The Superior Express -- Jewell County Record


Obituaries published Sept. 14, 2017

The Superior Express and Jewell County Record

This week: Iris Braddock, Shawn Rand, Jubilie Sothers, Jessica Thompson, William Butts, George Fredrick Abel, Leonard C. Blain, "Coke" Wright, LaVeta Rempe


Iris Braddock
Iris Bea (Risher) Braddock, 91, of Manhattan, died last Tuesday at Meadowlark Hills Sloan House. She was born Dec. 21, 1925, in Jewell, the daughter of Harley Eugene and Alma Verle (Harbert) Risher.
Iris graduated from Jewell High School. She was a hairdresser for several years prior to working in food service for USD No. 383 in Manhattan. She was married to Glenn Edwin Braddock, Sr., on Dec. 8, 1945, in Beloit. She attended Crestview Christian Church in Manhattan. She was preceded in death by her husband.
Survivors include her children, Mrs. Mark Sharp (Kaellen Susan) of Oklahoma City, Okla.; Merilyn Jean Griffith of Salina; Glenn E. Braddock, Jr., of Manhattan; Mrs. Dennis Falder (Anise Louise) of Newton, N.C.; and David Leon Braddock of Manhattan; one sister, Fauna Jean Woods of Manhattan; 15 grandchildren and many great- and great-great-grandchildren.
Her funeral was held Saturday at Wallace Cemetery in Jewell, with Pastor Dan Daniels officiating. Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home of Manhattan was in charge of the arrangements.

Shawn Rand
Shawn Martin Rand, 54, of Lincoln, died at his home. He was born Sept. 20, 1962, in Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. Shawn enjoyed golfing, fishing, playing a friendly game of poker and watching Husker football.
He is survived by his parents, Verl (Al) and Joanna Rand, Ron and Judy Tweedy, John and Velma Kirby; sons, Shawn Jr., Bryan and Kristoffer; daughters, Ashley and Rebecca; siblings, Ron Kirby, Randy Kirby, Alynda Rand, Katrien Grande, RaeJean Hamann, Patricia Spurling, Cindy Becwar, Jason Kirby, Les Kirby and Ryan Tweedy. He was preceded in death by Shirley Kirby.

Jubilie Sothers
Jubilie Rae Sothers, 43, of Courtland, died Friday at her home. The daughter of Richard Sothers and Virgene Jensen, she was born Aug. 4, 1974, in Belleville.
Jubilie graduated from Pike Valley High School in 1992. She worked as a CNA and received her nail technician certificate. She made Superior her home for most of her adult life. Family and friends knew Jubilie as a strong, independent woman. This was proven in 2012, when she was diagnosed with brain cancer. After several surgeries and radiation, her strong will prevailed and she returned to work while raising her youngest son as a single mother. When her cancer relapsed again in 2016, she underwent more surgeries, radiation and chemo. Her strength and resilience made it possible for her to persevere and meet her grandson, who she adored.
Survivors include her sons, Daltan Boyer of Manhattan and Drake Totten of Windsor, Colo.; one grandson; her mother, Mrs. Jensen Andries (Virgene) of Denver, Colo.; her father, Richard Sothers of Ozark, Ark.; sisters, Mrs. Steve Mueller (Kim) of Clifton, Mrs. Richard Lindberg (Melanie) of Courtland Mrs. Tim Long (Sandra) of Owasso, Okla.; brothers, Robert Robbins of Denver, Colo., and Dean Robbins of Coppell, Texas; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Jubilie's request was for direct cremation. A family gathering in her memory will be held at a later time. Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home, Belleville, assisted the family with these arrangements.

Jessica Thompson
Jessica Haley (McDole) Thompson, the daughter of Jerry and Ruth (Marget) McDole, was born on March 4, 1968, in Lincoln, Neb. She died on Sept. 6, 2017, at Brodstone Memorial Hospital in Superior, Neb., at the age of 49 years, six months and two days. Jessica was the second of five children that would be born in her family. In 1972, following the end of Jerry's schooling, her family moved to Red Cloud, Neb.
Jessica received her formal education at Red Cloud Public Schools, graduating a year early in May 1985. Upon graduating from high school, Jessica enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She graduated in December 1990 with a bachelor of science degree in mathematics education.
On June 5, 1993, she married Darren Thompson at the Guide Rock United Methodist Church. Jessica and Darren became the parents of four children: Aaron, Amanda, Anya and Allison.
Jessica started her teaching career at Guide Rock Public Schools, teaching mathematics for grades 7-12. Through the years, Jessica would additionally teach at White Rock, Sandy Creek, Lawrence-Nelson and Superior Public Schools. She also taught classes through the educational service unit as well as the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Teaching was undoubtedly a calling for her, and it was not unusual for her to take additional time to help her own students, as well as those who were not her pupils.
Faith was always at the center of Jessica's life. She was baptized and confirmed at the Red Cloud First United Methodist Church. She later was active in each of her local churches, including the Bethel Church, Northbranch Friends Church, Olive Hill Church and the First Baptist Church of Superior, Neb. She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Guide Rock, Neb. She strongly believed in the power of prayer, having recovered from a poor prognosis of Reye's Syndrome in February 1974.
Not only did Jessica value the education of others, but she also valued advancing her own knowledge when the opportunity presented itself. She earned a master of arts in education degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Nebraska at Kearney in 2005. Four years later, she obtained a master of arts for teachers degree with a specialization in teaching of middle level mathematics from the Math in the Middle Institute partnered with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a member of the Math in the Middle Cohort 4. In 2011, she began working toward a doctor of education degree in teaching, learning and teacher education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Jessica was a member of the Red Cloud Assembly of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, serving as the worthy advisor, and later became a member of the Charity Chapter No. 47 Order of the Eastern Star. She served as president of the South Central Unified Education Association, 2004-2005. She served the community through the TeamMates Mentoring Program and helped to train other teachers as one of Nebraska's 30 Robert Noyce National Science Foundation Master Teaching Fellows, 2011 - 2016.  Additionally, she was a member of the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Mathematics (NATM), 1991-2017; the Nebraska Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), 1991-2017; the Nuckolls County 4-H Council, serving as president for one year; and was the Richmond Township Clerk.
Jessica received many accolades such as the KOLN-KGIN Golden Apple Award, 1997; inclusion in the 5th and 7th editions of "Who's Who Among America's Teachers", 1998 and 2002; and the Milton M. Beckmann Lifetime Achievement Award from the Nebraska Association of Teachers of Mathematics, 2017.
In her free time, Jessica enjoyed both outdoor and indoor hobbies. Like her paternal grandparents before her, she loved time with horses. She and her daughters participated in shows, and she additionally spent much time at auctions, conferences and learning seminars. Gardening was another fond pastime of hers ­­ irises, roses, Mexican sunflowers and marigolds were some of her favorite flowers. She cherished the hours she spent sewing and knitting, just like her maternal grandmother. What she loved most of all, though, was spending time with friends and family, and she especially looked forward to the moments with her husband, children and granddaughter.
Jessica was preceded in death by her infant sister, Celia May McDole; beloved cousin, Tony Wehnes; stepfathers, Rolland "Pete" Mesloh and Lale Oellerich; father, Jerry McDole; father-in-law, Kenneth Thompson; and all of her grandparents.
She is survived by her husband, Darren Thompson of Guide Rock; daughters, Anya Waters and husband Matthew of Manhattan, Kan.; Allison Thompson of Salina, Kan.; and Amanda Toepfer and husband Jeffrey of Blue Hill, Neb.;  son, Aaron Thompson of Guide Rock; granddaughter, Hallie Thompson of Blue Hill; mother, Ruth Oellerich of Davenport, Neb.; mother-in-law, Evelyn Thompson of Guide Rock; stepmother, Estela Chan of Red Cloud; sisters, Georgia Fear of Sutherland, Neb., and Eileen Jahn and husband Mick of Kearney, Neb.; brothers, J.J. McDole and wife, Dianne, of Terre Haute, Ind., and Joe McDole and wife, Amy, of Red Cloud, Neb.; sister-in-law, Michelle Widger and husband, Sam, of Kearney, Neb.;, nieces, nephews and a host of other relatives and friends.
Jessica will be remembered for her passion for education, her kindness toward others, her love of the Lord and her compelling singing voice. She was an unparalleled wife, mother, grannie and teacher.
Funeral services were held on Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, at 2 p.m. from the Guide Rock School Gymnasium in Guide Rock, Neb., with pastors Warren Schoming and David Watters officiating.
Prelude music by Eileen and Emma Jahn was "Here I Am Lord." Melissa Westbrook sang "His Eye Is On The Sparrow" and "Untitled Hymn" with Megan Widger as accompianist. "It Is Well With My Soul" was sung by the congregation and a recording of "Supermarket Flowers" was played.
Visitation was held on Sept. 10, 2017, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Megrue-Price Funeral Home.
Pallbearers were Bob Cook, Charles Isom, Kevin Miller, Doug Hoins, Seth Going, Brandon Siegel and Ron Hershberger. Honorary pallbearers were Jacki Porter, Melissa Schuster, Dayna Miller, Lisa Jameson, Anne-Marie Ohmstede and Syndee Wulf.
Interment was in the Guide Rock Cemetery at Guide Rock, Neb.
Memorials are suggested to go to Brodstone Memorial Hospital or Superior Public Schools.
Condolences may be sent to Megrue-Price Funeral Home, 750 N. Commercial, Superior, Neb., 68978, or Megrue-Price Funeral Home of Superior, Neb., was in care of the arrangements.

William Butts
William Eugene Butts, 91, formerly of Jewell, Kan., died Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017, at Hilltop Lodge, Beloit, Kan. He was born Feb. 14, 1926, in Jewell, Kan., to Reuben L. Butts and Mary (Hoffer) Butts.
Gene graduated from Esbon High School in 1944. He served in the Army until April 1947. Following his discharge he worked 43 years as a heavy equipment operator for the Jewell County Highway Department.
On Jan. 18, 1948, he was united in marriage to June Abram. In January 2018 they would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. To this union, four sons were born: Nick, Steve, Mark and Jack.
Gene loved to take part in the lives of his sons, being involved in their sporting events and especially Boy Scouts. He was a Boy Scout leader for 26 years. Gene served in many capacities of the Jewell Christian Church including church board secretary, deacon, elder, trustee, Sunday school teacher and others. He also enjoyed many summers of ice cream socials with friends and extended family.
June and Gene enjoyed Good Sam's Club camping for several years after retirement. They stayed a few winters camping in Arizona and also enjoyed trips to Hawaii, Alaska, the Rose Bowl in California and many other sites of the 50 states. He was called many names: William, Bill, Eugene or Gene. He always said he didn't care what you called him, as long as you didn't call him late for dinner.
He was preceded in death by his mother; father; sisters, Myrtle Keller, Bertha Clark and Zona Smith; brothers, Clarence, Robert and Lewis; and an infant son, Jack.
Gene is survived by his wife, June, of Hilltop Lodge; brother, Tom Butts, Arvada, Colo.; sister, Lucile Ozmun, Beloit, Kan.; four sons, Nick Keiss (Yvonne), Haysville, Kan., Steve Butts (Connie) Jewell, Kan., Mark Butts (Becky) Kearney, Neb.; five grandchildren, Adam Butts, Jewell, Kan., Warren Keiss (Rachel), Wichita, Kan., Erin Johnson (Tyler), Urbandale, Iowa, Renee Charles (Jimmy), Clearwater, Kan., Laura Walters (Kyle) Atchison, Kan.; eight great-grandchildren, Addilyn, Asher, Elias and Albert Johnson; Kathlyn, Karis and Kaiden Charles; Tristan Walters; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, 11 a.m. at Jewell Christian Church with pastors Dan Daniels, Tyler Johnson and Jimmy Charles officiating. Burial followed in Wallace Cemetery, Jewell. Visitation was held Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, 4 p.m to 7 p.m. at Kleppinger Funeral Home, Jewell, who were in charge of the arrangements.

George Fredrick Abel
George was born Aug. 25, 1929, to John Henry and Jessie Bell Abel in Burr Oak, Kan., and died Aug. 28, 2017, in Derby, Kan.
He graduated from Burr Oak High School in 1947. He began his construction career following graduation.
George married Caryl Louise Dillon on Jan. 20, 1950, in Burr Oak. One daughter, JoSean, was born to this union.
George and Martha Jo Hofer were married July 1, 1984, in Denver, Colo. They met at a little restaurant called "The Best Years," which became so very fitting for the rest of their lives together! Their marriage was one to be admired with such mutual faith, respect and above all love and devotion to each other every minute of every day.
George worked in commercial construction all the 44 years of his career until retirement in 1992. He worked with several companies in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. George had a strong work ethic and liked jobs with massive cranes, huge tonnage of concrete and driving deep piling. He began as a laborer and worked up successfully to being project superintendent for the final 30 years. His projects ranged from building high rise buildings, water treatment plants, schools, churches, power plants and dams. George was always committed to each and every project, ensuring it was done to superior quality and he took great pride in their completion.
After retirement, George and Martha traveled the United States for 12 years in their 5th wheel travel trailer. They travelled in all but three of the United States and savored the beauty and sites of each one. They both engaged in the communities they lived in, both doing a great deal of volunteer work. George used his expertise in construction for many hours devoted to Habitat for Humanity. They made friends from coast to coast, literally!
George never met a stranger and made a home wherever they were. George loved to sing and had a magnificent voice, always singing in a church choir. He was a man of deep integrity and a wit and humor that can never be forgotten! He had a vocabulary all his own and was truly someone who could light up a room the very minute he walked in it! It is hard to encapsulate 88 years of the magnificent personality he was and the joy he brought so many, just being in the room.
He was proceeded in death by his parents and brother, John H. Abel.
He is survived by his wife, Martha; daughter, JoSean; sister-in-law, Susan Abel; special nieces, Elizabeth Jeffery and Amy Sue Bliss; many friends.

Leonard C. Blain
Leonard Charles Blain, 71, of Watertown, S.D., died last Tuesday. Funeral was Saturday at the Watertown Wesleyan Church, with pastors Donald Blain and Steve Biswell officiating. Burial was in Mount Hope Cemetery in Watertown. Military honors were conducted by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter of Watertown.
Leonard was born March 17, 1946, in Middlebranch to Harold and Henrietta (Anson) Blain. He lived on the family farm by Page until he graduated from Page High School in 1964.
After graduation he went to basic training at Ft. Jackson, S.C., and AIT at Ft. Dix, N.J. After attending Miltonvale Wesleyan College in 1966 and 1967, he was drafted into the Army and stationed at Ft. Campbell, Ky.
In December 1967, he married Barbara Howard in Watertown, S.D. He trained to fly helicopters, received his warrant officer bars and wings and served in Vietnam in 1969 and 1970 where he flew troop insertions and extractions in UH1 Hueys. After being honorably discharged, they moved to Bloomfield, where their son, Len, was born. Their next move was Grand Island, followed by Superior, where their son, William, and daughter, Jeanelle, were born. They moved to Watertown, S.D., in 1987, where Leonard worked driving cross country and then for Stromseth Construction.
He was a member of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association and the American Legion. He enjoyed time with his family, crossword puzzles and visiting with people. He liked old cars and airplanes, motorcycles and helicopters of all kinds.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara; his children, Len Blain of Cawker City and William Blain of Ham Lake, Minn.; four grandchildren; one great-grandchild; brothers, Wesley Blain of Grand Island, Byron Blain of Norfolk and George Blain of Page; many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his daughter, Jeanelle Blain; his parents, Harold and Henrietta Blain; and his brother, Elmore Blain.

"Coke" Wright
Lyle D. "Coke" Wright, 82, Ionia, Kan., died at the home of his daughter in Nebraska Sept. 10, 2017. He was born Dec. 14, 1934, in Ionia, Kan., to Henry "Ted" and Mable Wright.
On Feb. 21, 1957, he married the love of his life, Wanetta Higer, in Fairbury, Neb. They lived most of their life in Ionia. Born to this union were two daughters, Pam and Annete.
Coke served in the Army for two years. He went to work on construction, operating heavy equipment, building roads. He then went to work for the Jewell County Road Department running a motor grader and retiring as the Jewell County road supervisor.
Some of his greatest joys were spending time with family, mowing and gardening. He enjoyed giving his granddaughters motorcycle rides and teaching them how to drive his pickup. A good marble game, and just about anything, brought out the orneriness in him.
Coke was preceded in death by his wife, Wanetta; parents; and two sisters, Nita Hubbard and Beverly Brummer.
Coke will be deeply missed by his daughters, Pam (Chad) Carter, Cawker City, Kan., Annete (Steve) Roth, Dorchester, Neb.; grandchildren, Molly (Sam) Rempe, Robert and Chelsea Carter, Jennifer (Robert) Jeppesen, Emily (Cayden) Riley, Julie (Daniel) Coffey; great-grandchildren, Bishop and Ansley Rempe, Marlee, Lillian, Peyton, Everly and coming soon baby Jeppesen and baby James Dean Coffey; sister Rose (Paul) Danley, Mankato, Kan.
Memorials may be given to Hospice or United Methodist Church, Ionia, Kan. Visitation was Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Kleppinger Funeral Home, Jewell, Kan. Funeral service was Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, at 11 a.m., at the Ionia United Methodist Church, Ionia, Kan. Kleppinger Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

LaVeta Rempe
LaVeta Rempe, 91, died Tuesday, at the Blue Hill Care Center.    
Rosary will be at 6 p.m. today (Thursday) at Butler Volland Chapel, Hastings.  Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 a.m., Friday, at St. Michael's Catholic Church, Hastings, with Father Jeremy Hazuka officiating.  Burial will be at 2 p.m. Friday in Sacred Heart Cemetery, Lawrence. Visitation will be today (Thursday) from 1 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home, and one hour prior to service at the church. Private condolences may be sent to the family at Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home & Cremation Center is in charge of the arrangements.

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