Larry L. Athey, 71, of Walthill, Nebraska, passed away on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 in Omaha following a long battle with cancer. Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 2, at 10:30 A.M. at the Walthill School Gym with Pastor Paul Malcomson officiating, A visitation will be held on Friday at the Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Pender from 3:00 to 8:00 P.M. with the family greeting from 5:00 to 7:00 P.M. and with a prayer service at 7:00 P.M. with Pastor Steve Breazier officiating. Interment will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Walthill.
Larry was born on August 19, 1941 in Ainsworth, Nebraska and raised in a sod house. He was the son of Lee and Helen Athey. He was taught the valuable lesson of hard work and the compassion to assist those in need. He carried these lessons with him his whole life.
Larry married Nancy Darnell on June 24, 1961. Larry was fortunate to have his childhood dreams fulfilled. He was born a rancher and loved to work the land. Along with his hard physical work, his academic achievement of a Masters degree led Larry to the teaching field. He taught at Rosalie, Macy, Walthill and retired from ESU 1, where he served as transition counselor placing children with special needs in the work force. Larry's love of country music brought joy to many who enjoyed listening to the band "One Night Stand." Larry shared his time and energy with his grandchildren. He rarely missed any of their sporting events or school activities. Larry had a heart of gold and gave a lot to the church, school and the entire community, physically and financially. He served as a member of the rural fire district, Township and Walthill School boards.
Larry is survived by his wife, Nancy, two daughters: Janelle of Fremont, NE, and Shellie and her husband Bill Harms of Colorado Springs, CO, two sons: Bill and his wife Kari of Pender, NE, and Wally Juhlin and his wife Jennifer of Walthill, NE, a sister Nikki Corn and her husband Ed of Northport, FL, and Justin Owen who has been part of the family for the past fifteen years. His grandchildren: Megan, Tana, Mandi, Madison, Kailee, Will, Cole, Martina and McKenna, his mother-in-law, Mabel Darnell, a sister-in-law Nancy Darnell and nephews Brent Darnell and Brook Darnell and his wife Trish.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents, a brother-in-law, Dennis Darnell, and a father-in-law, Elwyn Darnell.