Gene L. Plager was born to Richard and Vera (Bohling) Plager on June 28, 1951 at Humboldt, NE. He was baptized at St. James Lutheran Church, Humboldt and confirmed at Martin Luther Church, Johnson. Gene grew up on farm east of Elk Creek and attended Elk Creek Public Schools, graduating with the class of 1969. In high school he was active in football, basketball and track. He entered the National Guard and served for a few months until receiving a medical discharge. Gene was united in marriage to Pam Kerner on March 8, 1980 at St. James Lutheran Church. They made their home near Table Rock where they raised their family and were active in the community. Gene was most passionate about farming and raising his herd of Registered Polled Herefords.
He was a member of the National Polled Hereford Association, Elk Creek Rural Fire Department, Southeast NE Cattlemen, St. James Lutheran Church Council and Cemetery Board and Elk Creek Rescue Squad. In his younger days Gene played town team basketball and men’s softball. Gene enjoyed working and showing cattle, golfing, hunting and poker. Gene worked for Speckmann Auction & Realty for many years. He is remembered by many for his participation in the Elk Creek Alumni Plays for 21 years. Gene was a strong supporter of the Johnson County 4-H program. He was a trophy sponsor for many years & provided livestock for his nieces, nephews and family friends to show at the fair, even after his own children were grown. In recent years, Gene traveled with Pam, Ron and Shirley, including the 2011 Rose Bowl where Russ was a graduate assistant for TCU. He enjoyed time with his grandchildren, family and his many friends. One of his biggest accomplishments was receiving National Reserve Champion Registered Polled Hereford at the Denver Stock Show in 2000. Gene passed away on October 17, 2012 at the age of 61 years at the Johnson County Hospital in Tecumseh after a courageous battle with cancer.
He is survived by his loving wife, Pam, of rural Table Rock, children, Lesley Slaymaker and husband Rick, Lisa Stevens and husband John of Kearney, Joel Kerner and Russell Plager of Lincoln, parents, Richard and Vera Plager of Humboldt, sister, Susan Klanecky and husband Bryan of Lincoln, grandchildren, Kaleb, Brooklyn and Evan Slaymaker and Tyler Stevens, nephew, Adam Klanecky, mother-in-law, JoAnne Lade of Tecumseh, sisters and brothers-in-law, Linda and Brad Meints of Winston, MO, Steve and Mary Lade of Douglas, Susie and Jim Hill of Beatrice, David and Mary Lade of Tecumseh, Sarah and Dan Sears of Sterling, Les Lade of Tecumseh, Ron and Shirley Lade of Tecumseh and Bruce and Christy Lade of Tecumseh and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and friends.
Gene was preceded in death by grandparents, John and Mary Bohling and Fred and Lena Plager, granddaughter, Kayla Stevens and father-in-law, Orvil Lade.
Funeral services will be held at the St. James Lutheran (Long Branch) Church, rural Humboldt, Nebraska at 2:30 Sat. October 20, 2012. Visitation will be at the Wherry Mortuary in Tecumseh, Nebraska, Friday, October 19, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. with family greeting friends from 6-8 p.m. and one hour prior to the service at the church. Memorials may go to the family’s choice. Interment will be in the St. James Lutheran (Long Branch) Cemetery, rural Humboldt, Nebraska. Online condolences may be left @ www.wherrymortuary.com.