Hastings, Nebraska, resident Linda Kae Niederhaus, 72, passed away Saturday, January 11, 2020, at Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings after a short battle with colon cancer.
Memorial service is 1:30 p.m. Saturday, January 18, at Butler Volland Chapel in Hastings with Alton Jackson officiating. Private family burial will be at a later date. Memorials may be given to St. Jude’s. Book signing will be 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Friday at the funeral home. Private condolences may be sent to the family at www.lbvfh.com. Livingston Butler Volland Funeral Home & Cremation Center is serving the family.
Linda graduated from Hastings High School, Hastings College and UNK with a Masters in Fine Art. She taught 28 years for the Hastings Public Schools and retired in 2005 for health reasons. Linda married Danny Dean Niederhaus July 2, 1967. They were together for 54 1/2 years with 15 years spent in retirement together.
Linda and Danny met when she was 12 and he was 13, though they never dated at that time. Linda did ask him to a Sadie Hawkins dance in high school but Danny had to decline as he had to work that night until Midnight. He didn’t recall any of this, but his sister-in-law did because she had to give Linda his phone number. She remembered seeing Danny in November 1963 at the school when he visited in his Navy Dress Blues uniform.
Danny was discharged on October 21, 1966. Three days later, with no job, he saw her in Allen’s working in hardware. A tall blonde (a surfer girl) wearing a blue-green sweater and skirt with brown penny loafers. He could describe Linda’s clothes and hairstyle when they first met in 1958, a beautiful girl even then. He went back and started talking to her and told her that he needed a hunting license and asked her out for that evening. She said she didn’t know if she could do that. With people lining up he had to leave. Alton Jackson, a friend, was there and asked if she had turned him down and Danny said no. He went to Craig Hoff and asked if he could buy Craig a license. Back to the store, waiting in line, he asked for another hunting license and went back to asking Linda out. After completing the license, she said that she would think about it and Danny left. Alton, still there said, “she turned you down” and Danny said not yet. Off he went to find another friend, Rod Bunde, and back to Allen’s, still trying to get a date. Linda finally said yes and to pick her up at 7 p.m. Alton (he must have had a lot of time on his hands) said, “she told you no”, and Danny said with a grin, “I pick her up at 7:00.” 3-4 months after they began dating, they were shopping in town and Danny asked if she wanted to look at rings. After looking at the rings, he asked which one she liked. Linda pointed to one and Danny said we’ll take that one. Danny never asked her to marry him. 62 years after meeting Linda, he had to write Linda’s obituary with a broken heart.
Linda taught Art for 14 years at the Middle School and 14 years at Hastings High School. She retired early after being diagnosed with Lupus 10 years earlier. Linda especially enjoyed the last two years of teaching when her daughter, Augusta joined the staff teaching Chemistry. She always said she missed the students and staff. She went back once to do a demo in pottery class, but took 3 days to recover. Her formal teaching career was over, except for passing her talents on to her grandchildren. Of course, they did quite well, even if art wasn’t their favorite hobby. Linda spent may hours attending their many activities and was so proud of their achievements on the courts, fields and in the classroom.
After Linda’s retirement, Danny also retired to be with her. They took some trips, but it was hard on her and the trips ended. She loved her garden and it was full of flowers. She spent a lot of time on the deck drawing, painting, and then swimming. She was already planning what she wanted to plant this spring.
At the hospital, it took 17 hours for her to pass, all the time in unbearable pain which the hospital could not ease. With her family gathered round, including many of the hospital staff who cared for her, and after Danny had given her a last kiss and whispered in her ear how much he loved her and would miss her, Linda could still hear and squeezed his hand. Linda took a deep labored breath, one softer breath, and a short soft breath, and then went home to her parents and God.
Linda left so many friends and loved ones. She was preceded in death by her parents, Cecil and Adeline Knephoff.
She is survived by her husband, Danny Dean Niederhaus; her two daughters, Dr. Alexandria Michelle Schreiner and spouse Jason Schreiner, and Augusta Danielle Beahm and spouse Travis Beahm; five grandchildren, Cecilia Danielle Beahm, Cooper Allen Beahm, Henry Thomas Schreiner, Etta Katherine Schreiner, and Harrison Alexander Schreiner.
Danny said a prayer later and said Heaven is a better place now. Beautiful, gracious, caring, full of love with always a soft voice, Linda will be missed.