Jerry D. Bathke, 78, of York, Neb., died Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014, at York. He was born Sept. 9, 1935, at Norfolk, Neb., to Leo and Ella (Macklin) Bathke and graduated from Norfolk High School in 1953. He then attended Norfolk Junior College for two years, graduating in 1955. After college, Jerry served his country as a member of the United States Army. In 1955, he was married to Mamie Tschirren and was later divorced. Jerry started as a teller at the Bank of Niobrara in 1960 and left the banking industry in 1983 as vice president. In the mid 70's when the town of Niobrara was relocated, Jerry and his family moved to a farmstead outside of town. Here, Jerry and his son Randy raised hogs for several years in addition to his banking duties. In 1984, Jerry's life took a new direction when he was hired to help build the first Walmart store in Norfolk, Neb. When the store opened Jerry was hired as a store associate. He was quickly promoted to assistant manager. That position took him to many other Walmart stores, including Lexington, Neb., and Concordia, Kan., where he was general manager. His final stop was the York Walmart, from which he retired. On Oct. 10, 1986, he was married to Mary Ann Jackson at Lexington.
Jerry enjoyed painting, playing cards, was an avid reader and enjoyed bird watching. He also served on the Niobrara School Board and was currently a member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in York.
He is survived by his wife Mary of York; his children: Rhonda (Dale) Hopkins of Norfolk, Randy (Ruth) Bathke of Niobrara, and Kay (Charlie) Hunt of Pierce, Neb.; his step-children include: Monica (Matt) Christiansen, Jeff (Kenetta) Allen and Mark Allen, all of Phillipsbrg, Kan.
His grandchildren include: Kami (Kirk) Richey of San Francisco, Calif., Shelby Hopkins of Norfolk, Joshua, Shane, Jacob Barhke of Niobrara, Sabreena (Blake) Larsen of Lincoln, Neb., and their children Matthew and Gunner, and Karlie Hunt (Gary Heppner) and their son Kolbie Heppner of Pierce, Neb.
Step-grandchildren include: Crystal (Dustin) McClurg and their children Tristen, Aaron, Jessie, Dylan and Hailey of Logan, Kan., Justin King Jr. and his daughter Jazmine both of Phillipsburg, Kan., Dominic Christiansen of Phillipsburg, Blake Allen of Kansas, and Noah James Allen of Tennessee.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother James.
Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m., Thursday, Feb.6, 2014, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in York with the Rev. Mike Neidow officiating. Burial with military honors will be in York's Greenwood Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 1-9 p.m. and then Wednesday from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Memorials may be directed to the York Adopt-A-Pet or to his family for later designation. Condolences may be sent to the family at Metz Mortuary is handling arrangements.



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