IMPERIAL, Nebraska -- Arthur Lavern 'Bill' Silvester, 87, died Jan. 31, 2011, at Chase County Hospital.
He was born March 31, 1923, on the Kilpatrick Brothers North ranch, about five miles north of Imperial. He was the fifth of twelve children born to Frank Ernest Silvester and Hattie Gertrude Bevans. The family moved south of Champion when he was young. He spent most of his life in the Champion community. He quit school in the ninth grade to begin working on the family farm.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on Jan. 21, 1942. He was a member of the Second Division on the USS Heywood APA 6. He served for three years and 10 months, being discharged as a Boatswains Mate First Class on Nov. 20, 1945. In 2010, he received the Victory Medal, Good Conduct, Asiatic Pac 8 Stars, American Area Amphibious Force Insignia, Philippine Liberation Two Stars, and the Philippine Presidential Citation.
He returned to Chase County after his service to work on ranches.
On Jan. 1, 1950, he married Oneta Jean Kimberling at the Crete EUB Church in Crete, Nebraska. To this union four children were born. The couple lived south of Champion before moving to the Kimberling farm.
He was a member of the Crete EUB Church, the Imperial EUB Church, the United Methodist Church, American Donkey and Mule Society and the VFW. He was also the sexton for the Pleasant View Cemetery, a 4-H leader and scout leader.
In 1981, he received the Soil and Water Conservation Award and the Aksarben Good Neighbor Award. In 2000, he received his high school diploma from Chase County High School through a program to recognize military veterans. He and his wife received the Nebraska Pioneer Farm Award for 100 years of service to agriculture.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Oneta; daughter, Kelli Lu Silvester; brothers, Lee Frank and wife, Clara, Glen Leroy and wife, Lillian, Frank Silvester, Jim Brison Silvester and Jack Silvester; sisters, Helen Pitts, Dee Fries and husband, Walter; and brother-in-law, Jim McDougall.
He is survived by his sons, Kent and wife, Sandy of Imperial and Kim and wife, Lois of Champion; daughter, Kaylene Silvester of Watkins, Colorado; brother, Mark and wife, Lois of Schuyler, Nebraska; sisters, Bertha McDougall of Denver, Colorado, Bea Bauerle and husband, Don of Champion and Emma "Tiny" Enoch and husband, John of Miltonville, Kansas; brothers-in-law, John Pitts, Cleon Kimberling and wife, Betty, all of Fort Collins, Colorado; sisters-in-law, Helen Silvester of Indianola, Nebraska, Leona Silvester of Fairbury, Nebraska, and Garneta Bauerle and husband, Irvine of Champion; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were Saturday at First United Methodist Church in Imperial with the Rev. Fred Anderson officiating. Interment and military rites were presented at the Pleasant View Cemetery in Crete.
Liewer Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.