Vernon Gatz, 87, of Falls City, passed away Friday, April 11, 2014. He was born Jan. 18, 1927 to William Thomas and Esther Sophia Pribbeno Gatz on the family farm northeast of Falls City in a room with a small wood burning stove fired up just for the occasion.
Vernon attended country schools and graduated from FCHS in 1944. After graduation he returned to the family farm and worked with his father until his death in 1959. Vernon then took over the family business and spent the next 40 years farming, buying and raising cattle and hogs. He traveled the Midwest with his good friends Russ Hodges and Don Murray searching for the finest cattle and took great pride in his work.
Vernon married for the first time on July 29, 1978 to the love of his life, Norma Jean McCarty-Morgan-Smith. They were introduced by good friends Dale and Mary Jo Goff. On the day of their marriage Vernon became a husband, father and grandpa. He was a wonderful husband to Norma, loving step-father and devoted Papa to Travis, Shelby, Dalton, Mary and Jack. They were the joys of his life.
Together they played many rounds of golf, dined with friends and traveled to Australia. Vernon was an avid Husker fan and loved watching the games. He could be found every Saturday in the fall cheering on his Huskers and yelling at the TV when the games went south. He was an avid walker and many in Falls City would see him walking all over town. He was a regular for morning coffee at the Kwik Shop where he would catch up with friends.
Vernon spent the last two years at Falls City Care Center. He was a favorite of the staff there and they cared for him with compassion, love and respect. As a family we are forever grateful that he was blessed to have such wonderful caregivers.
Vernon is survived by his wife Norma Jean; sister, Elizabeth Louise Gatz, of Chicago; children, Mike and Michele Morgan (Travis), of Australia, Jack and Sherry Morgan, of Lincoln, Mark Smith (Shelby and Dalton), of Plattsmouth, and Shari and Tim Cooley (Mary and Jack), of Shawnee, KS.
His memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 19, 2014 at Dorr and Clark Funeral Home with Rev. Paul Weinert officiating.
Anne Crook Muzyka, 72, of Plano, Texas, passed away April 8, 2014.
Anne is survived by her daughter, Cindy (Doug) Hazelbaker, and their children Cory and Kyle, of Plano, Texas; son, Bob (Amy) Muzyka, and their children Kelly and Ally, of Lubbock, Texas; son, John Muzyka of Plano; sister, Margaret (Greg) Garcia, and their daughter Christine (Blake) Wright and children Morgan and Walker of San Antonio, Texas.
She is proceeded in death by her parents, William H. Crook and Elizabeth C. Crook; brother, Tom Crook; and her sister, Mary Crook Cobb.
She attended FC Sacred Heart School. She later graduated from St. Agnes Academy in Houston, Texas and attended the University of Houston.
A rosary was recited Sunday, April 13, 2014 at Dorr and Clark Funeral Home, Falls City. Interment followed in Falls City Catholic Cemetery.
Bradley J. Sefried, 53, passed away Friday, March 28, 2014, at his home in Sanford, FL, due to failing health.
Brad was born Dec. 17, 1960, in Falls City, the son of James R. and Diane (Shipley) Sefried, and was raised in Falls City. He graduated from FC High School with the class of 1979 and was a member of the National Honor Society and the U.S. Army National Guard. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Peru State College.
He moved to central Florida in 1984 and became Supervisor at the Appraiser’s Office in Seminole County. Brad loved music, art and sports and held charter season tickets to his beloved NBA basketball team, the Orlando Magic.
Brad formulated various equations that were adopted by the State of Florida relating to just and impartial means of property appraisals, winning numerous awards and recognition. He owed much of his success to his mentors at FCHS, Leon Joy and the late Wilber Roesch.
He married Kris Goebelbecker on Feb. 14, 1991.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by his wife; daughter, Cynthia Diane; brother, Douglas (Barbara) Sefried, Buffalo, NY; three nieces and aunt, Beverly Kimmel, Falls City, and his uncle, Alan Shipley, Scottsdale, AZ.
A memorial service was held Friday, April 4, at the Community United Methodist Church in Casselberry, FL, and the family is planning a memorial service in Falls City at a later date, with Pastor Lyle Schoen and Msgr. Robert Roh officiating.
Howard Leederman, 82, of Falls City, passed away Friday, April 11, 2014 at Falls City. He was born July 17, 1931 at Williamsport, PA to the late Raymond and Martha (Shetler) Leederman.
Howard served in the U.S. Navy and was discharged in 1950, he then served in the U.S. Air Force and was discharged in 1953.
On June 25, 1980 he married Sharon Watton at Annapolis, MD
Howard was raised at Williamsport and graduated high school there. After his service he lived in California and worked for The California State Gypsum Drywall Contractors Association until 1970. He moved to Washington, DC and worked for Gypsum Drywall Contractors International until 1982 when he moved to Falls City and operated the Harvest House Restaurant until 1989. He then worked for a number of Native American Housing Authorities until his retirement in 2004.
Howard is survived by his wife, Sharon of Falls City; son, Anthony, of Bullhead City, AZ; daughter, Sarah Habel, of Alamogordo, NM; and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church with Msgr. Robert A. Roh as the presiding priest.
A registration book is available to sign at Dorr and Clark Funeral Home during regular business hours.
Wayne McNeeley, 89, of Enid, OK, passed away Monday, March 31, 2014. He was born March 19, 1925 near Stella.
His body was cremated and a graveside memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, April 25, 2014 at Prairie Union Cemetery near Shubert. A luncheon for family and friends will be served following the service at the community building.
Wayne was born March 19, 1925, in Douglas, NE, to Cleo and Veda (Rhodus) McNeeley. He graduated from Stella High School in 1942. He married Elva Jean Stanley on Nov. 6, 1944, in Joplin, Mo.
Wayne served in the Army during WWII in the Pacific Theater from 1943 to 1946. They farmed for one year in southeast Nebraska before he attended Colorado School of Mines. He graduated with a degree in petroleum engineering.
He worked more than 33 years as a production engineer and superintendent for Magnolia Petroleum Co., which became Mobil Oil Corp., retiring in 1984. He then worked as a petroleum engineering consultant in Nigeria and Brazil, usually accompanied by his wife. In 1991, they began working summers in Yellowstone National Park, retiring in 2006. They moved to Enid in March 2006, after living 34 years in New Orleans.
They are members of Redeemer Lutheran Church, and he was a member of several oil industry groups and Mensa.
Survivors include his wife, Elva Jean, of the home; daughters, Virginia McCall, of Enid, and Sylvia (Dan) Dymarkowski, of Wichita, KS; sons, Donald McNeeley and Judy Fonville, of Monroe, N.C., and Hugh McNeeley, of New Orleans, La.; brother, Harold (Marilyn) McNeely, of Phoenix, AZ; sisters, Shirley (Phil) Miller, of Wahoo, and Kittie Stricklett, of Blair; eight grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Don; and sister, Julie Hartford.
Condolences may be made online at www.ladusau evans.com