Ellen Olga Kleeb Hickman was born March 15, 1911, the third child but the first to be born in the frame house of Albert and Sylvie Haumont Kleeb on the French Table near Weissert. Ellen attended Elton School and Broken Bow High School, graduating in 1929.
Upon graduation, she was offered a job in the Custer County Register of Deeds office, where she worked for several years saving toward her goal to attend a business school. In the late 1930s, she moved to Chicago to attend Gregg’s Business School.
Typing was her forte, and was taught by Mr. Gregg. She represented the Gregg Business School in typing competitions because of her ability to type 120 words per minute accurately on a manual typewriter.
Upon graduation her first job was a secretary in a Chicago apartment complex. It was during this time she met her future husband. She married Edward John Burman July 20, 1940, in Chicago, where they made their home.
In 1945, they adopted a son, Jerry. After that Ellen changed jobs and worked for the Zenith Corporation’s hearing aid division.
On his way to pick Ellen up from work, Ed was killed in the Chicago tornado April 20, 1967. Ellen remained in Chicago until 1970, when the Kleeb family asked her to return to Broken Bow to take care of her father, Albert Kleeb.
Ellen and her father moved from the farm to Broken Bow, and she remained in Broken Bow until she married Bill Hickman in 1989, after which they moved to Morrill.
Ellen and Bill returned to Broken Bow and resided at Liberty Square in the Melham Medical Complex. Bill passed away in 2000. Ellen continued to reside in Liberty Square until 2006, when she moved to Independence Hall. She moved to Heritage Hall in 2010, where she passed away Dec. 11, 2010.
Ellen was an interesting and witty lady. She was always a Presbyterian. She loved to read, was an avid fan of the Chicago baseball teams, and told interesting stories of how she met Bob Hope, Al Capone’s sister and brother, and Pearl Bailey. She also told family stories that were always fun and interesting. She will be missed.
Ellen is survived by her son, Jerry Burman; stepson, Bill Hickman; granddaughter, Honey Lynn Burman; four great-grandchildren, Doran, Austin, Angel and Jeremiah; nieces and nephews, Edith Gorley, Pat (Roland) Hansen, Shirley (Butch) McGinn, Harvey (Julie) Kleeb, Jr., Al (Joann) Kleeb, Cheryl (Roie) Black, Linda Crist, Lynn (Dave) Nuss, and many more extended family members.
She was preceded in death by two husbands, Ed Burman and Bill Hickman; parents, Albert and Sylvie Kleeb; sisters, Lucille (Bill) McArthur and Ethel (Carlos) Schaper; brothers, Harvey (Jardis) Kleeb and Robert (Eileen) Kleeb; sister-in-law, Carol (Mike) Klingbeil, and brother-in-law, Chester (Evelyn) Hickman.