Elmer Birnie, 81 - June 09, 2013Elmer Daniel Birnie, 81, of Gothenburg, formerly of Broken Bow, passed away Sunday, June 9, 2013, following a battle with cancer.
Services will be conducted Wednesday, June 12, at 2:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Broken Bow with the Revs. Dawn Black and Kathy LaRocque officiating. Burial will take place at the Broken Bow Cemetery with Iverson Funeral Home of Broken Bow in charge of arrangements.
Birnie was born July 27, 1931, at Ryno Table to Robert and Grace Emma (Eggleston) Birnie.
He attended school at Yellow Dog Canyon through the eighth grade, and attended Broken Bow High School until returning home to help on the family farm and ranch.
On Sept. 12, 1954, he married Margie Ann Williams. To this union, three sons were born. The couple resided on a farm southwest of Broken Bow in the Ryno community until moving to Broken Bow in 1990.
Birnie will be remembered as a full-time cowboy and part-time hay grinder, according to family members. He also worked at a sale barn, drove a truck and anything else he needed to do to provide for his family. For 25 years, he did custom hay grinding for D&D feed yard as well as others in the Gothenburg area until he retired in December of 2011.
He was rarely seen without his cowboy hat, which lead to his well-known title, “Grandpa Hat,” and his personalized plate of GPA HAT.
Birnie was a member of the First Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder. He also served on the Ryno Township Board, the Ryna School Board and was a 4-H leader as well.
He adored his grandchildren, said family, and he could be found in the stands of many school activities. While watching a grandson’s football game, he became reacquainted with Jonie Duis. He and Jonie were united in marriage on Jan. 1, 2006. The couple packed as much fun and happiness as possible in their seven years together, according to family members. His wife worked along side him and cared for him in their home in Gothenburg until his passing.
Birnie was preceded in death by: his parents, Robert and Grace Emma; his first wife, Margie; a brother, Robert Lee; sister, Flora Alice.
Survivors include: his wife, Jonie Birnie of Gothenburg; three sons—Ron (Susan White) of White Lake, MI, Doug (Jeanette) of Broken Bow, and Kent (Yvonne) of Grand Island; a step-son, Michael Moses of Kearney; nine grandchildren—Sarah, Andrew, Nathan, Tyler, Logan, Daniel, Campbell, Natasha and Callum; two great-grandchildren—Bryton and McKinley; two brothers—John (Marion) of Broken Bow and Lon Birnie of Callaway; two sisters—Kate Palmer of Berwyn and Grace Ella Birnie of Broken Bow; In-laws, Lyle “Gus” and Mary Williams of Rio Vista, CA, Ramona (Larry) Gronewold and Charlene Morris, all of Gothenburg; numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials are suggested to the First Presbyterian Church of Broken Bow, the Gothenburg Senior Center and Central Plains Hospice.