O’NEILL — Services for Don Gartner, 92, Chambers, will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in O’Neill. Burial will be in the O’Neill Cemetery with military rites by Chambers American Legion Post 320.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday at Biglin’s Mortuary in O’Neill with a 7 p.m. Knights of Columbus rosary.
He died Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, at Arbor Care Center in O’Neill.
Donald Eugene Gartner was born on Sept. 20, 1928, in Belden to Robert and Mary (Maly) Gartner. He moved with his family to Emmet for a time as his father worked for the Shaffer Ranch. The family eventually settled in the Chambers area, moving to several ranches over the years.
Don attended country school for a time and graduated from Chambers High School in 1945. He worked various jobs until entering the U.S. Army on May 4, 1951. He was honorably discharged on April 24, 1953.
Don met Beverly Miller at the skating rink in Neligh. The couple later married on May 3, 1954, in O’Neill. To this union were born seven children: Randy, Rod, Nancy, Steven, Vicki, Renee and Todd. The couple live on several ranches, before purchasing the home place in 1956.
Don enjoyed working on his ranch and especially raising Hereford cattle in the early years. He retired in 1999 but never truly gave up his supervisor’s position.
Don and Beverly were named Grand Marshal of the Nebraska State Fair in 2007.
Don loved to play cards, and his grandkids will fondly remember all the ways he used to ensure he would win. He enjoyed going to grandkids’ sporting events. He was also liked to fish, making several trips to Canada for fishing.
Don was a member of the Chambers American Legion Post 320, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and the O’Neill Knights of Columbus. He was also a past member of the Holt County Fair Board, Chambers Rural Fire Department, Niobrara Valley REA Board and the Holt County Co-op Board.
Don is survived by his spouse of 66 years, Beverly Gartner of O’Neill; six children, Randy (Lila) Gartner of Chambers, Rodney (Rita) Gartner of O’Neill, Nancy Bowers of Spencer, Vicki (Denny) Libolt of Chambers, Renee (Charles) Vandersnick of O’Neill and Todd (Andrea) Gartner of Chambers; 15 grandchildren, Matthew (Leslie) Gartner, Anthony Gartner, Hattie (Allen) Burrell, Rachel (Chris) Stacy; Rick (Jenny) Gartner, Lindsey Strong, Alycia (Matt) Harden, Montana (Zach) DeVries, Donna (Schylar) Franssen, Daniel Libolt, Sarah Vandersnick, Traci Vandersnick, Ty Gartner, Tate Gartner and Lizzie Gartner; 19 great-grandchildren; four siblings, Mary Lou (Jim) Butts of O’Neill, Betty (Stanley) Watson of O’Neill, Anna (Charles) Porter of Fremont and Bobby Gartner of Chambers; many nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Mary Gartner; a son, Steven Gartner; a son-in-law, Larry Bowers; two brothers, Robert Gartner and Leslie Gartner; and in-laws Kenneth and Lucy Miller.
Memorial may be directed to the family for future designation.