Earl Osterbuhr

Earl W. Osterbuhr, 96, of rural Hildreth, passed away on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 at Kearney Regional Medical Center. Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, April 26, 2021 at Zion Lutheran Church, west of Macon, with the Rev. Marcia Dorn officiating. Interment will be held following services at the Emmanuel Lutheran Cemetery, south of Hildreth.

A video of the service will be posted to the funeral home’s website and Facebook page following the service. Visitation was held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 25, 2021 at the Craig Funeral Home – Jelden Chapel in Hildreth. Memorials in Earl’s honor are kindly suggested to the Franklin County Museum. Craig Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Earl Wayne Osterbuhr was born on a farm south of Hildreth on October 25, 1924. He was the third child of Ehme Janssen Osterbuhr and Trientje “Tena” (Albers) Osterbuhr. He was baptized and confirmed at Emmanuel Lutheran Church south of Hildreth. He attended school at District 21 through eighth grade and Hildreth High School for a time. He was chosen to drive the school bus and pick up children along the way to school. When he was 17, he was needed on the farm when his brother enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard. 

He was united in marriage to Ardyce Dena Yelken on April 8, 1945 at the Macon Methodist Church. They made their home less than a mile from where Earl was born and to this union they added two daughters, Debbie Jo and Donna Sue. Earl and Ardyce were married for nearly 67 years.

Earl took pride in his yard as well as home and farm improvement. He was able to continue his work until the age of 90, often at the risk of being scolded by his family. Besides being a farmer for 47 years, Earl was also a skilled mechanic, builder, block layer and welder. He did most of his own repairs and remodeling. He was also a fine craftsman at woodworking and furniture refinishing.

Earl enjoyed fishing and boating as well as working and playing with his daughters and grandchildren. He supported their many school and church activities. He and Ardyce enjoyed seeing much of the beauty of this country and Europe in their travels. In later years, Earl enjoyed the simple pleasure of watching nature, birds and animals.

Earl’s community involvement included Emmanuel Church Board, Hildreth Co-Op, Hildreth School Board and Hildreth Lions Club. He also volunteered many hours at the Franklin County Museum. Earl was a man of few words but a man of his word. He was a wealth of knowledge and had a creative mind with a sense of duty. He loved order and beauty.

Those who knew Earl well enjoyed his sense of humor, his gentle kindness and his generous acts of service.

Earl passed from this life into the presence of the Lord on April 21, 2021 at the Kearney Regional Medical Center, at the age of 96 years and six months. Both his daughters were at his side. He was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife, Ardyce; as well as his sister, Esther Hemmen and her husband, John; his brother, Lawrence Osterbuhr and his wife, Alta “Connie”; and great-grandchild, Gabriel Biskup. 

He leaves to celebrate his life and memory, his daughters, Debbie Potter and husband Lee, and Donna Osterbuhr; grandchildren, Christopher Potter and Eric Contreras, Brandon Potter and Susan Potter, Brittney (Potter) Biskup and Blake Biskup, and Jesse Osterbuhr; great-grandchildren, Kathryn and Camryn Potter, and Linden, Tucker and Layne Biskup; niece, Sandi Einspahr; and family friend, Dan Robbins. He is also remembered by special friend, Joyce Pedersen and her family; as well as cousins, neighbors and dear friends.

Tributes and memories can be shared with the family at www.craigfunerals.com.