BENKELMAN, Nebraska -- Burdette Gary Geihsler, 73, passed away Wednesday, July 13, 2011, at his home in Benkelman.
Burdette, along with his twin sister, Burdean, was born Dec. 16, 1937, on the family farm in Hayes County, Nebraska to Harold William and Sophia Marie (Kircher) Geihsler. They were delivered at home by Grandma Kircher. At the age of four, Burdette began his education in a rural country school, later attended District 8, followed by one year at St. Patrick's School and graduated from McCook High School in 1955.
They eventually made their home in Benkelman where Burdette owned and operated Dette's Repair Service, Body Shop, and Parts Store for many years. Gladys preceded Burdette in death. He later married Gleannys Marlene (Lowe) Wonderly on Feb. 14, 1986, in Bird City, Kansas. Gleannys preceded him in death on May 11, 2011.
Burdette was a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Veteran's of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and Benkelman Jaycees. He served as a Benkelman police officer, Boy Scout Master for many years, and was a faithful blood donor for the American Red Cross. Burdette loved to play cards and spend time with his family. He never met a stranger and was always willing to lend a helping hand to friends and neighbors.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Harold and Sophia Geihsler; his wives, Gladys and Gleannys; brothers, Harlan and Gerald Geihsler; sister-in-law, Ann Geihsler; and niece Susie Jensen.
Survivors include his children, Connie Fortney and friend, Gordon Rader of Lincoln, Nebraska, Monica and husband, Rick King of Yuma, Colorado, Mark Geihsler and wife, Pamela of Forney, Texas, Linda and husband, Paul Wood of McCook, Nebraska, and Mike Geihsler and friend, Lee Jensen of Benkelman; step-children, Mindy and husband, Leonard Whomble, and Jim Wonderly and wife, Peggy, all of Wray, and Tony Wonderly and wife, Jeanette of Benkelman; 23 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren with two on the way; twin sister, Burdean and husband, Alfred Melchert of Stratton, Nebraska; sister-in-law, Rosie Geihsler of McCook; and numerous nieces, nephews and a host of friends.
Memorials may be given in his name.
Visitation is Tuesday, 6:30-9 p.m. at Forch Funeral Chapel in Benkelman with family present to greet friends. The rosary will be recited at 7 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial is Wednesday, 10 a.m., at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Benkelman with Father Thomas Wiedel officiating. Burial will follow in the Benkelman Cemetery with military honors.
Forch Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.