News obituaries published by The World-Herald this year.

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To say that Norm Kusinski was Lincoln’s “sandwich Nazi” would be a gross understatement. And it would neglect some very caring ways. But then again, Norm did things that the famous “Soup Nazi” of “Seinfeld” TV fame never did. Like the times he locked the front door of his ramshackle sandwich shop because too many people were in line.

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Alfred B. “Al” Kielian, 87, worked in the aviation industry and eventually NASA after growing up on a farm near Silver Creek. During the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission to the moon, he was called upon to test cryogenic gas-storage tanks to see what type of pressure they could withstand as NASA worked to get the three astronauts safely home.

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Through his liquor store at 16th and Evans, he gave food. Through his limo service, he gave rides. Through an irrepressible generosity, he gave about everything else, notably his time. He collected give-away bread from two grocery stores, delivered it to his north Omaha church where parishioners made sack lunches and then took them to the ill, the lonely, the homeless.

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"He bought his first bike, a Cushman scooter — I’m not even sure how old he was, 15, 16 maybe? — and he’s been riding ever since,” said his daughter, Becky Butterfield-Mason, 42, of Omaha. “That was his passion. His whole life was motorcycles.”

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Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Leo Thorsness, a University of Omaha graduate who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during a dogfight over North Vietnam and who later spent six years in the enemy prison camp known as the "Hanoi Hilton," died May 2 at a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida. He was 85.

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“He always said there was nothing more satisfying than having people walk out of his place saying ‘That was good (food), we had a good time,’ ” recalls his son, John Caniglia.

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“Hadley had the unique ability to explain idiosyncrasies of rodeo to those less familiar with the sport — he intimately knew the resume of the contestants, would explain the scoring system, and even knew the demeanor and habits of the bucking stock. With kindness and humor, Hadley was an amazing professional — he had the capacity to maintain the same high level energy and engagement for 21 consecutive performances,” a statement from the stock show said.

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“Tom was just a fun guy with a huge heart,” said orthodontist Pete Ziegler, his roommate as a CU undergrad and at Creighton Dental School. “He was a storyteller who told great jokes. And as a dentist, he was more concerned with taking care of his patients than whether they paid their bills.”

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He was born July 17, 1922, in Cherry, Illinois, the son of Italian immigrants. Bulli joined the Army Air Forces in 1942, ferrying planes to combat units overseas. During a career of more than 30 years, he racked up 9,000 flight hours, flew bombers in three wars, survived three plane crashes, and earned the Legion of Merit, the Air Medal and the Bronze Star.

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Folsom, who died Tuesday in Omaha, served for eight years as the national committeewoman of the Nebraska Republican Party. “She was a lifelong Republican who loved politics,” said son John Folsom II.

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