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1925 Wilbur 2021

Wilbur Rath

April 13, 1925 — April 4, 2021

Wilbur George Rath, 95, of Laurel, NE died on Sunday, April 4, 2021 at Hillcrest Care Center in Laurel.  A visitation will be held on Thursday, April 8, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Laurel.  The funeral service will be held on Friday, April 9, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, with Reverend Jeffery Warner officiating.  Burial with military honors will be in the Laurel Cemetery.  Memorials are suggested to the Laurel VFW Post 54 (215 E 2nd St, Laurel NE 68745) or the family for future designation.  Arrangements are under the direction of Bressler-Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Wakefield, NE.  

Wilbur was born on April 13, 1925 to Fritz and Mollie (Heitman) Rath in Coleridge, NE.  He attended Claremont Country School through the 8th grade.  Wilbur started farming and was drafted into the Army in 1944, where he served with the 82nd Paratroopers.  He served twenty months in Germany and was stationed in Fort Bragg, NC before returning to the Midwest.  He worked with his brother Orlo in the wheat fields in the Dakota’s and later attended mechanic’s training with his cousin Gerald Rath in Chicago, IL. Wilbur married Dorothy Garvin in 1957 and to this union, the couple had four children, Valerie, Brad, Marcine, and Scott.  Wilbur and Dorothy farmed together west of Laurel for 16 years until Dorothy passed away in December of 1973.  In 1985, Wilbur married Joyce Galvin and moved off the family farm.  He continued farming until 1988 when he retired. After retiring, he enjoyed helping Brad and Ben on their farms when needed. 

Wilbur was an active member of the Missouri Synod Church and the Laurel VFW.  He served on the Co-op board in Laurel, the Cedar View Country Club board, and was one of the original shareholders of the bowling alley.  Wilbur enjoyed golfing and bowling.  In his later years, Wilbur liked going out for coffee twice a day with his many friends.  He loved his family and always worked to be a solid example of what an honest, responsible, and Christian man should be.  Wilbur was always welcoming and had a smile on his face.  

Wilbur is preceded in death by his parents; 1st wife, Dorothy; 2nd wife, Joyce; brothers, Kenneth Rath and Orlo Rath; great-granddaughter.  

Wilbur is survived by his children, Valerie (Michael) Hitchings of Fort Collins, CO; Brad (Shelly) Rath of Laurel, NE; Marcine (Pat) Higney of Broomfield, CO; Scott (Angie) Rath of Laurel, NE; stepchildren, Olivia (Andy) Embrey of Milford, NE; Nancy (John) Abts of Laurel, NE; Lisa (Bob) Floss of Milford, IA; Ben (Terri) Galvin of Laurel, NE; 22 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; sister, Zella Dederman; and sister-in-law, Magdalene Rath.

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