If you overheard someone describing Clint VanderWey, you might also think they were talking about his son Jed.
You could find the father and son roaming the family farm. You might see them heading out, rods and reels in hand, for a fishing trip. Or you might find them tinkering in the toolshed, working on building projects and new inventions.
The north-central Nebraska father and his son were killed in a plane crash Sunday in South Dakota, just across the border from Nebraska’s Cherry County. Clint was piloting a 1946 Cessna 140 when the plane crashed. He and Jed were pronounced dead at the scene.
Clint, 39, ran the family farm north of Crookston, Nebraska, which is about 12 miles northwest of Valentine. He owned Lakeview Irrigation and L&V Innovations. Jed, 16, was a sophomore at Valentine High School.
Clint was hardworking and respected in the community, said Wayne Rundback, his father-in-law.
“You would be pretty hard-pressed to find anybody around that could say a bad word about Clint,” Rundback said.
Clint was passionate about farming and agriculture, something he passed along to his son. Jed often spent summers helping Rundback on his farm and helping grandparents Jack and Bonnie VanderWey on their farm near Valentine. He especially loved running farm equipment.
The father and son also shared a love of flying. Clint had been flying for nearly a decade, Rundback said. His interest most likely stemmed from his grandfather and his wife’s grandfather, who both were avid flyers.
Jed flew with his dad every chance he got, provided he didn’t have any sports practices, Rundback said. Jed was involved in wrestling and cross country.
According to Federal Aviation Administration records, Clint had a student pilot certificate.
Clint rarely missed one of Jed’s athletic events. He was a regular at daughter Shyla Stearns’ ballgames and track meets. And when Shyla went off to college, Clint checked in with her daily, Rundback said.
Clint was a family man and a dedicated husband to wife Jennifer, Rundback said.
Both Clint and Jed enjoyed learning about mechanics. When Rundback took his grandson to a fair, Jed had fun studying how the Ferris wheel worked. Clint also liked tinkering with machinery and was an inventor. He and Jed often built things on the family farm.
“Jed was the spitting image of his dad,” Rundback said.
A funeral for the two will be 2 p.m. Monday at United Methodist Church in Valentine. Interment will be in Valentine’s Mount Hope Cemetery.