Friday, June 11, 2010

Obituary: Arlene Luzum

Arlene (Rischling) Luzum passed away on June 9th, 2010 at Bryan LGH Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska. Arlie, as she was affectionately called, was born on December 18th, 1933 on a farm south of Milligan. She was one of five children born to Adolph and Mary (Kratina) Rischling. She attended Milligan Public School all twelve years and graduated with her class in 1951. After graduation she worked at the Milligan Drug Store. Her high school sweetheart, James Luzum, was a frequent customer and they were married on the hottest day of the summer, July 30th, 1955. The newlyweds made their home near Exeter and continued living there until late July 2005 when they moved into Exeter and their son and daughter-in-law, Jay and Becky Luzum, took over the family farm. They continued living in town until their deaths.

James and Arlene were the parents of three children, Kim, who died in infancy, Julie, now Mrs. Dale Erdkamp, and their youngest, Jay, who was married to Rebecca McCoy. Her pride and joy were her three grandchildren, Danielle, Richard, and Taylor Erdkamp. A family tradition came every holiday where the grandchildren and Grandma Arlene would bake her famous rolls, and even Richard was learning the art of roll-baking. Her children Julie and Jay, along with their spouses made every holiday a truly memorable experience. Arlene was also known for her delicious pickles which were loved throughout the county. No one could can delicious pickles or fruits as well as she could. Many of her grandchildren's friends soon claimed her as their own grandma. She loved having them to talk to and their frequent and spontaneous visits. She had three grand kids by blood, but really many, many more.

Her three grandchildren kept her and Jimmy busy throughout their lives. She was so very proud of Danielle and her many accomplishments in high school and college. Arlie especially enjoyed many of her wonderful vocal and band concerts at Doane. Both Jimmy and Arlene enjoyed all sports but most of all watching the high schoolers play. Their love of softball was a particular joy that kept them busy following Danni and Taylor throughout the summer. They both enjoyed watching Richard along with his cousins and friends under the Friday night football lights. Richard's love of his grandma's rolls always kept him close by. Taylor's talents in track, volleyball, and basketball always made her grandma proud, she especially loved following the volleyball team all the way to a state title. Taylor would love to visit her grandma during the summer with her young cousins to do anything from making puzzles, painting ceramics or just talking until the day was gone.

Arlene faced many hardships in her lifetime with her husband's sickness and her son's battle with cancer. She managed to be upbeat and not complain, but her health began to fail about six years ago. She fought gallantly against diabetes and kidney failure. She was forced into going to dialysis three times a week in York, where she made the best of it by becoming friends with everyone she met, nurses and patients alike. Many thanks go to her twin sisters Irma and Alma for all of their love. Her sister Alma Placek was a wonderful caregiver and helped to keep her spirits high even in the darkest of times, taking her to all of the sporting events they were able to go to and keeping her happy on the way to doctor's visits. Her other sister Irma Kudlacek baked to bring smiles to everyone when Arlene wasn't up to strength and she also would help keep the house clean and the flowers up to a status that would make Arlene proud. Arlene was preceded in death by her husband James J. Luzum Jr., her infant daughter Kim, her parents Adolph and Mary Rischling, and her only son, Jay.

She is survived by her daughter Julie & husband Dale Erdkamp of Exeter, NE; Brothers, Robert and wife Carolyn Rischling of Milligan, NE, Richard & wife Kathy Rischling of Milligan, NE; Sisters,; Alma Placek of Milligan, NE, Irma & Al Kudlacek of Geneva, NE; Grandchildren, Danielle, Richard & Taylor Erdkamp; Daughter-in-law, Becky Luzum of Exeter, NE; Step-granddaughter, Jessica and Nick Mayfield; and Step-great grandchildren, Barrett, Jackson and Wyatt Mayfield.

Funeral services were held Friday, June 11, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. from the Milligan Auditorium. Arlene and her son Jay services were conducted together with Rev. Karla Sheffy serving as pastor for Arlene and Kim Dunker serving as pastor for Jay. Casket bearers were; Scott DeCamp, Tim DeCamp, Steve Briske, Jim Svec, M. Ron Svec Jr., Brad Kresak, Dwayne Luzum Jr., Dale Luzum, Ryan Rischling, Jan Rischling and Bob Svec. Honorary bearers were: Michelle Edgecombe, Becky Vonderfecht, Mitzi DeCamp, Dawn Baxa, Debbie Adams, Jennifer Wurzelbacher, Paige Kronhofman, Marci Stewart, Amanda Barney, and Kristine Briske. Interment was in the Bohemian National Cemetery with Farmer & Son Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. Memorials are directed to the Exeter-Milligan School Foundation.

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