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Rev. Virginia Fleharty, 80 - December 27, 2013

Rev. Virginia Rae Fleharty, 80, of Smithfield passed away Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at her home northeast of Smithfield.
A visitation will take place on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at the Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home at Holdrege from 1 to 8 p.m. with family members present from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Services will be conducted at the First United Methodist Church of Holdrege on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, at 2:30 p.m. with the Rev. Jeff Adams officiating. Interment will be at the Highland Cemetery at Bertrand.
Rev. Fleharty was born Feb. 10, 1933, at the Holdrege Hospital, the eldest of two daughters born to Roger and Neita (Wolcott) Rightmire. She began her education at rural Smithfield and completed her high school education at Bertrand High School, graduating with the Class of 1951. She pursued her higher education at Hastings College and obtained her bachelor’s degree in 1957.
On Dec. 19, 1953, she was united in marriage to Gerald Fleharty. The couple resided at Lincoln, and later moved to El Paso, TX, where their three daughters were born. After 30 years in Texas, she moved back to Nebraska and studied to become a Methodist minister at the Saint Paul School of Theology.
She served churches at Bassett, Rose, Newport, Farnam, Eustis, Bertrand and Elwood, and most recently served as the pastor at the United Methodist Churches in Atlanta, Ragan and Wilcox.
Rev. Fleharty enjoyed gardening, football games, tending to her hens and spending time with her friends and family, but her greatest joy was ministering to her church members and parishioners, according to family members.
She was preceded in death by: her parents, Roger and Neita; a sister, Marilyn Englishman.
Survivors include: her daughters—Jerri (Clifford) Bossie of El Paso, TX, Kristin Fleharty and Melanie (Jerry) Lauer, all of Smithfield; six grandchildren—Rebecca, Misty, Randi, Robert, Jacob and Hannah.
A memorial has been established and kindly suggested to the Elwood Food Pantry, the McCook Animal Shelter and the Crossroads Mission of Kearney.