Nemaha Herald


Dr. Thomas Ediger, professor of music and director of choral activities at Peru State College, passed away Aug. 20, 2014. Dr. Ediger was born on May 8, 1950, in York, Nebraska, the son of Milford L. Ediger and LaVon Holmes. He grew up in Aurora, Nebraska, where he earned the Eagle Scout rank with the Boy Scouts of America and graduated from Aurora High School. Dr. Ediger earned a Bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Nebraska and a Master’s degree in piano performance and doctorate in theory and composition from the University of Northern Colorado. Dr. Ediger also completed postgraduate work at Portland State University, Yale University and in Graz, Austria. He held the permanent national teacher certification in piano and theory through the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). Dr. Ediger joined the Peru State faculty in 1979 where he served as director of the Concert Choir and Madrigal Singers and taught courses in music theory, music history, music education and piano. He was an active performer, composer, and a popular piano and vocal clinician/adjudicator in the region. His most recent compositions were The Land of Oops, a chamber opera for the Madrigal Singers, and Psalm 121 for choir published by Concordia Press. His piano and composition students have often won state and regional competitions. Dr. Ediger founded Peru State’s Piano Extravaganza in 1990, an annual event that brings more than 200 pianists to campus for day-long rehearsals and a final performance where, under his direction, 30 pianists simultaneously play 15 pianos. He coordinated the college’s annual High School Show Choir Festival and annual Choral Festival Honor Choir. Dr. Ediger was also director and producer of the college’s annual Holiday Madrigal Dinner. In addition to his teaching duties at the college, Dr. Ediger served as treasurer of Nebraska Music Teachers Association, having previously led the organization as president. He was honored by the Association in 2008 as their Distinguished Teacher of the Year and Service Award Winner. In March 2009, Dr. Ediger was awarded the MTNA Foundation Fellow Award in recognition of his service and leadership. He served as director of the MTNA West Central Division and as a member of the Board of Directors. He was on the MTNA Foundation Fund’s national development committee. It is rare that one individual has so much impact on a campus culture. A three-time winner of the Peru State Teacher Excellence Award, Dr. Ediger was long a master of student engagement. His tireless efforts have been widely recognized throughout southeast Nebraska and the region. Dr. Ediger, his students and their performances have given the campus a treasured sense of heart and soul. He positively influenced the lives of thousands of students throughout his tenure at the college. He was an accomplished musician whose talent, kindness, and commitment to the institution and students was an inspiration. He will be greatly missed. A memorial service will be held on the Peru State campus at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2 in the College Theatre. The public is invited to attend. Memorials can be directed to the Peru State College Foundation Choral Fund and the Nebraska Music Teachers Association.


Margaret Yvonne (Christy) Piper, one of two children of Howard Chandler Christy and Edith Evalyn (Gilbert) Christy, was born August 5, 1934 at Auburn, Nebraska. She lived her entire life in and around the Brock area devoting her time to her family, church, 4-H, the Brock Bugle, and multiple community activities. She attended Brock Consolidated Schools for 13 years graduating in 1952. It was there she met her childhood sweetheart, Marion. She was united in marriage to Marion Fredrick Piper on July 18, 1954 at the Brock Christian Church. To this union seven children were born, Sue, Gary, Dale, Dave, Phil, Christy, and Jenni. Margaret was a member of Trestle Board Chapter #67 Order of the Eastern Star for 62 years. Margaret was a lifelong member of the Brock Christian Church, living a life of faith, teaching her family and sharing God’s love. She was baptized in 1946 by Rev. E. C. Davis. Over the years, she served in nearly every capacity; as a Sunday School teacher, deaconess, elder, board member and choir director as well as Nebraska Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) district and state officer. She was involved in 4-H as a member and leader for over 70 years, including 22 years as the Nemaha County 4-H assistant. For many years she was an integral part of the Nemaha County and Nebraska State Fairs. In 2002, she was awarded the Nebraska State 4-H Salute to Excellence Lifetime Volunteer Award. In 1965 she was a founding editor of the Brock Bugle originally started to promote Brock’s activities for the upcoming Nebraska Centennial celebration. She continued in that capacity until February 2013 when Melissa Sandfort became editor. Margaret received the gift of life on November 30, 1986 from Jimmy P. Majerus, a 10-year-old child the same age as her oldest grandchild. She was the 64th liver transplant patient at UNMC and became the second longest surviving liver transplant recipient. She was always an avid sports fan and school activities supporter. Through the generations, Margaret could be found cheering for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren at numerous sporting and school events. She served on the Johnson-Brock Board of Education for eight years. Based on the tireless support she provided to children through 4-H and the Kid’s Club she led at the Brock Christian Church, she was presented with the Nebraska Governor’s Points of Light Award by Governor Michael Johanns on January 22, 2003 and was Daily Point of Light, number 2675, presented by the National Points of Light Foundation on May 6, 2004. She fulfilled a dream of a lifetime when she attended Peru State College and on May 7, 2005 received a Bachelor of Technology Management degree. On August 23, 2014, at the age of 80 years and 18 days, Margaret passed away at her home, surrounded by family. She was preceded in death by her husband Marion, her parents, Chan and Evalyn Christy, her parents-in-law Fredrick A. and Velma M. Piper, and daughter-in-law Pamela Sue (Kracke) Piper. Those left to remember Margaret’s loving ways include her children and their spouses Susan and Gene Remmers of Auburn; Gary Piper of Brock; Dale and Laurie Piper of Springfield, NE; David and Susan Piper of Brock; Philip Piper of Kearney; Christy and Alan Riggins of Auburn; Jennifer and Jermi Wolken of Donnellson, Iowa; 14 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren (and two on the way); brother Harold Christy of Fair Oaks, Calif.; sisters-in-law Doris Gerdes of Talmage, Vera Rieken of Johnson; brothers-in-law Jack (Linda) Piper of Leesburg, Virginia, and Kenneth (Irene) Piper of Dunbar; sister-in-law Louella Christy Komuves of Evansville, Ind.; many other relatives and friends. A funeral service was Wednesday, August 27, 2014 at the Auburn Christian Church, officiated by Rev. Jackie Gfeller. Deanne Gerking was pianist for congregational songs and a duet by Will Behrends and Allyn Remmers. Casket bearers were grandsons Matthew Piper, Clint Piper, Adam Piper, Joshua Riggins, Shannon Riggins, Taylor Riggins, and Jacob Wolken. Granddaughters Teri Epler, Chandra Remmers, Shauna VanWinkle, Sara Sharples, Kelli Whitney, Danielle Piper, and Jessica Wolken were flower attendants. Burial was in Clifton Cemetery near Brock. Services were entrusted to Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn.


Walter “Wink” Wiley Harms, age 82, died Saturday, August 16, 2014 at his home in Palisade. Wink was born February 7, 1932 to Walter and Lucille K. (Slater) Harms in Auburn, Nebraska. He graduated from Auburn High School in 1949. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951 and was honorably discharged in 1955. Wink enjoyed hunting, fishing and working with his hands. He liked to go to the Hayes Center Senior Center every Friday to visit with friends and have dinner. He was a member of the Palisade American Legion and Trinity Lutheran Church. Survivors include his sons, Steve Harms of Iliff, Colo., and Scott Harms of Crook, Colo.; daughter, Susan Marostica and husband, Bill of Iliff, Colo.; sisters, Catherine Mensendyke and husband Jim of Nebraska City, Neb., and Marylin Schere of Shenandoah, Iowa; seven grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Lucille; brothers, Kenneth Harms and Butch Harms; and granddaughter, Shannon Marostica. Memorials may be given in his name to the charity of one’s choice. Private family services will be held in Auburn at a later date. Friends may send condolences online at Carpenter Breland Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.