Monday, March 18, 2013

William "Bill" Prellwitz

Thursday, March 21, 2013
6:00 PM until 8:00 PM
Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home
2801 SW Urish Road
Topeka, KS 66614

Friday, March 22, 2013
10:00 AM
Mother Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church
2014 NW 46th St
Topeka, KS 66618

Special Services:
Saturday, March 23, 2012: A second viewing will be from noon to 1 p.m. at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 807 F Street, Fairbury NE 68352. Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 1 p.m. at the Church. 

William C. “Bill” Prellwitz, 88, Topeka, passed away Sunday, March 17, 2013. He was one of ten children born to Julius and Mary Nutsch Prellwitz in Mahaska, Kansas on August 31, 1924. He graduated from Morrowville High School in 1943. Bill then entered the US Army in July of 1944 and rose to the rank of Sgt. and was assigned to the 232nd Infantry Regiment of the 42nd Rainbow Division. He was wounded at Wuerzburg and recovered at the 58th General Hospital in France. He then returned to his unit in Salzburg, Austria where he was part of a contingent responsible for guarding 7,000 to 8,000 war criminals. He was discharged in August of 1946. While serving his country in Germany he was awarded the Purple Heart, Combat Infantryman Badge, Bronze Star Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, and World War II Honorable Service Pin.

Bill married Orle Wells on August 17, 1946. She preceded him in death in January 1979. Bill farmed for a few years in Mahaska and Morrowville KS and then moved to Topeka in 1956, where he was then employed at Dupont for 27 years before retiring. He then went to work for Hayden Tower Service as shop foreman, retiring in 2009 at the age of 85. Bill was a founding member of Mother Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church and previously a member of St. Matthew Catholic Church in Topeka. He also held membership in the Knights of Columbus, Council #534, the Disabled Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion Post 400.

Bill is survived by three children, daughter, Joy of San Antonio; sons, Bob (Maggie) of Topeka and Mark (Cindy) of Topeka. He also leaves four grandchildren, Christy, Jason, PJ and Matt; five great-grandchildren, Mali, Maci, Maya, Kalen and Ryker; and seven brothers and sisters, Paul, Fred, LeRoy, Lucy, Marge, Dorothy and Pat. Preceding him in death were his parents, Julius and Mary, his brother, Len, and sister, Josephine, as well as his wife, Orle.

Viewing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home, 2801 SW Urish Rd, Topeka KS 66614, where a parish rosary will be prayed at 8 p.m.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Friday at Mother Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church, 2014 NW 46th Street, Topeka KS 66618.

Saturday, March 23, 2013, a second viewing will be from noon to 1 p.m. at St. Michael's Catholic Church, 807 F Street, Fairbury KS 68352. Mass of Christian Burial will then be celebrated at 1 p.m. at the Church. Interment will follow in St. Peter and Paul Cemetery, Morrowville KS.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Assoc. or to Mother Teresa of Calcutta Catholic Church, sent in care of the funeral home

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dean Elizabeth Pierce

Former Gibbon resident, 89

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Deane Elizabeth Pierce, 89, of Colorado Springs, formerly of Gibbon, Neb., died Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, at her home.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at O'Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral Home - Miller Godberson Chapel in Gibbon with the Rev. Matt Wolfe officiating. Burial will be at Fairbury (Neb.) Cemetery.

Visitat ion will be from 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the chapel in Gibbon.

She was born July 5, 1923, in Thompson, Neb., to Eddie and Salora (Church) Zierenberg.

On Jan. 20, 1946, she married V.J. "Johnny" Pierce. He preceded her in death.

Survivors include her son, Eddie Pierce and his wife, Jane, of Minden, Neb.; daughter, Jan Michalak and her husband, Chuck, of Colorado Springs; sister, Evelyn Priefert of Lincoln, Neb.; granddaughters, Nikki Podhaisky of Henderson, Nev., and Sarah Michalak of Boulder; grandson, Chuck Pierce of Seattle; great-granddaughters, Alicia Podhaisky of Honolulu and Erin Podhaisky of Rochester, N.Y.; nieces, Kathy Huff and Mary Dowell; and nephew, Tom Priefert.

She received her education at Fairbury High School. Following her graduation, Deane worked at a creamery in Fairbury at the start of World War II . She went on to work in accounting and later taught at a country school for one year.

She and her husband farmed near Reynolds, Neb., before moving in 1968 to Gibbon where they continued to farm.

Deane loved her friends, including Margaret Triplett of Gibbon. She was a longtime member of the Sunshine Club. Deane was an avid reader and loved to bake. She had a fondness for cats, but loved all animals. She will be missed by all.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her son, Dennis Pierce.

Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation.

Visi t to submit online condolences or personal reflections.
Published in Kearney Hub on November 16, 2012

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dennis V. Denny Pierce Obituary: View Dennis Pierce's Obituary by Elko Daily

Dennis V. (Denny) Pierce was born to V. John and Deane Pierce on September 30, 1948 in Fairbury, NE and was raised in Fairbury, Reynolds and Gibbon, NE. Denny lost his battle with cancer at his home in Spring Creek, NV on July 23, 2011, surrounded by his family and pets, as he wanted.
Services will be held Saturday, July 30, 2011, at Parkway Baptist Church, 836 Spring Valley Parkway, Spring Creek, NV at 1 p.m. Glen Munkres will officiate. Burns Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Denny was a pipefitter welder and proud member of the Pipefitters Union. He worked out of Local 798 (Muskogee, OK) for 22 years and Local 350 (Sparks, NV) for 23 years. Denny was an avid traveler and he went "where the work is." Denny's work took him to the Alaskan pipeline, Panama, Saudi Arabia, and almost every state in the U.S.
While working in North Dakota, he met and married Loralei (Forrest) Pierce on September 2, 1983. He and Lori continued traveling together "booming out" with the work. Denny was never a stranger for long. His love of life, and kind and generous nature, garnered friends wherever he went. Always a friend when needed, Denny was a friend "in deed." Although he was small in stature, his friends, co-workers and family alike will dearly miss this good man's big spirit.
He is survived by his beloved wife Loralei (Lori), dog Scruffy and cat Oliver; his mother Deane Pierce of Gibbon, NE; brother Eddy (Jane) Pierce of Minden, NE and sister Jan (Chuck) of Colorado Springs, CO. Denny's surviving in-laws consider themselves brothers and sister of the heart: Julie (Allen) Campbell of Spring Creek, NV; Tim (Kathy) Forrest, Koko (James) Karlin and Mike (Annetta) Forrest, of all of Bismarck/Mandan, ND. Denny was considered a much loved brother rather than in-law. He is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his father Venus John Pierce.
Published in Elko Daily from July 27 to September 5, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011


In honor of Mother's Day I'm going to share a little poem with you that I wrote for my mother back in 1991 when I was SUSAN BLACK.
Peggy Joan Nutsch

My Mother  

When one thinks of Mother and what the word means they
seldom realize all the love that it brings.
In a child's eyes, only mother could mend
all the broken toys, shattered dreams
and wounded hearts as a friend.
With kindness and love, and arms soft and warm
she'd wrap up my troubles and keep me from harm.
Now I am a mother, and I understand,
all the weight that she carried with nothing to gain.
She took all our problems upon her
to help ease our pain,
the cooking, the cleaning,
the laundry in vain.
The frustration she dealt with when kids did raise cain.
She smiled and she sighed and she screamed now and then.
Yet in spite of it all she barely complained.
This child never sees the humanness of her mother,
no weakness nor fault when she's about to her knees,
but only the love of a hero,
she gave with her heart,
that's all I remember right from the start!

I love ya momma! Happy Mother's Day!

by Susan Black  1991

Monday, March 14, 2011

Clifford Wade Pierce

Venus John and Clifford William Pierce
about 1926

Clifford W. Pierce

On your Own Clifford Pierce by Marie Presnell

You are on your own dear little man
and you know right from wrong:
Quite some time back your tones began
To change from high to strong.
Be guided well while on your won,
Increase the wisdom you have shown.

An honest man receives "the breaks"
That cheaters cry about:
And in temptations Neer forsakes
His mother's faith devout.
Be guided well while on your won,
Increase discreation you have known.

Dear little lad, in deed and word,
Remember well and long--
"Tis easy to go with the herd"
It urges you to "come along".
Be guided well while on your own,
If you would profit when you're grown.

"Protect your honor and your name,"
You mother's mother said.
She wished for you no blot of shame,
And for good morals pled;
Be guided well while on your own,
That heritage do not disown.

Grandmother Blum's exact words:
"Whatever you do, preserve and protect your name and honor."

Marie Presnell

This woman started a scrap book for Clifford to keep track of all of his achievements for his mother, Marie Blum. At the time of Cliffords death the book was handed down to his brother Cecil and then to me, and one can see from looking at this scrap book that Clifford had many accomplishments to be proud of.

Clifford also served during WWII.  Of what he did while we was in the service, I do not know. It has been said that he fought in the worst part of the war, and that the demons followed him throughout his life. After the war, Cliff returned to the home of his parents, in Belvedere, Nebraska.  His father owned a big building there and Clifford turned it into a restuarant, and he also ran the feed store.  This was left to him by his father after he died.  Clifford sold the store, and before it was paid for, a year later, a tornado went through the town and flattened it.

Clifford married a beautiful young lady by the name of Barbra Dowe.  They never had any children, and after many years of struggling to keep their marriage together, they were divorced.

Cliff took up horse training and was well known and thought of by many horse breeders.  I remember as a child going to Omaha, and Uncle Cliff taking us to the barns and letting us ride around the barns on the horses, and showing us how they were cared for and prepped for the races.  He took a lot of pride in his neices and nephews, and took every opportunity to show them off.

After Grandma Pierce's funeral, my sister and I rode with Cliff from the church in Omaha to the cemetry in Fairbury.  He occupied us on this trip by telling us stories about my father when he was young.  He had a special way of keeping your attention when he told a story.  He would often pause between sentences and you would have to wait patiently for him to begin again.  We were never sure if he was finished or not.

Marie and Barbara Cliff's mother and wife
In my observation, Cliff, was an easy going, good natured kind of guy.  He was well liked by most of those who knew him, and I think in some ways he was a  lonely man.  He lived a rather wild and carefree lifestyle, which played a tole on his physical condition, and caused him an early death.  Cliff died of a stroke, coupled with heart problems, in August of 1985, one year after the death of his mother while training a horse. He never had any children.

He is buried in Fairbury, Nebraska, with his father and mother, and brother Venus John.

Susan Holmes

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


 Cecil and Peggy NUTSCH Pierce. 

Cecil Lon Pierce
Cecil Lon Pierce was born in the cold month of January on the 24th in the year of 1928 in Beatrice, Nebraska.  He was raised and lived the life of a farmers son, moving from place to place, as his father did a lot of land trading.  During WWII Cecil remained on the farm and took care of things while his two older brothers served in the Army.  Cecil was in the National Reserves, and did his part by keeping the farm in rural Reynolds, Nebraska running smoothly for his parents.  His father died in 1948 and Cecil took care of things for his mother.

Peggy Pierce
Charline Lynnette
He met Peggy Nutsch from Haddam, Kansas at a dance, and after Peggy graduated from high school, they were married on the 24th of May, 1953 at the Four Square Church in Fairbury, Nebraska. She was barely 16 years old. They moved in with his mother for the first few months of their marriage, but that didn't work out very well, so they soon found a place of their own. The couple went to Blair, Nebraska where Cecil had found work for awhile before they moved to a farm that Cecil bought with money he inherited from his father near Hubbell, Nebraska, and farmed it for about five years.  He was a very good sheep shearer, self taught. He  traveled all over the mid-west, and was very well known for his talent.  In 1956, the farm crops looked very good, but nature took it's toll and all of the crop was lost due to hail and grasshoppers.  Cecil and Peggy, at this time had two children, Charline Lynnette born 2-22-1954 and Jeffery Daniel born 6-19-1955, and were expecting their third child when they packed up that fall and traveled to Oregon where Peggy's brother Jack was working. The Land of Milk and Honey!  Cecil obtained work as a welders helper on the ships in Portland, and they lived in an apartment in St. Helens.  In December, the 8th day, the sun was shining brightly when Peggy gave birth to their third child around noon.  When she left the hospital that evening with their new baby daughter, Susan Annette, it was snowing big white flakes. The hospital bill was 98 dollars and it had to be paid before they left.  Joke was that they left Oregon without ever paying the doctor bill for the birth so I was to be on alert for repossession.  Cecil worked out the winter in Oregon, and they then returned to the farm in the spring of 1957 in time for planting.   On  December 13, 1958 a second son was born and was named Henry David.  Cecil then bought a farm in the Narka, Kansas area.  They called it the county line farm as it was right on the Republic/Washington Co. lines.  Here he and Peggy raised livestock, had an orchard, and acres of crops.  Many times he would go to Haddam and work partime in the elevator, and still continued to shear sheep while Peggy was left alone with the farm work and childern to tend. She loved the country life having grown up a farm girl herself.  While on the farm in Narka, Cecil and Peggy had two more children, Angelia Gail, born August 24, 1960 and Clifford Martin, born November 28, 1962.
Jeffery Daniel

Susan and Henry Pierce
Cecil and Peggy had a farm auction, sold the farm and moved to Byron, Nebraska in 1965 where Cecil leased a tavern and ran it for a couple of year.  Often during this time Peggy would work the tavern during the day and Cecil would shear sheep or work various other jobs.  A month after their move to Byron, Andrea Rose was born on February 15, 1965.  Cecil bought an empty building on main street in Byron and moved the tavern to that building. He received a liquor license and built a big dance floor and beer garden and had dances about once a month.  Still while living in Byron, Cecil and Peggy received their last two children, Matthew Lon born 6-15-1966 and Beth Marie born April 26, 1968.

Angelia and Clifford
In 1971 Cecil and Peggy bought a motel in Mankato, Kansas and they moved the family that fall to the apartment attached to the motel.  Their oldest daughter Charline, married Wayne "Dink" Snyder that year on July 21 in Hebron, Nebraska. He was the son of Kenneth and Maxine HOLMES Snyder of Superior Nebraska. This business venture turned out to be a bad investment and after a long court battle, they bought a large home in Mankato and Cecil went to work at the Dubuque Packing plant until he opened up the first private club in Jewell County, Kansas.  He did very well here, and after three years, sold the club, had an auction where they sold most of their belongings and moved to Missouri. By this time only the three younger children remained at home.

Andrea, Matthew, Beth
Jeff had started his own mechanic business in Mankato after he graduated high school in 1974, and Susan married  Jack Alcorn on May 24, 1974 one week after her high school graduation. Henry graduated high school in 1976 and went to Beloit Vo Tech before he married Kimberly Elkins, May 25, 1980.  Angelia graduated high school in 1978 and married Roger Reiter on May 28. Clifford moved to Gordon, Nebraska where he worked putting up irrigation sprinklers.

Cecil didn't like it in Missouri and was not happy about anything while they were there. Their youngest son Matt didn't like Missouri either and moved back to Mankato where he lived with his older brother Jeff until he was out of high school and able to support himself.    Cecil did a little shearing and worked a couple of places, but just was never satisfied.  Peggy however, loved it there and she was able to work at her crafts and have her animals and the peace and quiet of the country.  Cecil put the property on the market and it sold right away.  He and Peggy returned to the Narka, Kansas area and they opened a restaurant/grocery store that they ran for several years.  They left Missouri with only their youngest child remaining.  Andrea chose to stay in Missouri and finish her last year of high school and then married Doug Wilson of Aurora.  Cecil and Peggy operated the store and for a time the gas station.  He served on the city council and even took his turn at being mayor.

Upon reaching the age of retirement, Cecil closed the store, and worked part time in the nursing home in Belleville, Kansas.  He helped out at the elevator in town during the harvest, and mowed the city grass, and did other odd jobs until he just couldn't do anything anymore. He raised dogs for awhile then phased that out. Peggy however, continued on with dog raising and she quilts and bakes and Cecil keeps her busy taking care of him.  He still drives around town to see what's happening and checks up on the boys that are still able to work to make sure they do it right.

They are the grand parents of thirty and great grandparents of twenty- one and the numbers are still growing.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marie Marries Venus Vern Pierce


Venus Pierce

Venus Vern Pierce                                                                      1882-1948

This is a Letter Written to Marie by Susan Pierce (myself) probably around 1968.

Dear Grandma,

Thank you for the information. Since you gave my most of my information I thought you might like to have a copy of my biography. Dad read it and seem to think it was pretty good. Here it is:

Venus Vern Pierce

(Grandpa Pierce) 1884-1948

Venus was born to the proud parents of Alice Roena Johnson Pierce and John Franklin Pierce, on December 29, 1884 in Rock Port, Missouri.

Venus had three brothers, Zane, Reno, and Charlie, and three sisters, Lottie, Sallie and Geneva.

Venus and son Venus JR.

Venus started farming on his own very young. He borrowed money and bought a pair of mules and a few pieces of walking machinery. He worked hard and did well and things grew.

Venus Vern Pierce

In Nebraska he bought a home and worked hard to keep it. One night when he came in from town he was surprised to find his farm on fire. This fire burned everything he had. So again from scratch Venus started over. He went to Pittsburg, Pennsylavinia, where he got a job at the Pittsburg Glass Co. as a superintendent over a large group of men. He worked hard here for several years.

In 1912 Venus inherited 2,500 dollars from his parents after they passed away. With this money he moved to Ashland, Nebraska, bought a farm with 80 acres of land, south east of Ashland. He also bought his machinery and stock with this money.

Marie Blum

Venus Vern Pierce

September 22, 1915 Venus was married to a lovely lady, Marie Blum.

In 1917, Venus sold his land and moved to a Crab Orchard, Nebraska. Venus was a good man and also very ambitious.

He bought and sold land and places many times. Being the good business man he was he always made a good profit. He had three sons, and one daughter. Venus John, Clifford William, Cecil Lon, and Carol Marie.

At the time of his death Venus John and Clifford were married. John was married to Dean Zierenburg and Clifford married to Barbara Dowe.

Barbara Dowe and Clifford Pierce
Dean Zierenburg and Venus John Pierce

Venus died June 1948 age 64 years and 6 months. At the time of his death he owned 400 acres, a store, and a restaurant.

Carol Pierce and Paul McKenzie

Peggy Nutsch and Cecil Pierce

One year after his death his daughter Carol married Paul McKenzie and 3 years after his death his son Cecil married Peggy Nutsch. Venus left his land to his three sons and his daughter and the store and restaurant to Clifford, which was destroyed a year later in 1949 by a tornado. His wife Marie Pierce now lives in Murdock, Nebraska and is always glad to hear from her grandchildren who Venus never lived to see.

Venus Vern Pierce

Well, how do you like it? Maybe you don't, I don't know. We went to Belleville today. I got shoes for my graduation (eight grade). I get out of school in two days. Right now I'm babysitting for Mr. Yarberry, a teacher. I had another job but I had one already so I turned them down. I hate to do that but I couldn't babysit with both.

Today we went out to where dad was shearing. This guy had seven baby collie puppies. Mom said that maybe we could have one, because that guy said we could. Otherwise he would kill them and I hate to see someone be so mean to the cute little things.

Well, write again and thanks for the information

Lot's and lot's of love,
your grandaughter