Dewane Herman Spilker, 88, of Beatrice, NE, died peacefully at Beatrice Health and Rehabilitation Center and went to be with his Lord on February 19, 2019. He was born December 23, 1930 in Beatrice to Herman and Gertie (Duitsman) Spilker. Dewane attended Blue Ridge School District 32 and graduated from Beatrice High School in 1948. During the Korean Conflict, he served for four years in the United States Air Force as an airframe repairman. In 1954 he returned to Beatrice to farm with his father and married Darlene Blakely on May 16, 1956 at St. John Lutheran Church in Beatrice. The couple moved to the family farm north of Beatrice in 1962. They were blessed with two children, Scott and Susan.
Dewane had a lifetime career as a farmer and pork producer and was especially gifted in animal husbandry. He was baptized, confirmed and married at St. John Lutheran Church, Beatrice and enjoyed over fifty years of singing in the choir and men’s chorus. He also served on the church council, was a church trustee and a member of the St. John softball team.
Music was an important part of Dewane’s life, and he shared his love of singing and harmony with both his children. Dewane was a charter member of the Homestead Harmonizers Barbershop Chorus in Beatrice and enjoyed singing, competing and traveling with the Harmonizers for many years. He sang baritone in several barbershop quartets through the years and until his death was able to sing harmony to his favorite hymns and songs.
Dewane was a 4-H member, a member of Farm Bureau and the Blue Valley Pork Producers, and a past member of the board of the Southeast Nebraska Co-op. He will be especially remembered for his love of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and for his kind and gentle spirit.
He leaves behind his wife Darlene; one son Scott Spilker and wife Jean of Beatrice; one daughter Susan Ropp and husband Mike of Brookings, SD; grandchildren Anna Erikson and husband Brenton, Nathan Spilker, John Spilker, Tom Ropp and Kate Ropp; great-grandchildren Henry Erikson and Rosalie Erikson; sister-in-law Eileen Katz and husband Glen of Pickrell; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Herman and Gertie Spilker; his brother Daniel Spilker and sister-in-law Delores Spilker.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, February 25 at St. John Lutheran Church, 701 N 6th St., Beatrice with Pastors Sean Koos and Leah Lawson officiating. Following lunch at the church, burial will be held at Evergreen Home Cemetery, Beatrice. Visitation will be held Sunday, February 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel, 708 N 6th St., Beatrice, with family greeting friends from 6 to 7:30 p.m. A family prayer service will be held at 10:15 a.m. Monday at the church. Memorials are suggested to the St. John Worship and Music Committee, with Sterling and Naomi Kohrs in charge. Sign Dewane’s online guest book and watch his video tribute when completed at www.ghchapel.com.
These services have been entrusted to the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice.