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Keith Schneller - March 30, 2014


Keith Ralph Schneller, 75, died Sunday evening, March 30, 2014, at the Castle Rock Care Center, following a long bout with leukemia. He was born and raised on a farm near Saronville, Neb., on Jan. 9, 1939, the son of Leonard and Esther Schneller, and happily terrorized animals and other kids living in the area.

He was always a bit on the wild side and had many stories about adventures related to growing up in the countryside, going to a single-room schoolhouse and finally graduating from high school in Sutton, Neb. He and his older brother Carl had a great time harassing any boys who ever tried dating their little sister Nancy.

After graduating from high school in 1956, Keith and his brother Carl took over Leonard’s land leveling business. Keith married his high school sweetheart, Patricia Patterson, in 1957. Keith and Pat’s first son, Keith, was born in Hastings, Neb., in 1961. Keith and Carl’s land leveling business took them to McCook, Neb., where Mark was born in 1963. Later they moved to Lamar, where Bryan was born in 1966.

After that, they moved to Holyoke, where they started farming. Keith and his brother were entrepreneurs and very aggressive land developers. They bought dryland farms in northeast Colorado/southwest Nebraska, leveling them, drilling their own irrigation wells and farming sugar beets, corn and dry beans. Keith and Pat’s last son, Matthew, was born in Holyoke in 1977.

Keith loved working on machinery and trying new things. He was a devout Christian, and he loved to discuss and share his faith with everyone. He was a hard worker and had a great sense of humor. He was a very generous man and went out of his way to help strangers less fortunate than him. He will be sorely missed by loving family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Leonard, and mother, Esther.

He is survived by his former wife, Patricia Schneller; brothers, Carl and Larry; sister, Nancy; sons, Keith Davis, Mark Allen, Bryan Lee and Matthew Joseph, and their wives, Julie, Mary Ann, Deborah and Tini; seven grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; very dear and special friends, Dorothy Hubbard and Donna Schuler; and many, many friends.

The funeral service was held April 4 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Venango, Neb. Interment was at Pleasant Valley Cemetery in rural Holyoke.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions in the name of Keith R. Schnel­ler to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 322 Pennsylvania Ave., Venango, NE 69168.

Gerk Funeral Home was entrusted with the arrangements.