Ainsworth Star Journal

Bonnie Mae Howe Mehrens was born on November 21, 1929 in Valentine, NE to Emmett and Mable Green Howe. She passed away on September 28, 2014 at the Golden Living Center in Plattsmouth, NE. She was 84. Bonnie grew up in Valentine, attending the Valentine Public Schools and graduated from Valentine High School in 1948. In high school, Bonnie met, Pete Loland Mehrens. The two married on January 28, 1951. This union was blessed with four children. Bonnie worked at the Valentine Public Schools for many years. She enjoyed bowling, cooking and most important was always her family. Bonnie was a member of the Presbyterian Church in Valentine and also the VFW. She was preceded in death by her husband; one sister, Connie and one brother, Red. She is survived by her children, Mike of Valentine; Dave of Wyoming; Mary Jane Saitta of Omaha; and Patrick of LaVista. Also surviving is three brothers, Bill, Robert and Sonny. Memorial Service for Bonnie was held on Saturday, October 11, 2014 at the Presbyterian Church in Valentine. Rev. Karen Lynn Woo officiated at the 11:00 a.m. service. Inurnment followed at Mount Hope Cemetery in Valentine. Sandoz Chapel of the Pines was in charge of service arrangements.

Darrel was born on October 21, 1942 in Norfolk, NE. At age five, he was sent to the Nebraska Children’s Home Society in Omaha, NE where he lived until December 1948 when he was adopted by Wilbur and Marjorie Johnson, joining his younger sister Joyce at their family home in Valentine, NE. Darrel attended school graduating Valentine High School in 1961. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in 1965 from Hastings College in Nebraska, and attended the Pharmacy College at the University of Nebraska. Until retiring in 2004, he made his career in the administrative field, residing in Minneapolis, MN for six years before relocating to the San Francisco, CA area. At the time of his death, he was residing in Walnut Creek, CA. Darrel had a zest for life, loved being near his friends, being active in organizations that shared his interests, and being able to assist others when they were having difficult times. He considered himself a conservationist with interest in care of wildlife, animals, birds, parks, lands, and nature in general. He was an avid sports fan, particularly loving the Cornhuskers. He enjoyed travel having visited Hawaii, Australia, England, Canada, and many areas of the United States. His lifelong special interest was in the history and culture of the American Indian. In 2012, after 64 years, Darrel was reunited with surviving members of his birth family. They included brother, Robert Conklin of Torrance, CA; sister, Roberta Jochum (Larry) of Virginia Beach, VA; brother, David Hare (Carron) of Grapevine, TX; sister, Doritt Whitmore of Windsor, CA; and several nieces and nephews. Reunions were held in Texas in 2012 and Mississippi in 2013. Darrel passed away September 7, 2014, in Walnut Creek. He is mourned by his sister, Joyce Johnson of Windsor, CO; aunt, Muriel Hensley of Beloit, KS; cousins, Morris Johnson (Maureen) of Valentine, NE; Dorothy Sharp (Walter) of Omaha, NE; Bob Cox (Linda) of Superior, NE; Kathleen Masters (Roger) of Seeley Lake, MT; Ron Cox (Connie) of Kearney, NE; Marge Holle (Alan) of Deshler, NE; and Nancy Cousland (Craig) of Beloit, KS; siblings, nieces, and nephews from his birth family; special friends, Maria Maddry, and Ken Sears of California; and host of other friends and family. He was preceded in death by his parents, family members, and many friends. A Celebration of Life Service will be held October 18, 2014 in Benicia, CA. Ashes will be scatteredin Marin County, California.  Memorial gifts may be made to ARF (Animal Rescue Foundation) in Walnut Creek. 

Graveside services with Military Honors for Burton A. Vargason, age 93 of Bassett, will be held on Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. at the Bassett Memorial Park Cemetery. Burton Vargason passed away on Sunday, October 12, 2014 at the Rock County Hospital in Bassett, NE. Survivors include: wife, Lillian of Bassett; daughter, Shirley May (Clifford) Kepler of Bassett, NE; three grandchildren and seven greatgrandchildren; nieces, nephews and other family members. Visitations for Burton Vargason will be held on Wednesday, October 15th from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Hoch Funeral Home in Bassett. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family for future designation. Online condolences may be directed to the family at

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