Grace Herbster, 96, of Falls City, was ushered into Heaven on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 where she will spend eternity. She was born at the family home in Humboldt on Dec. 24, 1918, the third child of Walter E. Schmelzel and Caroline (Nietzel) Schmelzel. What a great Christmas gift for her two sisters! She grew up in Humboldt and attended grade school and graduated from high school with the Class of 1936.
Grace worked at Hynek’s grocery store during her senior year and after she graduated. Grace loved to dance and attended many in the area; it was at one of those evenings she caught the eye of Bob Herbster, all it took was one dance to begin to fall in love with the handsome young man. They began to date, which was very convenient as Bob was staying in Humboldt at the CCC Camp. Bob and Grace became a “couple to be watched on the dance floor”.
In 1938, Grace moved to Falls City, where her career started working for Guy Lichty. Bob began serving in the Army. During one of his furloughs, Bob and Grace were married in Oregon, MO, on Nov. 18, 1942. After spending just 10 days with her new husband, Bob returned to his base in California.
Bob was in the Battle of Normandy in France and was injured July 13, 1944. He recovered in England and received a Purple Heart. He always said the 13th was his lucky day. Bob was discharged Sept 25th 1945, he was proud of his service in the Army to help ensure America’s freedom. He and Grace made their home in Falls City where Grace worked for Guy Lichty Insurance Agency until his death, and then she worked for the Lichty-Tubach Insurance Agency. She retired in 1980, working 42 years serving the Lichty family.
With the exception of the time Bob served in the Army, the Herbsters lived in Falls City. They enjoyed 67 years together until Bob’s death in December 2009.
Bob and Grace were not blessed with children of their own, but spent many afternoons and all holidays with their nephew, Charles W. Herbster. As a young child, Charles would spend hot afternoons at Bob and Grace’s, cooling off in the small swimming pool in the back yard, along with their dog “Nig” who had to be in the pool, too.
Bob and Grace did not let a weekend go by without dancing on Saturday night. They drove as far as Schuyler to dance to the sounds of the “Big Bands” and Guy Lombardo. They took advantage of the dances at the Falls City Elks, Auburn and Nebraska City, where they danced many nights away and spent time with friends, far into their retirement years.
Grace accepted Christ as her personal Savior when she was in grade school and was baptized in Humboldt. She and Bob were members of the First Christian Church of Falls City. They loved the church and the difference it made in so many lives. Grace served as assistant treasurer and Deacon. She was a member of the Church Board, bell choir and the Crusaders Sunday School Class.
Grace was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bob; and her sisters, their husbands and one brother-in-law: Mildred and Clarence Hoffman, of Minneapolis, MN, Mona and Francis Darveaux, of Tonawanda, NY; brother, Walter Schmelzel, of Lakewood, CO; brother-in-law, Donald Herbster, of Omaha.
She is survived by her sister-in law, Carol Schmelzel, of Arvada, CO, along with four nephews and three nieces from Colorado and New York, as well as nephew Charles W. Herbster and his wife, Judy, of Falls City.
Her funeral was held Monday, May 18, 2015 at Dorr and Clark Funeral Home, with Rev. Fay Ann Blaylock officiating. Interment in Steele Cemetery. The family received Sunday at Dorr and Clark Funeral Home.
Grace’s wishes were memorials to be given to the First Christian Church and Falls City Hospice.