Ethel celebrated her 90th birthday on July 19th. She was born in Battle Creek, Nebraska, a small town of 700. She has 2 older brothers and 1 younger sister. Her father, who came from a family of nine children, was a dairy farmer. He died when Ethel was a freshman. Her mother was one of fourteen children and was a housewife. Ethel has over 100 first cousins. She attended Lutheran Parochial school, which had 100 children in 2 rooms. She graduated as salutatorian from public school in 1944 and went to Nurse’s training as a Cadet Nurse, graduating in 1947. Ethel worked nights for 20 years while raising her family.
She and her husband Leland, who died in 2006, attended the same school. They both grew up Lutheran. In those days, Lutherans were not allowed to marry Catholics. Since Ethel was also not allowed to marry while in training, they dated for 7 years and were then married on August 24, 1948. They honeymooned in Norfolk overnight. Ethel then returned to help her mother clean up from the wedding. Her mother made all the food for the wedding. They farmed for 10 years. Leland then became a salesman for Swift and Company. They were in Atlantic for 3 years, Norfolk for 3 years and Omaha for 1 year. They then wanted Leland to move to Chicago and not wanting to live there, they ended up in Atlantic in 1955. Here he sold feed and fertilizer and was Weed Commissioner until his retirement in 1989. He then started gardening and sold vegetables at the garden market. They took a lot of family camping trips through the Black Hills, visiting friends and family in North and South Dakota.
Their first 5 children were born in Nebraska, the last 2 in Atlantic. The oldest is Dennis, farming west of town, who has 1 boy and 1 girl. Next is Sharol, a cosmetologist, living in Harlan, who has 2 boys and 1 girl. Next is Gail, a physical therapist, having 4 boys and 1 girl. Then comes Ross, a carpenter, living in Atlantic who has a boy and a girl. Lonn is the 5th child and is married to Sandy, living in Anita and works for Lindeman Tractor. They have 2 girls. Lisa died in 2003. She was a Pharmacist and she and her husband adopted a toddler from Guatemala in 1997. Final child is Traci, an Electrologist and Cosmetologist living in Atlantic, who has one daughter, Brenna. Ethel has 16 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren, including triplets living in Elk Horn.
Her travels have taken her to the Black Hills almost annually prior to the time Leland passed away. Most Memorial Days are spent in Battle Creek, Nebraska, where she has opportunity to visit with her large family. She enjoys Golden Years at Zion and attends the Monday afternoon Bible Class. She has previously served on Altar Guild and helped count money. Liking to sew, Ethel participates in the prayer shawl program. She also belongs to Joy Circle in LWML. She made all of her girls dresses and sewed her boys shirts. Ethel has always enjoyed reading. As a child, she would sneak a flashlight into her bedroom and read under the covers so her mother didn’t catch her reading late at night. The TV usually does not come on until 5 p.m. She enjoys the History and HGTV channels. Ethel resides at 800 Chestnut. We wish her God’s Blessings in the years ahead.