Agnes A. Mather - December 20, 2012
Agnes Ann Mather, 94, of Sidney, passed on peacefully Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, at the Sidney Regional Medical Center Extended Care in Sidney.
Memorial services will be at 10 a.m. today, Thursday, Dec. 20, at Gehrig-Stitt Chapel in Sidney with Sister Marietta Spenner officiating.
Memorials may be made to the donor’s choice or to Sidney Memorial Gardens.
Cremation has taken place. Friends may sign Agnes’ Register Book and leave condolences for the family on Wednesday. You may view Agnes’ Book of Memories and leave tributes and stories at www.gehrigstittchapel.com.
Agnes was born July 7, 1918 at home near Lamar, Neb. to Joseph Alexis and Newella Aurilla (Corning) Elder. She was raised on the family farm with her seven living siblings. Her oldest sister was almost 15 years older than her and her youngest sister was 10 years younger, and Agnes was right in the middle with all the boys.
Later the family lived a short time in Hitchcock County, Neb. While there they raised a truck garden, which contained watermelons and several different garden vegetables including 1,000 cabbage plants that Agnes helped carry water to from the nearby creek. While gathering the water they would rub mud on their skin to protect them from poison ivy.
Her family had a band and she played the trombone and piano by ear. Agnes also knew how to dance the Charleston and how to tap dance, which she did even after her marriage to help her children’s PTA group.
The family then moved back to Lamar. Agnes attended high school, living with a family in Imperial for whom she worked for her room and board. She was the only child in her family to graduate from high school. Her father was a firm believer in having each child take the eighth grade twice, which she did. He felt that should be enough education.
Agnes met Paul Mather and they were married Dec. 7, 1937 and lived in the Imperial, Neb. area for 33 years. They raised three children: Sharon, Judy and Gary.
They worked with 4-H kids and for many years Agnes was the 4-H sewing leader. She was a very skilled and talented sewer and taught her daughters the love of sewing. Activities included taking the children rollerskating and skating with them. She also taught them the love of fishing and the great outdoors.
During World War II she was a “Canteen Girl” helping with the Canteen at North Platte, Neb.
In her early marriage years she, her husband and friends enjoyed hunting rattlesnakes and in one day killed over 100 rattlers. Agnes was a good marksman with her 22 rifle and continued to be so throughout her lifetime. She was called “Dead Eye” by her husband and children for her many encounters with skunks and other critters.
She was her husband’s “hired man” when it came to farming and taking care of the registered Herefords they raised. Many a summer would find her on a tractor mowing hay, cultivating corn or working the cowherd.
She also raised chickens, turkeys, milked cows (selling cream and eggs), raised a garden every summer and then canned or froze the extra produce. While doing all of these farm chores she always found time to enjoy her flowers (at one time worked part-time at a florist’s shop) or help the neighbors. Some years she dressed turkeys to give to the neighbors as gifts in time for the holidays.
In 1971 she and Paul moved to west of Sidney, Neb. leaving behind many friends and relatives. She continued to work hard as she was now engaged in developing the land and watering the crops with irrigation pipe. She loved living along Lodgepole Creek, hearing the trains, and seeing the sunlight highlight the valley and the buttes.
Although Agnes’s own children were grown, she continued to help them by babysitting her grandchildren while the parents were obtaining college degrees.
She taught her grandchildren: Joel, Dick, Joni and Dixi Travis; Ryan, Andy and Ann McElroy; and Matt and Barry Mather the love of flowers, looking at rocks, keeping their fingernails looking pretty and so much more.
Agnes also loved to cook and bake—especially cookies, which she would package by the bread sackful and give away to grandkids and friends. Throughout her life she was known for cooking a delicious meal for anyone who sat at her table.
Agnes is survived by her daughters, Sharon (Ted) Travis of Albion, Neb. and Judy (Mike) McElroy, Gurley, Neb.; her son, Gary Mather of Denver, Colo.; nine grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; one great-great grandchild; sister, Jennie Banaka of Holyoke, Colo.; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Passing on before her were her husband, Paul; two grandsons, Clint and Wade Travis; her parents; baby brother, Orval; sister Wilma; and brothers, Roy, Keith, George and twins, Lex and Rex.