Erna Alice (Stallbaum) Heckens, 101, formally of Emerson, NE, most recent of Holdrege, NE, passed away on Saturday, April 18, 2020 at Christian Homes in Holdrege, NE. A private family Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, April 22, 2020; with Pastor Daniel Schroeder officiating. Private family burial will take place on Wednesday in Rose Hill Cemetery in Emerson, NE. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family for future designation. Arrangements are under the direction of Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Emerson, NE.
Erna was born October 22, 1918 in Emerson, NE, on the family farm to William and Betty (Steecker) Stallbaum. Three days after birth, her mother passed away from the flu during the 1918, flu pandemic. Erna’s father needed help raising the kids and sent her to town where she was raised by her grandma and aunt. She graduated from Emerson High School in 1936. Following graduation, she began working at Dora McCorkindale’s clothing store in Emerson. On November 1, 1936, she married James Heckens in Emerson, NE. To this union, 2 daughters were born: Tanice and Sandra. During her time in Emerson, she was a member of numerous organizations, most notable: The Rebekah’s organization, American Legion Auxiliary, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and Nebraska School Food Association. Erna was a farm wife until Emerson-Hubbard school reached out to her to be the head cook in the cafeteria. She worked at the school for 19 years and served as the President for the Nebraska School Food Association for a year. In 2000, Erna moved to Wilcox, NE, to be closer to her daughter, Tanice. There she attended the United Methodist Church and worked as the Librarian for the town library.
Erna is survived by her daughter, Tanice (Mark) Twohig of Wilcox, NE; son-in-law, Richard Olesen of Allen, NE; grandchildren, Jason (Katie) Olesen of Allen, NE, Nikki (Todd) Brown of Omaha, Ryan (Dawn) Twohig of Valparaiso, NE, Kerri (Baron) Axtell of Funk, NE, Corey (Cheri) Twohig of Franklin, NE, Kasey Twohig (fiancé Dan Freitag) of Holdrege, NE; great grandchildren, Bret Brown, Joshua Olesen, Gabriel Olesen, Paige Twohig, Cade Axtell, Haley Twohig, Ethan Twohig, Keller Twohig, Cauy Twohig, Kooper Twohig, Tierney Twohig, Gavin Twohig, Kelby Twohig and Jace Freitag.
She is preceded in death by her husband, James; parents, William and Betty, daughter, Sandra Olesen, twin infant granddaughters, Robin Olesen and Rochelle Olesen; infant granddaughter, Tiffany Olesen; brothers, William (Deloris) Stallbaum, Melvin Stallbaum; sister, Verna (Carl) Harder.
Pallbearers for Erna will be Josh Olesen, Jason, Olesen, Ryan Twohig, Corey Twohig, Baron Axtell, and Ethan Twohig.