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Erma Willenberg, 95

July 26, 2012

B. Erma (Estes) Willenberg was born March 11,1917 near Dunning, to Elmer and Loretta (Rice) Estes and passed away July 19, 2012, at the age of 95 years, 4 months, and 1 days.
ln 1921 Erma's family moved to the Gates community and then in 1923 they moved to the Lillian community. Erma attended school at Lillian and Gates, graduating from Gates High School in 1935.
July 16, 1936, she was united in marriage to Fred B. Willenberg in Broken Bow. Following their marriage they spent a short time working their way to Idaho before returning to reside near Sargent. There, two of their children were born; Mary Anne and Paul Roger.
In the spring of 1944, the family moved to the Turner Valley community north of Callaway on the Broken Bow Callaway Road. During the years on the farm, Erma kept busy with the normal "farm wife" duties and caring for her family. While on the farm their third child, Bruce Fredrick, was born in 1950.
Erma was active in Extension Club, and 4-H, as well as taking part in the Turner Valley community activities. They lived on the farm until the fall of 1956, at which time they moved into Broken Bow.
The move to Broken Bow brought many changes to her life. During this time Erma worked at Holcomb Drug Store and Dillard Holmes lnsurance Agency.
ln 1984, Fred and Erma purchased their current home and land on North 5th Ave. After many weeks of planning and building and rebuilding, their "new" home in town became their "dream home." lt was the perfect fit; Erma could be in town, while Fred could walk out to the barn and be on the farm.
After retiring, Erma began making quilts for many family members and friends.
She taught Sunday School and helped with many other church activities.
When her husband Fred passed away in 1991, Erma remained in their home. She enjoyed watching football, especially the Cornhuskers, baseball and basketball. She spent many hours on the phone with her brother Bill, discussing the games.
She continued to make quilts. She also enjoyed visits with the neighborhood children and made great Halloween snacks for all who came knocking at her door.
ln December 2011, she moved to the Custer Care Center. She quickly became part of the family there.
She passed away quietly Thursday morning, July 19, 2012, as she was completing her "morning routine".
Erma is survived by daughter, Mary Anne Vik of Noble, Okla.; sons, Paul Roger and wife Donna of Oshkosh, Bruce Fredrick and wife Sharlene of Noble, Okla.; brother, Charles "Bill" Estes of Lillian community; sister-in-law, Pearl Estes of Cheyenne Wyo; four grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
She was proceeded in death by her husband, Fred; her parents, Elmer and Loretta Rice Estes; brothers, Leslie Earnest "Pete" and Robert Lee Estes; and sister-in-law, Margie Wells Estes.

Published in Custer County Chief, July 26, 2012

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