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Petronella "Nellie" McMahon

Petronella ”Nellie” Leola (Bader) McMahon. 93, of Giltner, NE, died September 21, 2019 at CHI St. Francis Medical Center in Grand Island.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Grand Island, Nebraska with the Rev. James Golka officiating. Burial will be in St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery, Giltner, NE Visitation will be Tuesday, September 24 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Giltner with the family to receive friends from 5-8 p.m. with the rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. Higby-McQuiston Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.


Petronella (Nellie) L. McMahon was born August 19, 1926 in Seward, Nebraska the daughter of Leo Joachim & Petronella (Nellie) Mary (Buecker) Bader. Nellie was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith at St. Vincent’s Catholic Church, Seward, Nebraska. She attended rural District #37 public school where she graduated from the 8th grade. She then attended Tamora Public School, graduating from Grand Island Senior High School in Grand Island at the age of 17 with the Class of 1943. She entered St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Grand Island, on January 23, 1944 and at the same time joined the United States Cadet Nurses Corp where she was a member for three years during World War II. She graduated from St. Francis School of Nursing on January 23, 1947. Upon graduation she was employed at St. Francis Hospital as a charge nurse in the Nursery.

She was united in marriage to Bernard Joseph McMahon on October 8, 1947 at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Grand Island, NE, by Msgr. Leo Keating. To this union, 11 children were born: Tom, Mary, Patrick, Margaret, Catherine, Jeanne, Joe, Rita, John, Anne, & Marilyn. The couple began their married life in Grand Island before moving to Merrick County. In March 1953 they moved to a farm south of Aurora, NE & later to Giltner in 1956 where she practiced professional private duty nursing for many years in Hall and Hamilton County. She was employed by Memorial Hospital in Aurora from July 1963 until her retirement July 1, 1992. Bernard & Nellie celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary in 2007. Bernard preceded her in death, October 17, 2011. She was an avid reader and thoroughly enjoyed watching college basketball.

She was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Giltner, NE, St. Joseph’s Altar Society and “The Golden Oldies”. She always thanked God for the wonderful blessing of her husband, loving children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and all the joys they brought into her life over the years.

Today, we have lost the comfort of mom’s presence but she and dad remain the heart of this family. We love her and will never know anyone more inspiring or full of life.

Those left to cherish her thoughts and memories are her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Son: Tom McMahon, Roseville, CA Daughter & son-in-law: Mary L. (Daniel) Schartz, O’Neill, NE Son & daughter-in-law: Patrick L. (Patricia) McMahon, Hemingford, NE Daughter & son-in-law: Margaret A. (Randy) Carrier, Salina, KS Daughter & son-in-law: Catherine M. (Denis) Bachman, Giltner, NE Daughter: Jeanne T. Robertshaw, Aurora, NE Son & daughter-in-law: Joseph T. (Betty) McMahon, Papillion, NE Daughter & son-in-law: Rita R. (Scott) Harmon, Trumbull, NE Son & daughter- in-law: John M. (Dianne) McMahon, Grand Island, NE Daughter & son-in-law: Anne E. (Mark) Pittard, Lynn Haven, FL Daughter & son-in-law: Marilyn A. (Todd) Williams, Doniphan, NE; 15 Granddaughters; 16 Grandsons and 63 Great Grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Bernard McMahon, October 17, 2011, son-in-law – Barry Robertshaw, daughter-in-law, Pamela McMahon, four sisters, Theresa Sopher, Genevieve Sopher, Barbara Guthmann, Sister Mary Barbara Bader, four brothers, Alois Bader, Jerome Bader, Urban Bader and infant brother, Leo Henry Bader.

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