Kathryn Mannel passed away at Bryan LGH East in Lincoln with her three children at her side. She fought a lengthy illness with grace and dignity and without complaint to the very end. Kathryn is the daughter of Frank and Ruth Anderson Bartak, and grew up on a farm west of Merna, Nebraska. A childhood member of the Cliff Union Church, church activities provided fond memories throughout her life. Kathryn attended Sunflower Country School and graduated from Merna High School. At Merna High, Kathryn took Normal Training finishing the course of study at mid-term. After college, Kathryn taught at Ortello Valley Country School and Farritor School.
Kathryn married Walter Mannel. The couple farmed and ranched near Gates, Nebraska on the land of Walter‘s birth. In the 1960’s Kathryn served as secretary for the Merna area school consolidation project which founded the Anselmo-Merna School District. The couple retired to Broken Bow. Kathryn loved farm life and the outdoors, always participating in driving tractors, fencing, and raising livestock. Kathryn was an accomplished seamstress. She was able to sew many new garments by imagining her design and piecing it together on her machine. This was a source of great relaxation for her. Kathryn also was an avid gardener, finding time to work her garden while she was ‘resting’ from her many farm activities. Fall always brought bountiful produce which Kathryn canned or froze for future use.
Kathryn was a life long learner. She would often read her children’s college textbooks from last year, or last semester, to see that she could grasp the topics the kids were studying. If she needed to know something she would go to the library to research or check out her information. At the well deserved house in town, Kathryn embraced newly available technology and developed proficiency using a computer. She spent many hours exploring a wide range of topics, as well as communicating by emails with friends and family. The computer also provided access to a wide range of new news sources which she avidly consumed.
Kathryn enjoyed her well deserved house in town. She became actively involved in the Methodist Church Guild where she was Secretary/Treasurer for many years. She took pride in her assignment keeping her books in balance. She also belonged to Custer’s Last Stitch Quilt Guild. She loved to see the many lovely creations during these meetings. She shared her experiences with her daughter during visits on the phone. She never lost her love for the country and would weekly go out to the farm and mow.
Kathryn most recently resided at York General Hearthstone where she lived comfortably enjoying the many available activities.
Kathryn is survived by her loving children, son Jim, daughter Karen, and son-in law Rod Strickler.
Kathryn is preceded in death by husband Walter, parents Frank and Ruth, brothers and sisters in law Frank and Marjorie, Clyde and Gloria, infant brother David, brother in law and sister in law, Walter and Frances Hanna, and nieces Linda and Jeanne.
Funeral services will be held Thursday October 11, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Broken Bow with Rev. Todd Karges officiating. Interment will be in the Broken Bow Cemetery. Visitation will be held Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. with family greeting friends from 5:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Memorials are suggested to the family to be designated later.