, Joseph Ferris and Haisley McQuiston; one brother, Joseph Hays and his wife, Jean, of Holdrege, Neb.; three sisters, Lucille “Suz” Walker of Fort Collins, Colo., Mildred “Mick” Dawson of Arapahoe, Neb., and Teresa “Tess” Moor of Exeter, Neb.; two sisters-in-law: Ruby Hays Martin and her husband, Mark of Kearney, Nebraska and Eleanor Nail of Ponchatoula, Louisiana; two brothers-in-law: Fred VonHollen and his wife, Charlotte of Chattanooga, Tenn., and Herb VonHollen and his wife, Verna, of Dubuque, Iowa; and a host of nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother, James Hays and four sisters, Katherine Bartruff and her husband, Dale, Lois Dawson and her husband, Lowell “Whitey,” Bernice Dawson and her husband, Farrell “Spike,” and Elsie in infancy, and three brothers-in-laws, Vaughn Dawson, Hiriam Walker, and Duane Moor.

Memorial services were held June 28, 2012 at the St. Germanus Catholic Church in Arapahoe, Neb.

Interment was at the Edison Cemetery at Edison, Neb., with military honors provided by the Edison American Legion Post No. 343 in conjunction with the U.S. Army National Guard Military Honors Team.

A memorial has been established in his memory and will be designated at a later date.

Percy Cross, 90, of Arthur, Neb., passed away June 10, 2012 at the Golden Ours Convalescence Home in Grant, Neb.

He was born January 5, 1922 to HL and Caroline (Rettke) Cross on their homestead in Arthur County. Percy received his early education at Willow Valley School in District 7.

He graduated from Arthur High School in 1940. Through high school, Percy, nicknamed “Dizzy Dean” played baseball and served as the captain of his team. He always watched the World Series, his favorite team being the Atlanta Braves.

After high school, Percy worked for Fat Farr, who lived north of the Frank Lane place. He helped with the cattle and haying, then after two years, Percy leased his own place and had cattle of his own.

Percy and LaVaughn Kaps started courting on St. Patrick’s Day in 1933 (he was 11 and she was 10). They married in the home of Judge Fred Hartman on October 18, 1945. The newly married couple’s first home was a small, one-room chicken house with a pot-belly stove. They lived there through the first winter and then moved to the Kaps Ranch to take over the Kaps’ turkey business.

Since the turkey business was a disaster, Percy started trapping muskrats to help with the living expenses. They purchased the Russell Goslin place in 1947 and spent a year fixing it up before residing in the sod house, where they lived until 1973, which was when they purchased their new home with a PCA loan. The Cross’s were PCA member for 59 years. Percy was a lifetime Arthur County rancher until he retired in 2004.

Percy loved to square dance and polka. His favorite card game was Pitch “Cut Throat.” He was a lifetime member of Ogallala Elks Lodge No. 1760 for 49 years.

He is survived by his beloved wife, LaVaughn, their daughter Linda (David) Neal of York, Neb.; his brother Jean “Jake” (Lucille) Cross of Arthur, Neb.; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his brothers: George, Wilsie, Donald and Burt Cross.

Memorial services were held June 14, 2012 at the Arthur Baptist Church.

Burial followed in the Arthur Cemetery in Arthur, Neb.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Arthur Baptist Church.

Online condolences may be sent by visiting

Gladys Marie Lair, 99, of Port Orchard, Wash., passed away June 14, 2012 at Orchard Pointe Memory Care in Port Orchard, Wash.

She was born in Draper, S.D., to Joshua A. and Mary E. (Reynolds) Robertson on July 29, 1912, the 10th of 11 children.

She married Don Lair in 1931. He owned a trucking business until 1945 when Gladys and her husband bought a ranch and later started Lariat Boy’s Ranch near Stapleton, Neb., and eventually added a school to the business.

Gladys canned hundreds of quarts of fruits and vegetables and was famous for the breads and cinnamon rolls she would bake.

She is survived by sons, Earl and Bob; daughters, Dorothy, Betty, Jean and Karen; 19 grandchildren; 45 great-grandchildren; and nine great great-grandchildren.

Private services will be at a later date.

Charles Robert (Bob) Anthony, 90, of Lexington, Neb., passed away June 6, 2012 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Neb.

He was born to Luther Francis Anthony and Elizabeth Mary Peters Anthony, the youngest of five children. He attended country school and graduated from Lexington High School in 1938. He attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, Neb., for a year where he received honors in livestock judging. He entered the army and joined the newly formed 242nd Field Artillery Battalion, where he served as a machine gun and ammunition sergeant. He went into France on Utah Beach and travelled across France where he was wounded in the Forest de Parroy in no man’s land taking a radio in to replace a forward observer. After 15 months in military hospitals, Bob was honorably discharged and returned home to farm with his father.

On September 10, 1950, Bob married Mary Jane Oldfather and their union was blessed with three children, Janet Marie, Anna Louise and Timothy Charles. They made their home on a farm northwest of Lexington, Neb., where they farmed and fed cattle. He was an active member of his church and society. In 1979, he served as a delegate from the Nebraska Central Platte Presbytery to the National General Assembly in San Diego, Calif. He enjoyed the Lexington Rotary Club, Dawson County Fair Board, riding with the Plum Creekers, and his invitation to speak at the National Longhorn Association Seminar in Austin, Texas.

Aside from his family, cattle feeding and the people he dealt with were his love. Bob had many lifelong friends in the cattle industry that never had a written contract for the business they conducted, as honesty was the binding element in his life and relationships. Bob loved his family, his life and his work and all were good to him in return.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Jane Anthony of Lexington, Neb.; two daughters, Janet Marie (David) Quitmeyer of Lexington, Neb., Anna Louise (Galen) Stehlik of Grand Island, Neb.; son, Timothy Charles (Marita) Anthony of Lexington, Neb.; six grandchildren, Katie (Slim) Reece of Harrison, Neb., Casey (Crystal) Quitmeyer of Lexington, Neb., Mitchell Stehlik and fiancee Erin VanOstrand of Grand Island, Neb., Antonia (Noe) Mendez of Grand Island, Neb., Betsey (Matt) Heidrich of Lincoln, Neb., and Courtney Anthony of Lexington, Neb.; sister, Hazel Anthony of Lincoln, Neb.; two sisters-in-law, Lois Anthony and Dorothy Oldfather both of Lexington, Neb.; and many other relatives and friends.

Memorial services were held June 11, 2012 at First United Methodist Church in Cozad, Neb., with military honors.

A private family inurnment was held at the Hewitt Cemetery.

A memorial has been established in his memory.

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