Elaine M. Henzel

With deep sorrow, we announce the passing of Elaine Mae (Vitosh) Henzel of Beatrice. At age 85, she died on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 at the Beatrice Community Hospital. She was a beloved mom, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend who was affectionately known to her family as "Mom," "Matka," "Chief" or "Gramme.”

Elaine was born on March 24, 1932 to Charles and Mary (Beran) Vitosh. She was the sixth of seven children on a dairy farm in Odell. Elaine was married to the love of her life, George W. Henzel, on May 24, 1959 in Wymore. They created a life together on a farm, one-mile north of Virginia. From this union, ten children were born.

Elaine always gave of her time and her heart. Elaine loved to love people. Elaine never knew a stranger. She could make a dozen friends just by going to the grocery store. Most importantly, her actions spoke equal or greater than her words. By the work of her callused hands, she touched many lives. Elaine's hands were never still, constantly serving her family, community and friends. Some of those things included: teaching children; milking cows; holding babies; playing cards; washing clothes; gardening; driving a bus; sweeping floors; planting petunias; making kolaches; joining hands to dance and doing the chicken polka.

Elaine sought to instill in her children a zest for life, a commitment to friends and family, as well as the power of a contagious smile with laughter. Expressively, Elaine's greatest passion was being devoted to her children and grandchildren.

"Mom, you have given so much and asked for so little in return. Thank you for always being there for us, for teaching us, listening to us, helping and forgiving us, loving us, and always, always believing in us. We are grateful to call you our mom. You were simply wonderful."

Survivors include daughters: Patricia Skalberg of Omaha, Vicki (Ron) Hasley of Beatrice, Karen Henzel of Beatrice, Amy Henzel of St. Charles, Mo., Tina Henzel (Jodie Snider) of Omaha and Joni Gerhart of Beatrice; sons, Verne Henzel of St. Louis, Mo., Vince (Bonnie) Henzel of Lincoln and Jeffrey (Brenda) Henzel of Bennington; grandchildren, Adam Skalberg, Megan Disch, Tiffany Hasley, Zachary Hasley, Samuel Hasley, Parker Henzel, Anais Henzel, Alaina Henzel, Kayla Henzel, Alex Henzel, Jordan Henzel and Brooklyn Henzel; great-grandchildren, Avery Skalberg, Evan Skalberg, Isabelle Disch and Colette Disch; brother, Milton (June) Vitosh of Odell; and sister-in-law, Sandy Vitosh of Odell.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, George; an infant son, George Jon; granddaughter, Jessica Henzel; as well as siblings, Agnes (Stan) Bednar, Harold (Phyllis) Vitosh, Alma (Harold) Essman, Adeline (Ernest) Cacek and Charles “Chick” Vitosh.

Please join us in celebrating Elaine's life on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 at 10 a.m. at Harman-Wright Mortuary Chapel in Beatrice, with Pastor David Bigley officiating. Burial will be in the Virginia Cemetery of Virginia. Visitation will be held from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, with family greeting friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Memorials may be made to the family's choice. A guestbook is available online at www.harmanwrightmortuary.com. Harman-Wright Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

The family asks that you spend time with your children, dance a polka and make a toast to a long-lasting life with friends and family.

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