William (Bill) James Land, formerly of Nemaha, was born on Oct. 9, 1934 in Cambridge, Neb. to Grace Bowen Land and Earl Matthew Land. He passed away on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at age 82 at the University of Alabama Palliative Care Center in Birmingham. Several members of his family were by his side as well as a musician playing country music.

Land graduated from Oxford, Neb. High School in 1954 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. He served on active duty from 1957 to 1961 and was stationed at Elgin Air Force Base in Florida. Land married Betty L. Sandquist of Bertrand, Neb. on May 18, 1958 at the Baptist Church in Oxford. Upon his discharge from the Air Force the couple moved back to Nebraska. He spent several years working as a construction electrician on many projects throughout Nebraska and Kansas. In March 1977 Land suspended his work on the road after taking a permanent position as a maintenance electrician at Cooper Nuclear Station near Brownville. He remained at Cooper until his retirement in January 1996.

Upon his retirement he started the next chapter in his life. Returning to the road, the Lands became full time recreational vehicle travelers. They had a home base in Nemaha and Riverside, Ala. The couple spent the next 21 years crisscrossing the country. Land traveled from coast to coast, making new friends along the way.

One of his favorite pastimes was traveling in his motor home. As the lyrics of the song that graced his last moment stated, he was truly “King of The Road.”

Land is survived by his wife Betty; cats Sami and Suzi; children Marie and David Wheeler of Riverside, Ala., Lila Land and Lancer Cooke of Leadville, Colo., and Jim and Amy Land of Omaha; nine grandchildren, Mattie Keiser of Lincoln, Nikki Morton of Pell City, Ala., Acacia Fike-Nelson, Schaulis Fike-Romero and Domonique Cooke all of Leadville, Colo., Michael Whelan of Thornton, Colo., Drew Whelan and Kaylee Land both of Omaha and Josh Wheeler of Riverside, Ala.; eight great-grandchildren, Hunter, Landon, Logan, Colin, Ethan, Adalynn, Kenneth and Ezekiel; sisters, Beverly (Bill) Phillips of Erie, Colo. and Sandy (Gary) Dawson of Oxford, Neb.; brother, Robert (Charlene) of Bertrand, Neb. and a large extended family. He was preceded by his parents; sisters Martha Miller and Georgia Esslinger; nephew Matthew Phillips; niece, Julie Miller and great-nephew Hesston Land.

A celebration of Land’s life will take place later with interment of his ashes in the Oxford, Neb. Cemetery.

Memorials can be made to the Nemaha Rescue Squad in his honor.

Nemaha County Herald

PO Box 250
Auburn, NE 68305
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