Verdigre — Lavon LuRae Johnson, 94, of Verdigre, died Tues...
Jul 5, 2022 (0)
Stuart — John Henry Kitchens, 96, of Stuart, previously of rural Atkinson, died peacefully Thursday, June 30, 2022 at the Veteran's Home in Norfolk.
Visitation was held Wednesday, July 6, 2022 at Seger Funeral Home in Atkinson.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 7, 2022 at the funeral home in Atkinson. Pastor Dean Seger will officiate. Music will be provided by Teresa Janzing.
Burial will be in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Atkinson.
Memorials may be made to the West Holt High School Foundation in John's name.
John was born Nov. 13, 1925 in Sheridan, WY to Perry and Etta (Alfs) Kitchens. He grew up in Sheridan where he attended the First Christian Church and was baptized. John graduated from Sheridan High School in 1942.
John enlisted in the U.S. Navy Sept. 30, 1943. He went to Corpus Christi, Texas and was then in pre-flight school in Iowa City, Iowa. He was stationed in Pensacola, FL when WWII ended and was honorably discharged from the Navy Sept.30, 1945.
John then went to college on the GI Bill. He worked for a short time as a forest ranger in the Big Horn Mountains.
He married Helen Dauderman in Sheridan, WY on Dec. 30, 1947.
John graduated from the University of Montana at Missoula with a bachelor's degree in forestry on June 6, 1949.
John and Helen then moved to Jackson Hole, WY where he was a game warden for about a year. Then they moved to Norton, KS where he worked for the Soil Conservation Service for three years.
John and Helen became the parents of two children while in Kansas, daughter Sheryl Annette and son Perry William.
While living in Norton, John was a Boy Scout Master who took the local troop on trips to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.
John came to Holt County in 1955 to farm and ranch along Eagle Creek. As a young landowner and father, John was involved in organizing three rural school districts into one. They went from one room school houses to a modern two room school house with indoor plumbing. He drew the plans and oversaw the construction of that District 89 building northeast of Atkinson. Due to the influence of his mother, John was always an advocate for education. John always believed you could do better than the status quo when it came to education. He was very instrumental in forming the Class 6 school district in Holt County and was elected the first school board president of West Holt High School. John also designed the first West Holt Husky mascot. John was proud that everyone in his immediate family including his children and their spouses and all five grandchildren and their spouses have college degrees.
John had a federal firearms license for Eagle Creek Sports Supply which enabled all the neighbors and others to purchase guns and ammunition. He was a staunch believer in the right to bear arms (2nd amendment).
John was one of the first farmers to begin irrigation in the Pleasant View Township and the couple lived there for 35 years until Helen passed away in March of 1990. Not long after her death, John retired from farming and moved back to Sheridan, WY, and remained there for over 10 years.
He designed and built a log home at the base of the Big Horn Mountains. Then he married Jackie Skar of Sheridan.
Next John moved to Hayesville, NC, to be close to his dad's family roots. He built a home in the mountains there and designed his own trout pond. He really enjoyed the people and made many lasting friendships during his eight to nine years there. At the age of 85, John moved back to Nebraska to be closer to his children.
Throughout his life, John enjoyed ranching and farming and had a deep love for the outdoors. His hobbies were hunting and fishing. He was an excellent fly fisherman since he grew up doing that in the Big Horn Mountains. John was talented in woodworking, designing and building things. John also had a mechanical mind and could fix almost anything. John was a 50+ year member of the Masonic Lodge in Norton, KS, and a member at Hayesville, NC, and O'Neill. John was also a 50+ year member of American Legion Post 93 in O'Neill.
John is survived by one daughter Sheryl “Sherry” (Tony) Everett of Elkhorn; one son Perry (Jeanne) Kitchens of Bennington; five grandchildren Steve (Jenn) Everett of Elkhorn, Jill (Matt) Perlinger of Omaha, Rita (Kurt) Bohaboj of Bennington, Scott (Celia) Everett of Fayetteville, NC and Beth (Brett) Badalucco of Elkhorn; 12 great-grandchildren; one sister Lois (Kitchens) Hoover of Holdrege, formerly of Montana; two nieces; and two nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, first wife Helen and second wife Jackie.
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