Saturday, August 7, 2021

Exeter Days 2021

Exeter was a busy place to be last weekend! 

The annual Exeter Days celebration with a hit with residents and friends alike.

The weekend started Friday evening and was named, “Friday Fest.”  With heat indexes over 100 degrees the air conditioning inside the Legion hall was a welcome spot to enjoy some wine testing from Greg’s Market along with a hamburger and hot dog dinner served by the Sons of the Legion.  The Exeter Area Community Foundation Fund sponsored the meal.

During the evening, Paige the Bookmobile was located downtown and the evening continued in the green space next to the Senior Center with an outdoor movie and popcorn also sponsored by the Exeter Area Community Foundation.

The original “Space Jam,” was on the screen for everyone to enjoy and Girl Scout Troop 20703 sold glow sticks and foam lights to add to the ambience of the outdoor theatre.

Saturday morning the Exeter Volunteer Fire Department held several fundraisers to raise funds for a new fire truck and extrication exquipment.  They held a bake sale at the fire hall and also served breakfast.  The fire department also held a car show on main street and served a hot dog lunch at the fire hall.

The beer garden opened behind the fire hall at 11:00 a.m. and there were games and a dunk tank.  The Village of Exeter sponsored free admission to the Exeter Aquatic Center and there was a slow pitch softball tournament at the ball fields all day.

Kids lined the streets Saturday afternoon to collect tons of candy during the parade which was led by the Legion with the colors. The fire department also served the evening meal of pulled pork in the beer garden and live music from Hillbilly Deluxe was the evening’s entertainment.

Sunday afternoon was the 5K Cancer Water Run hosted by Exeter-Milligan’s FCCLA chapter.  Participants were cooled off at stops on the route with water balloons and squirt guns.



Thursday, August 5, 2021

Throwback Thursday 07/31/2011



A loaded Amtrak train encountered a pivot tower across the tracks early Monday morning.  The pivot stop had malfunctioned causing the pivot to continue to move ending up on the track.  No one was injured in the accident but passengers were delayed for several hours waiting for a new engine to be brought to the site to replace the damaged engine.

Webelos II Scouts Peytan Brandt and Johnny Babula of Cub Scout Pack 218 of Exeter, went to Camp Cornhusker July 10-13. Ther activities included:  Swimming, boating, hiking, archery, BB guns, and leathercrafts. They learned more about the Boy Scout program and were taught lessons in fire building, outdoor cooking, first aid, tying knots, and they learned how to make an aluminum bowl. On the last night they performed in a campfire skit.

Six Exeter Cub Scouts recently participated in the Cornhusker Council Saltdogs Cub Scout Daycamp. 


The boys and the parents and leaders spent the afternoon at Haymarket Park learning about baseball and participated in lots of fun activities.  Some of the planned activities were curtailed due to the heat but with plenty of water and some shade the boys were able to do some activities toward their physical achievements.


The boys spent part of the afternoon earning belt loops in map and compass, marbles, good manners and one of their favorites, video games.  After rotating through five different activity stations they boys were presented a program by the Saltdogs and then enjoyed an autograph session with the players. 


After taking a short supper break, the Exeter scouts paraded around the Saltdogs field with their pack flag before watching several ceremonial first pitches, including some by scouts in the council. Scouts also served as watchdogs for the players as they were introduced.  Joey Bartu of Troop 270 carried the American flag onto the field for the performance of the Star Spangled Banner to open the game.


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Obituary Shirley J. Janes

 Shirley Jean (Franzen) Janes was born south of Exeter, Nebraska on the family farm on December 21, 1939 to Arnold and Rose (Korensky) Franzen. She was one of seven children. Shirley grew up on that farm and attended the Exeter Public Schools where she graduated high school in 1957.

On September 13, 1958, Shirley was married to Dencel Janes at the old Congregational Church in Exeter. To this union, three children were born, Kathryn, Carmen, and Robert. Although Shirley had the occasional job around town, her main focus was on family. Yearly summer vacations were always looked forward to but primary focus was on the next family gathering. Canning beets and butchering chickens were some of the working gatherings and every holiday was enjoyed with her siblings and the many nieces and nephews. In the early years of marriage, card parties, hamburgers at Mason’s CafĂ©, and a drink or two at one of Exeter’s taverns were some of the social activities she enjoyed. Her biggest enjoyment came when watching her children’s activities, mainly sports but all school activities were enjoyed equally.

After her children had grown and gone on to college and the military, Shirley and Dencel concentrated more on traveling. Many trips were organized by her brother, Len, and included their siblings and their spouses. Len named this the Fiasco Tours Group. It was an appropriate name given the fact that any event, planned or unplanned, had the ability to turn sideways at any time. But the ship always got righted and a good story was added to the trip. Many trips were taken with two journeys to Europe and a trip to Hawaii being major highlights.

On September 23, 2004, after 46 years of marriage, Dencel passed away. This was a very tough time but with the help of family and the community, Shirley was able to carry on and continue to enjoy life. Around this time, Shirley worked the lunch hour at Gator’s Pub in Exeter. This may have been more social hour than work hour but she did enjoy the job. Of the many things the job had to offer was an expansion of her vocabulary. Most of those words cannot be mentioned in this setting but she found humor in it and considered it a minor hazard of the job.

Shirley’s love for traveling continued after Dencel’s passing with trips to San Diego to visit her daughter, Carmen, and Palm Springs to visit her brother, Len. Shirley had one last traveling hurrah in her when a smaller version of the Fiasco Tours group went to Thailand. The highlight of the Thailand trip was riding an elephant. Until the day she passed, she still couldn’t believe that “this little farm girl from Nebraska” went around the globe and rode an elephant.

Traveling eventually stopped and wasn’t desired anymore, she’d had enough of airplanes so she chose to stick close to home. Shirley loved her downtown apartment and how it kept her close to the action. Crossword puzzles and reading took up a lot of her time but she truly loved her daily trips about a block south for her morning coffee so she could catch up on all the news that had transpired since her last cup the day before. Staying active in her church and Post 218 Legion Auxiliary were also things she enjoyed. It is safe to say, Shirley loved Exeter, Nebraska.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband Dencel; sister, Ruth and son-in-law, Paul Zagozda.

She leaves to mourn her passing, daughters, Kathy Zagozda and Carmen Waters (Bill) and son, Bob Janes (Katie Taylor). Seven grandchildren; Chris Waters, Sean Waters, Anna Huelle, Jacob Zagozda, Rachel Zagozda, Ashlee Murphy, and Levi Janes and six great children; Savannah and Kelsy Waters, Ashton and Daxton Murphy, Michael and P.K. Huelle; sisters, Frances Nelsonsister, Annie Griese and Sandi Jones and brother-in-law, Ronald; brothers, Raymond Franzen and Len Franzen and brother in law, Donald Lancaster.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Death Notice Shirley Janes

 A Memorial Service for Shirley will be held on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the United Church Of Christ in Exeter, Nebraska with Pastor Stuart Davis presiding.

No Visitation will be held as Shirley's wishes were to be cremated.

A Private Family Inurnment will be held at a later date at the Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska.

In Lieu of Flowers - Memorials are to be directed to the Exeter United Church of Christ or to the Exeter American Legion Wm. Sullivan - Post 218.

Cudaback Wrapped in Quilt of Valor


On Tuesday, July 20, Exeter resident Larry Cudaback was draped with a Quilt of Valor by his wife, Bonnie and daughters Darcy White, Dawn Welch and Stacey Hall.

Pat Becker a member of the Quilt of Valor program presented the quilt to Cudaback. Becker sewed the quilt top which was machine quilted by Diane Henke and bound by Becker.

The beautiful patriotic themed quilt was wrapped around Cudaback on their front porch.

Becker explained that the program was started in 2003 when QOV founder Catherine Roberts’ son was deployed in Iraq.  A dream gave her the idea that quilts from home would be comforting to those serving and so she began to make them to award to active military along with veterans. 

Roberts created a non-profit foundation to guide the project.  Since 2003 over 275,000 quilts have been awarded to those who have served. 

It was Roberts’ dream that the quilts would be recognized as a “civilian purple heart.”

Becker added in presenting the quilt, “As a grateful nation to thank you for your time in military service. . .and for putting your life on hold for serving your country.”

Cudaback served in the Army in Germany after World War II.  He enlisted in November of 1959 and did his basic training Fort Hood, TX and then Fort Knox, KY.  He was shipped to Germany and was stationed at Erlangen, Germany for his entire military career.

He did not come back to the states at all during his deployment.  During his leave time Cudaback explored Europe.  Cudaback learned a lot during his time in the service, “I grew up, it was a good experience.  I learned to pay attention and learned neatness.”

He served in Company B, First MTB (Medium Tank Division), 35th Armor, Fourth Armor Division. He was a tank commander and described many 72 hour training exercises with no sleep that he did each year.

Cudaback spent three years in Germany and was discharged in November of 1962 where because of the Bay of Pigs incident he got to fly home instead of spending nine days on a boat crossing the ocean.

Cudaback felt “very honored” to receive the quilt of valor.  He plans to display the quilt in his home.

Again Becker thanked Cudaback for his service, “Use this quilt. Don’t put it in a box.  We want you to be comforted by the quilt. Mere words cannot express thank you for putting your life on hold for the fulfillment of duty to a thankful nation.”