Bessie A. Hawks

Bessie A. Hawks
1912 — 2016
Bessie A. Hawks, 103, of Elgin, NE, passed away Friday, March 25, 2016 at the Golden Living Center in Neligh, NE.  Funeral Services were held Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at the Grace Lutheran Church in Neligh, NE with Pastor David Kuhfal and Vicar Justin Hildebrand officiating.
Interment followed in the West Cedar Valley Cemetery in Elgin, NE.
Memorials are suggested to the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Elgin and the Elgin Public School.
Condolences may be sent to the family at:
Bessie Antonia Nissen was born on April 4, 1912, near Rosalie, Nebraska, to Jurgen Matthaus (Matt) and Wilhelmina (Passarge) Nissen.
Bessie began Kindergarten in Rosalie, attended Red Top School, Bell Tower School and Elgin High, graduating in 1929.
She received her Teaching Certification from Wayne State College and taught at several country schools, including Little Gem, Carmichael, Maple Grove, and a school at the corner of Highway 14 and the Oakdale cut-across.
After taking a break to raise her daughters, she became a teacher at Elgin Public Schools.  Bessie graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree from Wayne State College on August 3, 1963.  She retired in 1983, after 28 1/2 years at EPS.
Bessie married Elis F. (Bud) Hawks on June 3, 1933, at Hot Springs, South Dakota. The couple lived on farms near Elgin until 1952, when they moved into town.
In 1936, their first child, Delores Darlene was born. In 1940 their second daughter, Gloria Jean Joan, was born.
In 1941, Bessie’s nephew, Bob Nissen, came to live with them after his own father died in a mining accident.
Bud passed away September 29, 1975.
After Bud’s passing, Bessie continued to teach, garden, and gently spoil her grandchildren. She loved to draw, paint, read, work crossword puzzles, and watch Wheel of Fortune and the Lawrence Welk show on Saturday nights.
Bessie was a member of several organizations, including 4-H club, Women’s Club, Ladies Aid, Cedar Creek Club, and various school groups.
She helped with the local blood drives and the American Cancer Society, and also helped with the writing and production of the Elgin Centennial Book published in 1989 and the Elgin Clippings pamphlet.
Bessie lived happily and independently in her Elgin home until 2014 when she moved to the home of her daughter, Darlene Heithoff, to recuperate from a hospital stay.
In January of 2015, Bessie moved to the Golden Living Center in Neligh, where she resided until her passing.
Bessie was preceded in death by her parents: Matt and Minnie Nissen; her loving husband Bud; nephew, Bob Nissen; her brothers: Willie (Mary), Matt, and Alfred; her sisters: Elsie (Hubert) Josten, Frieda (Ferd) Nissen and Lillie (Albert) Iburg Schmitz; and four great-grandchildren: Shawn Charles, Troy Charles, Keith Adams and Conner Schmoldt.
Leaving behind to remember her are her daughters: Darlene (Louis) Heithoff of Elgin and Gloria (Wayne) Swanson of Ogallala; twelve grandchildren: Steve (Rita) Heithoff, Deb (Ron) Rice, Terry (Rhonda) Heithoff, Monti (Cheryl) Swanson, Diane Charles, Chris (Darrell) O’Neal, Denise Schmoldt, Calvin (Pam) Heithoff, Stan (Dorothy) Heithoff, Lori (Marty) Widger, John (Lindsay) Swanson, and Todd (Melissa) Heithoff; twenty six great-grandchildren: Michael Heithoff, Calvin Swanson, Joseph Swanson, Crystal (Danny) Borer, Erik (Emily) Heithoff, Brandi Adams, Dusty Swanson, Alex (Leah) Heithoff, Seth Adams, Aaron Rice, Alexander Charles, Hallie Schmoldt, Jessica Heithoff, Shelby Rice, Nicklaus Heithoff, Andrew Heithoff, Kyle Heithoff, Kristin Rice, Blake Heithoff, Annika Swanson, Dylan Widger, Liam Heithoff, Austin Rice, Kira Widger, Cade Heithoff, and Callie Heithoff;  and ten great-great-grandchildren: Brian Heithoff,  Landon Maher, Penellope Swanson, Logan Swanson, Topanga Swanson, Brecken Zona, Brooklyn Zona, Brooke Borer, Alex Swanson, and Kyson Adams-Schnell, along with numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.