Lillian Bernadette Heger, age 95 of Crofton, Nebraska, died on Friday, April 28, 2017 at the Kristal Bell Care Home in Glendale, Arizona.
Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, May 8, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Crofton with the Rev. Timothy Podraza officiating. Burial will be at St. Rose Cemetery in Crofton. Visitation will be on Sunday from 3-5:00 p.m. with a Vigil Service at 4:00 p.m. at the Wintz Funeral Home in Crofton. Visitation will continue on Monday, at church, one hour prior to services.
Lillian was born on October 1, 1921 to George and Mary (Nikolai) Gass in Crofton, NE.
Lillian attended St. Rose Elementary School and graduated from Crofton High school in 1938. She graduated from Mount Marty Junior College in 1940, and later attended Wayne State College and the University of South Dakota. In 1962 she graduated from Mount Marty College with a B. A. degree.
On February 24, 1945, Lillian Gass and Ralph Heger were united in marriage in Camp Hood, Texas, where Ralph was stationed before going overseas during WW II. After Ralph's return in 1946, they lived briefly in Crofton, then in Yankton, South Dakota, where Ralph was employed as a painter by Jerry Rupiper. After this they moved to a farm near Obert, Nebraska for one year, and then to Lindy, Nebraska, where they farmed for 38 years. They were blessed with two daughters, Elaine (Heger) Cox of Phoenix, AZ and Jeanne Heger, Lincoln, NE. They retired to their present home in Crofton in 1976 and enjoyed wintering in Arizona for 30 years.
Meanwhile Lillian had resumed her teaching career. Before her marriage she taught two years in a rural school in Cedar County, then elementary grades in Crofton Public School, followed by one year in the Kingsley, Iowa Public School system. Following marriage and a family she taught Secondary English in the Crofton Community Schools for 25 years, a total of 38 years in the education field. During this time, Lilliian received a number of honors. She was nominated twice for teacher of the year. She was honored at a community memorial dinner, she had a high school yearbook dedicated to her and she was Grand Marshal at a Homecoming Parade.
Lillian was a member of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, St. Rose Guild, Christian Mothers, Catholic Daughters of America, American Legion Auxiliary and was a former member of Delta Kappa Gama, Alpha Lambda chapter. Some of her hobbies included reading, dancing (especially polkas and waltzes), writing Christmas letters, doing embroidery, listening to music, playing cards and canning tomatoes.
Her family was of uppermost importance to her - husband, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, including her extended family. She was Nana or Nana Lilli to all of them. After Ralph passed in 2016, Lillian moved to Phoenix to live with daughter Elaine.
Survivors include two daughters, Elaine (& Bob) Cox, Phoenix, AZ; and Jeanne Heger, Lincoln, NE. Grandchildren Patrick (& Amy) Riesberg , Wayne, NE; Sara (& Joshuah) Spiekerman, Phoenix, AZ. Great grandsons include Logan and Peyton Riesberg, Wayne, NE; Blaine and Bryce Spiekerman, Phoenix, AZ and a number of nieces and nephews. Members of her extended family include Dale and Karen Riesberg, their son Doug and daughter Danielle, Crofton, Ne; Benjamin and Pam Cox and children Anna & John Algona IA.
Lillian was preceded in death by her husband of 71 years, Ralph in 2016; her parents, George & Mary Gass; an infant sister; a brother, James in 1937; a sister, Lucille (Sister Georgetta) in 1993; sister Helen Nohr in 2004, a brother-in-law, Vern Nohr in 1951 and extended family member, Jim Richstatter in 2011.
Messages will be reviewed and posted within 1 business day.
Dear Elaine, Jeannie,
I wish to extend my deepest sympathy on the loss of Lillian. She was a great mother and teacher. My prayers and support are with all of you.
Rev. Michael D. Schmitz
Deepest sympathy to the Heger and extended families. Mrs. Heger taught English while in Crofton. I remember her keeping me after class for a "little talking to". She saw something in me that I did not and did some "encouraging". That was her word. Mrs. Heger was a good person to me.
Renee Jansen Hoile
You have our deepest sympathy. She was a cherished friend and neighbor. We have missed her and Ralph so much. We have many wonderful memories of them.
Sharon and Mike Zimmerman
Our deepest sympathy to your family. Ralph and Lillian were good people. I enjoyed working with Lillian when I worked in the office. I also enjoyed working at their home one summer when Lillian had surgery. God Bless them both!!
Bob & Joyce Gentrup
An old friend & Neighbor while I lived in Crofton. She was on my Prayer Line too, so I called her often & always had a Good Visit when I called her. She taught all my children when they went to High School. I have Good Memories & May she rest in Peace! She will be missed.
Everything I teach in writing to my fifth graders, I learned from Mrs. Heger. She was a top notch teacher and person.
I want to express my deepest sympathy in the loss of Lillian. She was such a cheerful person that always knew you when you met her. May God bless you with the strength to deal with the grief.
My deepest Sympathy to all the family. What a fantastic lady, with a great big heart and hardy laughter. Enjoyed visiting with her after high school and the classwork finished and forgotten, but not the lessons that have lasted a lifetime.
Kathleen De Blauw Roseboom
My deepest sympathies for loss of your mother. She was a wonderful person. Our parents were friends for many years, I'm sure they are in heaven reminiscing their memories from the past and playing cards and dancing up a storm. God be with you and wrap his arms around you and guide you through this difficult time. It is hard to let go but they are pain free from their earthly struggles and with our almighy Eternal Father. I have sent a donation to Avera Hospice Foundation in memory of your mother.
Cheryl Mulloy family of Laverne Kast
Forever in our Hearts. Such a wonderful Aunt (and Uncle Ralph too). God has gained two amazing angels. Thinking of you all.
We just heard about Lillian's passing from this life to her eternal reward. We have fond memories of her and her spirit will live on through her children and grandchildren.
Marvin and MaryAnn Schulte
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