Genevieve M. “Jen” Umshler, 91, of Chadron, Nebraska died on September 16, 2013, at the home of her daughter in Arapahoe, Nebraska with both of her daughters at her side.
Genevieve May Hartson was born on November 8, 1921, in Osceola, Nebraska. She was the oldest of three children born to Eva May DeLand Hartson and Floyd Melvin Hartson.
Genevieve graduated from the Osceola (Nebraska) High School in 1938 where she dated and fell in love with Warren Hardy Umshler, whom she would later marry. Warren gave her the nickname, “Jen” (specifically with a “J”) and she always called him “Hardy”, even though most people knew him as Warren.
After high school Jen worked in Osceola. Upon Warren's graduation from high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps. Shortly thereafter, Jen went to Olympia, Washington, where she was employed in a clerical position with the Washington State Patrol.
On December 24, 1943, Jen married her high school sweetheart in Santa Ana, California, after Warren received written permission from his mother to be married as he wasn’t of legal age and didn’t want to wait ten more days until he turned 21. Evidently he was old enough to fight for his country, but not old enough to be married!
After their marriage, Warren was again sent overseas. While stationed overseas, Jen moved back to Nebraska as the couple was expecting their first child. Skip was born in Stromsburg, Nebraska, in November of 1945. Father and son didn’t get to meet until several months later when Warren was discharged from the Marines. They had a lot to be thankful for at that time – the war was over, they were reunited and they had a new son!
After his discharge from the service, Warren enrolled in the California School of Mortuary Science at Fullerton where the young family lived while Warren completed school. Upon completion of school and obtaining his embalming license in both California and Nebraska, Warren took a position with a funeral home in Walthill, Nebraska, and the family moved back “home”. After embalming, if her services were needed, Jen often helped Warren by assisting with hair and makeup.
It was during this time that their daughter, Sherry, was born in Oakland, Nebraska. Shortly after her birth, they moved to Chadron where Warren had accepted a position with Reed Funeral Home/Hardware Store. Another few years passed and Warren and Jen welcomed another daughter to their family when Cam was born in Chadron.
Jen worked for the United States Forest Service in a clerical position and after a few years, accepted a position as the Deputy District Court Clerk of Dawes County where she worked under Bob Zeman.
Bob Zeman announced his plans to run for the position of County Judge and Jen was appointed to complete his term in office. At the next election, Jen ran for the position of District Court Clerk and was elected and re-elected for 5 additional terms. Jen served Dawes County as the District Court Clerk and in that office for over 20 years.
During her tenure as District Court Clerk, Jen held an office with NACO (Nebraska Association of County Officials) for several years and was an active member of the organization. She was a member American Legion Auxiliary (Chadron Department) for over 50 years.
Jen Umshler was an extremely modest woman and never spoke of her accomplishments. She was a creative woman who loved to sew, paint, wallpaper and decorate. A lot of the decorating was centered around family, and the walls in their home were adorned with pictures of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was a very optimistic person and would often say, “As long as there is life, there is hope.” She was patient, kind, understanding, witty, and intelligent. Jen had a very loving and compassionate disposition.
Genevieve May “Jen” Umshler was preceded in death by her husband, Warren Hardy Umshler (July 21, 2008); her parents; her sister, Laura Gustafson; brother-in-law, Wallace Gustafson; and infant sister, Barbara Ann Hartson.
She is survived by her son, Skip Umshler (Bev) of Mount Vernon, Missouri; daughters, Sherry Cacy (Mike) and Cam Stoye (Fred), both of Arapahoe, Nebraska, and by 11 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Condolences or personal reflections can be left at wenburgfuneralhome.com
Viewing and visitation will be Thursday, September 19, 2013 from 10 AM till 8 PM at Wenburg Funeral Home in Arapahoe, Nebraska. Graveside services will be held on Friday, September 20, 2013, at 11:00 AM at Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska, with Scott Jones, Minister, officiating. Pallbearers will be Jason Herrold, Jeff Gelina, Dominic Freiburger, Michael Cacy, Bob Slaymaker, Jonathan Stoye and Ron Grant. Wenburg Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.