Feb 10, 2020 4:31 PM

John Clarence Phifer (1946-2020)

Posted Feb 10, 2020 4:31 PM
John Phifer.JPG
John Phifer.JPG

John Clarence Phifer,  73, of North Platte, passed away Wednesday, February 5, 2020, at Bryan Health in Lincoln.

John was born May 8, 1946, to Clarence A. and Beulah Marie (Hopping) Phifer in North Platte. He grew up west of town and went to Platte Valley Grade School then Hershey High School, graduating in 1964. John attended McCook Junior College for two years before joining the U.S. Navy in October 1967.

The Navy schooled and trained John to be an aerographer's mate (meteorologist).  He was scientifically inclined, so for his sea duty he volunteered for Operation Deep Freeze, the Antarctic Support Activity which was attached to the National Science Foundation.  John wintered in Antarctica from '69 to '70, stationed at McMurdo Base, but flew to all the other bases on "the ice".

While on leave in the Spring of '71, John married Kathryn 'Kay' Becher in North Platte. They had two children, Travis and Angela, and later divorced.

Following his honorable discharge in August 1971, John returned to North Platte and hired on with the Union Pacific Railroad. He became a Switchman, then moved to Cheyenne, WY and worked as a Brakeman then as Conductor until about 2000.  John eventually returned to North Platte to be closer to his family and worked part-time at Burger King for many years.

He was a member of the First Christian Church.  He enjoyed working on and restoring vintage Thunderbirds and was a longtime member of the Rocky Mountain Thunderbird Club. John also enjoyed working on and riding his Triumph motorcycle, and was an HO gauge model railroader.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Beulah; ex-wife, Kathryn; and all his aunts and uncles. 

John is survived by his daughter, Angela Phifer, of Loveland, CO; son, Travis (Missy) Phifer, of Thornton, CO, and their two children, Makaela and Kyle Phifer; brothers, Tom (Mona) Phifer, and Ken (Patty) Phifer, all of North Platte; three nieces, a nephew and other family.

Visitation will be Thursday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Odean Colonial Chapel.  Funeral Service will be 11 a.m. on Friday, February 14, at Odean Colonial Chapel, then keeping with John's wishes, cremation will follow the service.  Inurnment with military honors will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday in Floral Lawns Memorial Gardens.  Memorials are suggested to the North Platte Animal Shelter or Fur the Love of Paws.  Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore is in charge of arrangements.

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Feb 10, 2020 4:31 PM
Arleen O. Young (1930-2020)
Arleen.jpg

Arleen O. Young, 89, of North Platte, died at the Sutherland Care Center on January 28, 2020.

Arleen was born April 6, 1930, to Albert Henry and Olive Violet (Nelson) Gass in Osseo, WI and grew up in Slayton, MN.  After graduating from Slayton High School in 1949, Arleen attended Northwestern Medical Technician College in Minneapolis then went to work for the Lutheran Hospital Society in Wyoming.

Arleen married, had a daughter, Pam, and lived in Arnold for 10 years.  She then moved to North Platte with her daughter and went to work as a Medical Technician for St. Mary's Hospital and later Memorial Hospital until retiring.

On July 31, 1972, Arleen married James Henry Young at Cheyenne and they made their home in North Platte.  Jim and Arlene owned and operated the Driftwood Manor from 1972-84 and also built the Lamp Lighter Inn at Lake Maloney which they operated for several years. They eventually sold the businesses and enjoyed their time together.

Arleen kept busy by volunteering and being active in various organizations.  She volunteered with R.S.V.P. and the Lincoln County Historical Museum; was a member of Sandhill Campers, Shrine Auxiliary, Eastern Star and V.F.W.  Auxiliary; was a member and Past President of American Legion Auxiliary; a charter member of Good Sam's Club; and a member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Arleen enjoyed working at the historical museum, making desserts and cooking holiday dinners.  She loved her dog, K.K., and cat, C.D., but especially loved her grandbabies.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Jim; daughter, Pamela Szwanek; parents, Albert and Olive Gass; brothers-in-law, Gerald and Don Young; sister-in-law, Joan Gass; and grandson, Robbie Mills.

Arleen is survived by her son-in-law, Kirk Szwanek, of North Platte; stepchildren, Steve Young and Debra (Marty) Myers, of Cheyenne, WY, Carol (Mike) Farmer, of Chesapeake, VA and Donna (Stan) Johnson, of Nolanville, TX; brothers, Don Gass, of Fulda, MN and Robert (Sue) Gass, of Slayton, MN; brothers-in-law, Pat Young, of Golden, CO, Owen (Betty) Young, of Kent, WA and Chuck Young, of Casper, WY; 8 grandkids, 9 great-grandkids, and other family.

Memorial Service will be 10 a.m. February 13, 2020, at Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore.  Inurnment will follow in Fort McPherson National Cemetery.  The memorial book may be signed at odeanchapel.com or from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday at Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore, which is in charge of arrangements.  Memorials are suggested to the Lincoln County Historical Museum.