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'Her calendar was more full that ours was'
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'Her calendar was more full that ours was'

From the The cost of COVID: Remembering lives lost in Southeast Nebraska series
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Growing up on the farm, the Pospisil sisters always had chores.

Their mom, Gloria, kept a special chore jar and when Linda and Loree pulled out a task, she did, too.

“She picked with us, so it was like a game,” Loree Pospisil said.

Gloria and her husband, Elvin, loved life on their land outside of Hallam, growing wheat and corn and milo and soybeans, raising cattle and hogs, sheep and chickens and geese.

When he died of prostate cancer in 1994, his widow kept that land — renting it out — even after she remarried and moved to Lincoln.

“Every spring, she’d be driving around to see if they got the planting done,” Linda said. “In the fall, she’d go and check out the harvest.”

The 80-year-old grew up on a farm near DeWitt. She married young and taught piano for more than four decades.

She played the organ at the church in Kramer and later, at Good Shepherd Lutheran in south Lincoln.

She had a lifelong love of music.

“We laughed because one of our aunts said, if there were dishes to do, Mom always said she had to practice,” Loree said.

She loved Christmas music; “Silent Night” most of all.

In her younger years, Gloria loved to polka and square dance. She grew a big garden and canned the bounty.

After she gave up teaching piano, she had regular bunco and lunch dates with friends and weekly Bible study at Good Shepherd. She dipped into the pool at Bryan LifePointe for exercise classes.

“Her calendar was more full than ours was,” Linda said.

But Gloria stopped going out when the pandemic hit. She watched church on YouTube with her hymnal and a copy of the bulletin at her side.

She kept Lysol wipes stationed around the house, and put a pack in her purse, too.

Her husband, Arnold Henning, came down with the virus before Christmas and recovered after a hospital stay.

Then Gloria tested positive.

She spent 11 days in the hospital and got to come home, but three days later she was readmitted. The daughters called her every day, looking out for her as always, the way she’d always looked out for them.

Their mother bemoaned her “darn” lungs. But my heart’s good, she told them. I’m going to keep fighting.

The sisters were able to visit the COVID unit together two days before their mom died Feb. 11, and the three of them talked the time away.

"A wonderful hour," Linda said.

The mother told her daughters she had picked out her pallbearers.

“She told us she wanted the same service our dad had,” Loree said. “She made it very easy for us.”

— Cindy Lange-Kubick

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