Matilda Rika (DeBuhr) Schlange was born February 5, 1914 in Guernsey, Wyoming. She was one of 10 children of Claus and Christina (Suedmeier) DeBuhr. From the time she was two years old until age 16 Matilda lived in Beatrice, Nebraska with her aunt and uncle Arnold and Mary DeBuhr. She was baptized October 14, 1916 in Beatrice and confirmed in 1932 by Pastor Swan. In 1930 she moved to Auburn, Nebraska to live with her mother and siblings. Matilda graduated from Auburn High School in 1932.
On August 30, 1937 Matilda was united in marriage to Ernest Schlange at Salem Lutheran Church in Fremont, Nebraska. They made their home on a farm southwest of Auburn and were blessed with four daughters: Phyllis, Linda, Nancy, and Ernestine. In 1976 Matilda and Ernest moved into Auburn.
Matilda had worked at Hested’s Dime Store and Cline’s Drug Store in Auburn, as well as being a house cleaner in 52 homes in Auburn. After her marriage she helped on the farm, ran the household, and raised chickens to sell their eggs.
She was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Auburn, enjoyed embroidering, and loved to play the card game Kings on the Corner.
Even after her husband Ernest’s passing in 2001 Matilda continued to live at their home in Auburn. She stayed in her home through her 105th birthday, toward the end with help from her four daughters and other family. After suffering a stroke near the end of March 2019 Matilda spent about a week in the Nemaha County Hospital in Auburn and less than a day in Good Samaritan Society-Auburn.
It was there she passed away, with family around her, on Wednesday, April 3, 2019 at the age of 105 years, 1 month, and 26 days. In addition to her husband, Matilda was preceded in death by a sister Rieke and brother Johnnie in childhood, sisters Grace Caspers, Effie Erisman, Marie Jodry, and Emma Ehlers, brothers Albert, Arnold, and Alvin DeBuhr, and son-inlaw Glen Krohn.
Matilda is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law Phyllis and Charles Van Swol of Greenwood, S.C.; Linda and Stephen Phillips of Auburn; Nancy and Kent Wilson of Beatrice; Ernestine and Jerry Stone of Custer, Wash.; grandchildren and spouses Phillip Krohn, Glenda and Jeff Long, Matthew and Marie Phillips, George and Lisset Phillips, Anne Viveros, Darren Wilson, Adam and Christa Stone, and Paul Stone; 16 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Erma DeBuhr of Auburn; other relatives and friends.
A funeral service was held, Monday, April 8, 2019, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Auburn, officiated by Rev. Ken Miller. Edith Schlange was organist for congregational hymns. Serving as casket bearers were Phillip Krohn, Matthew Phillips, George Phillips, Darren Wilson, Adam Stone, and Paul Stone. Glenda Cook, Anne Viveros, and Kierstin Cook were flower attendants. Burial followed in St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery at Auburn.
Services were entrusted to Hemmingsen Funeral Home of Auburn.