Zelda Stevens


Zelda M. Stevens, 90, of Beatrice, died Wednesday morning, May 31, 2017. She was born on June 2, 1926 at Brunswick, Nebraska and grew up in Orchard, Nebraska. At the age of 12 her family moved to Norfolk and she graduated from Norfolk High School. She went on to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and received both a Bachelors and a Masters degree and was a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. In 1952 she moved to Beatrice and began teaching Senior High English until retiring in 1988. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Beatrice, the Westminster Guild, the church bell choir, was a member and officer of the Presbyterian Women, and an elder in the church. She also was a member of the Hospital Guild where she did volunteer work at the hospital, the Beatrice Area Retired Teachers, and the Rebekah Lodge of Norfolk. Survivors include three sisters, Joyce Schomberg of Caledonia, Michigan, Mabel Letheby of Norfolk and Dorothy Unkel and husband Melvin of Battle Creek; several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Leslie and Dora Dalton Stevens; brothers-in-law, Elmer Schomberg and Earl Letheby; one niece; one great-nephew. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Saturday June 3, 2017 at the First Presbyterian Church of Beatrice with Rev. Dr. John Duling officiating. Burial will be at 4:00 P.M. on Saturday at the Prospect Hill Cemetery of Norfolk. A family prayer service will be held 10:15 A.M. on Saturday at the church. A memorial has been established to the family’s choice. The body will lie in state at the Fox Funeral Home on Friday from 8:00 A.M. until 9:00 P.M. and then one hour preceding the service at the church on Saturday. www.foxfuneralhome.net. Fox Funeral Home of Beatrice is in charge of the arrangements.

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Jan Ellison

I knew Zelda from when I was a student at Beatrice High School and later when I taught there. At one time, we
were both in the same "lunch bunch". She was such a kind person and always had a smile and a greeting. I appreciated and enjoyed her. My sympathy to her family. Jan Ellison, Omaha, NE

 Posted June 20, 2017 - 10:30pm
Neoce Karen Grant

Thank you for the kind words expressed from each of you. I appreciate hearing that Zelda was a great teacher, and a friend to many.

 Posted June 10, 2017 - 11:46am

I am one of Zelda's nieces. Thank you for the condolences and memories shared by you all. I have enjoyed reading them all. Zelda will be missed by so many.

 Posted June 10, 2017 - 12:10am
Sally Brashears

Ms. Stevens is entirely responsible for my love of reading. I was in her senior class as a junior, and when the seniors were dismissed at the end of the year before the juniors and sophomores, I sat alone in her class. To keep me occupied, Ms. Stevens gave me three wonderful books to read--including One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which was pretty groundbreaking for Beatrice in 1975. The books she had me read are still three of my favorites. Thank you, Ms. Stevens. You will be missed.

 Posted June 7, 2017 - 11:36am
Cyndi Tubbs Berve

A very nice lady & a great English teacher. She was an important friend to my parents & will be missed.

 Posted June 5, 2017 - 1:18pm
Kathy Weston Cohen

My sympathy to all of Zelda's family and friends. In her quiet way, she contributed greatly to her students and to her community. My mom and I used to walk fairly often down on the old track at the library. On many days we'd see Miss Stevens, striding along, staying in shape, always with a pleasant word. Rest easy.

 Posted June 3, 2017 - 4:51pm
Jane (Spence) Peters (Mrs. Stephen J. Gage)

Zelda Stevens was an outstanding English teacher at BHS. I am grateful to her for the foundation she helped build for me to go on for my college degrees. She, and often Miss Wilma Sawyer, faithfully attended our Class of 1957 BHS Reunions over the years. The Spence Family of seven children were launched by her classes. Our family saw her when we visited Beatrice at the First Presbyterian Church as she served in various roles over the years - an Elder, an Usher, and also serving meals at funerals. Most recently, she served food after the service for our 99-year-old mother in October of 2015. When our brother, David, returned from his first tour with Doctors Without Borders, she was there to hear his presentation. She unselfishly gave of herself in the classroom and in the community. She will be missed at our 60th High School Reunion.

 Posted June 2, 2017 - 10:17am
Steve Shively

I extend my sympathy to Zelda's family. She was a wonderful English Dept. head when I taught at Beatrice. She and I used to go to Crete or Lincoln to hear visiting authors, and she helped start my long-time interest in Willa Cather by attending conferences in Red Cloud with me. She was good company. We also had warm chats about Norfolk as my family and I attended the Presbyterian Church there back in the 60s--after Zelda had left Norfolk, but while her sisters and their families were there. Zelda's family was important to her. I'm glad I got to work with her and I have always been pleased to count her among my friends.
Steve Shively
Logan, UT

 Posted June 1, 2017 - 11:06pm
Margaret Paap Huffman

Miss Stevens was an inspiration to me, and helped guide my post high school education. I was honored to have been one of her students,
Margaret Paap Huffman

 Posted June 1, 2017 - 9:39pm
Steve Grupe

I am blessed to have had Zelda as a teacher, and later as a friend. My English teachers in Beatrice - McCown, Souther, Stevens (who was my sophomore English teacher?) - gave me a foundation that few of today's young students can match. Years after high school, I enjoyed seeing Zelda and Wilma Sawyer and Cecil Richmond at Abendmusik concerts in Lincoln. Zelda attend the BHS Class of 1966 50th Reunion last September. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

 Posted June 1, 2017 - 7:50pm
Nancy Lei

Micki, I just saw the obituaries from the Norfolk paper on Facebook. I'm sorry to see that Zelda passed away. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

 Posted June 1, 2017 - 6:27pm
Anita (Broadbooks) Meints

I am a 1962 BHS graduate. Ms.. Stevens was a wonderful teacher -- I attribute much of my success in business to her -- I only regret that I didn't adequately thank her for the contribution she made to my life. Rest in peace, Ms. Stevens. You were one of the best!

 Posted June 1, 2017 - 5:46pm
Karen Mains

My Sympathy to Zelda's Family, She will be remembered as a GREAT teacher and friend to many of her students.

 Posted May 31, 2017 - 9:53pm
Marsha Richmond Glover

Miss Stevens, Miss Sawyer, Miss Souther, Mr. Richmond...all great BHS teachers. My sister and I spent many a 4th of July with them and after mom and dad passed away my husband and I entertained them before or after Lied performances here in Lincoln or before or after Abendmusik programs. Zelda was a quiet, dedicated woman with not only a community spirited mind but also a very intelligent mind. Prayers go out to her family and friends who will miss her presence greatly.

 Posted May 31, 2017 - 2:40pm
Chris Dotson Wells

One of the best teachers @ Beatrice High School. Taught a lot of kids over the years.

 Posted May 31, 2017 - 12:16pm

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