Nature 19

Corinne Ackerman-Wallace (Fecht) Sappingfield

February 13, 1930 ~ June 24, 2022 (age 92)


Corinne Joyce Sappingfield, 92, of Gothenburg, Nebraska, died June 24, 2022 in Gothenburg, NE.  

On February 13, 1930, Corinne Joyce was born to John and Ethel (Shaffer) Fecht on the family farm outside Regan, Nebraska.  Due to the impact of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, the family moved in 1933 to the farmlands south of Gothenburg, Nebraska.  She grew up here, learning to shoot, ride, fish, (and keep her brothers in line), as well as to cook and sew.  Being a farm kid in those days meant she grew up without electricity or indoor plumbing, but studying by kerosene lamp didn’t slow her down. She was skipped a grade when it was time for her to go to high school in town.  She graduated with the GHS class of 1947 and always loved being involved with planning reunions and keeping up with her classmates.

It was in high school that Corinne met her first love, Harlan Ackerman. They were married in August, after her graduation. This union was blessed with four children, Becky, Pamela, Dwight, and Ginger. She was never happier than when she was raising her babies. She also raised a huge garden, chickens, and even pigs. But the family was struck by tragedy twice. Dwight contracted an intestinal infection and died at just eight months of age.  The second tragedy not only impacted the family, but the entire community of Gothenburg.  Harlan worked for the power company, and he and a coworker were both accidentally killed while working high lines outside of town in November of 1958.

Corinne was devastated. But at 28 years old she knew she had to keep her family together. She went to beauty school in Grand Island and earned her cosmetology license. She worked as a beauty operator for Gladys McBride, who introduced her to her second love, Mearl Wallace.  Corinne and Mearl we’re married in December, 1960. This union was blessed with two sons, Jeffrey and Robert.

Life was easier and she was able to return to being a full-time wife and mother. She also had time to become more active in the community. She joined the Women’s Auxiliary of the VFW and served in many capacities, including several years as President. She was a member of the Sunshine Homemakers extension club. A good bowler, Corinne was on ladies and mixed leagues.

Corinne was confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran, and was an original member of the merger into the American Lutheran Church. She was active in the church, teaching Sunday school and being one of those church ladies that help get things done behind the scenes - she was a master at Jell-O salads.

When Mearl became disabled in 1971, Corinne returned to work as a beautician at Slack Nursing Home. She worked there for 25 years before she retired. She loved the residents and had such dear friends among the staff. Despite his illness, the two loved to travel around the USA, visiting kids and relatives. Mearl passed away in 1994 and Corinne was a widow again.

She always said she was a person who liked another pair of feet under the kitchen table, and Carol Sappingfield turned out to be her third love. They had known each other for decades and had even shared the beauty shop space at the nursing home when Carol would come in to barber the guys every few weeks. They were married in June 1996, and were just shy of their 26th anniversary when Carol passed on earlier this month.  During her retirement, she worked for the cleaners and the mortuary.
She was a beautiful lady, inside and out.  Her carrot cake is legendary.

Corinne is survived by her children, Pamela Duffy of Omaha, Ginger Ackerman-Belsan of North Platte, Jeffrey Wallace of Omaha, and Robert Ryan Wallace of Ontario, California; one sister, Lorene (Dan) Billington of Folkston, Georgia; 12 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, and several step children and grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, John and Ethel Fecht; 3 husbands: Harlan Ackerman, Mearl Wallace, and Carol Sappingfield; 2 children: Dwight Ackerman and Becky Radmore; son-in-law Kenneth Radmore; siblings and spouses: Keith and Betty Fecht, Don and Bernadine Fecht, John “Burrell” and Marilyn Fecht, and Bonnita and Dennis Thompson; and niece Lori Emken.

Visitation will be held at Blase-Strauser Memorial Chapel, Gothenburg, Nebraska; Tuesday, June 28, 2022, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm.

Services will be held at American Lutheran Church, June 29, 2022 at 11:00 am with Pastor Doug Hjelmstad officiating.  

Interment will follow in the Fort McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Nebraska.

Memorials may be given to the American Lutheran Church, 1512 Avenue G, Gothenburg, NE 69138 or Gothenburg Meals on Wheel's.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Corinne Ackerman-Wallace (Fecht) Sappingfield, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
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June 28, 2022

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Strauser Memorial Chapel, Gothenburg, Nebraska!

Funeral Service
June 29, 2022

11:00 AM
American Lutheran Church
1512 AVe G
Gothenburg, NE 69138


Fort McPherson National Cemetery
12004 S. Spur Road
Maxwell, NE 69151

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