The Superior Express -- Jewell County Record


Obituaries published Jan. 22, 2015

The Superior Express and Jewell County Record

This week: Celia Maruska, Deidra Edwards, Nellie Kohl, Dorral Schleif, Melvin Silsby, Helen Mathew, Leon Krause


Celia Maruska
Celia M. Maruska, 82, died Thursday at the Heritage Care Center, Red Cloud.
She was born June 25, 1932, at Blue Hill and attended the public schools there. She was united in marriage to Anton Maruska on Aug. 27, 1948, at Red Cloud. They farmed north of Red Cloud. Anton died on Nov. 9, 1988.
A farm wife and homemaker, she was a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church and Altar Society. She enjoyed bowling and coffee clubs.
Her twin brother, Cecil, of Abilene, Texas, survives.
Her funeral was held Monday at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Red. Burial was in the Red Cloud Cemetery. Williams Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Deidra Edwards
Deidra Rochelle Edwards, 58, died recently. She was born Oct. 6, 1956, at Concordia to Melvin and Florene (Kopsa) Blecha.
Deidra graduated from Mankato High School in 1974.
Survivors are her daughter, Danielle Pagels, Manhattan; sister, Darci Campbell, El Dorado; and brother, Delton Blecha, Salina.
Cremation services were chosen and inurnment will be held at a later time. Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home, Belleville, was in charge of arrangements.

Nellie Kohl
Nellie Azalea Kohl, the daughter of Robert and Edith (Wall) Koken, was born on Nov. 7, 1917, in Long Beach, Calif. She died on Jan. 12, 2015, at the Superior Good Samaritan Society at Superior, Neb., at the age of 97 years, two months, five days.
As a child she lived in Ruskin, Neb., where she graduated from Ruskin High School. She married Francis (Pete) Kohl on June 14, 1938, in Mankato, Kan., and to this union they had four daughters and an infant son, Florence, Mary Ann, Lorraine and Lois.
She was a homemaker and worked at the Superior Locker Plant and Ideal Market. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Superior for 72 years and taught Sunday School for over three decades. She was a member of the Christian Women's Club and the Birthday Club.
She was preceded in death by her parents, an infant son, husband Francis (Pete) Kohl, two grandsons, Curtis Prettyman and Gregory Driggs, three brothers, Gene, Robert and Ray and one sister, Marian Oeltjen, three sons-in-law, Jack Norton, Lawrence Driggs and Duane Fraley and infant twin great-great-grandchildren, Kierra Sue and Kieran Layne.
She is survived by her daughters, Florence Driggs and Mary Ann Norton both of Centerton, Ark., Lorraine Pedersen and husband Vic and Lois Fraley all of Superior, Neb. One sister Hila McKasson of St. George, Utah, eight grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and many, many great-great-grandchildren along with a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015, at 2 p.m. from the Megrue-Price Funeral Home in Superior, Neb., with Pastor David Watters officiating.
Music was "Amazing Grace," "In The Garden" and "Wind Beneath My Wings" with Mary Hamburger as soloist.
Visitation was held on Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the family present to greet friends from 5 to 7 p.m.
Pallbearers were John Prettyman, Derek Hathaway, Brendan Hathaway, Alex Petersen, Corey Simpson and Scott Pedersen. Honorary Pallbearers were Lonnie Reed, Mark Bolte, Scott Yingling, Kyle Petersen, Harold Pedersen and Gary Pedersen. Honorary pallbearers in heaven were Curtis Prettyman and Gregory Driggs.
Interment was in the Evergreen Cemetery at Superior, Neb.
Memorials are suggested to go to the First Baptist Church in Superior.
Condolences may be sent to Megrue-Price Funeral Home, 750 N. Commercial, Superior, Neb., 68978 or
Megrue-Price Funeral Home of Superior, Neb., was in charge of the arrangements.
Paid obituary

Dorral Schleif
Dorral Lee Schleif, 88, of Hebron, died last Sunday at Thayer County Health Services in Hebron. The son of Otto and Ella (Hansjuregen) Schleif, he was born on a farm southwest of Hebron on April 11, 1926.
He was baptized April 25, 1926, by Rev W.E. Kolcher and confirmed Dec. 29, 1940 by W. R. Miessler, both at St. Peter Church in Deshler. Dorral attended District 8 country school through the 8th grade and then Hebron High School. Dorral was called to serve his country in 1944. He was a member of the 63rd Infantry Division. He was wounded in 1945 near Mockmuhl, Germany, and received the Purple Heart and other medals. He was honorably discharged in 1945.
He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Hebron, a life member and past commander of Hebron American Legion Post 180, which he served as an adjutant and firing squad commander for many years, member of V.F.W. Post 5328 in Hebron, Thayer County Izaak Walton League and Hebron Country Club.
Dorral helped his father with farming in Nebraska and South Dakota, and did combining in Kansas during harvest time. He started his career with John Deere in 1952 by first setting up machinery, mechanic, parts man and salesman for the Hebron John Deere dealer. He purchased the dealership and Schleif Implement, Inc., was established until 1987 when he sold the business, retired and lived happily ever after, as he would say!
On June 26, 1953, he married Loretta Rippe of Ohiowa. The wedding took place at St. John's Lutheran Church in Ohiowa with Rev. C.E. Shaff of Bruningofficiating. This union was blessed with the birth of two children.
Dorral and Loretta made their home as newlyweds in a rental house on his father's farm. They lived there until 1980, when they built a new house across the road. Dorral and Loretta were members of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Deshler until they transferred to Faith Lutheran Church in Hebron in 1969.
After retirement, Dorral enjoyed helping a neighbor with summer and fall harvest for many years. He enjoyed golfing, playing cards and visiting his farmer friends of previous years, and having coffee in the morning with friends, talking about happenings in and around Hebron.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Phyllis Pointer; and one grandson, Derek Schleif.
He is survived by his wife, Loretta, of Hebron; son, Leslie Schleif of Deshler; daughter, Mrs. John Dieken (Gail) of Hastings; two grandchildren, Cole Schleif and Karissa Schleif, both of Deshler; and three great-grandchildren, Braydan, Easton and Tripp Schleif of Deshler.
His funeral was Thursday at Faith Lutheran Chruch in Hebron with Pastor Christoper Gerdes officiating. Pallbearers were Cole Schleif, Denton Schleif, Russel Hoffmeyer, Keith Hintz, Melvin Miller and Chris Frye. Burial was in Deshler City Cemetery with military honors by Hebron American Legion Post No. 180. Hebron Memorial Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Melvin Silsby
Melvin E. Silsby, 75, died Thursday at Jewell County Hospital in Mankato. The son of Earl and Vera (Kindler) Silsby, he was born June 15, 1939, in Esbon.
Melvin was united in marriage to Eula Winslow on Oct. 8, 1959, in Woodston by Melvin's uncle, Loren Silsby. To this union three children were born: Curtis LeRoy on Aug. 31, 1960; Anita Kay on July 26, 1964; and Lyle Milton on Feb. 2, 1968.
Melvin was active in Esbon and Jewell County, a 4-H member and later a leader and he also helped sponsor entertainment for the county fair. He coached girls softball for a few years when his daughter, Anita, was playing. He was a volunteer fireman for 40 years as well as fire chief. Melvin served on the school board, city council and as an Esbon Township trustee and weather observer. Melvin liked to watch quarter horse races and to help get the horses ready to run. He and Eula enjoyed square dancing and playing golf when they could. Melvin made toys from welding rods and horse shoe nails as a hobby when his health permitted.
He is preceded in death by his parents and oldest sister, Merla Hulbert.
Survivors include his wife, Eula, of Esbon; sons, Curtis Silsby of Smith Center and Lyle Silsby of Canton; daughter, Anita Silsby of Denver, Colo.; six grandchildren, six great-grandchildren; sister, Earlene Bronson of Smith Center; five nephews and their families; a host of other cousins and friends; his Aunt Donna Hoffhines of Fair Grove, Mo., and Aunt Lolita Silsby of Beloit.
His funeral was Monday at Williams Funeral Home Chapel in Red Cloud with Pastor Glenn Charles Fogo officiating.  Burial was in the Esbon City Cemetery. Williams Funeral Home of Red Cloud was in charge of the arrangements.

Helen Mathew
Helen Lois (McGee) Mathew, 77, died last Tuesday at her home in Hastings. The daughter of Loise Mitchell and Emmie (Borrer) McGee, she was born July 19, 1937, at McMahan, Texas.
Helen graduated from high school in 1955 in Muskogee, Okla. She was united in marriage to Thomas Charles Keaton on May 28, 1955. Thomas died on Aug. 8, 1976, and Helen married John Duane Mathew on Aug. 20, 1977, in Red Cloud. John died on June 15, 2002. 
Helen worked for many years as director of the Webster County Museum and as a tour guide for the Willa Cather Foundation. She was active in the Red Cloud Community ­­ a long time member of the First United Methodist Church, PEO Chapter Y, OES Charity Chapter No. 47 of Red Cloud, OES Acacia Chapter of Hastings, Daughters of the Nile and a member of the Nebraska Tourism Board.
She was an accomplished artist who deeply enjoyed painting. She often gave her work to family and friends. She enjoyed sewing, doing seamstress work and was cake decorator. Helen did research for the Red Cloud cemetery, cataloging grave spaces and tracking down unmarked graves in Webster County.  Helen did the cemetery index at the Red Cloud Cemetery and maintained it yearly.
She was preceded in death by her sister, Kathy Leisure.
Survivors include her daughters: Mrs. Tom Noakes (Sherry) of Elizabeth, Colo.; Mrs. Tony Russo (Lisa) of Gretna; sister, Carolyn Bryant of Rowlett, Texas; brothers, Jimmie McGee of Kaufman, Texas; Bobbie McGee of Royce City, Texas; nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews other relatives and a host of friends.
Memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m. next Saturday (Jan. 31) at the United Methodist Church in Red Cloud with Rev. Warren Schoming officiating. Inurnment will be in the Red Cloud Cemetery. Williams Funeral Home of Red Cloud is in charge of the arrangements.

Leon Krause
Leon W. "Hank" Krause, 83, of Byron, died last Monday at Brodstone Memorial Hospital in Superior. He was born on the family farm near Fairbury on March 26, 1931, the son of Paul and Emily (Malchow) Krause.
He was married to Ruby Billups on July 19, 1953, in Oakland, Calif. To this union three children were born and one was adopted by Leon. He joined the United States Navy and served from Sept. 25, 1950, to June 24, 1954. He was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Byron. He helped tear down the old church and rebuild the new church in its place. At one time he ushered and in later years was the bell ringer for services and to announce a death in the community.
He was a member of the American Legion and recently received a plaque for 50 years of service. He was also a long time member of the Byron Volunteer Fire Department and served as fire chief for many years, receiving a golden axe award in 2014 for his service. Leon had several gardens and shared his produce with friends, neighbors and family. He hunted most of his life and provided the turkey for the family Thanksgiving celebrations by taking pride in harvesting each bird. The large deer head on his wall was one of the many ways he showed he was an avid outdoorsman.
One of the ways he shared his love for his family was to cook the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner; he was proud of his abilities to feed his family not only with the game he would harvest but with produce he would grow. During the summer months you could always walk into the store and purchase fresh tomatoes from his garden. When there was free time you could find Hank along a creek bed or at Lovewell Lake fishing. He tied fishing lures and sold some at the marina. His time fishing and hunting was a passion.
Being a blacksmith and welder was hard work, but through years of toughening his hands he learned to repair anything that came into his shop. If he couldn't repair it, he would try to recreate the part.
Leon was preceded in death by his wife of 38 years, Ruby.
Survivors include his children, Kerry Krause of Lincoln, William Krause of Auburn, Susan Krause of Wahoo and Mrs. Jack Fisher (Becky) of Topeka; grandchildren, great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild. Memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Byron with Pastor Jonathan Jensen officiating. Burial of ashes will be in the St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery following the service. Booksigning is available at Price Funeral Home in Hebron. Ahrendts Funeral Home of Deshler is in charge of the arrangements.

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