Betty Rieker, 94, passed away Sept. 9, 2020, at Stone Hearth Estates in Gothenburg. She was born Nov. 15, 1925 on the family farm north of Eustis, daughter of Otto and Sophia (Yeutter) Bartruff.
Betty was baptized at the Eustis Methodist Church. She attended rural school through 8th grade. Betty graduated from Eustis High School with the class of 1943. After high school, she taught rural school north of Cozad for two years. Due to her mother’s passing, Betty returned to help her father care for their home and her two younger sisters.
On April 15, 1947, Leonard and Betty Rieker were married in Eustis. They were blessed with three daughters: Christine, Karen and Debra. They lived and farmed east of Farnam, her home for 68 years. From caring for livestock, to marketing grain, Betty was an integral part of their farming operation. She was an active member of the St. John’s Lutheran church.
Leonard passed away on Oct. 23, 1985. Betty continued to enjoy her life on the farm. Her home was always welcoming. Betty’s flowers and beautiful farmyard were a testament of her love of the outdoors. She moved to Stone Hearth Estates in Gothenburg in October 2015.
Betty exercised her God given gift of caring for others. Her visits, casseroles and homemade pretzels were appreciated by many. Betty grew up playing cards for fun, and always enjoyed a good game. She often attended ball games and always supported youth activities, including 4-H and the WINGS program at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Betty delighted in her family, most specifically her grandchildren. She patiently taught them many life skills - driving, canning, playing cards and pretzel making, just to name a few. Betty instilled within her children and grandchildren a lasting work ethic.
Survivors include her three daughters, Chris (Rick) Dunbar of Eustis, Karen (Rich) Miller of The Dalles, Oregon and Deb (Pat) Hecox of Gothenburg; grandchildren, Brad (Courtney) Dunbar of Omaha, Janine (Jeff) Williams of Grand Island, Brittany (Miles) Imwalle of Mill Valley, California, Collin (Maya) Miller of San Francisco, California, Heidi (Bryce) Anderson of Paragould, Arkansas, Helen (Josh) Cool of Gothenburg and Robert Hecox of Stapleton; sister, Diane (Danny) Easterday of Eustis; sister-in-law, Evelyn Bartruff of Eustis; brother-in-law, Kenny Kugler of Elwood; 12 great-grandchildren, special friends Dan and Ann Pohl and Nancy Laier.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard Rieker; her parents; brothers, Vern, Otto Jr, and infant brother Lloyd; sisters, Lucile Wahl Anderson, Doris Welle Hotchkiss and Marjorie Kugler; brothers-in-law, Lorenz Wahl, Harley Anderson, Gilbert Welle and Robert Hotchkiss; and sister-in-law, Lorraine Bartruff.
Visitation will be held at Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel in Gothenburg on Sunday, Sept. 13 from 1 - 4 p.m. A private family service will be held on Sept. 14 at St. John’s Lutheran Church. Graveside services for family and friends will be held on Sept. 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the Eustis East Cemetery.
Memorials may be given to the St. John’s Lutheran Church or the church of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.blasestrauser.com