Cover photo for Kay Etherton's Obituary
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1939 Kay 2022

Kay Etherton

December 3, 1939 — January 27, 2022

Rosalie (Kay) Etherton of Cozad, Nebraska passed away Thursday, January 27, 2022 at Meadowlark Pointe Assisted Living at the age of 82. Kay was born December 3, 1939 north of Willow Island to Luther Clarence Ristine and Thelva (Elliott) Ristine. Their family moved to Waco because of Luther’s declining health. There, he opened a barbershop. Luther passed away when Kay was 3 years old. Thelva, Kay, and sister Kathy then moved to Ravenna to be close to family. Kay attended Kindergarten in Ravenna.

Thelva met Austin Fredrick Bates at a farm sale where she had bought a load of cobs to burn for her stove. Austin offered to deliver the cobs for her and a courtship began from Nov.-June.

Thelva and Austin married and their family lived in two different farmhouses with no electricity or indoor plumbing outside of Hazard, Ne where Kay attended 1st grade, and in Litchfield, Ne where she attended 2nd grade through her Sophomore year.

The family moved to a ranch outside of Halsey, Ne and the family grew by 5 more children: Jeanne, Lois, Austin Jr., Cheryl, and Joan.

Kay finished the last two years of high school in Halsey, Ne. and then attended the Teacher’s College at Kearney State.

She accepted a position at Gothenburg, Ne. teaching 4th grade for 2 years.

Kay met Lloyd Clayton Etherton on a blind date set up by Kay’s college friend and Lloyd’s friend, Shirley & Max Beyl.

They married on June 4th, 1961 beginning their lives together on a farm south of Cozad. Their farm produced corn, alfalfa, soybeans, hogs, and cattle. They filled their modest farm home with love and laughter which they lavished on their three children Kathy, Clay, and Debbie. Their children were taught a love for the Lord, love of country, and gratitude for the things we were blessed with…mostly each other.

Kay spent much of her time being a stay-at-home mom, gardening, canning, cooking, and baking to feed her family. She loved baking and was known for her pies and baked goods.

Once the children were in school she enjoyed substitute teaching for country schools and Cozad Elementary. She also worked for several years during the ’90s at the Educational Service Unit #10 where she served as a house parent and homework supervisor.

Her hobbies included cooking, baking, reading, and spending time with family and friends. She loved to take trips, vacationing many times in Estes Park, Branson, Oklahoma, Pinedale, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park, as well as trips to Washington State and California to visit family. There was a special trip to Hawaii their children surprised them with for their 25th Wedding Anniversary.

Kay and Lloyd were life-long members of the First Presbyterian Church of Cozad, Ne. Kay enjoyed Faith Circle and Women’s Association. She was an Elder in the church that served on the Fellowship Committee. One of her favorite duties was accompanying the minister while taking communion to shut-ins and enjoying a good visit.

Kay and Lloyd enjoyed the birth and lives of their seven grandchildren. They celebrated the gift of their lives, their activities, and interests. Kay was so proud of all of them.

Preceeding her in death was her husband Lloyd, her sisters: Kathy Ristine, Doris (Gunnard) Johnson, Helen (Bob) Voisey, Betty Anderson, Ruth (Russ)Hunter, and Jeanne (Larry) Brooks. Brothers: Austin Bates, Archie (Lois) Ristine, and Beryl Ristine. Brothers-in-law and Sisters-in-law: Roger Nespor, Violet (Pete) Brooks, and Ken (Betty) Etherton. Surviving Family: Sister Cheryl Nespor, Lois (Jim) Hughes, Joan (Gary) Waugh, and Sister-in-law Betty Bates. Many loved nieces and nephews. Children: Kathy and Craig Simpson of Lincoln, Ne, Clay and Robin Etherton of Cozad, Ne and Debbie Eisenhauer of Lincoln, Ne. Grandchildren: Molly Rangel of Hollywood, Ca., Amelia and Aaron Baker of Lincoln, Ne., Bailey Rangel of Lincoln, Ne., Steph and Josh Christolear of Lincoln, Ne., Jared and Jenn Simpson of Bremerton, Wa., Collin Simpson of Okinawa, Japan. Rebecca Etherton and Abigail Etherton of Cozad, Ne, Hannah and Jordan Lowe of Lincoln, Ne and Maggie Eisenhauer of Lincoln, Ne, Great-Grandchildren: Aaron, Izaeh, King, Quinnley and Presley Baker, Elijah, Izaiah, and Isabella Christolear, Ellie Simpson, Ellie and Libbie Lowe.

Memorials are suggested to the family in her name for later designation. Services will be Friday, February 4, 2022 at 10:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Jill Boyd officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery. Visitation will be Thursday, February 3, 2022 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Berryman Funeral Home. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kay Etherton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 3, 2022

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, February 4, 2022

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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