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BEDARD, Mildred (Kleffner) 1917-2008

BEDARD, KLEFFNER, KORTH, BERG, NEMMERS, SCHROEDER DITTRICK

Posted By: S. Bell
Date: 8/6/2014 at 00:55:40

[Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Thursday, July 17, 2008]

WATERLOO - Mildred Bedard, 91, of Waterloo, died Tuesday, July 15, 2008, at Rosewood Estates.

"Millie" was born in the small town of Lindsay, Neb., near Humphrey on May 6, 1917.

Millie and her older loving sister, Lauretta, lost both of their parents, John and Mary Korth Kleffner, due to pneumonia at a very early age. Because of this early tragedy, Millie and Lauretta were separated and Lauretta was raised by her grandfather, Jacob Korth in Humphrey; and Millie, at the age of two years, was raised as an official member of her Uncle Bill and Aunt Margaret Berg's family on their farm near Humphrey. Millie, throughout her life, had always vividly recalled growing up on the farm with the Berg family, which included Art, Jerome, Tom, Jim, Dave and Mary Katherine "Dolly" Berg. Describing scenes right out of the book, "The Grapes of Wrath," Millie recalled her childhood years of always praying for rain with the Berg family and frequently having to rush down to the storm cellar to dodge Nebraska's numerous tornadoes. Millie recalled her Uncle Sam Korth claiming that one day it was so dry and windy in the sand hills of Nebraska, he saw a gopher 20 feet in the air vigorously trying to dig a hole in the ground. Millie, being a little timid as a child, had always especially recalled her terrifying experiences of having to drive the race horse and buggy back and forth from the farm to the elementary school in Humphrey with "Dolly" Berg.

In 1938, at the age of 21, with a few pennies in her coin purse and a few sparse items of clothing in her suitcase, Millie came to Waterloo with Dave and Verona Berg and initially stayed with Jerome and Mamie Berg on Manson Street. Not long after, Millie found a live-in housekeeping job for a Jewish family (the Shermans) on Washington Street, making a meager wage per week, and it wasn't long after that when Millie met her husband-to-be, Robert J. Bedard, at the forever popular Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo. After young Robert convergently beaded in on Millie, "Nebraska's Beauty," he enthusiastically went to his father, Leo J. Bedard (1885-1949), whom Robert always honored and respected and said, "Dad, I'm going to settle down and get married!" And Leo immediately said, "Robert, before you settle down, you had better settle up, because you owe money to everybody in town." Robert did settle up and settle down as he began to work really hard at the Rath Packing Company and married Millie in 1940 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Waterloo. After being married for a short time, Millie surprisingly found out that her late natural father, John Kleffner, had reserved an inheritance for her and with Millie's monetary inheritance, Robert and Millie together were able to purchase their very first home at 310 Mobile St. in Waterloo. And I'm totally convinced today that it's true of the saying "behind every successful man is a supportive loyal woman," and in our case, this woman was our very loyal and dedicated mother, Mildred J. Bedard. All of Millie's life, Millie absolutely loved to be around little children, as they were sure to bring a smile on her face. Being a devout Roman Catholic, Millie was a member of the Rosary Society at St. John's Catholic Church in Waterloo, and her two favorite prayers she frequently recited all her life were the Our Father and the Hail Mary.

Millie is survived by Robert and Millie's two sons, Larry J. and Robert L. (Kathye) of Waterloo, and a daughter, Susan G. Nemmers of Nashville, Tenn. There are six grandchildren, Jeff (Paige) Bedard of Johnson City, Tenn., Jennifer (Tim) Mauro of Des Moines, Matt (Amy) Nemmers of Fort Worth, Texas, Suzanne (Chris) Roberts of Waterloo, Mark Nemmers of Denver, Colo., and Emily Nemmers of Nashville; along with 11 great-grandchildren, Taylor, Justin and Jake Bedard of Johnston City, Madalyn, Olivia and Sophia Mauro of Des Moines, Olivia, William and Andrew Roberts of Waterloo, and Madeline and Gracie Nemmers of Fort Worth. Also surviving are Mary Katherine "Dolly" Kuta Schroeder of Columbus, Neb., Delores (Jim) Berg of Humphrey, Alvira (Art) Berg of Minnesota; and many younger nieces, nephews and cousins.

Millie was preceded in death by her husband, Robert J. Bedard, in 2002; her parents, John (1927) and Mary (1918) Kleffner, who died in childbirth with Millie's brother, Joseph; an older sister, Lauretta (Leo) Dittrick (2000) of Norfolk, Neb., and almost all the original Berg family members in Humphrey.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, with burial in Mount Olivet Cemetery. Public visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Hagarty-Waychoff-Grarup Funeral Service on West Ridgeway, where there will be a 4 p.m. rosary and a 7 p.m. vigil service. Visitation also for an hour before services at the church on Saturday.

Memorials may be made to Cedar Valley Hospice.


 

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