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home : obituaries : obituaries
July 23, 2018

Obituaries (6-21-18)

Marilyn Hartnett Peters, 89

Marilyn Louise Hartnett Peters, 89, formerly of South Sioux City passed away on Dec. 1, 2017 at Regency Park Place in Corvallis, Oregon.

Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 23, 2018, at Mohr Funeral Home in South Sioux City. Lunch will be at the South Sioux City American Legion following the service. Visitation with the family present will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Private family burial will be in Logan Cemetery in Sioux City.

Marilyn was born on July 19, 1928, in Hubbard to Otto Peters and Helen Barber Peters. She grew up in South Sioux City and was a 1946 graduate of South Sioux City High School.

She married William Patrick “Pat” Hartnett on Feb. 14, 1948. They were blessed with seven children. Pat was the love of her life. He passed away on Dec. 12, 1954. She later married Lloyd Barker and they were blessed with one son.

Marilyn’s children were the light of her life. She had unconditional love for all of them. She was truly an incredible woman. Her children were blessed to learn from the best. How different the world would be if everyone could have learned from and been cared for by her. She made so many of her children’s friends feel like family.

Marilyn moved to Corvallis in 1978 and was soon employed by the Benton County Records and Elections Department until her retirement in 1994. In 1995, she met Eldon Gifford, and he had been her partner for the past 22 years until her death.

Marilyn is survived by five daughters, Barbara (Dave) Beermann of Bend, Oregon, Patty Standage of Eugene, Oregon, Janis Hartnett, Connie (Steve) Muff, and Jackie (Kevin) Potts, all of South Sioux City; three sons, Ray (Christine) Hartnett, and Randy (Lori) Barker of Corvallis, and Jim (Cindy) Hartnett of Tucson, Arizona; 19 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; brother, Milt (Elsie) Peters; a sister-in-law, Ginger Kennelly, both of South Sioux City; and several nieces and nephews.

Norris Leamer, 93

Norris George Leamer, 93, from South Sioux City, lived a good life and died a good death. You could tell he loved people and had a wry sense of humor by the way he talked and from the twinkle in his blue eyes. His father advised him that wherever he went “to go with the idea of having fun,” and he did. After two years on kidney dialysis, he decided to stop treatment April 30. He was able to eat his favorite foods and visit with family, friends, and neighbors. He moved to hospice and passed peacefully a week later on June 2 in Sun City, Arizona. Although he was slowed by loss of sight to macular degeneration and the need to wear hearing aids, his phenomenal memory remained, and he was mentally sharp to the end.

The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 30, at First Lutheran Church in South Sioux City. The Rev. Douglas Dill will officiate with coffee following the service. Burial will be in the Graceland Park Cemetery in Sioux City. Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 29 at Becker-Hunt Funeral Home in South Sioux City with the family present starting at 5 p.m. and a Masonic Ceremony at 7 p.m.

Norris was born Oct. 19, 1924, the son of George W. and Besse Shelden Leamer, and spent most of his life in South Sioux City. He graduated from high school there in 1942 and from the University of Nebraska in 1949. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force in 1943 after completing one year of college. He married Jean Nordstrom on Nov. 2, 1944 in Omaha. He never shied away from an audience, and in retirement he spoke to groups relating his experiences as a pilot flying a B-29 bomber out of Guam including seven missions over Japan, landing at Iwo Jima, seeing St. Elmo’s fire on the wings, and the prisoner of war flight to drop supplies at Mukden, Manchuria. His love of sharing a joke which led him in later years to adopt the character of “Uncle Fudley” when he joined his wife Beth and others who entertained as clowns in the Sun City area where they lived.

Norris was the third generation in his family to graduate from the university. He joined his father’s law firm in 1948. Most people will be surprised to learn he only attended one year of law school where he felt they were not teaching what he would actually need to serve his community. So he went to work learning the law from his father and with self-study. Although lawyers had been doing this a long time, he was one of the last as they changed the law shortly afterwards. He took the bar exam and passed the first time in 1951. Besides divorces, adoptions, court cases (even at Nebraska’s Supreme Court), and estate planning, he also created a housing subdivision and sold land he owned to the Marina Inn (now Delta) for their first motel.

Family was important to Norris including his German Leamer ancestors who came west from Pennsylvania in 1867 one month after Nebraska became a state. His great-grandparents and six of their later nine sons famously crossed the frozen Missouri just one day before the ice went out. They settled on a farm two miles west of Dakota City. The family made bricks from a clay pit in the yard and built a two-story home, still occupied by descendants today.

Norris took up flying small planes and could set them down as gently as if they were feathers. He did a masterful job planning the route and stops for the lengthy driving vacations that took the family to nearly every part of the U.S. A photo of Norris in his 1962 Impala passing through a California redwood tree tunnel was featured in a national 100th anniversary Chevy ad during the 2011 World Series.

Norris practiced law at 2017 Dakota Ave. until 1990. After he married Beth Krueger of Foster, Nebraska, on July 27, 1990, he moved his practice to Norfolk until his retirement in 1992. In 2014 he hosted a coffee to celebrate 100 years in Dakota County as South Sioux’s Oldest Continuous Business (Leamer Law Office and its successor Hurley Law Office).

In Norris’s own words, he was a “Dairy Queen gourmet, bridge player, champion Pitch player of Northeast Nebraska, homemade ice cream specialist, county fair Blue Ribbon divinity maker, and Nebraska big game hunter (pheasants).” He was the President of Kiwanis and President of the South Sioux City Chamber of Commerce (he was part of the group who started the weekly coffee hour which continues today). He was elected to the Sergeant Floyd Area Council of the Boy Scouts and later received the prestigious Silver Beaver Award, the highest award a council can present to its volunteers. He was a member of First Lutheran Church, the Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite and Abu Bekr Shrine.

Survivors include his wife, Beth; three daughters: Linda Ashley Leamer of Omaha, Karen (Don) Skokan of Denton, Texas, and Kathy (Saiid) Dabestani of Twin Falls, Idaho; three grandchildren: Sara (Sam) Arnold, Laura (Francesco) Skokan, and Javid (Brittany) Dabestani; and three great-grandchildren: Henry Arnold, Charlotte Dabestani, and Everett Dabestani.

He was preceded in death by two wives, Jean Nordstrom Leamer and Lola Johnston Hannan Leamer, and his sister (Marion) Evelyn Leamer (Charles) McDermott of Wayne, Nebraska. At Graceland Park Cemetery, he will rest beside his great-grandparents George and Margaret Geesey Leamer and four of their nine sons, his grandparents Jacob and Terressa Begolie (Olie) Brown Leamer, and his parents George W. and Besse Shelden Leamer.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to a local food bank in your area. The full obituary may be found at where you may also send condolences.

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