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Pauline Meyer

Passed away: May 24, 2011
Funeral Home: Gerdes-Meyer Funeral Home
December 15, 1928 - May 24, 2011

Pauline Marie Charlotte Meyer, born December 15, 1928, was the oldest of the Ben and Helena Hellbusch children. Her siblings are Luella Corliss Sphon of Lincoln, NE, Harriet Easton and Melvin Hellbusch of Hebron, NE. The family lived on a farm near Gilead with Pauline’s maternal grandmother, Charlotte Vorderstrasse, and aunt, Henrietta Vorderstrasse. Pauline attended elementary school at Thayer County District 81. She took the first two years of her high school classes at Gilead, Nebraska and then transferred to Fairbury because they offered Normal Training. That was a program which trained students to become teachers in rural elementary schools. Pauline had always had a dream of being a teacher. She started teaching in a rural Thayer County school after graduation. Later, she also taught in Jefferson County, Nebraska and Washington County, Kansas schools. Part of the job description of the country schools required her to be the school janitor. That meant sweeping and dusting daily and firing up the heating stove on cold mornings. She also taught in Gilead and Hebron and ended her forty-seven-year teaching career while teaching special education classes in the Fairbury Public Schools. During the years while she was teaching, Pauline earned both a Bachelors and a Masters Degree from the University of Nebraska by taking summer and night classes. Her vehicles (the last one named the Silver Bullet by her nieces) were said to know the way to Lincoln without a driver She married Calvin Meyer on June 8, 1951 in Fort Hood Texas where he was stationed while in the United States Army. After his discharge, they lived in Beatrice, on a farm near Gilead, and in Gilead before moving to Fairbury in 1965. They had one daughter, Phyllis. Calvin died of multiple sclerosis in 1973. After she retired from teaching, Pauline enjoyed traveling. She and her sisters went to Washington DC and Arizona to visit relatives. She also went on many bus trips, visiting most of the states, including Hawaii. Pauline also toured several European countries when she attended the Oberamergau Passion Play. However, her favorite trips were to visit daughter Phyllis and family wherever they were living. Pauline was very proud of her granddaughter, Anna who is a senior at the University of North Dakota and grandson, John, a sophomore at the University of Toledo in Ohio. Daughter, Phyllis, is a nursing faculty member at the University of Toledo (Ohio) and her husband, Tim, is Dean, College of Nursing. One of her favorite clubs after retirement was the Rock Creek Quilters and she was their first president. She made almost 100 quilts and seveal wall hangings. Phyllis and family have been the lucky recipients of several wall hangings, table runners and quilts. Pauline has been very generous with her quilts, giving one to each if her siblings, her nieces, her nephew and their families as well as several cousins and friends. Pauline was a member of the American Lutheran Church in Fairbury. She also belonged to Delta Kappa Gamma and was involved in the Council for Exceptional Children. After retirement, Pauline served on the Fairbury Library Board and assisted with several of the Jefferson County Historical Society projects. After a brief illness, she graduated to heaven on May 24, 2011 at the age of 82. Pauline is survived by her daughter, Phyllis Gaspar, her son-in-law, Timothy Gaspar, her granddaughter, Anna Gaspar and her grandson, John Gaspar, Other survivors include her sister and brother-in-law, Luella and Chuck Sphon, sister Harriet Easton of Hebron, her brother and sister-in-law, Melvin and Kay Hellbusch. She is also survived by her brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Beth Simmitt, Vi Meyer, John and Darlene Meyer, Delbert and Sue Meyer, as well as her nieces and nephews, and many other relatives and friends. She was proceded in death by her husband Calvin and her parents, Ben and Helena Hellbusch. Services: 2 p.m. Saturday, May 28, 2011, at American Lutheran Church in Fairbury. Visitation with family: Friday May 27 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial: Fairbury Cemetery, Fairbury. Memorials to the Pi Chapter Delta Kappa Gamma Education Scholarship Fund or Jefferson County Historical Society. Gerdes-Meyer Funeral Home in Fairbury is in charge.