Donald Max Lafler passed away Thursday, February 23, 2017 at the Western Nebraska Regional Hospital in Scottsbluff at the age of 86 and after several years of declining health.
Funeral services will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Sidney, NE on Wednesday, March 1st at 10:00 A.M., with Pastor Corey Jenkins officiating. Burial will follow in the Czech Cemetery south and east of Sunol. Friends may stop at the Gehrig-Stitt Chapel on Tuesday from 1-7:00 P.M. with family present from 4-6. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church in Sidney or the Shriner's Hospital for Children. You may view Don’s Book of Memories, leave condolences, photos and stories at www.gehrigstittchapel.com. Gehrig-Stitt Chapel & Cremation Service LLC is in charge of Don’s care and funeral arrangements.
Donald Max Lafler was born January 13, 1931, on the farm southeast of Sidney in the house where he lived his entire life to Ralph and Maud (Knapp) Lafler. He attended schools at District #56, South Divide Lutheran School, and graduated from Sidney High School in 1949. He was confirmed in the South Divide Lutheran Church in 1944 and later joined the United Methodist Church in Sidney and was a member for over 50 years.
Don married Lorraine Hornicek October 4, 1952 and they lived on the farm southeast of Sidney for 64 years. He farmed and drilled water wells in five different states from 1955 to 1969. He designed and built the first water drilling rig that was used in his business for several years. He had a hay business from 1969 to 1973. In 1975 he drilled water wells on the Pine Ridge Reservation and also worked for Feenie Well Service as a driller. In 1977, Don became an Equipment Broker selling oil and water well drilling equipment, construction and farm equipment.
He was a master welder and could design and build almost anything that he needed. He never threw anything away, he just fixed it. Don was a sergeant in the Army National Guard, Co K 134th Infantry NNG at Sidney from 1951 to 1957. He was a Master Mason and Member of Frank Welch Lodge #75, Scottish Rite 32nd, Sidney Elks Lodge, the Czechs of the Nebraska Panhandle and the Boot Hill Restoration Committee.
Donald was preceded in death by his parents, his parents-in-law and baby sister: Twila Jean.
Survivors include his wife: Lorraine; daughters: Dawn Erb and husband Charles of Lodgepole, Alys Lafler-Ratigan and husband Joe of Rapid City. SD, Valeta Rosenbaum and husband Jeff of Sidney, Tanya Serefko and husband Ed of Omaha and foreign exchange student: Jenny (Mattiske) Day and husband Rick of Australia; grandchildren: JaVay Hurt and husband Ryan of North Carolina, Dusk Westerbuhr and husband Kurt of Holdrege, NE, Monique Ratigan and Chad Ratigan and wife Kayti all of Rapid City, Donovan Rosenbaum of Sidney, Abby Patterson and husband Troy of Lewellen and Mila Serefko and Maddie Serefko both of Omaha; (3) great-grandchildren: Krystina and Zoey Ratigan and Ayla Westerbuhr; nieces: Kathy Hodges and husband Gene of Lodgepole and Cindy Dean and husband Mike of Austin, TX; special friends: Shirley Oliverius and Florine Elias and many extended family members and friends.