Ava Marie (Messinger) Rouze was born May 7, 1924 on the family farm in Red Willow County, Nebraska to Edwin and Frieda (Ruby) Messinger. Ava passed away in Imperial, Nebraska on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018 at the age of 94.
Ava attended grade school and high school in Danbury. She was president and valedictorian of her class. Following high school, she attended Nebraska State Teacher’s College of Kearney, received a two-year teaching certificate and taught for several years in Stamford, Oxford, Culbertson and Imperial.
Ava married Willard Marsh Rouze on June 17, 1951 in McCook. They were married for 58 years prior to Willard’s passing. Ava and Willard had three children, Ned, Nan and Grant, and made their home on Broadway in Imperial until 2011 when Ava moved to Parkview Heights.
Throughout her life, Ava enjoyed music. In her early years she played the trombone. She was a proficient pianist and played the organ at the United Methodist Church for 41 years. She played at worship services, cantatas, weddings and funerals and averaged 46-52 performances per year. She spent many hours practicing with the choir and special singing groups and touched many lives through this service.
Ava and Willard Rouze owned the Rouze Hardware store in Imperial for years and she spent many hours working alongside her husband in the family business. Ava and Willard were longtime supporters of the Lied Imperial Public Library and they were chosen to cut the ceremonial ribbon for the opening of the renovated library in 2006.
During her time at Parkview Heights, Ava enjoyed the support and friendship of the residents and staff.
Ava also enjoyed the friendship and companionship of Mary Carman for over twenty years.
She was preceded in death by her husband Willard Marsh Rouze and her parents Edwin and Frieda Messinger.
Survivors include son, Dr. Ned C. Rouze and wife Dr. Alison Clay of Durham, North Carolina; daughter Nan McHugh of Cincinnati, Ohio; son Grant M. Rouze and wife Deborah Richardson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; brother Dee Messinger of McCook; sister-in-law Delyn Rouze of Montgomery, Alabama; sister-in-law Gloria Rouze of Houston, Texas; granddaughter Lauren (Nathan) Santoianni; grandsons John McHugh of Columbus, Ohio and Brian McHugh of Natchitoches, Louisiana; and great-grandson Jackson Robert Santoianni.
Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, 2018 at the First United Methodist Church in Imperial with Pastors Melody Newman and Dirk Weiss officiating. Interment followed in the Mount Hope Cemetery, Imperial. Viewing was held at the church prior to services.
A memorial fund has been established for the Lied Imperial Public Library.
Online condolences may be left at liewerfuneralhome.com.
Liewer Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements.