You are the owner of this article.

Leona Thunker

Leona Thunker


CROFTON — Leona L. Thunker, 90, of Gainesville, Va., died Friday, Nov. 5, 2010, at Gainesville Health and Rehab Center.

Services will be Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church here with burial in the parish cemetery and the Rev. Michael Schmitz officiating. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Wednesday with a vigil service at 7 p.m. at Wintz Funeral Home and continue after 9:30 a.m. Thursday.


Leona Loretta Thunker was born on July 25, 1920, in Crofton to John and Carolina (Luft) Arens and lived in the Crofton area most of her life. For four years before her marriage, she lived and worked in Yankton, S.D, doing house work.

She married Raymond Thunker on Jan. 14, 1942. They farmed for six years in rural Crofton before moving to town in 1948. She worked at Buckholt’s Cafe, People’s Grocery, the Crofton Library and the Gambles store in Crofton and was the bookkeeper for Ray’s Occo and Dekalb businesses. She also worked for Gurney’s Customer Service Department in Yankton for 17 years.

Leona was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1963. She was told by two doctors that they would make her as comfortable as possible for the little time she had left, but she outlived both of them. She was proud to participate as a cancer survivor in Relay for Life every year and was once a guest speaker.

She was well known throughout the area for baking and decorating many creative wedding, anniversary, graduation and birthday cakes. She enjoyed cooking for family and friends as well as sewing and crocheting. She loved traveling with her husband while he was alive but later traveled alone. She was able to visit almost every state and enjoyed trips to Europe. The last trip she made by herself was to England at the age of 86.

Leona loved socializing with her friends at the Crofton Senior Center and was an avid bingo player. She loved to shop and was a proud bargain-finder. She was a member of St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Crofton, Christian Mothers and Catholic Daughters of America and attended Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Gainesville.

She is survived by her son, Robert (Sandy) Thunker, Gainesville; her grandchildren, Tiffany (Matt) Linville, San Antonio, Texas, and Jeremy (Julie) Thunker, Portland, Ore.; two great-grandchildren, Emily and Leah Thunker, Portland; two sisters, Viola Reifenrath, Crofton, and Eleanor (Sam) Nelson, St. Helena; three brothers, Irvin Arens, Randolph, Gerald Arens, Hartington, and Alvin (Sharon) Arens, Norfolk; two sisters-in-law, Arlene Arens and Margaret Arens, both of Crofton, and a multitude of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; an infant brother, Benjamin; her sister, Cecilia Reifenrath; her brothers, Ray Arens, Clarence Arens, Lawrence Arens and Harold Arens; her sisters-in-law, Barbara Arens, MaryAnn Arens, Frances Arens and Norma Jean Arens; her brothers-in-law, Norbert Reifenrath and Albert Reifenrath, and several nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Brian Arens, David Arens, Larry Arens, Rick Arens, Doug Nelson, Gordon Reifenrath, Mick Reifenrath, Jeremy Thunker.

Honorary pallbearers will be Lorene Ausdemore, Charlene Kube, Rosemary Lange, Virgie Lange, Laverta Mauch, Nelly Potts, Linda Sawatzke, Mary Thunker.

In other news

STANTON — Memorial services for Eleanor Foust, 86, Stanton, formerly of West Point, will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at New England Congregational Church in Stanton. The Rev. Linda Mohr will officiate.

NORFOLK — Visitation for Barbara Uehling, 70, Hadar, will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, at Brockhaus-Howser-Fillmer Funeral Home in Norfolk with a 7 p.m. prayer service.

WAYNE — Services for Merlin Saul, 88, Wayne, are pending at Hasemann Funeral Home in Wayne. He died Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, at Wayne Country View Care in Wayne.

NELIGH — A celebration of life for Cloyd Kilpatrick Jr., 91, Neligh, will be 1-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at the Neligh Senior Center in Neligh with a slide show and time of sharing at 3 p.m.

CREIGHTON — Memorial services for Helen Jean Andersen, 88, Lincoln, formerly of Creighton, will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, at Zion Lutheran Church in Creighton. The Rev. Donna Fonner will officiate. Burial will be in Concordia Lutheran Cemetery in Clearwater.

BATTLE CREEK — Memorial services for Ervin E. Tegeler, 92, Battle Creek, will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at St. John Lutheran Church in Battle Creek. Burial will be in the parish cemetery in Battle Creek. Military rites will be by the U.S. Navy Honor Guard and American Legion Post 75.

CLARKSON — Services for Robert Hajek, 75, Clarkson, will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 20, at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Clarkson. The Rev. Rodney Kneifl will officiate with burial in the Clarkson Catholic Cemetery.

NORFOLK — Darrell Barrett, 81, Norfolk, died Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, at Norfolk Veterans Home. No services are planned.

NORFOLK — Services for Audrey F. Campanile 96, of Norfolk, formerly of Neligh, will be held at a later date.

Obituary policy

The Daily News publishes death notices and obituaries on a daily basis for Norfolkans, area residents and former residents.

Death notices, which include information about when and where a person died, funeral services, burial and visitation for the deceased and memorial information, are published free of charge.

If families of the deceased desire to have an obituary printed, there is a fee charged for doing so. Because of that, families of the deceased can decide what information they want included in the obituary, as well as if they desire to have a photograph published along with it. The Daily News reserves the right to edit. 

Norfolk and area funeral homes have detailed information about placing an obituary in the Daily News. If individuals want to submit obituary information themselves, it can be emailed to or faxed to (402) 644-2080.

People needing additional information about death notices and obituaries can call the Daily News at 371-1020 or (877) 371-1020 and ask for the newsroom.

Jimmy Johns

What You're Missing