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1934 Erma Rae 2021

Erma Rae Spanel

October 7, 1934 — May 15, 2021

                                                                                Erma Rae Spanel

                                                                   October 7, 1934 - May 15, 2021

Erma Rae (Cool) Spanel of Anselmo, NE passed away at Brookestone View in Broken Bow on May 15, 2021 at the age of 86.

Erma Rae is survived by her two sons Charles (Linda) Spanel and Doug (Deb Wacker) Spanel, one daughter Mary (Randy) Leiser, seven grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren; sisters Wanda Ritchie, Anne Mae Cool, and Shirley Howard; brother Boyd (Mary Anne) Cool; and sister-in-law Patricia (Gary) Winchester.  She is predeceased by her husband Edward (Sonny) Thomas Spanel; parents Glenn and Opal (Huffman) Cool; brothers Laguene, Leroy and Karl Cool; and great-granddaughter Sophie Sierra Leiser.

Erma Rae was born at home near Callaway on October 7, 1934 to Glenn and Opal (Huffman) Cool.  She graduated from Callaway High School in 1952.  After school she took a job with the telephone company as a switch board operator in Broken Bow, NE. 

Erma Rae married Sonny Spanel on May 8, 1954 in Concordia, KS.  They spent the first years of their marriage in Baltimore, MD.  Sonny was stationed there in the service and Erma Rae would transfer to the telephone company there and continue as a switch board operator.  Upon his discharge from the service, the two moved to the farm in Anselmo where both would live out the rest of lives.  As well as being a part of the farm, she would work several years at Sandhills Manor in Broken Bow.

Both Erma Rae and Sonny were active members of their neighborhood and community.  Both would drive school bus for several years while their kids were growing up.  Her and Sonny were long-time members of the Wagon Wheelers Square Dance Club and actively participated in their social events.  She was a lifelong member of the New Helena Country club and faithful member of the Anselmo United Methodist Church.  Most of all, throughout her entire life she loved spending time with her family.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 20, 2021 at Govier Brothers Chapel in Broken Bow, with Pastor Bill Williams officiating.  Services will be livestreamed at Visitation will be held Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 pm. at Govier Brothers Mortuary with family greeting friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.  Interment will be at Victoria Creek Cemetery following the service.  Memorials are suggested to the Victoria Creek Cemetery, Anselmo United Methodist Church, or the Anselmo Volunteer Fire Department. Govier Brothers Mortuary are in charge of arrangements. An online guest book may be signed at


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