Fern Weinell, 91, passed away Saturday, August 28, 2021 at her home in Hemingford.
Fern Weinell was born Feb 2, 1930 at St. Joseph’s Hospital at Alliance, Ne. to Peter Weinell and Persus (French) Weinell. She lived at 1406 Cheyenne which was on the north edge of Alliance at that time. There was much open ground there where the neighborhood kids got together to play Kick the Can and Capture the Flag at night despite that you might end up in the cactus growing on the prairie. Pick up baseball was played plus rafting after a big rain where the swimming pool is now located. A big garden was raised and so many rows had to be hoed each day by her and her brother before heading for the swimming pool.
She graduated from Alliance High School with the Class of 1948. She enjoyed all the extra curricular activities especially working on the school paper, “The Spud,” and annual “The Bulldog” as well as playing clarinet in the high school band. She especially remembered playing in the band on the cement tarmac in wool uniforms at the Dedication of the Alliance Air Base on a 103-degree day in July, 1943.Fern worked part time at Thiele Drug and the Orange Tea Room all 4 years of attending High School
After attending school in Omaha, NE she married Harold P. Johnson of Hemingford on April 10, 1949 at First Presbyterian Church in Alliance. They lived in Omaha and Denver before returning to Alliance. They had four daughters, Sheila Joy, Linda Mary, Elissa Maureen, and Deanna Colleen. They were later divorced.
Fern’s first full time job was at the Alliance Times Herald where she was a teletype setter. She worked at Offutt Air Base in Omaha; for the Box Butte Co. Attorney, the Box Butte Extension Farm, Johnson Aerial Ag Service, Stickney’s Auto Supply before employment by the CB&QRR She worked for the railroad as a train order operator in Alliance, Chicago, Lincoln, Brookfield, Mo; McCook, Casper and Sheridan, WY before returning to Alliance. She retired in 1996 after 26 years with the railroad, She, also, owned a kite store, Cloud Climbers during this time located in the Rhoad’s Building.
Fern was baptized at the First Christian Church in Alliance Jan 15, 1939 at 8 years of age where she was active in the Youth Group. She was a member of First Presbyterian Church between 1950 and 2012 while she was married and then transferred back to the First Christian Church. She was a Campfire and Bluebird leader for all four of her daughter’s groups a Charter Member of the BN Club, also serving on the Board of Directors, the Women’s Bowling Assoc. the Alliance Park Board, volunteer for Doves and RSVP. She enjoyed camping, fishing and hunting, her pinochle club of over 35 years, watching the AHS Basketball teams and Volleyball teams as well as Husker Volleyball, Football and Basketball. Attending all the musical and sporting events of her girls, grandchildren and great grandchildren was very enjoyable and important to her She received the Charles J. Sherlock Senior Citizen Award in 1995 – 1996. Fern was proud that she never missed voting in an election from the time she was eligible to vote. She loved to travel and traveled in all 50 states in the US, as well as 16 countries in Europe, plus Scandinavia, Mexico, Canada and the UK. She always had 3 or 4 cats which she and Patrick, her companion, enjoyed including taking Chester in their RV when traveling.
Fern is survived by her four daughters, Sheila (Moose) Walker of Alliance, Linda Timmens of Washington D.C., Elissa Holcomb of Gillette, WY and Deanna (Tom) Wilhelm of Loveland, CO. Nine grandchildren Dan Huss, David Huss, of Alliance, Devon Walker of Hyannis, Angela Bell of Bridgeport; Amanda Chancellor of Hemingford; Chris Holcomb of Glendo, WY, Jeff Holcomb of Gillette, WY, Zachary and Kelly Wilhelm of Loveland, CO, 11 great grandchildren, 2 great great grandchildren, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, Fern was preceded in death by her companion of many years, Patrick Crouse; her ex-husband, Harold P. Johnson, one great grandchild, Tristan George Huss, her sister, Mary Ginn and brother, Albert Weinell and sisters-in-law, Wanda Weinell and Charlotte Weinell.
Memorial services will be Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at the First Christian Church in Alliance. Inurnment will be in the Alliance Cemetery.
Memorials may be given to PAWS or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Online condolences may be left at www.batesgould.com with Bates-Gould Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.