Mary Lucille "Mary Lou" (Wasserburger) Federle

Photo courtesy of photographer Jim Sheaffer,
Photo courtesy of photographer Jim Sheaffer,

(February 20, 1926 - July 15, 2014)

The Lusk Herald
July 23, 2014

Funeral services for Mary Lou Federle of Harrison, Nebraska will be held on Friday, July 25, 2014 at the Church of the Nativity in Harrison at 10:00 AM with Father Bernard Berger officiating. Burial will be at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Harrison. A rosary will be held on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 7:00 PM at the Church of the Nativity in Harrison.

Mrs. Federle passed away on July 15, 2014 at her home in Harrison. Mary Lou was born on February 20, 1926 in Ardmore, South Dakota. She was 88.

A memorial has been established for an organization of the Donor's Choice. Donations may be sent to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337.

Online condolences can be made at

Chamberlain Chapel of Crawford is in charge of arrangements.

The Lusk Herald
July 30, 2014

Mary Lucille "Mary Lou" Federle passed away at her home in Harrison, NE on July 15, 2014. She was born on February 20, 1926 in Ardmore, South Dakota to Harry and Mary Frances Wasserburger.

She attended elementary school at Sioux County District 16 and high school at Assumption Academy in Chadron, NE, graduating in 1943.

She was married to John L. Federle on April 15, 1948 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Montrose, NE where she had been baptized and confirmed.

The couple made their home in Harrison, NE. They owned and operated the Harrison Sun newspaper for a time and remained involved in that industry for many years as reporters and columnists for that and other regional newspapers.

After selling the paper, the Federles worked with her family as a part of Wasserburger Brothers Inc., ranching and operating livestock auctions in Harrison, NE, and Lusk, WY. In 1961, they partnered with Millie Wasserburger, building and operating the Douglas Livestock Exchange until its sale shortly after the turn of the new century.

As ranchers and sale barn owners, the Federles were long-time members of the Livestock Marketing Association, working for the regulation and betterment of the livestock marketing industry.

Mary Lou was a long-time member of the Harrison Ladies Community Club and served as president of the District 7 school board for several years.

In the 1980s, Mary Lou was instrumental in the successful grass-roots movement to halt the Etsy Pipeline's purchase of Nebraska easements, which would have threatened the fragile Oglala aquifer, the vital water source to the area.

Mary Lou was a lifelong Catholic and a member of Harrison's Church of the Nativity and St. Theresa's Altar Society. She decorated the church for many years, taught religious education classes and was a Eucharistic Minister and greeter at Mass.

She was very involved with family and friends, entertaining at holidays and having parties.

Mary Lou is survived by her sister Mildred Wasserburger; children Maridee Federle Swanson, Andy Federle and wife Holly, Pat Federle. Grandchildren Timothy Swanson and wife LeAndra, Mary Katherine "Kassi" Swanson, Max Federle and wife Nicole, Meggan Federle and Jennifer (McCoy) Swanson; great-grandchildren Brendan and Zac Swanson, Evan Yarwood-Swanson and step-great-grandchildren Noah, Anona and Alyssa Vogel.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband John and sister Roberta Shockley.

Online condolences can be made at

Chamberlain Chapel of Crawford is in charge of arrangements.

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