Funeral services for Jewell W. “Corky” Bottger were Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Tekamah. Burial was in Tekamah Cemetery. The Tekamah man passed away Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. at Tekamah Care and Rehabilitation Center in Tekamah. He was 84.
Corky was born April 6, 1934, to William and Irene Rose (Pullen) Bottger in rural Wakefield, Neb.
Corky was raised on a farm and loved to drive the tractor. He had a dog named Rex that would bring the cows home on command. He was very proud of Rex.
Corky went to Dixon County Schools, then moved near Martinsberg, Neb., where he continued school there. He later attended school in Allen, Neb., where he graduated with the class of 1951.
Corky and his best friend Emil Schaenrock joined the Navy. Since Corky was only 16 at the time, his dad had to sign for him to get into the military. When he was discharged, he went to Oxford, Neb., to live with his sister. He managed the grocery store “Lopers” until the Swanson plant closed; many people left town and a manager was no longer needed. A.J. Bruce put an ad in the Omaha World Herald looking for a produce manager. Corky inquired about the job and got it, providing that he shaved his mustache.
Corky and Vernita “Dee” Nadine Marble met in the Lopers store. Corky said, “Who is wearing ‘To a Wild Rose’?” It was Dee. She was wearing the same perfume his mother wore. His mother had passed when he was only 14. Corky and Dee wed on Jan. 1, 1956.
Corky and Dee moved to Tekamah in April 1957. He worked for Save More Market for 49 years.
Growing up, the Bottgers were very strong in the Lutheran religion, always attending church on Sundays and the other functions the church would have.
Corky was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Jill; brother, David Lee; sister, Bonnie; brother-in-law, Vince Schlenker.
He is survived by his wife, Dee, daughter, Joni (Bob) Ruetz of Salt Lake City, Utah; son, Johnnie (Bridgit) Bottger of Tekamah; brother, Melvin (Saundra) Bottger of Grand Island, Neb.; four grandchildren; a great-grandson; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Memorials are suggested to Tekamah Fire and Rescue.
Pelan Funeral Services is in charge of the arrangements.