Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Frances Mae (Hanzel) Wackel


Frances Mae (Hanzel) Wackel, 87, formerly of Kimball, passed away Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at Bryan Memorial Hospital in Lincoln.

Frances (Fran) was born June 24, 1926 in Yankton, South Dakota to Edward and Agnes Hanzel.

Surviving Fran is her husband of 66 years, Nick Wackel. She is also survived by five children: Sandy (Lou) Mataya of Carmel, Indiana, Connie (Jim) Volkmer of Leesburg, Virginia, Patti (Byron) Wheeler of Grand Island, Nebraska, Tim (Debbie) Wackel of Dallas, Texas, and Tom (Ann) Wackel of Lincoln, Nebraska, nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren. Two sisters, Margaret Janecek and Audrey Schulze of Dodge, Nebraska, and one brother, Dick Hanzel, of Indianapolis, Indiana are her surviving siblings.

She was a 1944 graduate of Dodge High School. After graduation, she attended St. Catherine’s School of Nursing in Omaha.

She served as vice president of her graduating class and upon completion of her State Boards became a Registered Nurse in 1947. She married Nick Wackel in September of 1947 in David City.

After living in Eastern Nebraska for many years, in 1964 they moved to Kimball, Nebraska where they resided for 43 years. Nick and Fran have lived at the Grand Lodge in Lincoln since 2007.

She was an avid fan of Husker sports, and never missed an opportunity to watch the Women’s Volleyball team. Music was always a big part of her day. She loved to play the piano and dance, especially if it was a polka.

Fran was an active member of her church through the Altar Society and her community through working with the Board of Elections, local blood drives, and as a reading program volunteer. She continued her involvement with nursing through work with the Western Nebraska Nursing Association.

Fran was preceded in death by her parents and three brothers.

A Rosary service will be at 7:30 pm Friday at Butherus, Maser & Love Chapel, 4040 A Street, Lincoln. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:30 am Saturday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 1940 South 77th Street, Lincoln with Father Frank Curran officiating. A graveside service will follow at 3:00 pm Saturday in Mt. Hope Cemetery, West Point, NE. Viewing will start at Noon Thursday at the funeral home.

Memorials are suggested to Frances’ favorite charities c/o her family.


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