It is with heavy heart that I announce the passing of my father, Elwood A. “Woody” Vogel on July 6, 2019 at the Mitchell Care Center in Mitchell, NE with family by his side.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, July 12, 2019 at the Salem Congregational Church in Scottsbluff, with Pastor Dale Brown officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Scottsbluff. Viewing will be Thursday, July 11, 2019 from 3 – 8 p.m. at Bridgman Funeral Home in Scottsbluff. To comply with Dad’s wishes, there will be no viewing at the church. The family respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Shriners or Salem Congregational Church. Online condolences may be made by visiting www.bridgmanfuneralhome.com.
Elwood was born February 25, 1932 in Bridgeport, Nebraska to Jacob and Millie (Deines) Vogel. He was baptized and confirmed in the Hope Congregational Church in Bayard, Nebraska. He received his early education in the Bridgeport and Minatare Schools. He married Bettie J. Relka on January 31, 1955 in Salem Congregational Church in Scottsbluff.
In 1950, he enlisted into the military and later that year received an honorary discharge. He worked for a brief period for Swift & Co and for his brother on the farm until November 1952 when he began his working career with Lockwood Graders in Gering, Nebraska. Dad’s brilliant and creative mind and inventor’s soul kept him with Lockwood for a period of forty-one years.
His employment with Lockwood took him throughout the United States and the countries of Libya, Africa, England, Iran, Spain, Germany, Holland, Australia and France supervising the installation of Lockwood potato, sugar beet and irrigation equipment. In addition to his employment with Lockwood, in 1978 he formed Western Truck Service in Gering, Nebraska, which he later sold. He retired from Lockwood in 1994, however, retirement just wasn’t for dad. He became employed with Smith Truck & Trailer for several years and then shop manager for L.B.E. Corporation for eight years after which he began employment with Aulick Industries for ten years, finally retiring in 2015.
Dad has been a member of Salem Congregational Church since 1953. He has served on the Board of Deacons for more than eleven years. He loved his church and church family and enjoyed doing handyman work wherever needed. He was a lifetime member of the Elks Lodge, a member of the American Legion Post #36 of Gering and a former member of the Eagles Lodge in Gering.
Elwood is survived by his daughter, Debra K. Brunner and fiancée, Ty Acton of 160085 Acton Lane, Mitchell, NE 69357; grandson, Kaleb M. Brunner of Mitchell; sisters, Nadine Schledewitz (Wilbert) of Gering, Jurene Turpin of Twin Falls, ID, Janice Henkel of Walnut Creek, CA, Sandra Jines of Mesa, AZ and Betty Duncan (Robert) of Bayard; sister-in-law, Helen Steinmark of Scottsbluff; brothers, Richard of Beatrice, Robert (Shirley) of Alliance and Howard (Shirley) of Gering; and many, many nieces and nephews.
Elwood was preceded in death by his parents, Jacob and Millie Vogel; wife, Bettie J. (Relka) Vogel of 60 years; grandson, Adam C. Schlaepfer; three sisters, Benita, Dorothy and Helen; four brothers, Edward, Leonard, Donald and Delbert; brothers-in-law, Elmer Eskam, Albert Becking, Bill Turpin, Shorty Jines, Harry Henkel, Robert Steinmark, Walter Relka, Ted Relka and Edward Strecker; sisters-in-law, Mary, Delores, Phyllis and Darline Vogel, Irene Strecker, Gloria Relka and JoAnn Relka.