A memorial service for Evelyn June Aufdenkamp, age 92, of O’Neill, Nebraska, will be 3 p.m. Saturday, September 14, at Christ Lutheran Church in O’Neill. Rev. John Nelson will officiate. Inurnment will be in the Wanda Lutheran Cemetery at a later date. Evelyn passed away Thursday, September 5, 2019 at Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital in O’Neill. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to be given to the O’Neill Area Special Olympics, 622 Fairway Ave., O’Neill, NE. Biglin’s Mortuary in O’Neill is in charge of arrangements.
Evelyn June Fajen was born June 15, 1927, in Washington County, Kansas, to Walter and Olga (Dierking) Fajen. She grew up in the Palmer and Linn communities before graduating from Clifton (Kansas) High School in 1945. She moved to Nebraska in 1946.
She married Arthur Christian Aufdenkamp on December 26, 1948. Three children were born to this union: Dennis, Joyce, and Jonathan.
The family lived in several Nebraska communities where Arthur was a parochial teacher. He taught in Plainview, Juniata, Polk, and Elk Creek. They moved to Clay Center, Nebraska in 1968 where Arthur taught public school until 1973. He taught in Inland until 1983 when he retired. He passed away November 17, 1999.
Evelyn was a cake decorator for a number of years. In 1979, she began working for the Clay County Leader in Clay Center, then was employed at the Clay County News in Sutton in 1981. She went on to become the editor and worked full time until her retirement in 1993. She wrote a personal column “Echoes” for 28 ½ years.
As a member of Nebraska Press Women and the National Federation of Press Women, she earned numerous awards for writing, photography, and other categories at state and national levels. She was on the NPW executive board, serving two terms as secretary and on a variety of committees. She also received NPW’s highest honor, Communicator of Achievement. She was honored by the Governor of Nebraska as a Nebraska Admiral in the great Navy of the State of Nebraska, which is Nebraska’s highest honor. Evelyn was one of the 100 finalists in the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1959 that was held in Los Angeles, California. There she met Art Linkletter, who was the emcee of the awards banquet, and actress Greer Garson, and had her photo taken with actor Ronald Reagan.
She was a lifelong member of the Lutheran Church and was active in its organizations including LWML and Ladies Aid. She was also involved in civic organizations in communities where the family lived.
Evelyn moved to O’Neill in 2001 to be near her son Jon, and his family.
Evelyn is survived by her two sons, Dennis of Grass Valley, California and Jon Aufdenkamp and wife Sherry of O’Neill; one daughter, Joyce Plesher and husband Peter of Omaha; four grandchildren, Dylan and fiancée Katelyn, Michael, Cole and Eme Aufdenkamp; three sisters, Shirley Frost, Marge Pine, and Donice McDonald; one brother, John Fajen; two brothers-in-law, Dwight Koch and Don Pine; sister-in-law, Pam Fajen; and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death in 1935, were her younger siblings: Bernita, age six; Richard, age three; Gladys, ten months; and one sister, Myrna Kathleen Koch in 2010.