Maiden Name: Edeal

Retha Mae Wycoff, 96, passed away June 2, 2018, at Linden Court in North Platte, Nebraska.

She was born March 31, 1922, to Alvin Silvester Edeal and Edna Mae (Cole) Edeal in the rural Fairhaven area northwest of Overton, Nebraska, and grew up on a family farm. She attended rural school at Fairhaven (Dawson County District #21) and after graduation from Lexington High School continued her education at the University of Nebraska College of Agriculture earning her bachelor’s degree in Home Economics in 1942. The following year, she taught Home Economics at Gothenburg, Nebraska.  

On June 12, 1943, she married Keith Hamlin Wycoff in Seattle, Washington, where the newlyweds spent the summer before settling in Chicago. Retha was employed at Marshall Field’s in children’s wear sales before being promoted to the personnel office.  

The next year, while her husband was at sea, she taught in Hay Springs, Nebraska. In 1945 Retha and Keith settled in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, and started a family. They were active in the Northampton Methodist Church and made friendships which endured a lifetime.

From 1949 to 1963 the family lived near Overton, Nebraska. Retha was a homemaker and busy mother as her family eventually grew to three sons and two daughters.   Retha designed her next house and personally did all the floorplan and elevation drawings. It was built in Lexington, Nebraska, and the family moved there in 1963 where she continued to live until age 89.

Retha loved dancing and was tap dancing by age 7 on the Fox Theater stage in North Platte. At her 80th birthday party she astonished her family by demonstrating the splits and straight-leg high kicks. She excelled academically in college with awards including a Danforth summer study scholarship for outstanding young women.  

Her interests in later life included music, gardening and writing. She served many years as a Sunday School teacher and was a devoted member and past President of the Nebraska Conference of United Methodist Women. Retha had a keen interest in fostering international understanding and had many opportunities for travel. She sometimes accompanied her husband on international business trips. Together they visited mission or service organizations and former international exchange students. They served as delegates to international Methodist Conferences. She took pride in five children with adult careers in the arts or in medicine and in their families. She was an example to all of generosity and kindness.

Retha was preceded in death by her parents, Alvin and Edna Edeal, brother, Dean Edeal, her husband Keith H. Wycoff, sister-in-law, Ruby (Wycoff) Crandall, and niece Karen (Edeal) Kander.

Survivors include sons Delane (Dorothy) Wycoff, Kevin (Paige) Wycoff, Timothy Wycoff (Susan West) and daughters Janine Wycoff, Valerie Wycoff (James Lovell-Smith), exchange daughter, Naoko (Takemoto) Okamoto, grandchildren Jason Wycoff, Kathryn Wycoff Gross, K. Tyler Wycoff, Reid Wycoff, Cole Wycoff, Isaac Wycoff, Olivia Wycoff, Timothy Lovell-Smith and Jasmine Lovell-Smith, plus great grandchildren, step-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Cremation was chosen. Retha’s life will be honored on August 15, 2018, with a 10:00 a.m. Memorial Service at the First United Methodist Church in Lexington with Pastor Anne Gahn, officiating.

Her committal service will follow at Greenwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the church or The Dawson County Historical Society and Museum or donor’s choice.

Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is honored to be assisting the family with arrangements. Please share online condolences with the family by visiting:

Date Posted: 2018-05-15

George Piester, 98, of Minden passed away on Friday, May 11, 2018 at Bethany Home in Minden. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am. on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the Westminster United Presbyterian Church in Minden with the Rev. Daniel Davis officiating. Interment will be held following services at the Minden Cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior to service times at the church.George Piester, 98, of Minden passed away on Friday, May 11, 2018 at Bethany Home in Minden. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am. on Thursday, May 17, 2018 at the Westminster United Presbyterian Church in Minden with the Rev. Daniel Davis officiating. Interment will be held following services at the Minden Cemetery. Visitation will be held one hour prior to service times at the church.

George was born May 30, 1919 to Jacob and Katherine Elizabeth Piester in Nisland, South Dakota. George was the 7th of 9 children. His family farmed in South Dakota until 1925, when they moved to Gering, Nebraska. They farmed there until moving to Lexington, Nebraska in 1929.

George attended school in Dawson County and graduated from Lexington High School in 1938. In July of 1939 he married Lois A. Lemmon of Cozad, Nebraska. They made their home in Lincoln, Nebraska. To this union three sons were born: Thomas, Kent, and David. They were married forty years until her death in 1979. George was employed by Gooch Mill & Elevator Co. in Lincoln until late 1944. One of his memories of working at Gooch was that on June 6, 1944, “D-Day”, George’s boss Lloyd Graham, handed George a cable and told him to climb the pole on top of the elevator to secure the cable so they could fly the American flag. Back then, if your boss asked you to do something, you did it without question. George climbed to the top of the pole, hanging by one hand 200 feet above the ground and secured the cable. When told about it, his wife, Lois, questioned his sanity.

In 1944, George and his family moved to Hemingford, Nebraska. George became the manager of the Hagemeister Elevator for over a year. In 1945 they lived for a short time in Seward, then moved to Minden in April, 1946. George and Lois purchased the F.F. Rogers Grain Elevator in Minden in March, 1946. Both worked together to run the business, which was the beginning of Piester Grain Company, Inc. The business grew and George introduced several farm services to Kearney County. He became a livestock feed dealer; he introduced the custom mixing and spreading of dry fertilizer; and he began selling anhydrous ammonia in 1949, the fourth such dealer in Nebraska. Lois was the bookkeeper for the business in its early years, and continued as secretary of the corporation until her death. Their sons served as the board of directors.

George started Piester Manufacturing Company in 1963. He was awarded patents from the United States Patent Office for his N-P-K dry fertilizer spreader and for his invention of tops for rail hopper cars so they could be used to haul grain, both in 1963. In addition to the fertilizer spreaders, the manufacturing company produced grain augers, throwers, and tenders; one auger was sold to a buyer in Turkey. George ran the manufacturing company for thirty years.

George was also active in the Minden community. He served as president of the Chamber of Commerce, and elder in both the First and the Westminster Presbyterian Churches, and a member of the volunteer fire department for 27 years. He was a member of the Minden School Board for 8 ½ years, and was a member of the Rotary Club since 1948. He was elected Mayor of Minden in 1994, and served two terms, during which he was instrumental in establishing what is now known as West Minden Estates, a source of great pride for him. 

George also served as a member of the Nebraska Fertilizer and Chemical Board for six years, serving as president for one year, and as a member of the National Anhydrous Ammonia Board for three years.

George was an avid golfer and sports enthusiast. When their sons were in high school, George and Lois frequently took the coaches’ wives to basketball and football games. He loyally followed the Whippets athletic contests. He also attended most University of Nebraska home football games for over fifty years. 

George married LaVada Layton Piester in 1980. They shared fourteen years of marriage until her death following a courageous battle with cancer.George loved his life, and said that while he made a good living, he never got rich.

George is survived by: Son Kent and wife Janet of Houston, Texas; son David and wife Cindy of Lincoln, sisters Elizabeth Piester of Denver, Colorado; and Lydia Hubach of Fremont, California; step-daughters Diana Felzein of Little Rock, Arkansas, Marcy and husband Don Cochran of Loveland, Colorado, Deb and husband Dick Schwenka of Minden, and Candy and husband Jack Kimple of Minden; nine grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren, one great, great grandchild; 10 step grandchildren, 12 step great grandchildren, and many nephews and nieces, and friends.

George was preceded in death by: wife Lois, wife LaVada, son Tom, brothers Jacob, Henry, and Fred; sisters Eva Greenwalt, Katherine Bauer Mathiason, and Mary Uecker, and brothers-in-law Alex Greenwalt, Cecil Bauer, Jerry Uecker, and George Hubach.I

n lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Minden Opera House Endowment Fund c/o Minden Exchange Bank, P.O. Box 179, Minden , NE 68959.Tributes of memory can be shared with the family at craigfunerals.comCraig Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Date Posted: 1981-01-26

Dale Buck Born March 12, 1920 in St. Edward, NE

Died January 26, 1981 in Ft. Collins, CO (received September 2011 from grandson)

Date Posted: 2008-07-13
Maiden Name: Piester

Mary Piester Uecker passed away on June 13, 2008.

Date Posted: 2012-06-06

Robert "Bob" Anthony, age 91 of Lexington, died June 6, 2012 at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney.

Charles Robert Anthony was born May 10, 1921 at Lexington, Nebraska to Luther Francis and Elizabeth Mary (Peters) Anthony, the youngest of 5 children.  His first nine years of school were at District North 22, and he went on to graduate from Lexington High School in 1938.  Bob attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for a year, where he received honors in Livestock Judging.  

Subsequent to his schooling, Bob returned home before entering the U.S. Army in 1942.  Bob faithfully served his country as a member of the 242nd Field Artillery Battalion during WWII as a Machine Gun and Ammunition Sergeant.  Bob was one of the 23,000 troops that comprised the invasion force on Utah Beach, which was the westernmost landing point during the Battle of Normandy.  Bob and his Battalion were in combat for 240 straight days, until he was wounded on October 1st during the Battle of the Foret de Parroy.  After 15 months in military hospitals, Bob was honorably discharged in 1945, and returned home to farm with his father.

On September 10, 1950, Bob married Mary Jane Oldfather, and their union was blessed with 3 children, Janet Marie, Anna Louise and Timothy Charles.

They made their home on a farm northwest of Lexington, where they farmed and fed cattle.  

Bob was an active member of his church and society.  In 1979, he even served as the delegate from the Nebraska Central Platte Presbytery to the National General Assembly in San Diego.  He often toiled for months trying to get supply ministers for the Buffalo Grove Presbyterian Church.  He also enjoyed membership in the Lexington Rotary Club, the Dawson County Fair Board, the rural fireworks committee and many church boards.  He rode with the Plum Creekers, and had served as a speaker at the National Longhorn Association Seminar at Austin, Texas.  Aside from his family, cattle feeding and the people he dealt with were his love.  Bob had many lifelong friends in the cattle industry that never had contracts for the business they conducted, as honesty was a binding element in his life and relationships.  

In his later years Bob's health began to decline, but he continued to work every day as he could.  

Bob loved his family, his life and his work; and all were good to him in return.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; and 3 brothers, Harold, Francis, and Roland "Dutch".

Survivors include his wife, Mary Jane Anthony of Lexington; 2 daughters, Janet Marie (David) Quitmeyer of Lexington, Anna Louise (Galen) Stehlik of Grand Island; son, Timothy Charles (Marita) Anthony of Lexington; 6 grandchildren, Katie (Slim) Reece of Harrison, Casey (Crystal) Quitmeyer of Lexington, Mitchell Stehlik and fiancée Erin VanOstrand of Grand Island, Antonia (Noe) Mendez of Grand Island, Betsey (Matt) Heidrich of Lincoln and Courtney Anthony of Lexington; sister, Hazel Anthony of Lincoln; 2 sisters-in-law, Lois Anthony & Dorothy Oldfather both of Lexington; and many other relatives and friends.

A memorial has been established in his memory.  Condolences may be shared at  Memorial services will be on Monday, June 11, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Cozad with Pastors Doug Smith and Tess Hufford officiating.  A private family inurnment will be held in the Hewitt Cemetery prior to the memorial service. There will be no visitation. Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad is in charge of arrangements.