Jeanette Sukraw, 71 - May 31, 2014Jeanette Marie (Helberg) Sukraw, 71, passed away Saturday, May 31, 2014, at Gothenburg Memorial Hospital, surrounded by family members.
A family memorial celebration will take place at a later date. Cremation had been chosen with no public services at this time per Sukraw’s request.
Sukraw was born April 16, 1943, at North Platte to Roland R. and Beulah L. (Miller) Helberg. Because her father was stationed with the U.S. Army in California, her first home was with her mother and grandparents, Benton and Estella Mae (Pitts) Miller of Maxwell. Father and daughter first met when he was on furlough and she was 3 months old.
After her father’s discharge in 1944, the family farmed on Tallin Table north of Gothenburg until 1956, and then moved to a farm south of Maxwell.
She graduated from Maxwell High School in 1961. After attending Chadron State College, she taught for a year at a rural school south of Maxwell. She then took business courses at Kearney State College and worked at McDonald State Bank in North Platte.
On Oct. 26, 1963, she married Morris R. Sukraw at Maxwell. The couple resided at Gothenburg, where her husband was a parts man at Larson Chevrolet, and she was employed with the Dawson County Extension Agency’s family nutrition program.
Beginning in 1968, she and her husband operated Gothenburg Genuine Parts, and went on to co-own the business from 1982 to 1999. The parts store was a kind of second home where their four children spent many after school and summer hours, and where her father worked during his retirement.
Sukraw had a deep knowledge of Christian scripture and an abiding commitment to social equality, participating with the Box Project, an exchange program with African-American families living in poverty in Mississippi. She lived a ministry of hospitality and created a warm and happy family home where everyone was accepted and welcome, family members said.
She loved music of all kinds, ragtime and blues, and especially old gospel hymns, as she played the organ and guitar, according to family members. She also taught her children to play the piano.
As a great-granddaughter of Nebraska homesteaders, she carried farm heritage forward on the family’s acreage on the north edge of Gothenburg, gardening, raising chickens and milk goats, keeping bees, passing along her forebears’ homemaking crafts, family members said. She loved gardening and growing flowers.
?Sukraw was a voracious reader and life-long learner. She taught adult education classes, sharing her expertise in bread making, sewing and weaving. For 10 years, in the 1990s, she owned and operated her own Gothenburg shop, The Yarn Shop-Prairie Child, devoted to fiber arts, framing and children’s wear. She loved coming to know people through the community life of her shop, the family said.
In her retirement, she continued to express her artistry through piecework quilting. She also worked at Gothenburg’s Pony Express Station and enjoyed welcoming visitors to the town and state she so loved.
She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Gothenburg and participated in book and Bible study groups.
Sukraw was preceded in death by: her parents, Roland and Beulah; her parents-in-law, Jarold and Inez (Solomon) Sukraw; a sister-in-law, Carol (Sukraw) Kieselhorst; brothers-in-law—Loren Sukraw and Kenneth Kieselhorst.
Survivors include: her husband, Morris; her children—Ann (Kevin) Sukraw-Lutz of Grand Island, Tracy Sukraw of Cambridge, MA, Jason Sukraw of Omaha and Nathan (Dayna) Sukraw of Sidney; six grandchildren—Alexander (Mikala) Lutz of Omaha, Audrey, Elizabeth and Ivy Lutz of Grand Island, Jaidon Hollingsworth of Omaha and Khalil Sukraw of Sidney; a brother, Roland L. (Deanna) Helberg of Maxwell; an aunt, Marjorie (Miller) Gamble of North Platte; uncle, Calvin (Mary Lou) Miller of Gothenburg; step-uncle, Morris Devine of Gothenburg; three sisters-in-law—Marilyn (Stephen) Morton and Cathy Sukraw of North Platte, and Sharon (Jack) Wyttenbach of Sauk City, WI; a beloved cousin, Pam (Nelson) Slack; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Memorials are suggested to the Nebraska Children’s Home Society, 4939 S. 118th St., Omaha, NE 68137 (www.nchs.org).