Lois Jean High, 95 years of age, of Lincoln, formerly of Kearney and Bertrand, died on Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at the Tabitha Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Lincoln.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, May 17, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege, per CDC guidelines to the recommendation of 10 people or less in the facility at one time.
Due to current health concerns with COVID-19; the graveside service and interment of Jean High for all family and friends will be held on Monday, May 18, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. at the Immanuel Cemetery, two miles north of Bertrand, Nebraska, in Phelps County. Additional memorial services will be held at a later date.
The family asks you to observe appropriate physical distancing and sincerely encourages each person to make their decision whether to attend Jean’s services, based on the best interest of your health, and that of your community. Jean’s graveside service will be live-streamed via the Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home’s Facebook page.
Jean was born on May 7, 1925, on the family farm, a few miles southwest of Loomis, the daughter of John A. and Margaret Agnes (Piska) Pierce. She was baptized as an infant on Dec. 6, 1925. Her father called her Jean or Jeanie, the reason she was known by her middle name most of her life.
Education was always important to Jean. She attended the Urbana School District, southeast of Bertrand, through eighth grade and then Bertrand High School, graduating in 1942. As an eighth grader, she received the second highest score in the Phelps County exams, which at the time, were required from those attending country school before entering high school. During high school, she and her sister Mary Lou, lived in town during the week where they rented a room and would go home on weekends. She participated in musical activities; playing a horn in the band, singing in several vocal ensembles, and in particular, as an alto, in very talented girl’s sextet, who sang at a national contest in Omaha. Later in her retired life, while living in Kearney, she enrolled in several classes at Kearney State College.
Following her high school graduation, Jean worked several jobs, including: as a switchboard operator at St Elizabeth’s Hospital in Lincoln; an assistant cashier for the Bank of Bertrand; a bookkeeper for Kingsley Lumber Yard; and perhaps of greatest historical interest to her family, popping corn at the local movie theater on Friday and Saturday evenings (which directly led to meeting her future husband, Lloyd). Her primary jobs after marriage, were full-time duties as a homemaker, raising four children on the family farm. She also had excellent clerical skills, working at the Bertrand Herald as a linotype operator, as well as typing and proofreading documents.
On March 19, 1950, Jean was united in marriage to Lloyd Reynold High at the First United Methodist Church in Bertrand. The couple made their home on the family farm southwest of Bertrand. God blessed this union with four children: Mary Louise, Robin, Kathleen, and Marcia. Jean focused on raising their children and worked alongside Lloyd on the farm. They encouraged their children to study music; both within the public school and with piano lessons, and to grow in the Christian faith.
Church membership and activities were very important her entire life. Jean’s Welsh grandfather, Robert S. Pierce, founded the Urbana Congregational Church, about ten miles southeast of Bertrand, where they attended, when she was young. Later, they attended the Methodist Church in Loomis, and then attended the Bertrand Methodist Church when she was in high school, where she retained her membership until her marriage to Lloyd. With this direct connection to a full Swede, she knew immediately that her new church home would be Lutheran.
They were faithful members at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Bertrand for 35 years. After Lloyd retired from farming, they moved to Kearney, where they began their membership at First Lutheran Church in 1985. In 2012, Jean began to make her home in Lincoln.
Jean will be remembered for many reasons, in particular, how she cared for the family farm; including the presence of many colorful flowers beds and a full garden. She and Lloyd frequently made trips to Camp Carol Joy Holling near Ashland, in its early years, to help with landscaping and other improvement projects. She was a gracious hostess, always eager to prepare and serve a full meal or an afternoon snack to friends and for small and large family gatherings. She enjoyed having family reunion activities take place at the farm for both the Pierce and High families. She loved music, especially attending concerts while living in Kearney and also on the many trips she and Lloyd took from coast to coast, to attend National Barbershop Conventions.
She was preceded in death by; her husband, Lloyd; her parents; four siblings and their spouses: sisters, Mildred (Court) Stineman; Lorene ( Everette) Waters; and Mary Lou a(Gayle) Hewitt; brother, Byron (Anne) Pierce; niece, Sarah Jane Pierce; nephew, John Stineman; great-niece, Elizabeth Waters; and great-nephew, Tony Kirkpatrick.
Those left to cherish her memory include her children: son, Robin High of Omaha; and three daughters and their spouses: Mary (Jerry) Bergstrom of Johnson Lake, Kathy (Rick) Holland of Lincoln; and Marcia (Rich) Graham of Cheney, Wash.; eight grandchildren, Bjorn (Jeanene) Bergstrom, Haley Bergstrom; Sara (Holland) Fjell and her husband, Adam; Alissa (Holland) Hinz and her husband, Nick; Allyson (Dunning) Keightley and her husband, Beau; Laura (Dunning) Somerville and her husband, Brandon; Samuel Dunning and his wife, Stephanie; and Keenan Dunning; eight great-grandchildren: Braylon and Avery Fjell; Addilyn Hinz; Bristol, Aspen, and Camden Keightley; and Brody and Asher Dunning; three nieces: Glenda Pierce and her husband, Jeff Kirkpatrick of Lincoln; Gaytha (Waters) Patterson and her husband, Robert of Centennial, Colorado; and Janet (Stineman) Kres and her husband, Mark of Austin, Texas; and two nephews: Bob Pierce of Omaha; and Harry Waters and his wife, Linda of Kansas City, Kan.
We celebrate her life and rejoice as she has now entered into her heavenly home.
A memorial has been established in Jean’s name and kindly suggested to: NLOM - Camp Carol Joy Holling; Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministries; or a charity of the donor’s choosing.
Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at www.nelsonbauerfh.com
The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege is in charge of the arrangements.