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Lyle Ham - January 26, 2010


Lyle Rodney Ham, 77, was born Dec. 12, 1932 on a cold, -24 degree morning at home in Saronville, Neb. to Verner and Faye Ham. Fortunately, Verner’s 1928 handcrank Chevrolet started that morning, allowing him to reach the telephone operator to notify the doctor. Lyle spent those first few days in a bassinet on top of the stove. Lyle died Jan. 26, 2010 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.

Lyle spent his formative years working on the farm and attending school until the middle of his sophomore year when he and his family moved to Haxtun, where he met and married the love of his life, Mary Darlene Potter.

For the next 60 years, Lyle and Darlene dedicated their lives towards raising their family and helping maintain the community they loved. Lyle was a charter member of the Lions Club and was a member of the Haxtun School Board from 1960-1964. Lyle was both a farmer and rancher; he farmed out of necessity, but his true love was ranching.

Lyle spent the greater part of his life thinking and caring for others. In particular, he saw to it that his children were able to pursue and obtain their dreams, and in his last few years had begun to do the same for his grandchildren.

His children remember him as being someone who always thought three steps ahead so he could help them prepare. They remember him for having the ability to paint a fence, change oil in a vehicle and pack a wheel bearing and not get a drop of anything on him. All he had to do was wash his hands and move on to wherever he was needed most. He had the unerring ability to analyze virtually anything and then know what had to be done and who needed help doing it. Lyle was known as an honest individual you could count on. He was a good and decent man.

Lyle was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Donna Byrkit; and brothers-in-law, Erv Byrkit and Harold Firme.

Surviving family include his wife, Darlene; sons, Rod and his wife Patti and Tony and his wife Lucy; daughter, Joni Brown; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, Marshall and Macie Davis; siblings, Keith Ham and his wife June, Geraldine Firme, Stanley Ham and his wife Connie and Winston Ham and his wife MaryAnn; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Lyle’s funeral service was held Jan. 30 at the Haxtun Community Center, with interment following in Haxtun Cemetery. Pastor Keith Hudiburgh of Haxtun United Methodist Church and Rev. William Jungmann of Christ the King Catholic Church in Haxtun conducted the service. Pallbearers were the six grandchildren: Marcie Ham Davis, Tracy Ham, Kate Ham Townley, Cody Ham, Kelsey Ham and Nikolas Brown.   

Memorials can be sent to Haxtun Volunteer Fire Department or Haxtun Hospital Foundation. Gerk Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.