IMPERIAL -- Wendell Hayes Prior, 83, died Thursday (Jan. 15, 2004) at Chase County Hospital in Imperial from complications of a prolong illness.
He was born Sept. 26, 1920, in Chase County to Orrin F. and Kate Gladys (Gerken) Prior. The family moved to a farm northwest of Hayes County. He graduated from Wauneta High School in 1938. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for one year. He worked in Denver, Colo.
On May 21, 1942, he married Lila V. Adamson of Wauneta. The couple moved to the family farm in July 1942 to help with harvest. In 1952, the couple purchased a farm equipment dealership in Imperial. They operated it until 1975.
He served on school boards for the Star School in Hamlet, the Imperial Grade and Chase County High schools and the board of trustees for York College in York. He was also active in civic affairs, serving on the city council. He was a member of the Toastmasters and the Lions Club.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Orrin and Kate; and two brothers, Gordon G. and Kenneth B.
Survivors include his wife, Lila of Imperial; one son, Merlin Rex and wife, Janet Prior of Imperial; two daughters, Janeta Kay and husband, Nelson Fong of Underwood, Iowa and Marcia Rae and husband, Lynn Prior-Miller of Ames, Iowa; one sister, Wyona Jean Hollinger of Grand Junction, Colo.; and 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Services were Monday at the Wauneta Church of Christ with the Rev. Max Towell officiating. Interment is in Riverview Cemetery in Wauneta.
A memorial has been established in his name.
Liewer Funeral Home of Imperial is in charge of the arrangements.