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Thane Leroy Darby

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Thane was born on February 13th, 1939 on the family farm North of Pleasanton.  He graduated from Pleasanton High in 1956  He enlisted in the Navy in August 1956 and served on the USS Platte until January 1960.  After he completed his service in the Navy, he worked for Hand Well Co. in Pleasanton, NE, Coffelt Sign Co. in Emporia, KS, and various real estate companies in Emporia, KS.  In 1975, Thane moved to Fort Collins, CO and purchased a maternity wear and uniform retailer-the Kangaroo’s Pouch.  He eventually moved the store to Emporia.  Thane continued his work selling medical uniforms traveling across the states of Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming.  After retiring he focused all of his energy on his true passion – horses.

Thane loved the mountains, spending many elk hunting seasons with his friends in Colorado and eventually sharing this love of hunting with his two sons, many nephews, and friends in the mountains of Wyoming.

Thane is survived by his children Karl Darby (Angie) of St Ignatius MT, Marla Covey (Doug) of Boise ID, Luke Darby (Jennifer) of Dacono CO, and Laura Berger (John) of Longmont CO, his 9 grandchildren, his sisters Sharon DeNeui (Doug) of Pleasanton NE and Linda Bauer of Kearney NE, the mothers of his children Carolynn Nellis and Marla Darby, and many nieces and nephews.  Thane was preceded in death by his parents Jim and Alma Darby, brothers-in-law Darrel Kohlscheen, and Dean Bauer.

Reception for family and friends to be held at St Mary’s Catholic Hall 120 W. Cedar, Pleasanton NE on Saturday, February 29th at 2:00pm, light refreshments to follow.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Thane’s memory to the Pleasanton Fire Department-Building Fund.  Mail to PO Box 127 Pleasanton NE. 68866

To leave a condolence, please use the form below.



Funeral Home assisting is Aspen Mortuary, 4822 Cleveland Avenue, Lincoln, NE 68504. To view an on-line obituary or email condolences please visit Aspen Mortuary’s website at www.aspenaftercare.com.

Kathryn “Kay” Davies (Pinkley)

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Kathryn “Kay” Davies (Pinkley), 67, passed away November 26, 2019, the end of her unwavering battle with cancer.

Kay was born to Dale and Darleen Davies on June 16, 1952 in Iowa City, Iowa, where her father had a residency in radiology. The family, including older brother Mark, then moved to Fremont, Nebraska, where Kay grew up. She graduated from Fremont High School in 1970.

Kay attended Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln and had a 43-year state-government career in health and human services. Kay worked in several capacities over the years—from the compilation of public health statistics to technical review of proposed regulations for major state programs—she accomplished much with her conscientious approach, ability to work with people, and uncanny ability to spot typos with a quick glance at a page.

Kay is survived by her partner, Martha Carter; in-laws Ann Billesbach, Steve and Shala Carter (and sons Joseph and Joshua Carter), Dave Billesbach and Jennifer Bauman, niece Stacey Miller; brother Mark (Mardy) Davies; and dear friends including April Seaman, Judith Maushart, Neal Mersmann, Julie Nichols, Bryn Gardner, and the late Donald Pinkley. She will also be remembered by many new friends at the Southeast Nebraska Cancer Center.

Celebration of Life Open House (appetizers and drinks), January 24, 2020, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., Green Gateau Reception Center, 1024 L St, Lincoln. Casual attire, including jeans, welcome.

Condolences may be left using the form below. Memorials may be made to the Heartland Cancer Foundation (https://www.heartlandcancerfoundation.org) or Hearts United for Animals (https://www.hua.org/).


Funeral Home assisting is Aspen Mortuary, 4822 Cleveland Avenue, Lincoln, NE 68504. To view an on-line obituary or email condolences please visit Aspen Mortuary’s website at www.aspenaftercare.com.

David Bengtson Downing

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October 31, 1929 – November 19, 2019

David Bengtson Downing, 90, passed peacefully Tuesday in memory care in Lincoln, surrounded by his kids. Practiced law in Superior, NE 1959-2014.

Downing was a trial lawyer.  He loved the courtroom and thrived in the adversarial climate.  He practiced civil and criminal law.  He defended clients as a court appointed attorney, including a few murder cases. He was a strong believer in the U.S. constitution, civil liberties, and the right to a fair trial.  He was paid whatever clients could afford, including in-kind payment of lawn mowing, baby-sitting, repairs, etc. He never gave less than his best to any client and judging from the remarks of those present at his retirement party, his best was among the best in the state.

Vicki Johnson, presiding district court judge, perhaps summed it up best when she noted that it was her fervent wish that every attorney who appeared before her exhibited the same decorum, dignity and knowledge of the law which Mr. Downing displayed when he was in the courtroom. Orville Coady, retired district court judge noted that under Downing’s dignified demeanor was a razor sharp mind and a steel sense of determination.

Downing was born in Lincoln but moved to Superior with his family in 1941.  His father Robert was an attorney who was chief counsel at the State banking office.  When a shift in political winds at the State level saw a change in administrations, he lost his position.  He was friendly with some Superior businessmen and listened to them when they suggested he relocate to the city to practice law.  He purchased the law practice of Frank Stubbs, who was retiring and hung out his figurative shingle.

David attended Superior High School and graduated with the Class of 1947.  He enrolled at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Met and fell head over heels for Nancy Louise Jensen of Fremont, who dropped out to put him through school. They married in 1951. Admitted to the UNL College of Law,  received his J.D. degree in 1953. He had been a member of the Reserve Officers Training Program at UNL and went on active duty with the United States Army.  He was commissioned as a second lieutenant.  He applied for and was accepted into the Judge Advocates General’s (JAG) corps.  Upon completion of his training at the University of Virginia, he was promoted to first lieutenant.  He served most of his time at the United States Army disciplinary barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.  He represented individuals on the defense and served as a prosecutor.  Upon his separation from the army in 1956, Downing moved to Denver where he passed the Colorado bar exam and was admitted to practice.  In 1959 he joined his father Robert H. in practice in Superior and established the Downing & Downing law firm.

Downing was the only attorney to serve as president of all three major legal organizations in Nebraska:  Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys, 1973-74; Nebraska State Bar Association, 1987-88; and Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorneys Association, 1993.  He was also an admiral in the Navy with the great State of Nebraska.  His one foray into seeking public office was unsuccessful when he was the democratic nominee for attorney general in 1964. Campaigning with incumbent democratic governor Frank Morrison on the coattails of LBJ, the last democrat to win the presidential vote in Nebraska, he was soundly defeated by the republican incumbent in 92 counties, but proudly won his home Nuckolls county.

He has served as a mentor and inspiration to generations of Nebraska attorneys.  He has been in partnership with Randall Alexander since 1981.  The Downing building is the former Lincoln Telephone and Telegraph building in Superior.

One of his proudest accomplishments did not take place in a court of law but rather in the fields near Broken Bow.  In 1971, then Governor JJ Exon invited Downing to be his guest at the Nebraska one box pheasant hunt.  The Nebraska team roster was full, but Exon, in a gesture of altruistic generosity, offered Downing to the Oklahoma team which was short a hunter.  Downing proceeded to lead the Oklahoma team to victory which earned him an honorary colonelcy in the Oklahoma Governor’s office.   Governor Exon quipped, “The Oklahoma victory was all arranged ahead of time for Oklahoma to win.  We even gave them a hunter par excellence in David Downing.  Hopefully, Oklahoma will be as kind to us when we see them on Thanksgiving Day.”  Of course, Nebraska went on to defeat Oklahoma in the game of the century the following week.
[Thanks to reporter Marty Pohlman and publisher Bill Blauvelt of The Superior Express for permission to borrow from their 2014 feature story.]

Preceded in death by wife Nancy (1929-1999)
Survivors: Children Dave Jr. (Candy), Brooke Downing (former husband John Lehman), Jeff (Diane), Lincoln; Tim (Pam), Yankton. Grandchildren Maggie Brokaw (Jeff), Bellevue; Kelsey Birchley (Karl) & great granddaughter Isla Mae; Spencer, Hudson & Gracie Downing, Lincoln; Knox Downing, Omaha; Hannah Carda (Tyler) & great grandson Beck, Yankton; Long-time companion and caregiver Roslyn Aden, Superior.

Celebration of Life on Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Church of Lincoln, 6300 A Street. Memorials to family for later designation. Condolences may be left using the form below.



Funeral Home assisting is Aspen Mortuary, 4822 Cleveland Avenue, Lincoln, NE 68504. To view an on-line obituary or email condolences please visit Aspen Mortuary’s website at www.aspenaftercare.com.

Raymond “Ray” L. Duffek

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Loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, great great grandfather and brother Raymond Lee Duffek, 88, of Lincoln, Nebraska died September 30, 2019. Born in Bee Nebraska on August 14, 1931. Son of Andrew and Millie Duffek. Married Marilyn Pernicek on June 14, 1986.

Survivors: wife, Marilyn (Pernicek) Duffek, son Al Pernicek, daughters Pam Turner, Becky Campbell and Ramona (William) Mitchell. And many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Celebration of life 10 am, Friday, October 4, 2019 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Patricks Catholic Church. 6111 Morril Ave. Lincoln Nebraska.  Rosary at 9:30 a.m. before Mass. Lunch following the services.

Donations to the family for future designation.  Checks can be made out to Marilyn and sent to Aspen Cremation Service, 4822 Cleveland Ave., Lincoln, NE 68504 if unable to come to the service.


Funeral Home assisting is Aspen Mortuary, 4822 Cleveland Avenue, Lincoln, NE 68504. To view an on-line obituary or email condolences please visit Aspen Mortuary’s website at www.aspenaftercare.com.

Robert “Bob” Elwood Dahl

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From Lincoln, Nebraska

Born on March 31, 1952.

Passed away on September 25, 2019.

Private service.



Funeral Home assisting is Aspen Mortuary, 4822 Cleveland Avenue, Lincoln, NE 68504. To view an on-line obituary or email condolences please visit Aspen Mortuary’s website at www.aspenaftercare.com.