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Obituaries

JANET S. McKINSEY





Janet S. McKinsey, 79, of Verdon, passed away Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 at Falls City. She was born Feb. 23, 1935 at Lincoln, to the late Wiley and Helen (Schafer) Miner.

She married Gene Schernecke in 1962; he passed away in 1964. She married Dean McKinsey on Aug. 14, 1982 at Verdon.

Janet was raised in the Verdon area and graduated from Verdon High School in 1952. She attended Wesleyan University at Lincoln and transferred to Kansas State University, graduating in 1956. Following graduation, she worked for Sears in Kansas City and then moved to Topeka. She moved to New Jersey and worked for an insurance company before joining her father in the turf business, becoming manager of Princeton Turf Farms.

She returned to Verdon in 1982 and when married the couple established their home in Verdon, where she helped on the farm and raised a large garden.

Janet was a lifetime member of the Richardson County Humane Society.

She is survived by her husband.

Janet was preceded in death by her parents and her first husband.


Dorr & Clark Funeral Home, of Falls City, is in charge of arrangements.

SUSAN (MITCHELL) EISENTHAL





Susan (Mitchell) Eisenthal, 77, of Sharon, MA, died on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer. She was born Aug. 11, 1937 in Fremont, the daughter of the late Miriam (Ringer) Mitchell and the late Jack C. Mitchell, and step-daughter of the late Jane (Schaible) Mitchell.

Susan grew up in Falls City, and graduated Salutatorian of the FC High Class of 1955. She attended Cottey College in Nevada, MO, and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, KS. She also received a certificate in Communications from Simmons College in Boston.

For many years, Susan taught English at Bridgewater (MA) State College and the University of Massachusetts at Boston. She retired from UMass-Boston in 2002.

Susan loved reading, playing the cello, and spending time with her family and many friends. She was a member of Temple Kol Tikvah and Temple Sinai of Sharon.

She leaves her husband of 54 years, Sherman; sons, David (and partner, Sandra Dickerson, and former wives, Talya Westbrook and Tobi Goldberg), Jonathan (Kathleen), and Joshua (Karen); six grandchildren, Lily, Alexander, Abram, Jack, Sophie and Madeleine; sister, Mary Jane (Bill) Nelson; brother-in-law, Kenneth Eisenthal; sister-in-law, Beatrice Aden; and many friends and a grieving community.

Susan fought pancreatic cancer with courage and grace. One of her last hopes was that what was learned during her battle will help others who suffer from this dreadful disease.

Funeral services were held at Temple Sinai of Sharon on Friday, Dec. 19. Burial was in Sharon Memorial Park. Donations in Susan’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society or to the charity of your choice.

RICHARD H. CHURCH





Richard H. Church, 76, of Falls City, passed away Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 at Falls City. He was born Sept. 13, 1938 at Pawnee City, the son of the late Rufus and Ella (Burgett) Church.

He married Barbara Ogle in 1958 at Dawson and they were later divorced. On May 15, 1979 he married Linda Wenz at Humboldt. She passed away Jan. 21, 2008.

Richard was raised at Dawson and graduated from Honey Creek High School in 1956. He worked on the family farm following graduation and when married to Barbara they established their home on the family farm near Dawson. In 1977 he moved his farming operation to the current farm. He continued farming until his death. In addition to farming he worked for Wittwer Implement at Humboldt, Seid Implement at Falls City, Wibusch Implement at Tecumseh, and for Hiawatha (KS) Implement at Hiawatha and Mound City, MO, as a salesman. He appreciated all his loyal customers throughout the years.

Richard is survived by his son, Randy (Ramona) Church, of Granger, IA; daughter, Sharee (Bryan) Valencia, of The Woodlands, TX; six grandchildren

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Linda; sister, Irene Schmid; and a grandchild, Joshua Valencia.

A memorial celebration of life service will be held at noon Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014 at Dickey’s BBQ, 17th and Harlan Sts.

Dorr & Clark Funeral Home, of Falls City, is in charge of arrangements.

JOHN B. WILLIAMS





John B. Williams, Lt. Col., USAF, ret., 70, of El Paso, TX, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Dec, 15, 2014. He was born February 22, 1944 to the late John Edward Williams and Zelma Blanche (Spicer) Williams.

He was a career officer and pilot in the U.S. Air Force, served in Vietnam, and retired in 1988. After a two year stint with Continental Airlines, he launched his career in education. He taught math and was instructional specialist at Parkland High School, retiring as principal in 2005. After his retirement he volunteered at Kelly Food Pantry and enjoyed playing golf.

John served in many capacities as a faithful member and deacon at First Baptist Church. He was a loving and caring friend who enjoyed life and lived it to the fullest. He will be greatly missed by all those whose lives he touched.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Nancy; two daughters and sons-in-law Michelle and Timothy King and Robin and David Edwards. John was the proud grandfather of Paul, Megan, Rachael, John William, Judah and Samuel King, and Mattea and Samuel John Edwards; he’s also survived by two sisters, Jerilee Poteet and Alice Stump; and a brother, Richard and wife Jo. He was blessed with many loving nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 22, 2014 at Steele Cemetery, with Military Graveside Honors by the United States Air Force Honor Guard assisted by the Falls City Ceremonial Honor Guard.
Dorr & Clark Funeral Home, of Falls City, is in charge of arrangements.

MARTIN E. KELSAY





Martin Earl Kelsay, 64, of Auburn, one of five children of Tennyson Earl and Fern Irene (Maxwell) Kelsay, died Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. He was born Jan. 25, 1950 in Sabetha, KS. 

He attended elementary school at Dawson and graduated from Southeast Nebraska Consolidated Schools in Stella in 1968. Martin then attended Peru State College graduating in 1972 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Industrial Technology.

On Sept. 27, 1969 Martin married Gail Stover at St. John Lutheran (Stone) Church near Auburn. They made their home in southeast Nebraska and were blessed with two sons, Joel and Andrew. The couple later divorced.

After college Martin enlisted in the U.S. Army. After his two year enlistment was over he reenlisted, spending a part of his tour overseas in Germany. Martin received his honorable discharge in December 1978 and returned to southeast Nebraska to begin farming.

Martin sold his farm equipment in 1989, and moved to New Mexico to serve as a hunting guide with Cougar Mountain Guide Service. From 1990 to 1993, he worked for Drake Construction back in Nebraska. It was September of 1993 when Martin opened Hunters Headquarters in Auburn. During his over 21 years as owner/operator of the business he helped many customers locally and in many other states with their hunting, fishing and trapping needs.

On Jan. 3, 1998 Martin was united in marriage to Dorothy (Leiby) Stepongzi at their home in Auburn. His family grew at that time by two more children, Michael and Stephanie. Martin and Dot made their home in Auburn until moving to a new home they built on his parents’ home place near Stella early in 2006.

Martin was an avid outdoorsman and a dedicated conservationist. He was a staunch supporter of the National Rifle Association, and a member of the National Bowhunters’ Association and the Pioneer Long Rifles. With the help of his family, he had planted over 3,000 trees on the property around their home. Martin was a proud member of American Legion Post #330 of Johnson, and belonged to the Stella Community Church.

On the morning of Thursday, Dec. 11, Martin was rushed to the Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; and a son, Michael Berger.

Martin is survived by his wife, Dot, of rural Stella; sons and daughters-in-law, Joel and Trisha Kelsay, of Auburn; Andrew and Tiffany Kelsay, of Junction City, KS; daughter and son-in-law, Stephanie and Mike Gerdes, of Auburn; grandchildren, Megan Gerdes, Dustin Gerdes, Alex Gonsalves, Garrett Kelsay, Gracelyn Kelsay; sister and brother-in-law, Connie and Jim Merrill, of Conroe, TX; brothers and sisters-in-law Dan Kelsay, of Raymond; Steve and Jackie Kelsay, of Auburn; Jim and Shirley Kelsay, of Falls City; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many, many friends.

A funeral service was held Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 at Hemmingsen Funeral Home in Auburn, officiated by Rev. Kyle Paustian. Susie Hogrefe accompanied solos performed by Allyn Remmers. Casket bearers were Alex Gonsalves, Dustin Gerdes, Garrett Kelsay, Tony Hector, Jim Biaggi, and Joseph Erramouspe. Megan Gerdes, Gracelyn Kelsay, and Les Gossman were honorary bearers. 

Military honors were provided by American Legion Post #330 of Johnson and the Nebraska National Guard Honor Guard. Martin’s body was cremated following the service and scattering of ashes will be at a later date.