Oconto Resident: Gifford Martin (1943-2017)

  Gifford Leroy Martin, 73, of Oconto, Nebraska, died Tuesday, April 4th, 2017, at the University Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
  He was born November 21st, 1943, in Oconto, Nebraska, to Rosco and Lydia Etta (Elston) Martin. Gifford graduated from Oconto High School with the class of 1962. 
  Gifford served his country in the United States Army during the Vietnam War.  Upon obtaining his honorable discharge he went onto further his education at Kearney State College. He was united in marriage to Leona Blow in 1969, two sons were blessed to this marriage; Stephen and Andrew.
  Gifford moved with his family to Broken Bow, Nebraska where he was Produce Manager for Safeway and later transferred to Safeway in North Platte, Nebraska. Gifford lived in North Platte until he returned to Oconto in 1981, where he resided until he answered the Lord’s call home. Gifford had several occupations before beginning employment with B-D in Broken Bow where he would work for over 20 years until he retired. During retirement Gifford enjoyed socializing with people as a Wal-Mart Greeter until fully retiring in July 2016.
  He enjoyed fishing, pheasant hunting, going to watch Andy as he played lead guitar for the band Borderline, and being with the family, especially the grandchildren. In fact, Gifford loved all children.
  Gifford had a mischievous side to him, and enjoyed a practical joke or two. He had a heart of gold, and would do just about anything to help anyone. His faith was strong, and he was a member of First Church of Nazarene in Cozad until his passing.
  He is survived by his sons, Stephen Martin of Oconto, Nebraska, Andy (Nilene) Martin of Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska; one brother, Ruben Martin of Overton, Nebraska; one sister, Doris Martin of Callaway, Nebraska; three grandchildren, Levi Martin of Lexington, Nebraska, Zoe Trautman of Cedar Bluffs, Nebraska, and Drew Trautman of Wilber, Nebraska; as well as extended family and friends.
  Gifford was preceded in death by his parents.
  Funeral Services were held Monday, April 10th, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. at the Oconto Community Center with Pastor Susan Sukraw officiating.
  Burial was in the Oconto Cemetery with full Military Honors.
  Visitation was held Sunday, April 9th, 2017 at the Reynolds-Love Chapel in Lexington.
  Memorials are suggested to the family for later designation.
  Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to have assisted the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting: reynoldslovefuneralhome.com.  

Cozad Resident: Ruth Nielsen (1929-2017)

  Ruth E. Nielsen of Cozad passed away April 8th, 2017 at Cozad Care Center at the age of 87.  Ruth was born July 13th, 1929 at Smithfield, Nebraska to Harrison and Margeret (Hanson) Glenn.  She graduated from Lexington High School.  Ruth married LaVerne Nielsen on January 18th, 1950 at Gothenburg, Nebraska. The couple were blessed with 6 children. Ruth was a devoted wife and mother, whose priorities always centered on taking care of her family. Ruth worked as a telephone operator, activities director, and most recently at the Cozad Elk's Club until her retirement.  
  She enjoyed playing bridge, traveling and was a faithful member of Christ the King Catholic Church. Ruth will be sorely missed by her family and all who called her friend.  
  She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; sons, David and Scott Nielsen; sister, Lavere Skull; brothers, Gerald and Keith Glenn.  
  Survivors include her sons, Glenn Nielsen of Hastings, Lee (Cheryl) Nielsen of Wood River, Paul Nielsen of Cozad and Steven Nielsen of Richland; grandchildren, Jennifer (Derek) Raburn of Cambridge, David (Lindsay) Nielsen of San Antonio, Texas, April (Matthew) Martin of Fremont, Christian (Rhyan) Nielsen of Clarksville, Tennessee, Jesse Nielsen of Hastings, Olivia Nielsen of Ashland; great grandchildren, Gaby Raburn, Hodge Raburn, Spencer Nielsen, Amalia Nielsen and Cyrus Nielsen; sister, Sandra (Dave) Amendola of Belmont, California.  
  A memorial has been established in her name. Online condolences may be shared at berrymanfuneralhome.com.  
  Mass of the Christian Burial was held  Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at Christ the King Catholic Church. Rosary was Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 at the Berryman Funeral Home Chapel.  Visitation was Tuesday at Berryman Funeral Home. 

Cozad Resident: Roger Boerkircher (1930-2017)

  Roger Lee Boerkircher passed away April 7th, 2017 at his home in Cozad at the age of 86.  Roger was born on the family farm northwest of Eustis, Nebraska, July 26th, 1930, to Hugo and Maude (Dreher) Boerkircher. Roger graduated from Eustis High School with an Honor E in 1948.  In 1950, Roger married Janice Hillis. The couple were blessed with a son, Brent.  
  Roger was employed by Paul Kniss at Gambles in Gothenburg, Nebraska for twelve years. He always wanted his own business and in 1960 Roger and Jan purchased and operated Gambles in Cozad, Nebraska until that company closed in the early 1970's. Boerkircher's was established at that time and sold furniture, appliances and later, floor covering.  In 1980, their son Brent took over the operation and Roger worked with him until 2004. At that time Roger worked as a security officer at Monroe Auto Plant in Cozad for six years, retiring on his birthday at 82 years. The Boerkirchers interest in horse racing began in the early 1970's. Their first foal was born in 1974.  Through the years they have over 200 win pictures. A star, Comet Kat, won the Pioneer Stakes three years in a row at Aksarben in Omaha. Roger and Jan enjoyed several trips around the world awarded by various companies through sales. Hobbies included dancing, hunting, cards and working.  Religion and the Cozad United Methodist Church were very important to him. Roger was a lifetime member and served on various boards through the years.  He also served on the board of First Federal Savings and Loan, Grand Generation Center for twelve years, Cozad Housing Authority, Cozad Chamber of Commerce (Roger and Jan received the Distinguished Service Award in 2001) and was a charter member of the Cozad Elks Lodge #2250. Roger was a past member of Rotary, Lions and Eagles Clubs, bridge and pinochle clubs. He celebrated nearly 67 years of marriage and they lived every day to the fullest and enjoyed this life style. 
  He was preceded in death by his parents.  
  Survivors include his wife, Jan Boerkircher of Cozad; son Brent (Mary) Boerkircher of Maxwell; brother, Donald (Lore) Boerkircher of Eustis; sister, Benita Schmidt of Gothenburg; granddaughter, Kira (Taylor) King-Bertin of Houston, Texas; great granddaughter, Collins; step-grandchildren, Holly McCance, Kelvin (Vicki Leighton) Heater, Heidi Schultz; step great grandchildren, Destani, Brooke (Martin), Brianna (Zachery), Jake, Kempton; and many other relatives, friends and church family.  
  Memorials are suggested to Cozad United Methodist Church or Cozad Grand Generation Center. Online condolences may be shared at berrymanfuneralhome.com.  
  Services will be Friday, April 14th, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at Cozad United Methodist Church with Pastor Doug Smith officiating. Burial will be at Cozad Cemetery.  Visitation will be Thursday from 1 to 8 with family receiving friends from 6 to 8 at Berryman Funeral Home. 

Eustis Resident: Connie Pierce (1941-2017)

  Services for Connie K. (Barth) Pierce, 75, of Eustis, Nebraska were held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, April 8th, 2017, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Elwood, Nebraska. Private family burial will be held at a later date. Visitation was on Friday, April 7th, 2017 at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church. Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad, Nebraska was in charge of arrangements.    
  She died Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 in Hospice Care at Cozad Community Hospital after a courageous ten year battle with renal cell cancer. 
  Connie Kay (Barth) Pierce and her twin Kenny Barth were born December 28th, 1941 to Albert and Almeda Barth in Amherst, Nebraska.  She attended school in Amherst where she graduated in 1960.
  On August 13th, 1961 she married the love of her life and best friend Elroy W. Pierce at Amherst, Nebraska. Two daughters were blessed to this union, Rosalind and Ronna.
  Elroy and Connie moved to Tryon, Nebraska in 1961 to begin his teaching and coaching career.  In 1963 they moved to Eustis, Nebraska where her husband continued to teach and coach. Connie was always Elroy’s biggest fan when he was coaching.
  Connie babysat for several years enjoying all the children and being able to touch their lives. She worked for Rosalie Joy in Eustis at her insurance agency and also for many years at DJ Motors. 
Through her ten year battle with cancer, Connie had an amazing faith and attitude and would not hesitate to turn to prayer. She never complained and stayed positive to the very end. Connie’s greatest joy was her family. Her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren brought her a lifetime of love and happiness. Connie was an amazing wife, mom and grandma and her favorite thing was spending time with family. She was always cheering on her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews at all of their activities. Connie had a big heart and was always s there to help friends and family.  Connie enjoyed going to the boats especially with her brothers. She was one of the strongest and most supportive persons of all things that she loved and held dear. Connie was a fabulous inspiration to all who knew her.
  Survivors include her spouse of fifty-five years Elroy; two daughters, Rosalind (Steve) Kruse of Ralston, Nebraska and Ronna (Kurt) Banzhaf of Elwood, Nebraska; five grandchildren Braeden (Kristin) Banzhaf of Omaha, Nebraska, Brandt (Brooke)Banzhaf of Bridgeport, Nebraska, Michaela (Steve) Donley of Springfield, Nebraska, Sheridan Banzhaf of Elwood, Nebraska and Nicole Kruse of Ralston, Nebraska and two great grandchildren Braxton and Alexis Donley, sister-in-law Yvonne Deyle Barth of Kearney, Nebraska, brother-in-law Monty Pierce of Stapleton, Nebraska, brother/cousin Gary Green of California, and numerous nieces and nephews.
  She was preceded in death by her parents, Elroy’s parents Ernie and Georgie, her twin Kenny Barth and his wife Sharon, her brother Jim Barth; in-laws Kieth and Ellen Pierce, Mary Ann McCarter, and Randy Pierce.  
  Memorials are suggested to Harper Hope Support Services at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Society or Rural Medical Home Care-Home Health/Hospice (Lexington-Holdrege).

Elwood Resident: Grace Godfrey (1918-2017)

  Grace was born September 13th, 1918 at Madrid, Nebraska to Walter and Mary (Reutzel) Nutt. She grew up in Madrid and graduated from Madrid High School.
  On January 22nd, 1942, Grace married Vernon Shepherd. The couple made their home in Atlanta, Nebraska during WWII and later worked on ranches in the Sandhills before purchasing a store, cafe and dance hall at Roscoe. They went on to own and operate the grocery store at Stockville, Nebraska before leaving the grocery business to own an apartment building in North Platte in 1969. In 1981, Grace was baptized at the Methodist Church in Cozad.
  Grace married Ben Godfrey on May 6th, 1992 and the couple subsequently made their home in Sutherland. She later lived with her daughter Ramona at Elwood until Ramona could no longer care for her. In most recent years, Grace resided in the Elwood Care Center, where she received excellent care. The family wishes to extend their special thanks to Dr. Jones and to Grace's Elwood Care Center family for taking such wonderful care of Grace and her loved ones during her final days.
  Grace was a longtime member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She enjoyed spending time at their cabin at Lake Maloney as well as gardening. She was also an avid quilter, and took pride in having gifted many of her family members a quilt or rug that she had personally made.
  Grace was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband Vernon and second husband Ben; a daughter, Ramona; 2 sons-in-law, Dave Jones and Lyle Schievelbein; stepson, Gerald Godfrey; 4 grandchildren, Ronald and Mark Schievelbein, Tammy Wilcoxson and Todd Scott; 3 sisters, Blanche Hilferty, Mae Petersen and Betty Harris; and 2 brothers, Earl and Bob Nutt.
  Survivors include her children, Darlene (Ray) Pierson of North Platte, Alice (Joe) Herrick of Cozad, Norma (Dave) Greeley of Hershey, Wayne (Carol) Shepherd of North Platte and Duane (Brenda) Shepherd of Brady; stepson, Marvin (Belva) Godfrey; 15 grandchildren; 53 great grandchildren; and 10 great-great grandchildren; 2 sisters, Dorothy (Arnold) Sexson of Ogallala, Ethel Brott of Engelwood, Colorado; special friends and caregivers, Mollie George and Jennifer Jones; along with many other relatives and friends.
   A memorial has been established in her memory for later designation. Condolences may be shared at prairiehillsfuneralhome.com, where the service will be streamed live for those unable to attend.
  Services were held on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in North Platte with the Reverend Dr. Douglas A. Delp officiating. Burial was in the North Platte Cemetery.
  Visitation was on Tuesday at the Prairie Hills Funeral Home of Ogallala.
  Prairie Hills Funeral Home of Ogallala was in charge of arrangements. 

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