Gernadine Helen Bortner died Thursday, March 13, 2008 at the Hillcrest Nursing Home in McCook at the age of 80.
She was born May 11, 1927, in Hitchcock County, the daughter of the late Willard and Helen (Nelson) Schlegel. She grew up in Hitchcock County where she graduated from rural school and also graduated from Culbertson High School in 1944.
She also graduated from Business School in Denver, Colo. She worked for the Army Airbase in McCook and was transferred to Washington D.C., before returning to McCook where she was a secretary and bookkeeper for the Marsh Insurance Agency.
On June 18, 1949, Gernadine married Gene Bortner at Hastings. Upon their marriage they resided on the Bortner Ranch northwest of McCook in Frontier County. In 1961, they moved to the Box Elder area northeast of McCook where they spent the remainder of their married life.
She was a 50 year member of Memorial United Methodist Church in McCook and the Better Aims Club and B.P.O. DOES.
Gernadine enjoyed a passion for collecting salt and pepper shakers from various travels and events, and also as gifts from beloved family and friends. She enjoyed dancing at the former Elks Club on Saturday nights, playing cards and was especially fond of watching the horses, deer, pheasants, quail and other wildlife that shared her surroundings. She enjoyed working with flowers, especially her beautiful peonies, and crafting a new ornament for every family member each Christmas.
All who dined in her kitchen were treated to her talent for baking bread, cakes and pies. Her grandchildren were especially fond of her one-of-a-kind oatmeal cookies, with which she treated them often.
She was preceded in death by her parents, one brother, Darold Schlegel and one nephew.
Gernadine is survived by her husband, Gene Bortner of rural McCook; three sons, Billy Bortner and wife, Carrol, Robert Bortner and wife, Barbara and Bennie Bortner and wife, Ginny all of McCook; 11 grandchildren, Bonnie and husband, Doug Terry, Bret Bortner and wife, Bobbi, Becky and husband, Eric McIntosh, Brenda and husband, Brad Whitten, Amy Bortner, Heath Bortner and wife, Jessica, Luke Bortner and wife, Karen, Lori Ann Bortner, Jill and husband, Carl Koenig, Wayne Bortner and wife, Lisa and Blaine Bortner; 21 great-grandchildren, Justin, Coy, Abbee, Quentin, Cashous, Corinne, Caden, Maxwell, Cooper, Callie, Ellie, Austin, Grace, Ethan "Charlie", Layten, Paige, Beeca, Addison, Kyler, Riley and Zoey; sister-in-law, Marjorie Schlegel; nieces; nephews; and friends.
Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m., on Monday at Memorial United Methodist Church in McCook with the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Thurman officiating. Interment will be in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Memorials may be given in her name and friends may call at Herrmann Funeral Home in McCook from 9 a.m.- 9 p.m., on Friday and Saturday and Sunday from 1 -6 p.m.
Herrmann Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.