Cover photo for Elsa Heller's Obituary
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1927 Elsa 2019

Elsa Heller

March 3, 1927 — November 16, 2019

Elsa Heller of Cozad passed away November 16, 2019 at Meadowlark Pointe Assisted Living at the age of 92. Elsa was born on March 3, 1927, in Oberweissach/Baden-Wuerttemberg (Germany) to Gottlieb and Karoline Heller. Elsa was the 11th of 12 siblings. So Elsa grew up with 9 sisters and 3 brothers on a small farm to which also belonged a butcher's shop and a restaurant. From early childhood, with all her brothers and sisters, she was used to helping with the household, on the farm and in the restaurant. All her life she was ready to offer a helping hand and be part of the workforce whenever it was needed. Elsa attended 'Volksschule' in Oberweissach for seven years. This was a school providing basic elementary and secondary education. After completing her secondary schooling, Elsa continued her education at a commercial school and became a secretary. For a couple of years she worked with the world-famous carmaker Daimler-Benz (better known as Mercedes Benz) in Stuttgart. In 1953 she decided to follow her uncle's (Ernest Heller) invitation to Nebraska. Uncle Ernest wanted her to take care of his household, be his secretary and to look after him in his old age. Ernest Heller had emigrated to the US in 1911. He became a successful farmer in Cozad. After Ernest's death in 1971 Elsa stayed in Cozad and managed the farms which Ernest had bequeathed to her. In the American Lutheran Church of Cozad Elsa found her spiritual focus and she dedicated much of her life to the parish. Thus she made a lot of acquaintances and friends. But all her life she also remained closely connected with Germany, her native country. She never lost her Swabian language, the German dialect of the area she originated from. Every other year Elsa would visit her brothers and sisters, while they where alive, 28 nephews and nieces and they always looked forward to meeting her. In Germany she used to stay with her younger sister Lore and her family, who had taken over Gottlieb's, her father's, business after his death in the 1960s. As a matter of fact everybody had to go to Oberweissach if they wanted to connect with Elsa, because right after her arrival she was always busy helping in the restaurant, the butcher's shop and wherever she was needed with great enthusiasm. Her German relatives were very fond of Elsa, which became apparent in many letters, telephone calls and several visits to Cozad by some sisters, nephews, nieces and other relatives. Lately Elsa found it more and more difficult to manage her life alone as her health deteriorated. She was blessed to have close personal relationship within her church family. They were an immense blessing for her. Her relatives in Germany were very appreciative of the caring given to her, the updates provided about her health and general conditions and the knowing she never felt alone or deserted. Not being able to look after herself any more she had to accept living in a nursing home. Since spring of 2019 she spent her time in Meadowlark Pointe, looked after by competent and empathic nurses and other staff. Her nephew Hermann Heller and her niece Christl Hertrich had the opportunity to visit her there in June/July 2019, when she was still in comparatively good health. They spent some wonderful, happy and enjoyable days with her. All the German relatives and all her American friends are very sad that Elsa is not with them any more. But now she is where she always believed she would go after passing away. Memorials are suggested to the American Lutheran Church. Online condolences may be shared at Services will be held Monday, November 25, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. at the American Lutheran Church with Pastor Steve Berke officiating. Burial will be at Cozad Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Berryman Funeral Home.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, November 24, 2019

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, November 25, 2019

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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