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Floral 24

Verla Ann (Kettelhut) Heitmann

November 10, 1930 ~ February 13, 2019 (age 88)


Obituary for Verla Ann Heitmann-age 88 of Hardy, NE

Kroll Funeral Home Hebron, NE 402-768-6165


Verla Ann Heitmann of Hardy, NE, the daughter of George and Anna (Hoops) Kettelhut, was born November 10, 1930 in Republic County, KS. She departed this life Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at Thayer County Health Services in Hebron, NE at the age of 88 years.


She was baptized November 23, 1930 and confirmed April 2, 1944 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Byron, NE. Her confirmation verse was Acts 4:12.


Verla grew up in the Byron area attending school and graduating from Byron High School. She furthered her education with a teaching degree at Midland College in Fremont. She taught in District 88 and other rural schools in the Byron area for three years.


She married Lavern Heitmann on April 29, 1951 at St. Peter Lutheran Church in rural Byron, NE. This union was blessed with the birth of five children.


Verla was Lavern’s partner on the farm they loved. She loved gardening, and used that passion to create beautiful flower and vegetable gardens. She served on the board of the National Penstemon Society. When this group toured her garden a Penstemon was discovered which was later developed by the University of Nebraska. Verla had the honor of naming the plant, and chose “Husker Red”, which was named the 1996 Perennial Plant of the Year. When she could no longer work in the garden, she continued to enjoy the gardens while riding in the golf cart with Lavern.


Her pastimes included cooking, traveling with her husband, reading, journaling, and square dancing, but most of all spending time with her family, especially the grandchildren. When she and Lavern travelled to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, she described it as “my dream fulfilled”. She really enjoyed following Husker athletics and the Kansas City Royals.


Verla was a person of strong and unwavering faith in God. She was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church rural Byron where she taught Bible School, Confirmation, and Sunday School and served on many committees and boards.


She is preceded in death by her parents, infant son Michael, grandson Timothy Meier, and brothers-in-law Verdell Freitag, Willis Gass, Willis Heitmann, Mervin Gerdes, Egbert Schardt, Virgil Vinkenberg, and sister-in-law Mildred Gerdes Bliefernich.


She is survived by her husband Lavern of Hardy, NE; sons David (Carla) of Wichita, KS, and Stephen (Marla) of Hardy, NE; daughters Julie Hoffman (Dennis) of Lincoln, NE and Michelle Smith (Richard) of Lincoln, NE; grandchildren Elizabeth Bender (Jeff) of Ephrata, PA, Jason Heitmann (Pelin) of Basel, Switzerland, Stephanie Heitmann of Omaha, NE, Melissa Glenn (Jesse) of Omaha, NE, Joanna Mhango (Chandiwira) of Lincoln, NE, John Hoffman of Lincoln, NE, and Jennifer Hoffman of Lincoln, NE; great-grandchildren Averiana and Aiden Bender, Addison Glenn and Liberty Mhango; brother Willis Kettelhut (Marilyn); sisters Leora Freitag, Jeanette Mohrmann (Richard), and Joanne Gass Jones (Perry); sisters-in-law Loretta Schardt, Marge Vinkenberg, and Delores Heitmann; brother-in-law Bernie Bliefernich, and many nieces, nephews and friends.


Funeral services will be held Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at St. Peter Lutheran Church rural Byron, NE at 10:30AM. Pastor Breen Sipes will officiate, organist will be Crystal Krenke, and soloist will be Stan Schleifer singing "On Eagle's Wings", congregational hymns; "Lift High the Cross", "I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry", and "Lord of All Hopefullness".  Visitation is Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at Kroll Funeral Home in Hebron, NE 2PM to 7PM with family greeting friends 5PM to 7PM. Casket Bearers; Lonny Freitag, Darcy Heitmann, Ryan Schardt, Dan Vinkenberg, Stan Schleifer, Terry Gerdes, Alan Kettelhut, and Jon Mohrmann, honorary casket bearers(grandchildren); Elizabeth Bender, Joanna Mhango, Jason Heitmann, John Hoffman, Stephanie Heitmann, Jennifer Hoffman, and Melissa Glenn. The family will give memorial funds to charities of their choice. Condolences may be left at Burial will be at St. Peter Lutheran Church cemetery. Kroll Funeral Home of Hebron, NE is in charge of arrangements.



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