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1954 Jerry 2021

Jerry Spanel

August 12, 1954 — May 2, 2021

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Gerald “Jerry” Rudolph Spanel, age 66, of Broken Bow passed away May 2, 2021, after a lengthy battle with cancer.  

Services will be held at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, May 6, 2021 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Broken Bow with Father Jim Hunt officiating. The funeral service will be livestreamed at Masks are highly encouraged. Burial will be at St. Anselm’s Catholic Cemetery in Anselmo.  

Visitation will be Tuesday, May 4, 2021 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm, and Wednesday, May 5, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Govier Brothers Mortuary in Broken Bow.  A wake service will be held at 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 5th at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Memorials are suggested to Nebraska Game & Parks. Govier Brothers Mortuary and Crematory is in charge of the arrangements.  An online guest book may be signed at

Jerry was born August 12, 1954 in Sargent, Nebraska, to Rudolph and Agnes (Cerny) Spanel.  

Jerry attended Bell country school near Anselmo through the 7th grade.  The family then moved to West Point, Nebraska, where Jerry graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1972.  While attending Central Catholic, Jerry would make weekend and summer trips to Broken Bow to help on his sister Ruth’s farm.  During one of these trips, Jerry met the love of his life, Ginger Hoobler.  After graduation, Jerry attended Northeast Community College in Norfolk, Nebraska, and continued the weekend trips to Broken Bow, only now the help on the farm got less and less and the attention to Ginger got more and more.  On January 3rd, 1973 Jerry and Ginger were united in marriage at St. Josephs in Broken Bow.  Jerry and Ginger returned to Norfolk so Jerry could continue school.  Jerry and Ginger returned to Broken Bow that summer so he could intern at Custer Public Power District.  At the end of that summer, they welcomed the first of three daughters, Tammi.  They then moved back to Norfolk and Jerry graduated the following spring.  Upon graduation, the three moved to Alliance where Jerry worked for Panhandle Rural Electric.  A year later, they moved back to Broken Bow where he started his career at Custer Public Power District. During this time, they welcomed their second daughter, Brandi, and third daughter, Annie.  Jerry remained at Custer Public Power for the next 47 years and was awarded the Jack McEnerney Award.  

Jerry was a man of all trades.  He had a passion for fishing, hunting, camping, and the outdoor life.  Rumor has it that Jerry was the reason Nebraska Game and Parks had to implement a fish bag limit.  There was not a local auctioneer who didn’t know him as he loved attending auctions and returning with treasures, some unknown to Ginger.  Jerry was a very skilled carpenter, mechanic, and electrician.  His patience and attention to detail could be seen through the quality of his work.  Jerry was an extremely mild tempered man who never lost his cool and could always be relied on for help.  Jerry was a member of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church and was devoted to his faith his entire life.  He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and served many ministries for the church.  Jerry was a member of the Broken Bow Elks Lodge #1688.  Jerry and Ginger enjoyed many trips with friends.  Jerry’s infectious smile was known to all whether they were lifelong friends or just met him.  With all of Jerry’s interests and hobbies, his greatest passion was his Family.  He loved family gatherings and playing a game of pitch or canasta with any of his children or grandchildren.  

Jerry is survived by his loving wife, Ginger, of 48 years; daughters - Tammi Spanel Campbell and friend Matt Gruszczynski, Brandi (Jeff) Oeltjen, Annie (Brian) Ridder, all of Broken Bow; 10 grandchildren - Hunter (Brittany), Traiven, Graycee, Skeeter, Brody, Bailey, Brock, Bowen, Braxton, and Paislee; and 2 great grandchildren - Kael and Cole.  He is also survived by brother Fr. Hubert Spanel of Broken Bow; sisters Leona Graybeal of West Point, Mary Ann Coleman of Broken Bow, and Ruth (Darrell) Myers of Broken Bow; Sister-in-Law Penny (Don) Shultz of Grand Island, Julie (Jim) Turner of Broken Bow, and Kathy (Don) Province of Broken Bow; along with countless nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents Rudolph and Agnes, In-laws Buzz and Betty Hoobler, brother-in-law Ivan Coleman, and brother-in-law Dick Graybeal.


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