Ainsworth Star Journal

Dortha Gilliland was born to Ethel and Robert Gilliland on November 21, 1915 in Johnstown, NE. She had three sisters and four brothers. Her parents were sharecroppers and moved around a lot. This was just before the Depression and Dust Bowl, and Dortha said times were hard and making a living was a struggle. Her first teacher was Mr. Harvey Mortor in a rural school. She remembered him wearing dark serge suits and how shiny the seat of his pants got to be. Dortha passed the state examinations as a seventh grader, and because they lived so far from a high school, she attended Moon Lake School in Cherry County as a freshman. When she was a sophomore she went to Ainsworth High School and remarked she had never been in such a big building with so many rooms and kids. Dortha started taking normal training in her junior year and graduated from Ainsworth in 1933 and began teaching freshmen at the age of 17. She was an aide to Mrs. Pearl Wilson who became her mentor and influenced her to transfer to teach second grade. It was while she was teaching that she took classes at Chadron State College, getting her degree in 1944. After the passing of her parents, Dortha moved to Pinedale where she continued teaching second grade. Dortha retired in 1974 after teaching for 40 years - all in Ainsworth and Pinedale, WY. Dortha married Woodrow Nelson on November 26, 1974. He passed away in 1993, and she sold her home and moved into Sublette Center where she lived the rest of her life. She celebrated her 100th birthday on November 21, 2015 and passed away May 4, 2016. Dortha was a kind, quiet person, and friends at the nursing home called her independent and sometimes feisty. She helped shape many young lives and pulled many ears. Dortha was preceded in death by her sibblings, Herman Gilliland, Corbin Gilliland, Ralph Gilliland, Wilbur Gilliland, Marie Shanley, Vida (Gilliland) Wade and Leona (Gilliland) Hershiser. She is survived locally by nieces and nephews: Carole and Mike Witt of Valentine, NE, Jeanne and Ken Smith of Ainsworth, NE, Frieda Scholtes of Ainsworth, NE, Glenda Gilliland of Long Pine, NE, Carolyn and Dallas Krausch of Rapid City, SD, and Barbara and Delbert Fullerton of Gothenburg.

Funeral services for Paul Vaughn were held on Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at the St. John Lutheran Church in Gregory with Pastor Clark Gies officiating. Music was provided by Geoff Smith, accompanied by Leanne Sinclair, pianist. Diane Boska, Carla Schmitz and Jessica Baker Jones were in charge of registration. Flower attendants were Valorie Lipscomb, Sonya Fernau, Sheila Taylor, LaRae Karnes and Patti Rust. Casket bearers were Justin Keegan, Paul Vanden Bosch, Wayne Bachmann, Roger Wonnenberg, Stan Waterbury, Marvin Gies and Bryan Nelson. Honorary casket bearers were Gary Hoffman, Jim Pochop, John Smith, Christina Nelson, Paul’s church family and all his insurance policy holders, Paul’s nieces and nephews: Mary Ellwanger, Carol Buck, Bonnie Moody, Tim Vaughn, Dave Tech, Darla Peterson, Deb Bartling, Chauncey Keegan, Jay Keegan, Lavonne Smith, Lemars Manke, Fonda Knutson, Shelly Ryan, Shane Steele, AJ Jensen, Randy Baker and William Baker. Burial was in the IOOF Cemetery in Gregory. Kotrba-Smith Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. Paul Randall Vaughn was born on August 25, 1940 to Lyle and Cecil (Alexander) Vaughn on the family home south of Herrick, SD near the Ponca Creek. Many adventures were had growing up along the “crick” with siblings AdaMae, Sonny, Inez, Ray, Rosemary, and the twins, Sharon and Karon. Paul attended grade school at St. Charles, SD and graduated from Bonesteel High School in 1958. While in high school, he was very involved in sports including basketball, football, and track. Immediately upon graduation, he attended summer school at Springfield Southern Teachers College. That fall, just turning 18 years old, he began a 17 year teaching career in the surrounding area mainly in country schools. Some of his most memorable teaching years were spent in the Iona, Carlock, and Herrick area. During much of his teaching career, summers were spent hauling small square hay bales to make ends meet! On August 1, 1959, Paul along with his brothers were involved in a devastating automobile accident near Atkinson, NE. A month long hospital stay resulted, in which 14 days were spent unconscious with both jaws and his nose broken. The accident was something he spoke of often. Paul met the love of his life, Betty Manke, at a dance in Colome, SD. They were united in marriage on November 3, 1962 and to this union one daughter, Rhonda Lou was born. Paul was baptized and confirmed into the Lutheran faith. He was a member of the St. John Lutheran Church serving as elder, usher, and various other positions. He enjoyed Sunday morning Bible studies and fellowship. His church life was very important to him. Paul never met a stranger and enjoyed visiting and getting to know people. So in 1968, when he became a charter insurance agent with Continental General Insurance Agency, it was a perfect combination. Along with his wife Betty, Paul began the Vaughn Insurance Agency. He continued in this career until the time of his death. He built a reputation of customer service, and would try his best to ensure that his customer’s claims were met. He spent many hours on the phone negotiating with hospitals, clinics, his own insurance company, and even Medicare. During his successful career he was awarded for his accomplishments. He was particularly proud of achieving 781 weeks in the app a week club. Also notable was attaining membership in the top life insurance sales in 1991 and being named his company’s Top Health Individual Producer of the Year in 1993. In 1995, after years of saving and planning, Paul and Betty were able to build their dream home east of Gregory. Paul thoroughly loved his house, his yard, watching the trees grow, and sitting on his porch watching the traffic go by. Paul’s family could always count on him to lend a helping hand. When someone was sick, Paul was the first one to be there to give rides to doctor appointments or assist in anyway. He spent many years spending time with and caring for his mother-in-law Mary, while she was in the nursing home. Paul loved sharing a good story, playing a game of cribbage, dancing to a good old song, watching his corn and hay grow, playing a competitive game of pool, watering Betty’s flowers, spending time in his home, driving old white Cadillacs, telling stories about his 57 Ford, and enjoying anything his daughter Rhonda was involved in. Paul and Betty were known for their dazzling Christmas displays. He was an avid fan of the Gregory Polka Band where he loved to hear Rhonda’s saxophone. He was proud of his son-in-law Tom Waterbury and would jump at the opportunity to help him any chance he had. Paul was an extremely prompt person, and being on time meant being there early. Paul struggled with several health issues the last several years, but he continued to maintain his business. However, on Feb. 2, 2016, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Even though his body was weak, he chose to battle this horrible disease. He put up a brave fight, but lost his battle on May 16, 2016. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at the Burke Community Memorial Hospital at the age 75. Paul is survived by his wife of 53 years, Betty; his daughter, Rhonda and her husband Tom Waterbury of Gregory, SD; his sisters: Ada Mae Moody of Butte, NE; Rosemary (Lamone) Kerner of Burke, SD; Sharon Jensen of Fairfax, SD; brothers and sisters-in-law: Bev (Jim) Keegan of Gregory, SD; Sandy (Gene) Baker of O’Neill, NE; Larry Manke of Pierre, SD; Donnie Manke of Gregory, SD; DeAnne Vaughn of O’Neill, NE; and Clayton Steele of Burke, SD; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lyle and Cecil Vaughn, his mother and father-in-law, William and Mary Manke; siblings: Lyle Vaughn Jr. (Sonny), Inez Tech, Ray Vaughn, Karon Steele, and infant sister Mildred. In laws: Don Moody, Lorretta Vaughn, Darrell Tech, and Helmer Jensen. Paul was a loving husband, father, and brother always willing to help his family and friends. We will miss his stories and jokes. He will be truly missed.

A graveside service for Sharley Mae (Hight) Zoschke was held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, May 20, 2016 at the White River Cemetery with Pastor Craig Marshall presiding. Sharley was born May 17, 1932 to Clarence (Bud) and Ruth (Rhoades) Hight. The third child of six, she was raised six miles outside of White River. She attended White River Public School for the full length of her primary education. In eighth grade, Sharley contracted rhuematic fever which required a lengthy hospital stay and further bed rest at home. Sharley had her siblings bring her school work and books home so she could continue her studies. It was during this time that Sharley joined the American Legion Auxiliary and would remain a member for life. She went on to attend a year of secondary school at Brookings, after which she was employed at the ASC office in White River, which began Sharley’s lifelong career as an office manager. During this time Sharley met and married Harold Castle. They moved to Redwood Falls, MN and shortly after had Timothy, Terie and Wade. After many years and milestones, Sharley met and married Marvin Zoschke. They eventually moved to Harlingen, TX, where she began her work at Bonner and Bonner Law Offices. This would be Sharley’s life for the next forty years. Marvin passed away in 1989, but Sharley remained in Harlingen. Sharley remained close to her children, grandchildren and family in South Dakota despite the distance. Earlier this year Sharley was admitted to the hospital due to a sudden and unknown illness. She passed away on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2016. Sharley is survived by her three children: Timothy, Terie and Wade (Denise) Castle; her sister, Clarice (Leonard) Jansen, her brothers, Curtis Hight and Clifford Tenney (Iva) Hight; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and her many friends in Texas, South Dakota and Minnesota. She was preceeded in death by her parents, sister, Phyllis Novotny and brother, Cecil Hight. The family requests that those desiring to make donations do so in memorial to American Heart Association.

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