Former Hastings, Nebraska, resident “Reaky Ann” Troxel Bergman, 96, left this Earth on Thursday, June 25, 2020, at Hillcrest Firethorn in Lincoln, Nebraska, surrounded by the love of her family.
Memorial service is 10 a.m. Monday, July 6, at Apfel Funeral Home Chapel in Hastings, Nebraska, with Dr. L.D. Holmes, Pastor and nephew, officiating.
Burial will be at Parkview Cemetery in Hastings. Visitation is 2-5 p.m. Sunday with family present at the Apfel Funeral Home in Hastings. Apfel Funeral Home is in care of the family. Condolences may be sent to the family from www.apfelfuneralhome.com.
Memorials may be given to the Wounded Warrior Project or a charity of your choice.
Friedrika Anna “Ann” Weber was born to George Weber, who was born and baptized as Gerhard Ommen, and Gertie Kathrina (Duering) Weber on April 4, 1924, in Cambridge, Nebraska.
Ann’s years spent growing up on a farm with her sisters and brothers were filled with hard work and happy memories. Ann graduated in 1942 and shortly after that the family moved to Hastings. Ann was taken to McCook to work as a waitress to help provide financial support for the family.
Ann met Philip Dean Troxel at a dance in McCook and fell in love with him, but not his souped up car that was decorated with silly sayings!
Dean and Ann eloped to Kansas on June 30, 1943. When Dean joined the Army and was sent to Basic Training in Missouri, Ann moved onto the Army Air Force Base in Kearney.
It was during this time she learned to weld, working at the 403rd Sub Depot, which provided aircraft parts and equipment for combat in World War II. Ann was a good worker and was promoted to quality control.
After WWII, they began raising a family of four children: Stanley, Elwyn, Janice and Kathleen. They also shared heartbreak when their Baby Boy (R.C.) was stillborn.
Dean delivered products for Abbott’s Dairy, while Ann took on a task she most enjoyed doing — being a MOTHER. She was a master of her trade!! She would say that a Mother’s job is to provide “roots and wings” for their children. She taught us the value of hard work and the appreciation of family. She always made us feel loved and kept us all clean, healthy and happy.
In the ’50s, they took up farming on Woodland Avenue in Hastings with a few dairy cows and some chickens. The grazing pastures are now known as BRICKYARD PARK. As it grew, they moved to another farm in Sutton, Nebraska, and lived there for about 5 years.
On occasion, Ann’s family would come to the farm and the adults would play cards while the cousins played together. There was always enough food in the freezer or canned to prepare a meal for up to 18 people on a moment’s notice.
Campbell, Nebraska, was the next farmstead, and this time they owned the land and all the responsibility that came with it.
Ann kept the books for the farm, cleaned the milk barn, fed and harvested the chickens and almost always had a bountiful garden. We still talk about her pea soup and pineapple muffins, her mustard creamed green beans and many other delicious meals prepared from products produced from the farms they lived on. She sewed matching dresses for the girls and herself for the Fair one year!
After selling the farm in the early ’70s, they returned to live in Hastings, right across from BRICKYARD PARK! Mom enjoyed working at Hastings Pork and had a lot of success, and bonuses, for raising the largest litters and having the healthiest “house!”
Ann was taking a leave from her job at Hastings Pork to care for Dean, as his health was failing, when he died on March 30, 1979, in a tragic house fire due to faulty wiring. Ann returned to work at Hastings Pork and channeled her extra time and energy into serving veterans and others in the community.
She was a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles since 1974. In 1981, she joined the VFW Auxiliary Post 1346, where she later served as president.
She was elected to serve as District 13 President for 2 terms and received the honor of “OUTSTANDING DISTRICT PRESIDENT” in 1995, which won her a trip to Washington, D.C., to enjoy the blossoming cherry trees and many other events. Ann is a Gold Circle Member of the VFW Auxiliary.
In a chance encounter one evening when Ann was out with family and friends, she met Charles Bergman. It seemed their paths crossed a couple times. She helped him out when he had car trouble and then again ran into him on her way to bingo. Since he had never played, she bought his bingo cards and HE WON THE JACKPOT!
They were wed on July 20, 1990, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Hastings. They made their home on the family ranch in Lebanon, Kansas, where she helped hitch up trailers, fix pumps and check on the cows.
Charles told her “she was as handy as a pocket on a shirt!” They loved driving to the top of the hill to watch gathering storm clouds and sit out and watch meteor showers! Charles died on December 5, 1999, and Ann moved back to Hastings.
Ann enjoyed traveling and participating in life to its fullest. When asked if she wanted to go along on a trip, she replied, “Wait til I get my shoes on!”
She traveled to Sweden, Finland, Denmark, NYC (Ground Zero, Broadway and Central Park), Saratoga Springs (New York) Race Track; Montreal, Canada; Niagara Falls, Michigan, Colorado, Bermuda, and many more places too numerous to name!
Ann moved to Premier Estates of Kenesaw in 2013 after suffering from a stroke. She found great fellowships there with residents, workers and friends. We would like to acknowledge two in particular:
Lori Eiseman of Roseland, Nebraska, who was always on the “ready” when Mom needed (or wanted) something! She delivered kolaches, fresh fruit and cinnamon rolls and held Mom’s hand when she needed a friend.
Shawn McShane, of Blue Hill, Nebraska, was always on the “ready” when Mom wanted (or needed) to get out for an adventure. They toured Fisher Fountain, went to lunches, played bingo together and took a trip to the casinos. Mom loved us all equally, but Shawn may have indeed been “the favorite”!
Ann was not only a Mother to her children but a true friend. Phone calls to share our day, cards with a $2 bill, family gatherings every April will be more difficult with her gone but she has prepared us to love each other as she has loved us. Family and friends will always feel loved and cared for if they remember Ann.
Ann is survived by sisters-in-law, Dolores (Henry) Weber of Papillion, Nebraska, and Ilene (Ben) Weber of Hastings; children, Stanley D. (Jacqueline) Troxel of Papillion, Nebraska, Elwyn E. Troxel (Julie Brunke) of Lakewood Colorado; Janice I. Troxel (Gary Mandery) of Lincoln, and Kathleen A. (Murray) Eitzmann of Ballston Lake, New York; and grandchildren, Victoria (Thad) Retzlaff of Bonney Lake, Washington; Patricia Hathorne of Erie Colorado; Shawna (William) Troxel-Kulp of Wheatridge, Colorado; Barbara Troxel of Arvada, Colorado; Jean M. (Daniel) Dudley of Queensbury, New York, and Kevin A. (Alison) Eitzmann of Ballston Lake, New York.
Ann was blessed with 14 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren; and 5 stepchildren (the family of Charles Bergman) sons, John and Eugene Bergman; and daughters, Ruth Deines, Betty Fuster and Barbi Hughes.
Ann was preceded in death by: RC Troxel (stillborn), Philip Dean Troxel, Charles Bergman, Lucile Reaka Weber Baughman, Henry George Weber, Ben W. Weber, Ada Katrina Weber Struss, and Kenneth LeRoy Weber.