Cozad Resident: Ethel Higley (1925-2017)

  Ethel 'Elaine' Higley, age 92 of Cozad, passed away February 9th, 2017 at Cozad Care Center.   
  Elaine was born January 16th, 1925 at Cozad, Nebraska to John and Virginia (Watt) Marshall.  She graduated from Cozad High School with the class of 1942. Elaine went on to attend Kearney State Teaching College. When Elaine turned 18 she left for Omaha, to help build planes during World War II at the Glenn L. Martin Bomber Plant. She was an original “Rosie the Riveter” and did many different jobs at the plant. She met her future husband during a carpool to work.  
  On June 3rd, 1944, she married Clarence 'Red' Higley at Omaha. The couple settled in Cozad in 1945. Elaine worked in the cafeteria at Cozad City Schools for many years and at the Cozad Hospital until her retirement. She was a faithful and devoted member of the First Presbyterian Church in Cozad and past member of the Rebekah Lodge and L.E.A. Elaine had a soft spot for the neighborhood cats, and would feed and take care of them. She was a kind and caring person and will be missed by all who knew her.  
  Elaine was preceded in death by her parents; infant son, Richard; husband; daughter, Barbara McLaughlin; daughter-in-law, Sheila; brother, Raymond Marshall and infant grandchild and great grandchildren.  
  Survivors include her sons, Stewart Higley of Cozad, Ronald Higley of San Diego, California and Alan (Robin) Higley of Omaha; 10 grandchildren, Todd (Mandi) Higley of Folsom, California; Cameron (Lauren) Higley, San Ramon, California; Amanda Higley, Snoqualmie, Washington; Ginny (Kelli Duvall) Higley, Snoqualmie, Washington; Janet (Ben) Reade, San Diego, California; Matthew McLaughlin, Omaha, Nebraska; Mark (Meredith) McLaughlin, Kearney, Nebraska; Katie McLaughlin, Omaha, Nebraska; Jared (Kendra) Higley, Panora, Iowa and Jordan (Caleb) Wittenburg, Lincoln, Nebraska; and 8 great grandchildren, Davis and Olivia Higley, San Ramon, California; Audrey Duvall, Snoqualmie, Washington; Dallas Reade, San Diego, California; Brooks and Harris McLaughlin, Kearney, Nebraska; and Judah and Ezekiel “Zeke” Wittenburg, Lincoln, Nebraska. 
   A memorial has been established in her memory. Online condolences may be shared at  
  Services will be held Friday, February 24th, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church with Pastor Jill Boyd officiating. Burial will follow at the Cozad Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday February 23rd, 2017 from 1 to 8 with family receiving friends from 6:30 to 7:30 at Berryman Funeral Home. 

Lexington Resident: Richard Stickley (1937-2017)

  Richard Edward “Dick” Stickley, 80, of Lexington, Nebraska, died Friday, February 17th, 2017, at Lexington Regional Health Center.
  He was born February 13th, 1937, at home in rural Perkins County, Nebraska, to Edward A. and Anna Marie (Dittmer) Stickley.
  Dick went to school in Grant, Nebraska, graduating from Perkins County High School in 1956.  He was united in marriage to Patricia McVey on June 30, 1957, at the Methodist Church in Ogallala.  Three children were blessed to this marriage; Michael, Cheryl, and Ronnie. 
  He worked in the oil fields for several years as a young man before moving to Ogallala.  He spent 10 years at the Brule Hay Mill, and then in 1980, moved his family to Lexington where he worked for Dawson County Feed Products, a total of 23 years total. He also ran a scraper around the area. 
  Dick was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church. He loved the outdoors, to fish, hunt, farm, ride horses and garden. He and Patricia loved to camp and spent many weekends camping at local lakes. He could tell a story like no other, and could talk your leg off forever.  But, he had a heart of gold, and is with his sweet Patricia again. 
  Survivors include his children; Michael Stickley of Grant, Nebraska, Cheryl Stickley (Kevin McKee) of Lexington, Nebraska, and Ronnie Stickley of Las Vegas, Nevada; two brothers; Jerry (Shirley) Stickley of Grant, Nebraska, Kenneth Stickley of Ogallala, Nebraska; two sisters, Roberta Vieyra of North Platte, Nebraska, and Loretta Christensen of Big Springs, Nebraska; three grandsons; Jon and wife Michele Stickley of Lexington, Nebraska, Martin Stickley and (fiance’ Lone Handberg) of Trondheim, Norway, and Austin Stickley of Las Vegas, Nevada; four great-grandchildren, Brylee, Beau, and Nolan Stickley, of Lexington, Nebraska, and Matheo Stickley of Trondheim, Norway.  Also surviving are many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
  Dick was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Patricia in August of 2016; and a brother-in-law, Henry Christensen.
  Funeral Services were held Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lexington with Pastor Rob Kuefner officiating.
  Burial was that same afternoon at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery south of Ogallala at 2:00 p.m.
  Visitation was held Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 at the Reynolds-Love Funeral Chapel in Lexington.
  Memorials are suggested to the family for later designation.
  Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington assisted the family with arrangements.  Please share online condolences with the family by visiting:

Lexington Resident: Estella Rodriguez (1943-2017)

  Estella Mary Rodriguez, 73, of Lexington, Nebraska, died Saturday, February 11th, 2017, at Mt. Carmel Keens Memorial in Kearney, Nebraska.
  She was born October 17th, 1943, in Mercedes, Texas to Pedro and Clothilde (Alvarado) Martinez. She was united in marriage to Anastacio Rodriguez in Lexington. He preceded her in death.
  Estella was a hard worker growing up. She picked cotton, pecans, and worked in the potato factories as a younger woman. She then was a homemaker. The family moved to the Lexington/Gothenburg/Cozad area in 1988. 
  She enjoyed keeping a nice home, cooking, music, and being with the family. 
  Estella is survived by her children; Anastacio Rodriguez, Jr., Adam Rodriguez, and Nick Rodriquez all of Lexington, Barbara (Richard) Martinez of San Antonio, Texas, Rosalinda Perez of Lexington, Lynnrene (William) Pablo of Omaha, Nebraska, and Angelita (Angel) Figueroa of Holdrege, Nebraska; three brothers, David, Pedro, and Daniel Martinez all of Weslaco, Texas; four sisters, Eva Martinez of Weslaco, Texas, Mary Tyler of Ohio, Esmeralda Martinez of Michigan, and Esther Martinez of Houston, Texas; twenty six grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, as well as nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
  Estella was preceded in death by her parents; husband, daughter, Beatrice, and two brothers, Eloy and Ernesto.
  Mass of Christian Burial was Thursday, February 16th, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Lexington with Reverend Jose Chavez officiating.
  Burial was in the Willow Island Catholic Cemetery.
  Visitation was held Wednesday, February 15th. Rosary followed at Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington.
  Memorials are suggested to the family for later designation.
  Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington assisted the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting:

Former Lexington Resident: Kelly Stoppkotte (1970-2017)

  Kelly K. Stoppkotte, 46 of Chapman, Nebraska died Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 at CHI Health St. Francis, Grand Island after a courageous battle with cancer.
  Celebration of life was held Saturday evening, February 11th, 2017 at the family farm, 447 H Road, Chapman, Nebraska. Visitation was Friday, February 10th, 2017 at Apfel Funeral Home, Grand Island. Inurnment will be at a later date.  The family requests that instead of sending flowers, please make memorials to the Kelly Stoppkotte Memorial College Fund. Apfel Funeral Home is caring for the family. 
  Kelly Kay Stoppkotte was born, August 27th, 1970 in Lexington, Nebraska the daughter of Paul and Patricia (Young) Linn. She grew up in Lexington where she received her education, graduating from Lexington High School with the class of 1988. She attended Grand Island Business School and began her employment with Home Federal and later Heartland Ag.
  She was united in marriage to Michael Stoppkotte, January 13th, 2001 at Las Vegas, Nevada. The couple made their home on the family farm near Chapman. She was employed at Tri-City Cycles Works and later for the State of Nebraska. Her last seven years she was a homemaker, shuttling her girls to all their events.
  She enjoyed her women’s golf league, socializing with her friends, but her greatest joy came from being involved in all of her daughter’s day to day activities. 
  Those left to cherish her memory include her husband, Michael Stoppkotte of Chapman, three daughters, Kaylee, Kamryn, Mikyna Stoppkotte all at home, her mother, Patricia Linn of Lexington, Nebraska, brother & sister-in-law, Greg & Joyce Linn of rural Kearney and maternal grandmother, Dorothy Young of Lexington.
  She was preceded in death by her father, Paul Linn, infant daughter, Klaire Lorena, maternal grandfather, Roger Young, paternal grandparents, Virgil & Georgia Linn.
  Online condolences may be directed to the family at

Cozad Resident: Roger Koch (1949-2017)

   Roger L Koch, 67, of Cozad, Nebraska, formerly of Farnam died February 7th, 2017 in Cozad following a courageous battle with cancer. 
  He was born April 2nd, 1949 in Elwood, Nebraska, son of Lorenz and Elsie (Weber) Koch.
  Roger served his country in the US Army from 1969 to 1972. Roger married Kathy Stinman on June 18th, 1975 in Stockville; to this union Lacy was born. He was a member of the Lions Club and the breakfast club.  Roger enjoyed being outdoors. Hunting and fishing were his favorite pastimes.  He loved to tell jokes and play tricks on people. He loved anything that made a big "BOOM"!  Roger worked at Paulsen's for many years as a heavy equipment operator. 
  Surviving are daughter, Lacy (Cory) Chapman of Holdrege, Nebraska, daughter, Mandy (Case) Morse of Grand Island, Nebraska, sister, Shirley Tafoya (Dean Stevens) of Gothenburg, sister Sandy Babcock of Mount Blanchard, Ohio, brother Gary Koch (Cheryl Mullenburg) of Indianola, brother Dale Koch of Findlay, Ohio, sister Patty (Howard) Brown of Sidney,  two grandchildren Camy and Caden Chapman, along with extended family including nieces and nephews and numerous friends. 
  Roger was preceded in death by his parents, Lorenz and Elsie Koch., his brother Mark E. Koch, and nephew Michael Babcock.
  Roger will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
  Visitation was held at Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel, Gothenburg, Nebraska; Sunday, February 12th, 2017.
  Funeral Services were held at Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel, Monday, February 13th, 2017.  
  Interment followed in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Nebraska.
  Memorials may be given to the family to be designated at a later time. 
  To sign the online guest book, go to

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