Ione Lewis (Bigelow) Hruza

(July 21, 1917 - April 10, 2002)


The Lusk Herald
April 25, 2002


Ione Lewis Hruza

Ione Hruza passed away April 10 at Memorial Health Center Extended Care in Sidney, Neb. Cremation has taken place, and memorial services were held April 20 at the Methodist Church in Harrison, Neb. Graveside services and inurnment followed at Prairie View Cemetery with Holechek Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Ione was born July 21, 1917, on a homestead four miles southeast of Harrison, the daughter of Delmer and Dorcas (Zumbrunnen) Bigelow. After attending rural schools, Ione graduated from Sioux County high School in Harrison in 1934. Two years later she received an associate's degree in Secretarial Science from Chadron State College, Chadron, Neb.

Ione and Everett Corwin Lewis were married May 22, 1937. The couple moved soon afterward to Lexington, Ky. Following Everett's death in 1942, Ione and her three children returned to Harrison, making it their home until 1949, when they moved to Lusk.

In 1962, Ione moved to Fort Collins, Colo., where, while working full-time, she completed a bachelor's degree in Business Education/Administration at Colorado State University. In 1966, she moved to Rangely, Colo., where she taught at Rangely College for several years.

Ione and Francis Hruza of Peetz, Colo., were married in 1969. The couple then moved to Riverton, where they owned and operated Cottonwood Court housing complex. Following Francis' death in 1984, Ione continued operating the business until her retirement in 1992. She lived in Lander for a year prior to moving to Sidney, Neb., in December 1999.

Ione was a member of the VFW and the American Legion Auxiliaries and a life member as a spouse of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association.

Survivors include two daughters, Lennea and husband Jack Slagle of Lander and Leila and husband James Norris of Houston, Texas; a son, Dr. Lon and wife Nancy Lewis of Topeka, Kan.; six grandchildren, Kirk Slagle, Kim (Slagle) Dykman, Bart and Corey Lewis, Nick Norris and Brandi (Norris) Kraft; and 12 great grandchildren.

Also surviving are step-daughters Eloise(Hruza) Thomas of Denver, Colo., and Janis (Hruza) Mitchell of Greeley, Colo.; four step-grandchildren; two sisters, Lucile Bigelow of Scottsbluff, Neb., and Clara Bigelow Harmon of Sterling, Colo., one brother, Eugene Bigelow of Lakewood, Colo.; a foster daughter, Rena Brown of Riverton; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Ione was preceded in death by her parents, two husbands and a brother, Warren Bigelow of Laramie.

Memorials have been established to the Memorial Health Center Extended Care in Sidney at 549 Keller Dr., c/o Judy Frerichs.




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Ray Whipple (March 10, 1883 - April 10, 1967)

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Related Historical Entries: 'Ione Lewis (Bigelow) Hruza'

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