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Sep 6, 2023 (0)
Lebanon, OR — Lloyd "Sunny" James Alderman, 98, died on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2023 at the Oregon Veterans Home in Lebanon, OR.
Funeral services were held on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023 at the Hoch Funeral Home in Ainsworth. Pastor Gary Graesser officiated. Musical selections were “Goodbye” by Kenny Rogers and “You're Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You” by Dean Martin.
Pallbearers were Robert Alderman, Zane Alderman, Zach Lockwood, Adam, Alderman, Bruce Rowley, and Dale White.
Honorary Pallbearers were James Alderman, Vance Alderman, Jonn Alderman, Brennan Alderman, Scott Rowley, Brandon Rowley, Vic Young and Bill Young Sr.
Burial was at the Newport Cemetery with military honors by the Newport and Bassett American Legion Posts.
Memorials have been established for the Newport Volunteer Fire Department in Sunny's name. He was a member of the fire department for many years. They may be mailed in care of Hoch Funeral Home, 1320 E. 4th St., Ainsworth NE 69210.
Lloyd was born on Jan. 3, 1925 in Newport to James Russell Alderman and Martha Elizabeth Brown.
Sunny was the grandson of Nebraska pioneers both on his paternal and maternal sides. The Alderman family of Virginia came to Nebraska Territory as some of its first settlers when their uncle Richard Brown,founded historic Brownville in 1854.
In 1890 the Alderman family moved to the fertile Sandhills in north central Nebraska. There the family founded a large hay shipping business. Sunny first began working with his father and uncles in the hay fields when he was seven years old. Later he delivered hay throughout Nebraska and its bordering states, and to contracts the family had with the U.S. Calvary in Ft. Robinson, Nebraska and Ft. Riley, Kansas.
Sunny's nickname came as a result of his big smile and happy nature as a child. His aunts called him “Sunshine” and it was later shortened to “Sunny” by his high school coach.
In 1943 Sunny quit Newport High School in his senior year to join the U.S. Army. He was a medic in the Medical Corp attached to the 1302 Engineers during WWII. In 2018 he was recognized for his service by a Journey of Heroes honor flight to Washington, D.C.
He married Laura May Hutcheson of Bassett on June 15, 1948 in Gering. Soon after their marriage, Sunny and Laura opened Alderman's Market in Newport. Later they moved to Long Pine and then to Chadron where Sunny was an engineer on the Chicago Northwestern Railroad. He was also concurrently a top-selling insurance agent for Bankers Life and State Farm Insurance companies.
In 1970 Sunny became a boilermaker for Combustion Engineering, an international company that developed power generating systems. This took the family to several states including Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, Kansas, North Dakota, Oregon and Montana. In the mid 1970's, Sunny and Laura also owned Alderman's Thriftway grocery store in Rifle, CO.
Sunny and Laura retired to Newport in 1983. However their retirement meant that they could now busy themselves with civic duties and found two more businesses, Alderman's Sales & Service of TV satellite dishes, and Sunny's Convenience Store & Truck Stop.
They became members of the Newport Action Group and were instrumental in obtaining two Nebraska Economic Development Grants for their small town.
Sunny served as Newport's mayor for 16 years, and Rock County Commissioner for eight years. He served both as mayor and county commissioner for those eight years, as he was elected mayor on a write-in vote. On the state level, Sunny was appointed to the Governor's Advisory Council. He was also a member of committees that developed the recreational Cowboy Trail across Nebraska and obtained federal National Scenic River status for Nebraska's Niobrara River.
In later life, Sunny said that the railroad was his favorite job of his many varied careers. He said, “I sometimes sit and wonder how I did it all!”
Throughout his 98 years Sunny lived up to his nickname. He was positive, optimistic, generous and good-natured. He never forgot a joke and never met a stranger. It was an endearing family joke that he once had a long conversation with a caller who mistakenly dialed the wrong number. At the Oregon VA Home, he would come out of his room every morning and shout, “Good Morning America!” before he sat down to work his daily crossword and Sudoku puzzles, or play cribbage, the game he loved the most.
He loved sports and as a younger man pitched baseball. He also loved to fish, especially deep-sea fishing, and regularly took his family to stay at the beach. He loved music, loved to sing and could do a very passable Dean Martin croon. His wife Laura always said that he was a good dancer and all the girls wanted to dance with him during the Big Band era when they grew up. Amazingly he danced until he was 97 years old at the Oregon VA Home dances.
Sunny always told his children “Love ya!” before he hung up the telephone. And he was so very loved in return. One of his life-long friends said Sunny was the most beloved person that he'd ever met.
Sunny is survived by his six children Jann (Bob) Reichenberg of Jefferson, OR, James Alderman of Albany, OR, Vange (Keith Jorgenson) Alderman of Seaside, OR, Vance Alderman of Lincoln, Jonn Alderman of North Platte, and Robert (Sheryl) Alderman of Lincoln; one daughter-in-law Jeanne Alderman of Fults, IL; 16 grandchildren Flyne (Billy) Janhunen of Tahoe Vista, CA, Zachary Lockwood of Albany, OR. Shyanne (Jared) Tullis of Cedar City, Utah, Zane Alderman of Hampton, GA, Shannon Sivongsa of Murray, Utah, Andrea Alderman of Hampton, GA, Sausha (Michael Plunkett) Alderman of Fults, IL, Chelsey (Tyler Cleland) Alderman of Red Bud, IL, Brennan (Vanessa Buskirk) Alderman of Fults, IL, Ashley Happold of Ainsworth, Adam Alderman and Bruce (Rebecca) Rowley, all of Lincoln, Kyra (Travis) Pierce of Billings, MT, Scott (Dawn) Rowley of Branson, MO, Brandon Rowley of Lincoln and Brooke (Brian Welzenbach) Alderman of Billings, MT; 26 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, his parents, his sister Evelyn Alderman Young and his son Chadd Alderman.
Online condolences may be left for the family at www.hochfuneralhome.com.
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