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1918 George 2016

George Gengenbach

February 17, 1918 — December 21, 2016

GEORGE WALTER GENGENBACH passed away peacefully Wednesday, December 21, 2016, at the age of 98.

George was born February 17, 1918, at Grant, Nebraska, and was a lifelong participant of the farming community of Perkins County. Even when unable to be involved physically, he still considered himself to be a farmer and was not "retired". George loved his family and farming and highly valued education and Zion Lutheran Church, and for most of his life was actively engaged in many organizations, boards, committees and activities that supported these values.

George attended a rural grade school and graduated from high school in Grant in 1936. He was active in 4-H and FFA, played football and ran track, and enjoyed baseball and softball in the summer. George met his first wife Wilma A. Lewis from Aurora, Nebraska, while attending 4-H camps and the State Fair. In September 1941, George enlisted in the United States Army and for a short time was stationed in Texas and then in Southern California assigned to a coastal artillery company at the time Pearl Harbor was bombed. George and Wilma were married May 16, 1943, in Coronado, California, where he was stationed until near the end of WWII. At the time Japan surrendered and WWII ended, George was on a troop ship headed to Japan - which was then diverted to Leyte in the Philippines where he served for several more months.

After his discharge in January 1946, George and Wilma returned to Perkins County, resumed grain and livestock farming southeast of Grant and raised their 5 children: Burle [Louetta Velte] of Roseville, MN; Randall [Mary Jo Cooper] of Grant; Donn [Elizabeth Bishop] of Grant; Kathleen [Stuart Bartels] of Wauneta and Jane Sutherland of Blair. Wilma passed away December 9, 1990, and on September 29, 2001, George was married to Beatrice [Betty] Jahnke whom George had known since he was stationed in California during WWII. George and Betty enjoyed living on the original farmstead for several years before moving into Grant. Besides the usual farming activities, George also took part in some "unusual" events over the years - such as competing in corn husking contests when he was young and serving as the Grand Marshal of the Perkins County Fair in 2011. George and Betty also enjoyed attending local auctions where George was sometimes known to place small bids on items of unknown contents. After George entered Golden Ours Convalescent Home over three years ago, Betty visited and helped care for George nearly every day.

In addition to the immediate family, George has 8 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, 5 stepdaughters, brother Dan [Evelyn], sisters Eleanor Russell, Rosie Barry and Anita [Donald] Most who survive him. George was preceded in death by wife Wilma, parents Christian [Chris] and Anna, brother Harold, and sisters Lillian Logsdon, Arlene Kurkowski and Dorothy Keuten.

George was a long-time school board member for Perkins County High School and a memorial in George's name has been established for the Perkins County Schools Foundation. Condolences may be shared at, where the service will be streamed live for those unable to attend.

Services will be on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church in Grant with Pastor Ben Francisco officiating. Burial with military honors will be in the Grant Fairview Cemetery.

Visitation will be on Tuesday, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Bullock-Long Funeral Home in Grant.

Bullock-Long Funeral Home of Grant is in charge of arrangements.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of George Gengenbach, please visit our flower store.


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