Lena Vaile (Whelan) Hebbert





Gravestone photos are used with permission from photographer Chuck James
Gravestone photos are used with permission from photographer Chuck James

(March 28, 1918 - September 29, 2009)


The Lusk Herald
October 7, 2009


Lena Vaile Hebbert

Lena Vaile Hebbert passed away Sept. 29, 2009 at the Crestview Care Center in Chadron, Nebraska. Services for Lena Hebbert will be held on Friday, Oct. 9, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. at Chamberlain Chapel in Chadron with Reverend Paul Hebbert officiating. Burial will follow at the Highland Center Cemetery. She never lived over 120 miles from her birthplace, Jireh, Wyo. in her 91 years.

Lena was born on March 28, 1918 in the little college town of Jireh, Wyo. and was always proud to be the daughter of C. Art Whelan and Clara Pearl (Davis) Whelan. She attended all twelve years of her secondary schooling in Lusk, Wyo. and graduated from high school in 1935.

Mrs. Hebbert was a lifetime educator and was always thankful and proud to have attended and graduated from the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo. with the class of 1939, which was a true blessing for a woman during the Depression. She was always quick to point out that she was a teacher. In her eyes, that was her greatest accomplishment.

Lena taught in Burns and Hillsdale, Wyo. and met her future husband during those two years. She married Robert Todd at the home of her parents on May 20, 1941. They lost an infant son in 1942 and Sandra (SanDee) Sue was born in 1943. Lena and Bob had a sheep ranch south of Keeline, Wyoming. Lena herded sheep with her baby daughter on horseback during those days. The marriage was later dissolved and Lena had a grocery store, a telephone exchange and delivered mail on a rural route during those years in Keeline, Wyoming with SanDee always beside her. She taught in Casper, Wyoming the school year of 48-49. Lena married Bill Hebbert in Jan. 1, 1949 in Casper, Wyo. They always said that they started the “49” blizzard.

Bill and Lena had a son William (Bill) Gene in 1952. They relocated to the Flat Top area south of Keeline, Wyoming on a ranch owned by Jerry Smith. In the summer of 1954, Bill and Lena moved to the “Ole Hebbert” place southeast of Chadron, Neb., on the Table.

From the fall of 1955, to the spring of 1957, Lena taught in the one room Headden School seventeen miles North of Hemingford. Many a snowy day she rode horseback to make sure that the school door was open for her students. In the fall of 1957, she started teaching in the Hemingford, Nebraska school system and did so for the next twenty-three years. The family lovingly teased,”that the rest of us graduated, but Mama never got out of the 4th grade.” Lena and Bill were on the ranch until later years when ill health forced them to sell.

Lena loved to read, to be with people, play the piano and sing. The ladies at the Senior Center in Chadron called her “Butterfly” and she loved it. She especially enjoyed being a part of the Volunteers of the Senior Center for as long as she was able.

Lena Vaile Hebbert is survived by her daughter, Sandra Tomlinson and husband Bill of Ignacio, Colo.; son Bill Hebbert and wife Diane of Bayside, Wis.; daughter-in-law Beverly Hebbert and her families of Casper, Wyo.; Step-son Paul Hebbert and families of Gering, Neb.; Ruth McGannon of Chadron, Neb., her precious sister-in-law, numerous nieces, nephews, and life long friends.

Mrs. Hebbert was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Waunita, and infant brother, baby son, her husband Bill of 48 years, and step-son George Hebbert and Paul Hebbert’s wife Margaret.

A special thank you goes out to all those who loved and cared for Lena at Prairie Pines and Crestview Care Center.

A memorial has been established for R.O.A.R. (Reach Out. Act. Respond. For animals) Animal Planet organization. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, Neb. 69337.

Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron is in charge of arrangements.


This gravestone photo was found on nebraskagravestones.org.








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