News obituaries published by The World-Herald this year.
Longtime Council Bluffs attorney Joseph McGinn, 87, died Wednesday at the Midlands Living Center in Council Bluffs, where he had been in hospice care for a brief period.
A legend himself — he was inducted into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 1993 — Propst counted other legends from all walks of life among his legion of friends. He died Tuesday night.
Ricard found her calling in teaching science. Ricard had worked at North High since 2004, teaching physics and other classes. She eventually became a curriculum specialist in charge of science and art.
Sydney Loofe was “the kind of kid that you wanted in class,” a former teacher recalled on Tuesday as the city mourned the young woman’s death.
Lionel "Lonnie" Johnson, 56, died Monday from gunshot wounds he suffered Nov. 4 near 37th Street and Meredith Avenue.
Police found Cristine Herek, a 54-year-old administrative worker for Heartland Family Service, dead of an asthma attack early May 17 on the front porch of her home at 4327 Erskine St. That’s less than one block from an Omaha fire station.
Cristine Herek’s job was helping people in addiction recovery, something she had to work at in her own life as well.
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.
Growing up in tiny Boelus, Nebraska, left Lowen Kruse with a strong sense of the importance of community, and he later built on that foundation as a pastor and a state legislator.
In the north Omaha community, Calloway was “one of the few remaining true icons,” her son said after her death Saturday at Immanuel Medical Center.
“You couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated player and person than Pat,” said John Georgeson of Omaha. “You put a uniform on that guy — football or Air Force — and he battled.”
For 22 years, former custodian Dennis Mills was dedicated to Bellevue East High School.
The Omaha woman spent more than 30 years as a labor and delivery nurse at Immanuel Medical Center.
Eleanor McHale, a wedding consultant, church organist and piano player for three-plus decades in Omaha Press Club Shows, was known for her musical ear — and for her patience. She died Tuesday at age 87.
Brittany Halterman was a member of the Papillion Junior Woman’s Club, was involved with Friends of the Library and was active in the Downtown Business Association. Halterman, 32, died suddenly at her home Thursday.
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.
Maureen Eischeid died at age 59 after several months in a hospital intensive-care unit.
Dr. Baum died Friday in hospice care at Lakeside Hospital after suffering a stroke. His funeral Mass will be celebrated today at 10:30 a.m. at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church.
Teena Beehner became a member of an informal band of six women who had endured the deaths of husbands or loss through divorce. The women became known as The Sassies or The Sassy Six and went to movies and dinner together. They celebrated birthdays and went to Italy.
“He was a pioneer,” said daughter Carol Ryan of Chicago. “He was always dedicated to improving health care and advancing science.”
Over the years, the soft-spoken, unassuming farmer had shared his war experiences with schoolchildren and civic organizations across southeast Nebraska.
She died Tuesday at age 93, leaving behind 27 grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and all eight children: Susan, Maureen Kennedy, Kay Douthit, Jean Bartman, Patrick, Michael, Margaret Hershiser and Ann White.
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.
The Rev. Dennis Stolinski was dedicated to his job — but not so much that he neglected fun. He was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1969 and served a number of churches in the Archdiocese in Omaha. And he had a reputation for being a good administrator.
Teresa “Teri” Donoho died Sept. 30 at age 57 after a nearly two-year-long fight with cancer. “She never gave up, even at the end,” said her husband, Jay Donoho.
“Those boys were her life, and she loved being a mother,” said Abby Behr Hagen's mother, Marsha Behr of Omaha.
Carly Kreibaum was known as a kind person who flashed big smiles and showed artistic talent, a former classmate and teachers said.
J. Patrick Green, a retired Creighton University law professor who taught there for 42 years, was known for his brilliance and wit.
For Omaha actor Barb Ross, making theater from scratch was as rewarding as the opening night applause.
Lou Andersen was a public servant who quietly guided decision-making at City Hall for more than 25 years. “He never really wanted the spotlight,” said his son, Lou, of Omaha. “He was what a chief of staff should be.”
Jones toured Europe with a U.S. Army symphony and played at more than 1,000 Omaha-area weddings and countless funerals and parties.
Tom Scholting, 59, who had worked much of his life for Jewish cemeteries, though he wasn’t Jewish himself, fell about 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Beth El Cemetery, 84th and L Streets.
Sol, feted on his 90th birthday in May by his beloved Suburban Rotary Club, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about a month ago and died Thursday.
The Irish matriarch of Nebraska’s Irish capital has departed this earth to meet St. Patrick.
The longtime real estate broker and two-year OPPD director died Sept. 8 after a battle with anaplastic thyroid cancer, a rare and very aggressive form of the disease. He was 77 years old.
Salvatore “Sam” Sambasile died last week, ending a life that will be remembered by many of us fascinated by what Sam did say, and what he didn’t.
“Inside, he was so full and big,” his sister Mary O'Kane said.
“She was so kind and so loving to everybody,” her husband, Terry Moore, said. “She did not have a prejudiced bone in her body.”
“Watching Bennington grow and helping it grow was a big deal for him,” said his daughter, Leslie Andersen. “He knew more about community banking than I’ll ever know.”
His wife, Marjorie, said Sambasile’s life was filled with love — love for country, music and family.
“He loved a lot of things,” said son Scott Sanderson of Omaha. “But I will tell you, his love for his family was beyond measure.”
Daniel Leise, 55, of Hartington, Nebraska, died Monday after he was struck by a car.
Elsberry, the former director of the MasterSingers chorale in Omaha and retired director of choral music and jazz studies at the former Midland Lutheran College, died Monday at 77.
Omaha commercial real estate broker Roger Haney assembled land for big and small industrial parks, and was an avid sportsman, hunter and preservationist. He died Friday at home from pneumonia.
“There’s a saying, ‘Without music, life wouldn’t be worth living,’ ” Hanna told The World-Herald in 2002. “Music will always be my first love.”
Whether it was for a broken heart or to check a strange spot on an arm, people sought out Phyllis Zimmermann whenever they needed healing. Zimmermann died Saturday after a battle with uterine cancer.
Urbom, who died Friday in Lincoln at age 91, was lauded for his ability to separate his personal feelings from the law. His family remembered Urbom for his "unparalleled dignity coupled with a gentle spirit.”
The colorful DeCamp was a power broker and wheeler-dealer of the first order, a pivotal figure in the success or failure of countless bills during his run in the Statehouse from 1971 to 1987. He died Thursday.
“When you talked, he sat there and listened,” his wife said. “If someone told a sad story, he cried with them.”
Jeanne Skutt, the widow of Mutual of Omaha chairman Thomas J. Skutt, died Wednesday following a stroke. She was 85.
Flemmer delivered information that was critical to farmers and ranchers at a time when they had few other places to turn for such information, said Jim Rose, a KFAB program director.
Amato’s, at 64th and Center Streets for nearly 25 years, is known for its ricotta pancakes, Italian sausage and down-home banter. But it’s also known for Sam Amato, an Omaha native who had a straightforward slogan: Come into Amato’s, put your elbows on the table and laugh out loud. He died Saturday at age 75.
Funeral services for Housley will be Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church.
"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.”
He became the first person to receive a lung transplant at the Nebraska Medical Center when the hospital brought back its lung transplant program in 2015. Sauvageau died Thursday.
“There’s thousands of kids that she impacted, and parents, teachers and so forth,” said longtime friend and retired Millard schools counselor Karol Godsey.
He relished taking his children and grandchildren hunting and fishing at a friend’s well-stocked farm pond — known in the family as “Mike’s Lake” — near Wahoo, Nebraska.
Bob Elliott, a veteran college football coach hired by Nebraska in February, has died. Elliott coached 38 years with stops at nine schools, including Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State and Notre Dame.
Over his 29-year career, Welch played a significant part in some of the FBI’s major investigations, including overseeing the Abscam probe, an extensive anti-corruption operation that ended in the convictions of a U.S. senator, six congressmen and a slew of other criminals.
Jones, who graduated May 23 from North High, died Tuesday at his home. He had been diagnosed with cancer more than four years ago and created a Facebook blog, Simon Says: Live a Better Life, to share his message of rejoicing through suffering.
“She wasn’t going to be a victim of cancer, she was going to live her life,” her son, Kevin, said.
His son knows Marty Going touched many lives as a football coach. “We’ve already heard from lot of players and people on how he made such an impact that we never would have known about otherwise,” Scott Going said. “I imagine a lot of men out there he helped in some way.”
A red shopping cart, balloons and messages in blue and yellow chalk have filled a parking spot at the Super Target in Papillion.
Flowerday, 89, died June 10 at the Tennessee State Veterans’ Home in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, after suffering his second stroke, son Charlie Flowerday said last week.
“Kim did not brag about her work, just quietly went about growing programs, kind of like a gardener of juvenile justice,” said Joanna Lindberg.
After graduating from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing, Mildred “Millie” Glyn began decades of service in Omaha hospitals.
An Omaha native, Jennings also joined the Navy and served on the USS Okinawa, a helicopter ship, during the fall of Saigon in 1975.
A man who ran a family business in Council Bluffs for 50 years, while still finding time to volunteer for many local organizations and boards, has died.
“It was amazing how many kids she touched, and had a lifelong impression on,” said Dave Sands, a former state executive director of Audubon Nebraska who is now executive director of the Nebraska Land Trust.
“He just loved helping other people,” his wife said. “Bill was just a real gentle man, and his whole goal in life was making life better for others.”
“She had told me she took the job at the OWH figuring she would be there a year before deciding what she wanted to do. I guess, after all those years, it was where she was supposed to be.”
The 49-year-old was found dead Tuesday in his Omaha apartment.
He went to bed and stopped breathing early Saturday, wife Mary Colleen said. It was the type of death he would have wanted, she said. “He never wanted to leave work. He died with his boots on."
Boska, 59, of Glenwood, Iowa, was killed in a one-man glider crash Saturday at the Blair airport. He had flown hang gliders with and without power for nearly 40 years.
They knew him as a radio host and a businessman and a band leader. They knew him as a dynamo — a guy who once did clapping push-ups in his studio to the polka he was playing.
Burbridge was hired in Missouri Valley in 2000. He worked there for a year or two before going to the Denison Police Department, then to Pottawattamie County.
James Prysiazny dies at 67, helped to renovate Crossroads, open Oak View Mall in Omaha
“Bob epitomized service and leadership when it comes to veterans,” said Brian Mann of the American Legion. “No one else I’ve ever met did as much to advance the cause of veterans, whether it was working with the Legislature or showing up for the funeral of a soldier.”
Donald R. “Skip” Hempel was president of Hempel Sheet Metal Works, an Omaha company that was founded by his grandfather in 1903.
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.
“He had high standards,” said Laura Heinemann, chairwoman of Creighton’s department of cultural and social studies. Heinemann was a Creighton undergraduate in the 1990s and had been one of Ault’s students.
In just about three hours, officials from the local school and his church, along with friends and family, put together a graduation ceremony followed by a wedding at a Grand Island hospital so that the 52-year-old physician, by then weak and able only to use a wheelchair, would not miss either event.
The president and chief operating officer of Kansas City-based Conklin Co. died unexpectedly of a massive heart attack at her father’s Falls City home May 2.
Yerkes was among the college’s first faculty members and taught from 1972 until his failing health forced him to stop in 2005.
“He was a true impartial factfinder. ... This was his reputation. If you wanted the best, fair shot, then this is the judge you wanted.”
“He was a member of that World War II generation,” said his son, Sam Brower of Omaha. “He came back from the war and went to work for his family and his community. He wasn’t very vocal about it. It was just expected.”
Stacy E. Hopkins III was a man of faith who loved his family and cherished relationships with those he was close to.
“She was ... ready to sacrifice 100 percent for a cause she knew was just,” said Anna Yuz-Mosenkis, one of the many Jews that Goldstein helped resettle in Omaha.
Sterba was an Omaha native who graduated from South High in 1974. He excelled at baseball, his son said, playing center field and leading off the batting order.
Newton helped create the Voodoo Taco chain in Omaha but had removed himself from operations and sold most of his ownership interest. He was working on a new restaurant concept when he died.
Steven S. Nichols, a bank president in the Elkhorn area for 13 years, didn’t dwell on being stricken with Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Larry Station Sr., 76, approached life head-on with the firm conviction that no task was too difficult.
The ashes of an Indiana man who documented the genealogy of the Omaha Tribe will be buried in a special ceremony Saturday in Macy, Nebraska.
Huber, who died Thursday in hospice care after a 16-month battle with cancer, pursued hobbies in the air and on the ground, said his wife, Karen. The two recently celebrated their 54th anniversary.
The mellow-voiced Bramhall, who died Wednesday, hosted a classical-music morning show for eight years on KIOS and 14 years on KVNO. He also had worked as a Top-40 radio deejay and TV weathercaster,
Norman Hale, 52, was the principal at St. Patrick Catholic Elementary School. He was killed on a western Kansas highway east of Colby. Officials said Hale was attempting a U-turn in a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek when it was struck by a semitrailer truck.
Fred Miller spent all 75 years going full blast, whether he was training for marathons or pulling long hours during 42 years at Omaha’s Kellog…
Diana Connolly loved music, singing and bringing people together, her husband said.
“She cared for everything like you were the most important thing on earth, whether it was a person or an animal,” her son David Man said.
Westside grad ‘just took it upon herself’ to help those with disabilities.
Spethman, a retired Douglas County District Court judge, suffered a massive stroke Tuesday and died two days later at his home. He was 84.
Sid Schwartz kept Omaha’s oldest grocery store in business at a time when competition from supermarkets and chains shuttered other independent…
“She was just very optimistic and ready to move on to the next thing,” said daughter Joan O’Keefe, 76, of Omaha. “She never lived in the past, and she never looked back, and she was always looking forward. ... She was probably one of the most grateful people you would ever know.”
Sixty men died on the ship. Howard Linn, then 20, was among the 109 wounded.
He died from leukemia on March 2 at the age of 88.
Rosemarie Lee’s enthusiastic attitude never failed her, whether she was working as a deputy Omaha city attorney, playing the role of doting gr…
“There wasn’t a project in the last 40 years that Tom wasn’t actively engaged in,” State Capitol Administrator Bob Ripley said. “He was a real mainstay.”
“Father Duster’s warm and outgoing personality, many talents and deep commitment to his vocation as a missionary priest drew many people to God in the places where he ministered,” said the Rev. Timothy Mulroy, regional director of the Columban Fathers.
“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.
Tom Vlach plans to run the New York marathon in November while wearing a T-shirt with his sister Sue’s picture on the back. He said that’s the only way he could ever finish ahead of her.
He is survived by his wife, Harvest, and stepdaughter Sierra. Services are tentatively set for Saturday at Life Church Omaha, 8433 West Center Road.
Nancy Armitage, a former ICU nurse, died Monday. A spokesman for the University of Nebraska Foundation said gifts and pledges over the past year or so had surpassed $940,000 and were nearing the million required for a named chair.
Mary Lee Ranheim, chief U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services officer for the district of Nebraska and Koontz’s supervisor, said she was a high-energy employee who was willing to go the extra mile to help others.
His stories from the fatal 1972 floods in Rapid City, South Dakota, were nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Becker died unexpectedly in her sleep Monday. She was 48. The cause of death is unknown, said Tanya Becker’s father-in-law, Neil Becker.
Don Wynne started his fuel transport business with one truck and one employee — himself — back in 1952.
Stacey, who served 16 years as chief of the Bellevue Volunteer Fire Department and was a longtime City Council member, was the father of John W. Stacey, who eventually became both fire and police chief himself.
He served as Gov. Frank Morrison’s No. 2, then left the state in 1967 to teach law in Ohio.
Helen Jenkins, 88, died early Monday at the Nebraska Medical Center, surrounded by family. She had been critically injured Friday while walking in a parking lot at the Westroads shopping center.
"I’m grateful to have had her to teach me what it means to be an incredible parent," Moore's husband, Aaron, said. "She was an amazing mom.”
“He loved sailing and riding motorcycles and at one point tried to turn both of those passions into a business, opening a sail and cycle shop next door to his shoe store,” son Michael Richman said.
Vazzano died Sunday at Hospice House surrounded by family, his son said. A funeral Mass will be Thursday at 10 a.m. in Christ the King Catholic Church.
Sister Mary Virginia Daly of the Sisters of Mercy influenced the lives of thousands of elementary, high school and college students during an …
“His cartoons had just a subtle something inside of them that made you think,” Omaha sculptor Larry Sosso said.
“She didn’t look down on anybody and would accept them,” said her son, dentist Joseph Thimes of Omaha.
Two of her more memorable roles were as Yente in “Fiddler on the Roof” at Bellevue Little Theatre and Sadie in “The Rise and Fall of Little Voice” at SNAP, for which she won the Theatre Arts Guild best featured actress award.
“We saw the smoke from Pearl Harbor and heard the sirens from the city of Honolulu,” Osterbuhr once said. “While we prepared the ship, high-level Japanese planes flew over. The nearest bomb fell across the street.”
Wanzenried, 74, had been battling dementia and died Jan. 25 at an Omaha hospice surrounded by his family, said his wife of 34 years, Lucy Wanzenried. Services were held Monday at First Central Congregational Church.
Michael Peters aspired to be a screenwriter.
Sister Antonia Bina was known for showing hospitality and making delicious Czech-style meals as a cook for the Notre Dame Sisters at convents …
“Music was her life,” said daughter Rebecca Noble, owner of the Cabaret Theatre. “She wanted everyone to experience it as much as possible.”
“I’m still in disbelief,” Robert Balkovec said.
Janis died last Saturday at Bergan Mercy Medical Center of complications from a stroke. He was 73. A celebration of life was held Friday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 13271 Millard Ave.
A World War II Marine veteran of the Pacific, August P. Polito had suffered a couple of recent falls and died Wednesday at 94, only 12 days before his next birthday.
"He was ‘The Boss’ until the last day,” son Barrett James said.
Funeral services for Merzedes Hart, a member of the University of Nebraska at Omaha track team and former Female Athlete of the Year at Abraha…
Michael J. Oehme, 57, will be laid to rest at Ridgewood Cemetery in Council Bluffs after an 11 a.m. service at the Bayliss Park Chapel.
“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.”
“Some people exist in life, and some people live,” said Smith's son, Mark Smith. “My dad lived. He loved life. He loved people.”
“He was always there for me when I needed someone to talk to,” Dustin Rhoads said. “I could always count on him.”
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.
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.
James “Jim” Nelson worked for all four of Omaha’s commercial television stations. He became studio manager for KPAO, the city’s public access TV station, in 2013. He died Jan. 4 of lung cancer at a local hospice.
“He didn’t have any enemies in the place,” said State Tax Commissioner Tony Fulton, a former state senator from Lincoln. “That gets said about a lot of folks, but I honestly can’t think of one.”
Friends and family described Lisa Gibilisco as a caring but no-nonsense educator in the Omaha Public Schools. Doctors think she died of the flu after falling ill with bronchitis, said her mother, Joann Gibilisco.
A private memorial service will be held Thursday in Omaha. In lieu of memorials, Deepe’s family suggested well-wishers “be kind to someone you love.”
A funeral will be held Tuesday for Randy Naran, who led the University of Nebraska at Omaha football team to two conference championships as a quarterback in the 1980s. He died Thursday, more than two years after being diagnosed with incurable throat cancer.
“He had the golden throat,” said Ben Gray, a friend and former colleague at KETV and now president of the Omaha City Council.