Eugene H. Scheef was born Sept. 14, 1931 to Harry and Erna (Henning) Scheef at Gretna. He died Jan. 27, 2013 at his home in Burr. He was the second child and first-born son.
Gene was baptized and confirmed at the Gretna Lutheran Church. They had a dairy farm on the edge of Gretna. He helped with the milking and delivery before school as a young boy. He graduated from Gretna High School where he played baseball, basketball and ran track. Gene’s love of baseball guided him to participate in tryouts for the Kansas City Royals. He continued to play baseball for town teams until moving to Burr when he then joined the local softball team.
After high school he worked as a laborer for a plaster contractor and did construction work. He married Sandra Haldeman Jan. 12, 1952 and soon after was employed by the Haldeman family farms working closely with his father-in-law Will and brothers-in-law Bill and Merlyn Haldeman.
In 1965 he had the opportunity to buy a farm near Burr in Otoe County and resided there until his death. Gene loved the sense of neighborhood families working and socializing together.
Gene continued to farm and do part-time carpenter work until he retired from farming in 1996. It was then he took a part-time position at the Syracuse Good Samaritan Center. He enjoyed the work and camaraderie with his co-workers.
Baseball continued to be a love of Gene’s. He was a faithful Husker baseball fan and rarely missed a home game. College World Series time meant non-stop baseball and you could find him in his aisle seat come heat, rain or shine. His Rosenblatt stadium seats are sitting on the patio where he would have his morning coffee and give some love and attention to his faithful dogs.
Sports continued to be a big part of Gene’s life. He and Sandy would attend kids’, grandkids’ and now great-grandkids’ sporting events often. The sports venues ranged from college basketball and volleyball to pre-school soccer and t-ball. Grandpa’s voice could be heard cheering on the players or correcting the refs from many bleachers.
Gene was active in the Burr United Methodist Church. Gene planned his week around the length of the grass. He kept the lawn mowed and made sure his little white church was always presentable.
Gene was a 4-H Leader and always looked forward to the Otoe County Fair. He loved helping with the animal entry as an assistant superintendent for 4-H beef breeding program.
Gene served on the Rural Water Board until his death.
Page 2 of 2 - A highlight of each year was the Annual Hayrack Ride on the Burr farm. Gene made it a favorite of all the kids, and it was rarely missed by any of them. Another rack was added this year in order to accommodate 50 plus family members.
Gene loved God, his church, 4-H, Water Board, baseball, sports and family.
He is survived by wife Sandra from Burr; daughters and spouses Jan and Ken Snyder, Omaha, Terri and Dr. Wes Janssen, Syracuse, and Gail and Rod Bates, Omaha; sons and spouses Willie and Denise Scheef, Syracuse, and Monte and Joni Scheef, Omaha; son-in-law Shane Kirchhoff, Avoca; 18 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren, plus 3 more on the way; sisters Joann Kennel, Gretna, and Karen and husband Leroy Grell of Pender; sister-in-law Marge Kosmata and husband Willy of Minto, S.D.; brothers-in-law Howard Bishop of Tekamah and Bill Haldeman and wife Lorraine of Ashland; sisters-in-law Dee Barkley and husband Keith of Omaha and June Hogarth of Lincoln; and a host of nieces and nephews.
He was preceeded by parents Harry and Erna Scheef; parents-in-law William and Gladys Haldeman; sisters Geraldine and husband John Deloske, Pat and Dick Pike and Marcella Bishop; brother Jack Scheef; brothers-in-law Harold and Irma, Rolland and Peg, and Merlyn Haldeman, and Jim Hogarth; and daughter Kim Kirchhoff.
The family suggests memorials to Otoe County 4-H Foundation, Syracuse Ball Complex Playground Fund, or the Burr United Methodist Church.
Visitation and fellowship will be at Burr United Methodist Church on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 6-8 p.m. Visitation is Thursday at the funeral home in Syracuse from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. with family from 5-8 p.m.
Funeral services are Friday, Feb. 1, at 11 a.m. at the Syracuse United Methodist Church (6th and Chestnut). Lunch and fellowship follow the service at the Kimmel Event Center.
To honor Gene please wear your favorite team colors or shirts.
Fusselman-Allen-Harvey Funeral Home in Syracuse is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences can be made to www.fusselmanallenharvey.com.