Willa Nadine Kealiher

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Willa Nadine Kealiher was born Nov. 19, 1931, in Holyoke, Colo., to Howard Ray and Mary Dell (Hughes) Sheldon.  Willa attended grade school at Prairie Gem District #53 and graduated from Phillips County High School in 1948.
She furthered her education at Kearney State Teachers’ College graduating in 1952 with a Bachelor’s of Art degree and later received her Master’s of Art degree at Northern Colorado University in Greeley, Colo.
On Dec. 23, 1951, Willa married Gail Dean Kealiher at the Howard Sheldon farm home, and to this union three children were born: Kathleen, Charlotte and Timothy. The couple first settled in Kearney while Willa was finishing her education.  They spent a short time on the Sheldon farm home, south of Lamar, and also resided in York before moving to Denver, Colo., where they made their home for 61 years.  
As a young lady, Willa was employed at the Sweet Shop in Holyoke and as a clerk at the Fort Kearney Hotel in Kearney. She then began her teaching career in Nebraska and continued teaching business and English in Denver high schools for 28 years. Willa was a member of the National Education Association.
She enjoyed bowling, bridge, sewing, bible studies, traveling, flowers and photography.  
Willa passed away Sunday, April 30, 2017, at Sunrise Assisted Living at Pinehurst in Denver, Colo. She was 85 years of age.
Willa was preceded in death by her parents; sisters Goldie Fay Hall and Pearl M. Lee.
Survivors include husband Gail Kealiher of Denver, Colo.; daughter Kathleen (Scott) Bell of Aurora, Colo.; daughter, Charlotte (Larry) Smith of Washington, W.V.; son Timothy (Patti) Kealiher of Lafayette, Colo.; sister Wilma Friday of Denver, Colo.; eight grandchildren: Eric Bell, Phillip Bell, Jason (Melissa) Bell, Stephani (John) Lucas, Michael Kealiher, Adam Kealiher, Ryan Kealiher and Amber (Francisco) Salazar; 11 great-grandchildren: Stormy, Molly and Harley Bell, Miles, Mia and Dylan Lucas, Juliauna, Janessa, Jaelynn Bell, Juanita and Carlos Salazar.
Funeral services were held Saturday morning, May 6, 2017, at the Champion Community Building with Rev. Martin Harmon officiating.  Interment followed at Green Lawn Cemetery in rural Lamar.
Visitation was Friday, May 5 at the funeral home in Imperial.
A memorial has been established in Willa’s Memory.
Online condolences may be left at liewerfuneralhome.com.
Liewer Funeral Home was entrusted with arrangements.


The Imperial Republican

308-882-4453 (Phone)

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622 Broadway St

PO Box 727

Imperial, NE 69033