Vernon Ruetzel

(July 18, 1928 - April 11, 2014)

The Lusk Herald
April 11, 2014

Vernon Ruetzel, 85, of North Platte, died April 11, 2014, at Centennial Park Retirement Center.

He was born on July 18, 1928, in Maxwell to Charles and Kathryn (Connelly) Reutzel.

Vernon grew up on a farm near Maxwell and attended high school at Maxwell where he was captain of the football team. On October 12, 1947, Vernon married Colleen Thomsen in North Platte. They raised seven children together. Vernon farmed and did dozer and terrace work south of Maxwell until 1963. He moved his family back to California and worked as a mechanic for a Ford garage until 1970. He moved his family back to North Platte and worked for UPRR as a machinist and welder, retiring on June 28, 1993. Vernon was a member of the First Lutheran Church, and was a past 4-H leader. Vernon and Colleen also raised 27 foster children in their home. He loved being outdoors. He took several trips with his family to Colorado every year for camping and fishing trips. He always had a huge garden and his fruit trees were his pride. He liked to watch the trees bloom, garden grow and watching the simple trees like rabbits, squirrels and birds.

Survivors include his wife, Colleen, of North Platte; six children, Doris E. (Doug) Howard, of North Platte, Gustive Reutzel, of North Platte, Mickie A. Kniep, of Columbus, Paula S. (Jeff) Yoachim, of Bellevue, Theresa M. Davis, of North Platte, and Alan S. Reutzel, of Sioux City, Iowa; a son-in-law, Bob Bowker, of North Platte; two sisters, Donna (Dale) Gunn, of Lusk, Wyo., and Karen Imoe, of Kittredge, Colo.; twelve grandchildren, Melissa Ross, Gus Reel, Danika Reutzel, Desiree Ruetzel, Ashley (Ben) Aloi, Amber (Adam) Plaster, Austin Kniep, Sara (Dave) Walker; thirteen great-grandchildren, Les, Jeff, Nita, Leanne, Gander, Eden, Riley, Pyper, Kaitlyn, Jace, Ricky, Anastacia, and Autumn.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Jack, Dean, Boyd, Neil and Keith; and his daughter, Verlien.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Nebraska Kidney Association or the Callihan Cancer Center, and online condolences can be made at

Services were held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 15, at the First Lutheran Church with the Rev. Frank Fitch officiating. Burial was at Floral Lawns Memorial Gardens.

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