Stewart Simmons Minnick
Feb. 27, 1927 - Jan. 11, 2012
CAMBRIDGE, Nebraska --Stewart Simmons Minnick died Jan. 11, 2012, at the Manor in Cambridge after several years of battling post polio syndrome.
He was born Feb. 24, 1927, at home in Frontier County on the John Minnick homestead to parents Walter Tiffany Minnick and Ethel Simmons Minnick. At age three, he contracted polio in the nationwide epidemic. His parents took him to the Roosevelt therapy center in Warm Springs, Georgia in 1933, and he recovered the use of his legs, but was left with a paralyzed arm and lung.
He attended country school for five years until the family moved to Cambridge in 1938, where he became an Eagle Scout at 14 and graduated valedictorian from Cambridge High School in 1945. His polio didn't slow him down as he ran track in high school and ran the 100 yard dash in :10.3 and the 220 in :23.5. He also became an excellent shot gunner, to the dismay of the local pheasant population, and developed a life long love for yellow Labrador retrievers.
He attended the University of Nebraska for two years and then returned to Cambridge to teach sixth grade for three years before returning to UNL to complete his degree in accounting. He competed in intramurals at the University and three times was named outstanding intramural manager. He returned to Cambridge and started as a bookkeeper for Luther Enterprises before moving to Cambridge Insurance and Cambridge Telephone Company.
Church, community and kids were his lifelong passions. In Cambridge he started the American Legion baseball program in 1949 and was an active participant in the program for over 50 years. He was the number one fan of Cambridge sports and attended over a thousand high school games over the years, always keeping statistics and making sure the referees did their job. He started attending Nebraska football games with his dad in the '30s, bought season tickets to the games in the 50s, and then bought enough tickets that he could take his baseball boys and his nieces and nephews (and then grandnieces, grandnephews and great grand niece) to home games. He is a life member of the UNL Alumni Association. He was named a World Herald "Good Joe," an Ak-Sar-Ben "Good Neighbor," and a Boy Scout Order of the Golden Sun. Since returning to Cambridge he held about every officer position in the Chamber of Commerce and in Lion's Club, where he was named a Melvin Jones Fellow for his volunteer work. He was also a mainstay in the Cambridge Congregational United Church of Christ where hundreds of kids remember him as their Sunday School teacher. He is survived by his sister, Mary Elizabeth Nelson of Albion, Nebraska, two nieces and a nephew, five grand nieces and nephews, a great grandniece and great grandnephew, and his Cambridge community family.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in Cambridge with Bill Weaver officiating.
Visitation will be Friday at Lockenour Jones from 6 - 9 p.m.
Interment will be in the Fairview Cemetery of Cambridge. Friends may leave on-line condolences at lockenour.com
Lockenour Jones is in charge of arrangements.