Alwin F. Grefe of Plymouth, age 94, died September 6, 2018 at the Beatrice Community Hospital. The youngest of four children, he was born June 7, 1924 to Hermann and Dorothea “Dora” (Dammann) Grefe at Odell, Nebraska. He was baptized at Bethlehem Lutheran Church at rural Bremen, Kansas on June 20, 1924 and confirmed in 1939 at Trinity Lutheran Church at LeHigh, Kansas. He spent most of his youth in Kansas. Prior to his marriage, Alwin lived in New York State working various jobs, including logging and painting buildings. While traveling home for the holidays in December 1947, he met the love of his life on a bus ride from Lincoln to Beatrice. Alwin married Rosella Niemeier on June 19, 1949 at Immanuel Lutheran Church of rural Plymouth. The marriage was blessed with four daughters, one of whom was stillborn. They established their home on an acreage 2 ½ miles southeast of Plymouth where they lived for 55 years. He sharpened knives in a Beatrice factory for 36 years, retiring in 1985, but his greatest enjoyment was farming. He and his wife acquired the Niemeier heritage farm of 1881 east of Plymouth and were honored with the Aksarben Pioneer Farm Family Award in 1989. Family time was important to Alwin and he loved taking family trips to neighboring states while his children were growing up. Years later, Alwin, Rosie, Barbara and Karen took several family trips to Germany to visit relatives. In 2004 they moved to their present home in Plymouth. Until a few years ago, Alwin continued to help with farming. He also rekindled his hobby of collecting and repairing antique clocks, fixing his last antique striking clock this past July.
Survivors include Rosella, his wife of 69 years; daughters, Linda Grefe of Fairbury, Barbara Ruhnke (Donald) of Fairbury, and Karen Reynolds of Plymouth; grandchildren, Stephanie Wetter (Bruce) of Washington, Kansas, Tim Reith (Kendra) of Minden, Curtis Reynolds of New York City and Krista Reynolds of Plymouth; two great-grandchildren, Abigail and Mckenzie Reith; three step-grandchildren, Joshua Ruhnke (Lisa) of Lincoln, Jacob Ruhnke of Jansen, and Amber Pliefke (James) of Garland and seven step-great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant daughter, Mary Lee; three sisters, Dorothea Grefe, Vera Duensing, and Evalina Palmer; four brothers-in-law, Elmer Palmer, Werner Niemeier, Hilbert Duensing, and Robert McLaughlin; one sister-in-law, Alma McLaughlin; two sons-in-law, Wayne Reith and Jeff Reynolds.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at Zion Lutheran Church of rural Harbine with Rev. Matthew Koterba officiating. A family prayer service will be held at 9:45 am in the church basement on Tuesday. Burial will follow at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery east of Plymouth. A memorial has been established to the family’s choice. The body will lie in state at the Fox Funeral Home of Plymouth on Sunday, September 9th from 2:00 – 8:00 pm, on Monday, September 10 from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm, and at the church one hour preceding the service on Tuesday. The family will meet and greet relatives and friends on Monday from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm at the funeral home. www.foxfuneralhome.net Fox Funeral Home of Plymouth is in charge of the arrangements.