Arapahoe, Nebraska

Donna Joyce Mather, age 94, of Arapahoe, Nebraska died on Monday, October 10, 2011 at the Phelps Memorial Hospital, in Holdrege, Nebraska. She was born on June 30, 1917 in Gosper County, north of Holbrook, Nebraska to Clyde & Oma (Packwood) Vandruff.

She attended a one-room country school until 8th grade. She graduated from Arapahoe High School with the class of 1934 and went on Kearney State Normal School. She taught school at Broadwater, Nebraska for 2 years and then rural schools in Gosper County. On May 31, 1941 she married James D. Mather. They moved to Wichita, Kansas where Jim was employed. Then she would move to Plattsmouth, Nebraska while her husband served in the Army Air Force. After his time in the service, he began teaching school, which led them to Franklin, Nebraska, Jamestown & Phillipsburg, Kansas, Wymore & Dannebrog, Nebraska & Sunrise, Wyoming, before returning to Arapahoe. She worked part time in Wagner’s Supermarket and then 10 years at Becton Dickinson in Holdrege, Nebraska. After retiring, she became director of the Arapahoe Senior Center.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church & United Methodist Women in Arapahoe, Nebraska. She was also a member of the Arapahoe Cemetery Board for a number of years. She enjoyed traveling and attending many events her family was participating in.

She is preceded in death by her parents, husband James, infant daughter Meridel, sister Lois Peterson, brothers Wayne & Dwight Vandruff

She is survived by her Sons Jim & wife Mary Mather of Oshkosh, Nebraska

                                             Steve & wife Julee Mather of Kearney, Nebraska

                           Daughters: Lynn & husband Wesley Musser of Laurel, Maryland

                                              Jeryl & husband Phil Hauptman of Lawrence, Kansas

     Grandchildren: 7        Great-Grandchildren: 5

Condolences and personal reflections may be left at

There will be no viewing and visitation. Memorial services will be Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 10:30 AM at the First United Methodist Church, at Arapahoe, Nebraska with Pastor Eldon Fablinger, officiating. Private family inurnment will be at a later date. Wenburg Funeral Home, of Arapahoe, Nebraska is in charge of the arrangements.