Nemaha Herald


Margaret Elizabeth (Wheeler) Engles was born October 16, 1921, to Bartlett and Anna (Gritz) Wheeler on the family farm five miles south and three-fourth mile west of Auburn, Nebraska. She attended Rosemont School District #40 and graduated from Auburn High School in 1938. She then attended Peru State College to attain her teaching certificate. She taught at North Star School in Richardson County and Rosemont and Bedford School in Nemaha County. On May 8, 1943, she married Frank Engles in Starkville, Mississippi, where Frank was stationed while attending Officer Candidate School. While Frank was serving during WWII in the European Theater, Marge taught at Muddy School District 41. Four children, were born to this marriage: Ann, Bert, Bob and Pat. While raising her family Marge took a leave of teaching but continued to maintain her role as bookkeeper of the family business, Engles Oil Co. As the children grew, Marge once again returned to the classroom. Marge had a great love and passion for teaching children in one-room schools. She finished her teaching career at Cochran and Linden school districts. Marge lived most of her adult life in the Engles’ family home until moving across the street into a smaller house. Marge was a noted story teller of the place and times in which she lived. Dozens of people would seek her out to clarify or verify facts of the area. Ten years ago, Marge compiled her memories in book form, which family members cherish. Marge was past President of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, Nemaha County Extension Clubs, Daughters of the American Revolution, and St. Joseph’s Tabernacle Society. She held offices in the Diocesan Council of Catholic Women and was a member of St. Ann’s Prayer Group. Marge’s Catholic faith was the most important foundation upon which she lived her life. Whenever physically able to do so, she attended daily Mass. Once a friend asked her why she went to Mass every day. Her response, “Because I get to witness a miracle every time I attend Mass.” Marge never minded waiting for an appointment because she always carried her rosary. Most people knew if Marge said she would pray for them, she really did pray for them. In her later years Marge was afflicted with severe Macular Degeneration which prohibited her from driving a car. She didn’t let that stop her from maintaining an active lifestyle as she walked almost daily to either business district pulling a cart to carry her purchases. She was most grateful to her many friends who gave her rides to her meetings and events. Marge passed away Saturday December 13, 2014 at her Auburn home at the age of 93. Marge was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Frank; her brothers, Ivan and wife Ada, Archie and wife Catherine, Verne and wife Faye, and her sister Helen and husband Church. She is survived by daughter Ann of Chicago, sons Bert (Virginia) of Omaha, Bob (Wendy) of Auburn, Patrick (Jeanne) of Auburn, nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Marge was very fond of her nieces and nephews. A vigil and rosary was given Monday, December 15, at St. Joseph Catholic Church with family greeting friends after at the Halligan Center. A funeral mass for Marge Engles was held Tuesday, December 16, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Auburn. Burial followed at the Holy Cross Cemetery south of Auburn. Hall Funeral Chapel of Auburn was in charge of arrangements for Marge E. Engles.

Clay Ware Kennedy son of George Cassius Kennedy and Ruth Anna (Courtright) Kennedy was born on November 24, 1928 in Auburn, NE. He was one of three children born to this union. Clay grew up in the Auburn area, and lived here most of his life. He graduated from Peru Prep in 1945, attended Peru State College for one year before going to UNL where he earned a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture and was a member of the AGR Fraternity. In 1950 Clay taught at the Farm for Veterans Training School in Johnson County until 1954. He was united in marriage to Barbara J. Flor on September 6, 1953 in Valley, NE. To this union there were four children. Clay farmed all his life and lived on a apple orchard northeast of Auburn, NE. He was very active in both community and farming. Clay and Barbara were also life long members of the Peru Community Church. Over the years Clay was Peru Kiwanis and Lt. Governor of Kiwanis, member of Eastern Star # 263, Masonic Lodge # 4 at Brownville, Brownville Historical Society, Sesostris Shrine in Lincoln and the Shrine Roadrunners unit, Curator of Meriwether-Lewis, Nebraska Crop Improvement Association President, Meriwether Dredge Museum and Foundation, Ag Builders Association, Missouri River Rat Reunion Hall of Famer, Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement, Rural Water District Nemaha County #1, International Gideon, Nebraska Navy Admiral of Nebraska, Treasurer of Little Red School House, founding member and President of NC+ Hybrid, Pioneer Farm award and outstanding young farmer in 1964, Appointed to Ag Council and U.S. Ag Department Representative and went to Washington on farm policy. Clay due to ongoing illness passed away on Thursday, December 11, 2014 at his home. He had reached the age of 86 years and 16 days. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Cassius Bond Kennedy, sister Betty Marsh Leads, and son Ralph Antholz Kennedy. He is survived by his wife Barbara Kennedy, children Nancy Wheeler (Steven) of Brownville, NE; Linda Lueders (Ken) of Albuquerque, NM; Stephen Kennedy (Christina) of Brownville, NE; seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, other relatives and friends. Masonic services were Tuesday, Dec. 16 at the Hall Funeral Chapel in Auburn. Memorial services were held Wednesday, Dec. 17, at the Peru Community Church with Pastors Ray and Becky Girard officiating. Interment of ashes followed at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Brownville following the service. Memorials are suggested to Peru Community Church or Sesostris Shrine Hospital Transportation Fund. Arrangements were by Hall Funeral Chapel, Auburn.

Chester “Chet” Eugene Curttright, passed on December 11, 2014 at Plaza West Retirement Community in Topeka. He was born to Walter and Minnie Curttright in Dunbar Nebraska, July 27th 1926. He was the 10th of 11 children. His family moved to Nemaha, Nebraska when he was 2 ½ years old. He joined the U.S. Army during WWII, before completing his senior year of high school, but later returned and graduated from Nemaha High School the same year as his younger sister Nellie. He was one of the last of the Mule packers, being trained at Ft. Riley. He was then stationed in the Philippines and Occupied Japan, where he served as a quartermaster sergeant. When he returned from service overseas, he and his older brother Ray opened a small restaurant, Ray’s Café, in Nemaha. He soon after met Colleen (Keithley) and they were married January 30th, 1949 at the Methodist Church in Nemaha. This marked the beginning of Chet’s enduring commitment to his wife which spanned more than 65 years. After residing in a doting and patient father of his two daughters, Tiwana and Dawn. Chet worked at Culligan Soft Water for 35 years, and then joined Lindsay Water Conditioning for another 26 years. He retired in 2010. His work allowed him to interact with people from all walks of life, always finding an opportunity to share a laugh, kind words or even a cup of coffee. He was a 60 year member of First United Methodist Church and he taught the Pre-K and Kindergarten Sunday School for over 20 years, loving every minute of sharing God’s Word with the little ones. He lived his faith and his values on a daily basis, demonstrating that God, family, and friends are what make a person truly wealthy. He possessed a legendary love of sweets and enjoyed pancakes at Cracker Barrel and Colleen’s homemade pies. Never believing it was too late to make new friends, he developed many friendships with the caring staff and his tablemates during his two years at Plaza West Retirement Center. He would enter the dining room waving his hand with a smile as he passed by each table. He never went anywhere without his WWII cap given to him by his grandson, Brent. Chet felt honored to take the Honor Flight for WWII Veterans to Washington D.C. in 2011. He is survived and dearly missed by his wife Colleen; daughters Tiwana (Bruce) Whitten (Topeka) and Dawn (Greg) Taylor (Wichita); grandsons Brent (Rachel) Whitten, Caleb (Kenra) Whitten, Ethan (Rebecca) Whitten, and Jared Whitten; his great-grandson Colter Whitten; his step-grandchildren Brandi Wyer Dustin Wyer, and Nikki Taylor; and his sister Nellie Grooms of Auburn. He was preceded in death by his parents, three sisters, and six brothers His family celebrated his life with a service in Klasse Chapel at First United Methodist Church, Topeka at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, December 17. Chester’s wishes were that any memorials may be designated to First United Methodist Church, 600 SW Topeka Blvd. 66603 or The Wounded Warrior Project P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, KS. 66675 Condolence cards may be sent to Colleen at 2838 SW Lincolnshire Ct. Topeka Kansas 66614 % Tiwana Whitten.