The Superior Express -- Jewell County Record


Obituaries published Aug. 16, 2018, in

The Superior Express and Jewell County Record

This week: Reuben Schleifer, Judith deterding, Richard Frasier, Ira Turner

Reuben H. Schleifer
Reuben "Rube" or "Coach" Schleifer was born on Feb. 21, 1922, and died on Aug. 4, 2018, at the age of 96. Rube was born to Martin and Hannah (Doering) on the farm north of Byron, Neb.
Rube worked through some tough years during the depression on the family farm. He borrowed shoes to play basketball and had a shoe cobbler attach cleats to an older pair of work boots for football. To help meet expenses, he worked in the Colorado hay fields in the summer for a quarter a day. His "Uber ride" back to Nebraska was in an empty boxcar that got him as close as Deshler, which was still miles from home, but within walking distance back then.
Rube attended Deshler High School and played multiple sports at Hebron Junior College, where he met a lifetime friend, Mook Wilhelms. He received a scholarship to Doane and again lettered in three sports and received the Bert Knapp Trophy for Outstanding Achievement Scholastically and on the Field. In 1942, with less than a semester to complete his degree, the U.S. military called him to serve. Rube enlisted in the Air Force. He had training stops from Milwaukee, Wis., to Biloxi, Miss., and recalled vividly traveling to more than 30 camps in the U.S. and Europe during his 3 1/2 years of service. It was this travel that influenced him to "stay put," turn down offers to play professional baseball and remain wherever he landed as long as they would keep him. Chester also offered the opportunity to work with his dad on the farm and remain close to family and friends in the area. Thus, 41 years in the Chester school system and beyond.
The U.S. military discovered he was fluent in German and shortly after getting his pilot certificate he was shipped off to Military Intelligence to become a Nazi hunter. Members of this group examined documents that could be used in war crime trials in Germany. Doane graciously bestowed Rube his diploma in 1943, giving him credit for his military education.
Life soon got better after his honorable discharge from the military. He was offered a coaching and teaching position in Chester in 1946, coaching three sports and teaching history and American government. Officially, Rube met Gladys after her graduation from Chester High School. They enjoyed 65 years together residing at the same address he purchased from Pat Boyer for $5,000. For many years Rube coached and Gladys washed Bulldog uniforms ­­ that is a true team.
Coach was blessed with excellent parental and community support. His late night bed-check activities are legendary to have his team prepared for a contest the next night. He was fortunate to receive several honors for teaching, coaching and community support, which he always shared with the support from Gladys. Some of his more memorable awards included the Mike Heck Award in 1976, Nebraska Wesleyan Educator of the Year in 1988, Nebraska Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, National Coaches Hall of Fame 2002 and the Doane D Award in 2002 for a former athlete providing outstanding community service. He also was recognized for his work on the Thayer County Hospital board. He has maintained great friendships over the years with former students, especially the young men who went undefeated in 1952-53, giving him his only state championship.
Rube retired in 1987 and started a new career, volunteering in a number of organizations. He was a board member at the State Bank of Chester and Thayer County Hospital, working passionately to provide quality health care by upgrading facilities and providing excellent services locally. He enjoyed working with the board members and other volunteers. He especially enjoyed the challenges of raising funds for the hospital. Rube was a Teammates mentor until almost the age of 90 and served on the local Teammates board.
One of Rube's hobbies was having a cow-calf herd. That activity created the opportunity for a strong, loving relationship with the Lavern, Verla, Steve and Marla Heitmann family, with too many good memories to list here. Rube moved to Terrace Courtyard Apartments in 2016. He rekindled relationships with old friends and students. John Schlife's friendship and assistance there were truly a blessing.
Rube competed in the Cornhusker State Games for years, still bringing home the gold. At age 92 he won the shot put event for the 80-plus age group (records are sketchy on the number of competitors). Rube enjoyed taking his grandchildren hunting and fishing, to Husker sports and playing billiards. He also enjoyed time with his great-grandchildren at family celebrations and, of course, on the courts or ballfields.
Reuben was a devoted Christian man and served on various boards at St. Johns in Chester.
Reuben was preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Hannah; his wife, Gladys; and his sister, Glennis.
He is survived by his two sons, Stan of Bennington, Neb., and Wes of Council Bluffs, Iowa; his three grandsons, Jon (Leigh) Dutton and daughter, Andreia, of Omaha, Neb., Jared (Kara) Carpenter and daughters, Molly and Emily, and son, Jacob, of Omaha, Neb., and Jamie (Allie) Oestmann and sons, Jax Reuben and Jett Paul, of Fort Calhoun, Neb.; great-aunt, Irma Marquart of Hebron, Neb., sister-in-law, Arlene Matthiesen, of Sioux Falls, S.D., and daughter-in-law, Vicki Buras, of Omaha, Neb.; nieces, nephews and numerous other relatives.
Funeral was held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, at the Stastny Community Center in Hebron, Neb., conducted by Pastor Robert Hopkins and Fred Meyer
Military graveside services by State Line American Legion Post No. 317.
Interment was in Chester Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggested memorials to the Reuben Schleifer Memorial Fund.
Visitation was Wednesday, Aug. 8, 1 to 8 p.m., at Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home, Chester, Neb., where family received friends from 6 to 8 p.m.

Judith Deterding
Judith Deterding, 77, died Friday. She was born in Hebron on Feb. 6, 1941, to Elden and Lorraine Philippi.
She moved to Bruning when she was two years old. She was baptized and confirmed at Trinity Lutheran Church in Bruning and graduated from Bruning High School in 1959.
She was united in marriage to Robert Deterding of Hebron on Feb. 14, 1960. To this union, a daughter and four sons were born.
She enjoyed working outside with her flowers and gardening, traveling in their RV and finding antiques.
She was preceded in death by her parents and grandparents. Survivors include her husband, Robert Deterding; children, Bruce Deterding of Wichita, Lori Greene of Wichita, Mark Deterding of Hays, Todd Deterding of Lindsborg and Brian Deterding of Greensburg; and 11 grandchildren.
Funeral will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Friday) at the American Lutheran Church in Belleville, with Pastor Ethan Feistner officiating. Interment will follow at the Belleville City Cemetery. Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home of Belleville is in charge of the arrangements.

Richard Frasier
Richard Frasier Sr., 94, of Burr Oak, died Sunday at the Jewell County Hospital Long Term Care in Mankato.
Services are pending.

Ira Turner
Ira Turner, a former graduate and resident of Formoso, died last week.

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