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Iona Tracy

Iona Marie (Witte) Tracy, passed away Monday, June 24, 2019 surrounded by family at the Henderson Care Center in Henderson, NE.

A Memorial Service will be held at 3:00 P.M., Sunday, June 30th at Zion Lutheran Church in rural Hampton. Rev. David Feddern will officiate. Inurnment will be in the Council Cemetery, southeast of Bradshaw. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the family to designate at a later date. Higby-McQuiston Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.


Iona was born on October 10, 1921 to Edwin and Bertha (Obermeier) Witte, on the family farm located near the Beaver Creek just south of Waco, Nebraska. Iona was the first of six children, and the last one to be called Home to meet her Maker on June 24, 2019 at the age of 97.

Iona had a strong faith in her Lord Jesus Christ. As a child she attended Peace Lutheran Church in Waco where she was baptized on November 21, 1921, later confessing her faith in Confirmation on May 24, 1936, and was also married in her home Church. As a young adult she and her husband raised their family at Emmanual Lutheran Church in York, NE, and in her golden years she was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Hampton, NE.

Iona walked one and a half miles to grade school at District 45 in York County, Nebraska, continuing her education and graduating with the class of 1939 at Waco High School. Iona worked as a housekeeper, with the hope and desire to continue her education into nursing, but rather chose to marry and start a family.

Iona met the love of her life while being escorted by a handsome fellow to a roller skating party with a girlfriend of hers. After a short courtship, Lloyd Ivan Tracy and Iona were married on August 10, 1941. They made their home on the Tracy farmstead south of Bradshaw, NE. To this union four children were born: Diana, Audrey, and twin boys Lloyd Jr. and Wesley.

Lloyd and Iona (always wearing a dress), farmed and raised livestock on their family farm for nearly 40 years. Lloyd passed away May 3, 1981, just months before they were to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Iona, now a widow, continued to live on the farm with perseverance and bravery, knowing that her prayers would keep her safe. She moved to Henderson in 2004.

Iona always had time to volunteer, helping with election day voting polls, taught Bible and Sunday School, and was a member of her Church ladies group. She was a member of the Rose Valley Extension Club.

Iona was of simplicity and humor. She always had a zest for life, sharing her love of Christ with others, even with the numerous telemarketing calls she would get, ended with “I will pray for you”. The enjoyment of playing piano and singing to the religious or silly songs with her grandchildren made her heart happy. Crocheting useful items, which she shared with many, passed her idle time.

Iona often tried to create laughter with her off the cuff, perfectly timed sayings followed by a slap on the knee, a chuckle and a snort! After all, Witte was her maiden name, and witty she was!

She was known to read the phonebook to her family as a simple way of entertainment. Iona loved to entertain, even if the menu was sipping a 7-up, eating a banana or a snickers bar. She always looked out for the less fortunate, knowing that this was her at times too, however she knew that God was in control and gave her more than she deserved.

Treating her family to homemade noodle casserole and green jello with pears was a highlight and making sure all the grandkids knew how to spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Her passion for finding a purpose for the common items that one would find no more use for, would often end up in her possession to use when the need would arise. Living through the depression years taught her to waste not, want not.

Iona cherished the five generations the Lord blessed her with. Her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even her great-great grandchildren knew her as Grandma Great.

She is survived by her daughters, Diana Schulze of Hampton, NE, Audrey (Adolph) Roesler of Bennett, NE and son, Wesley (Judy) Tracy of Hebron, NE; Mary Kempf (former wife of Lloyd Jr.); 14 grandchildren: Sheli, Jay, Jill, Cory, Russell, Tina, Adam, Tiffany, Heather, Ben, Spencer, Morgan, Richard, Rachelle; 26 great grandchildren; a great-great granddaughter; sisters-in-law, Edith Champan, Opal Prohaska and Jesse Witte; numerous nieces, nephew, cousins and friends.

Iona entered her Heavenly Home, welcomed by her family gone on before her. Her husband Lloyd, Sr.; son, Lloyd I Tracy, Jr.; granddaughter, Rebecca Tracy; son-in-law, Ervin Schulze; her parents, brothers and sisters-in-law; Wilbur (Bud) Witte, Kenneth (Rosemary) Witte, Robert (Delores) Witte, Wayne Witte; sister & brother-in-law, Lucille (Robert) Tant.

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