Catherine (Kate) Pirnie Evans passed away on Nov. 8, 2006, at Jennie M. Melham Memorial Medical Center in Broken Bow with her children at her side. She was 82 years old.
Born on Jan. 4, 1924, to Ida Copsey and Thompson Baker Mills in a farmhouse near Westerville, she was the youngest of six children. Her childhood was spent on farms and in schools in Custer County and in the Thedford area. She graduated from Broken Bow High School in 1940.
Following high school, she trained to be a secretary and bookkeeper. However, during World War II, she moved to California and worked for North American Airlines spot welding wing tips on the Mustang airplane assembly line. She lived in Hollywood and Oceanside, Calif. During this time, she enjoyed dancing to the Lawrence Welk band at the Aragon ballroom and the Hollywood Palladium.
Following the war, she moved back to Broken Bow, and met James (Jim) D. Pirnie. They were married on Feb. 5, 1949. They worked together to build the Arrow Freight Lines trucking business. In 1967, they moved to Grand Island and established another truckline, Grand Island Moving and Storage (known today as Grand Island Express) and related businesses. They spent many weekends at their cabin on Johnson Lake by Lexington. The cabin was near the cabins of the Kelly and Housel families of Broken Bow and the Adams family of Grand Island. The cabin at Johnson Lake became a second home for them for almost 25 years.
Jim suffered from kidney disease and retired from active management of the trucking businesses in 1978. During retirement, they traveled to Escondido, Calif., and Miami, Fla. They maintained a home in Kearney. Eventually they returned to Broken Bow and Jim passed away on June 3, 1982. They raised four children, John, Darla, Tom and Mitch.
On Jan. 7, 1984, she married John Evans in Broken Bow. John and his family had lived across the street from Kate and Jim in Broken Bow. John's wife, Martha, passed away in Broken Bow at about the same time as Jim. They traveled extensively in their motor home. They visited 46 of the 48 contiguous states, as well as the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. They also established a winter home in Goodland, Fla. They enjoyed fishing around the many islands which neighbor Marco Island, Fla. John Evans passed away in Broken Bow on March 26, 2005.
She enjoyed playing cards very much and was known as an astute bridge player. She also loved to fish. At age 70, she took a float plane into northern Saskatchewan, Canada, to fish for northern pike, walleye, and lake trout. Every Sunday she would conquer the crossword puzzle in the Omaha World Herald. She had a great sense of humor and a keen wit. In her last days, her children were discussing scented pillows which assist hospice care. When asked about her favorite "scents", she replied that her favorite was "common sense".
She was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Robert and Woodrow Mills; two sisters, Luciele Barrett and Doris Whitcomb; husbands, Jim Pirnie and John Evans; and her son, John Pirnie.
She is survived by her children and their families, daughter, Darla Atkinson and husband, Donn of Lincoln; three sons, James Thomas Pirnie and wife, Sue of Grand Island, Mitchell Pirnie and wife, Lori of Omaha, and Randall Datus and wife, Rosemary of McCook; grandson, Matthew Thomas and wife, Kim with great-grandchildren, Hunter and Brittany of Broken Bow; grandson, Adam Thomas of Washington, D.C.; grandson, Troy Korkosz and wife, Cathy with great-grandchildren, Tara and Lexi of Gilbert, Ariz.; granddaughter, Danielle Calhoon and husband, Kevin with great-grandchild, Charlie of Omaha; granddaughter, Heather Reilley and husband, Marc with great-grandchild, Trenton of Smith Center, Kan.; grandson, James A. Pirnie with great-grandchildren, Braydon and Madison of Grand Island; granddaughter, Tracy Bloom and husband, Michael of Omaha; granddaughter, Katelyn Pirnie of Omaha; grandsons, Robert and Michael Pirnie of Omaha; two stepsons, John Evans and his family of Broken Bow and Jeff Evans and wife, Karen of Columbus; stepdaughter, Marianne Evans of Palm Desert, Calif.; sister Lela Pike; many nieces, nephews, and other relatives; close friend, Lolly Coyle of Brady; and numerous other friends.
Memorials may be sent to the Nebraska Kidney Foundation or the Nebraska Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
Funeral services were Sunday at 3 p.m., in Govier Bros. Mortuary in Broken Bow with Rev. Kathy LaRocque officiating. Burial was in the Broken Bow Cemetery with Govier Bros. Mortuary in charge of arrangements. A reception followed the services at the Broken Bow Country Club.