May 17, 2013


Funeral for 87-year-old Johnnie Stender of Westside will be at 10 a.m. Monday, May 20, at United Church in Westside with burial in Westside Cemetery.

Huebner Funeral Home in Westside is in charge of arrangements. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday.

He died peacefully in his sleep at home surrounded by his family on Friday, May 17, 2013.

Johnnie Ernest Stender was born March 21, 1926, on a farm near Ute, Iowa, to Henry and Erna (Moltmann) Jacobs. He spent most of his time with his father, and eventually ended up at the home of Herman and Dora Kruse in Westside. He received his education both in country schools in the area, and at the Westside Consolidated School. He left school early to work at the Wilson Packing Plant in Omaha, Neb., and received his GED years later.

In 1945, Johnnie joined the Air Force and served at Giebelstadt Air Force Base in Germany where he retired as a sergeant. While at the base, he met his wife Gerda Loth, and they were married on Sept. 29, 1948, in Wiesbaden, Germany. They returned to the States later that year and settled near Denison. Shortly thereafter they moved to a farm outside of Westside. To this union, three children were born; Donald, Pamela and Shelley. Gerda preceded Johnnie in death in 1991, and he married Letty (Rothmeyer) Stender on Nov. 27, 1992.

In 1974, after moving to Westside, Johnnie formed the Stender Agency where he sold insurance and real estate, and performed residential appraisals. He also worked as a rural mail carrier.

Johnnie was a member of United Church of Christ, and served as chairman of the Church Council in 1972. He was also a member of the VFW and American Legion.

Some of Johnnie's favorite activities were fishing and bowling, and he thoroughly enjoyed his later years admiring his flower and vegetable gardens, and feeding the birds.

Johnnie is survived by his wife Letty; children, Don and wife Vangie; Pamela and husband Dr. Robert; Shelley and husband Dean; and a stepdaughter Rae and husband Jim; eight grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; one sister, Florence; one sister-in-law, Stella; many nieces and nephews, and friends, and his beloved cat Pepi.

Johnnie was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Gerda; two brothers, Henry, and Walter and his wife Helen; and one sister, Carole Basilico and her husband, Joe.