A funeral mass for Raymond C. Klabenes, age 89, of Chambers, was Saturday, Feb. 3, at 10 a.m. at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, south of O’Neill.
Due to limited space available in the church, the funeral was streamed live in the Chambers Community Center.
Burial was in St. Theresa’s Catholic Cemetery with military honors by the Chambers American Legion Post #320.
Lunch followed the burial at the Chambers Community Center. Visitation was Friday, Feb. 2, from 5 until 7 p.m. at Biglin’s Mortuary, with a rosary following at 7:30 p.m. at the church.
Raymond died Jan. 31, at his home. Memorials may be given to the church for masses for Raymond, Margaret and family, or to the family for future designation. Biglin’s Mortuary in O’Neill was in charge of arrangements.
Raymond Cecil Klabenes was born on the family farm, northeast of Clearwater on March 18, 1928 to George Sr. and Harriet Louise (Houston) Klabenes.
He attended School District #16 Grecian Bend in rural Clearwater before graduating from Neligh High School in 1945.
He attended a dance in 1947 and met the woman who would become his wife, Margaret Irene Thiele. There was a strong mutual attraction that led to 52 years of marriage.
The couple was married on Sept. 2, 1950 at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Clearwater. The newlyweds were able to take an extended honeymoon as they slowly made their way west through Utah and Idaho, stopping at several places along the way until they reached the Pacific Ocean. Traveling along the coast, they saw the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. They then headed back east through the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. They found out quickly that gambling wasn’t a very good way to make money.
Back home, they settled into married life on a farm, seven miles north of Clearwater. They had about 10 milk cows and some stock cows.
In 1952, Raymond was called to the army and held a farm sale. He went to Fort Riley, Kan., for basic training. Margaret rented an apartment there and worked at the base’s laundry. At one point, Raymond was in the woods for Bivwac (field) training and decided he wasn’t going to be able to spend two whole weeks away from his young bride. Margaret and a female companion went to the store and bought watermelons, candy bars and other survival food and went into the woods to locate and feed the men. Just as they settled down to eat, someone noticed the sergeant coming over the hill. Raymond was the only one who took responsibility for the violation and got chewed out, army style.
In the fall of 1952, Raymond had to leave his pregnant wife for Germany, where he was a military policeman. Margaret moved back to live with her folks in Clearwater. Raymond couldn’t get a furlough to see his new daughter, but he could get one to find a place to live when he got back home.
Sandra was born Jan. 5, 1953 at the Neligh hospital. Raymond was able to get a 30-day furlough in August of 1953 and flew to Omaha where Margaret and their infant daughter met him. During this leave, they came to the Chambers area where they purchased their present farm, north of Chambers.
When Raymond came home, following his discharge in February 1954, he was able to settle back into farming. Throughout the next 46 years, they raised 11 children. They built up their farm, survived injuries and illnesses and constructed a new brick home, enduring the usual ups- and-downs of family life.
They were able to take time for fishing trips and picnics and a few vacations. One family vacation was taken in Canada where they fished and camped at Lac Laront. Another trip was made to the Black Hills and one to Yellowstone National Park.
More than anything, Raymond loved his family and enjoyed spending time with them. Raymond was also a very devoted, hard-working man. Whether it was milking cows, working cattle, riding his horses, moving dirt with the scraper or just walking the fields, he loved every aspect of living on the farm/ranch.
He was a member of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, Chambers American Legion Post #320 and a long-time member of the Chambers school board. Raymond really enjoyed living in the Chambers community.
Raymond is survived by eight sons, Stanley (Kristi) Klabenes of Post Falls, Idaho, Kenneth (Kathleen) Klabenes of Chambers, Greg (Marijo) Klabenes of Inman, Bill (Pam) Klabenes of Lincoln, Kevin Klabenes of Creighton, Mark (Debbie) Klabenes, Duane Klabenes and Steve (Kerri) Klabenes all of Chambers; three daughters, Sandra Parson of Pacific Junction, Iowa, Kristine (Robert) Bernt of Spalding and Karen (Tom) Seaman of Newell, S.D.; 55 grandchildren; 47 great-grandchildren; three brothers and six sisters; George Jr. (Kay) Klabenes, Donald (Lois) Klabenes, Marvin (Pam) Klabenes, Rena Mae Wattles, June Huffman, Joanne Allemang and Sherry Snodgrass, all of Clearwater, Don (Kathy) Marshall of Fort Worth, Texas and Carol Wolfe of Neligh.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George Sr. and H. Louise Klabenes; brother, Roy Lee Klabenes; infant sister, Sharon Klabenes and his beloved wife of 52 years, Margaret Klabenes.