Fred Martin Werkmeister, 70 passed away peacefully in Lincoln Nebraska on December 25, 2021.
Fred was born in McCook Nebraska on February 15, 1951 to Max and Donna Werkmeister. He lived in Maywood Nebraska and graduated from Maywood High School. Fred was part of a large fun family. There are many stories from his youth with his brothers and cousins that we’ve been told that won’t be put in print to protect the living, but trust me, they had a lot of fun.
Following High School, Fred joined the United States Navy. He served in Vietnam aboard the USS New Orleans, LPH-11. His Navy buddy recalled him as a good spirited and earnest shipmate. Being far from home, they enjoyed listening to Johnny Cash and talking about where they grew up. While aboard the USS New Orleans, they had the distinction of recovering the Apollo 14 capsule. Always a country boy at heart, he broke horses and rode bulls after he was out of the service.
He eventually met the love of his life, LaVonne. They were married at the American Lutheran Church in Gothenburg on November 24, 1976. He adopted LaVonne’s son Darin and was a loving devoted father. They made a home together in Gothenburg where Fred worked at the COOP for over 30 years. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved hunting and fishing with his friends. Never one to be idle, he entered the Lutheran Steven Ministry Program and served the congregation in Callaway Nebraska for many years. He loved the community of Callaway deeply. He was blessed with two granddaughters who adored him and loved him greatly.
Tragically, he was involved in an automobile accident in 2014 that left him paralyzed from the chest down and was confined to a wheelchair. After spending time in Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, he moved to the Callaway Good Life Center where he received loving nursing care. It was that accident that brought forth, for everyone to see, the true strength of the man. He worked tirelessly and fought fearlessly for years to overcome any and all obstacles. He taught himself to use speech to text software, so he could continue to prepare sermons and conduct services for the church in Callaway. He taught himself to use a smart phone and tablet to stay in contact with everyone. He maintained a positive outlook on life and always had a smile and a hearty laugh for everyone. He was always trying to help anyone he could. He never met a stranger and continued to inspire people and make friends wherever he went.
He is survived by his wife LaVonne, his son Darin, his daughter-in-law Amy and two granddaughters Catherine and Sarah. Additionally he is survived by his brothers and sisters
Doug, Joe, John, Dennis, Diane, Della, and Denine. He is now at peace now with the Lord and his fight is over. Those who knew him and loved him are happy for this, but will miss him terribly.
Register Book signing will be held at Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel, Gothenburg, NE; Friday, February 18, 2022 from 1:00-7:00 pm with the family present from 4:00-6:00 pm.
Celebration of Life Services will be held at American Lutheran Church, Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 10:30 am with Rev. Doug Hjelmstad officiating.
Burial will follow in the Gothenburg Cemetery, Gothenburg, NE.
Memorials may be given to the Gothenburg Meals on Wheels or Madonna Rehabilitation.