Merna Jane Schick Elson

November 13, 1923 ~ May 24, 2017

Merna Jane Schick Elson was born November 13, 1923 in Lincoln County Nebraska to Chris and Jennie Lincoln Schick. She was the youngest of five children. She died May 24, 2017 at Linden Court Nursing Home in North Platte, NE. She was 93 years, 6 months and 12 days young. Merna and her family lived next to Chris’ widowed mother Christiana Schick in the Fox Creek community north of Curtis, NE. Chris farmed with his mom. Merna’s mom Jennie went to Christiana’s home every day to help her care for her invalid daughter Emma. Merna loved her tiny stern German grandmother. Christiania loved her little black haired granddaughter too. Merna followed her brothers to Fox Creek School every day. Her parents finally let her start school at age four. Wild strawberries were plentiful along Fox Creek. The berries started a lifelong love affair for Merna. Merna graduated at age 16 from the Nebraska School of Agriculture. She was a marching cadet for the Aggies. She was an honor roll student. She had taken normal training in high school. She started teaching in a Stockville NE country school. She taught there four years. Merna said she loved teaching but she had some “pretty rowdy boys, but they were good kids.” She taught two years at the Mesa school north of Curtis. As a child during the Depression in the 1930s, Merna had 850 dollars saved when she quit teaching to marry Tom Elson August 11, 1946. Merna’s faith journey began by observing her maternal grandparents John and Mary Lincoln of North Platte, NE pray at meals and at bedtime. Chris and Jennie belonged to the Pleasant Home Church north of Curtis. They didn’t baptize their children as babies. Merna joined the Pleasant Home Church in 1942. She transferred her membership after her marriage to the Curtis Methodist Church. At the time of her death, she had been a church member for 75 years. She taught Sunday and bible school. She was active in Methodist women. She cooked for pot luck and funeral dinners. She wrote greeting cards and letters to family and friends to let them know that she cared about them. Tom and Merna began married life in a farmhouse north of Curtis on property known as the school section. Merna was a dedicated hardworking farm ranch wife and the mother of four children Beth, Dale, Richard and Eldon. She cooked, cleaned, gardened and raised chickens. Tom and Merna opened Farmers Oil in 1976. They sold gas. Tom hauled fuel to farms and ranches. They had a Laundromat and a tire shop. Eldon said gas was 53 cents a gallon in 1976. Merna ran Farmers Oil for one more year after Tom died in 1997. Merna was a 50 year member of the Busy Homemakers Extension club. She was a 4-H leader for the Fox Creek 4-H Club. She was a lifelong Husker fan. She loved to cook and entertain for family and friends. Family events were recorded and published in the local paper. Merna was proud of the fact that she was a two time breast cancer survivor. The most important thing in Merna’s life was the Lord Jesus Christ and her family. She had a kindness about her that came with a gentle heart. She was a wonderful Mom. Merna was the kind of Mom that lifted you up when you couldn’t fly. She thought of others before herself. Her last words to her family were “I love you”. Merna is survived by children Beth (Bob) Miller Pawnee City, NE, daughter-in-law Lorinda Elson Curtis, NE, son Richard Elson Curtis, NE, and son Eldon (Sue) Curtis, NE. Eight grandchildren Jennifer Miller Edgerton, KS, Amanda Miller Lawrence, KS, Anita Blum (Jason) Henderson, NE, Dr. Jody Elson, Wichita, KS, Lisa Elson, Denver, CO, Lindsey Elson Omaha, NE, Cassidy Elson, Nebraska City, NE, Rob (Adessa) Elson, Nebraska City, NE. Five step grandchildren Burt Davis (Denisa) North Platte, NE, Cindy (Jason) Krupicka Curtis, NE, Becky Gray Curtis, NE, Daniel (Shelly) Davis Beatrice. NE, Matt (Lee) Davis Curtis, NE. Merna has five great grandchildren and eight step great grandchildren. Sister-in-laws Dorothy Schick Custer, SD, Jean Elson North Platte, NE and Wilma Wolff Blair, NE. One cousin Marylin Hansen North Platte, NE. Also many nieces, nephews cousins and friends who loved Merna. Also one very special cousin-in-law Joan Wetzel of Corvallis, OR. She was preceded in death by her parents Chris and Jennie Schick, her husband Tom Elson, son Dale Elson, grandson Travis Miller, brother-in-laws George Elson, Earl Elson, Fritz Wolff, brothers and sister-in-laws Ward Schick, Warren Schick (Irene), John Schick (Marian), and Bob Schick(Delores). Visitation will be at the Blasé-Wetzel-Strauser Memorial Chapel Curtis, NE Friday June 2, 2017, 1:00-8 p.m. with the family present from 4:00-6:00m pm. Services will be held at the First United Methodist Church 402 Center, Curtis, NE, Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 11:00 am with Pastor Emmanuel Afful officiating, Internment is in the Curtis Cemetery RD 391 Curtis, NE 69025. Memorials may be given to the Curtis Methodist Church, 402 Center, Curtis, NE 69025, or to the Great Plains Health Care Foundation for the maternal simulator project, PO Box 1167, North Platte, NE 69103.

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