Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project
Photo courtesy of the Joshua Brackett Eagle Scout Project

Niobrara County Library - Viola Jessie (Coffman) Krejci (November 25, 1910 - October 31, 1995)

Viola Jessie (Coffman) Krejci (November 25, 1910 - October 31, 1995)

The Lusk Herald
November 8, 1995

Viola Jessie Krejci

Viola Jessie Krejci, 84, of Lance Creek, died at Niobrara County Memorial Hospital, Monday, October 31. Services were held Friday, November 3, at 2 p.m. at Bader Funeral Home. Burial followed in the Lusk Cemetery.

She was born near Mason City in Custer County, Neb. November 25, 1910, the daughter of Rosina Runyan Coffman and Harry Coffman. She went to elementary and high school in Mason City, walking two miles each way to get her education. While she was growing up, she was a member of the First Baptist Church in Mason City.

After she completed high school, she attended St. Joseph's Nursing School taking classes in both Alliance and Omaha, where she graduated in 1934 with a nursing degree. She worked as a nurse in various jobs, most for little or no pay. On her days off, she visited her sister, Dora and Dora's husband Charlie Krejci on their farm northeast of Alliance, where she met Charlie's brother, Louis. Louis told her about a homestead near his that was open for filing, and she quit nursing and loaded up her Model A Ford to homestead on the Wyoming prairies. Her father went to help get her homestead ready.

In April of 1935, she filed on the last homestead in Wyoming about 20 miles northeast of Lance Creek. She carried water from 3/4 miles northeast of her homestead. Her father stayed to help her until failing health forced him back to Alliance where she cared for him until he died in January 1939.

During this time, she married Louis Krejci in Harrison, Neb. on October 20, 1937. Since the preacher was unavailable, his wife performed the ceremony. The couple proved up on the homestead by building sheds, a house and a well. In 1941 they moved five miles southwest of her property to Louis' homestead, where they lived until the end of her life. Here her son, Harry, and her daughter, Maryevelyn were born. Here too, she home schooled her children since they lived so far from public school, amazing them with her spelling prowess.

She was champion hay stacker for Louis until he purchased a baler, then she became very good at stacking bales. She rode the dump rake with him until failing eyesight cause him to quit; then she rode it for Maryevelyn. She enjoyed the activity so much that she did not retire until she was 81, when failing health forced her to stop. She also loved cattle work and was actively involved in livestock work until recent years. She raised a good garden and chickens. She crocheted and knitted, giving her homecrafted afghans to family members, and made many quilts disdaining the machine-made in favor of the hand crafted. She was dedicated to her family, and shared her nursing skills liberally with neighbors and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers who drowned together in a boating accident, and three sisters.

She is survived by her husband, Louis; her son, Harry, and daughter Maryevelyn, all of Lance Creek; her sister Mary Evelyn Woolsey of Mason City, Neb.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bader Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

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