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Deanie Wanek

Deanie Wanek, age 90, of Aurora, passed away on Saturday, November 28, 2020 at CHI Health - St. Francis in Grand Island.

Mass of Christian burial will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 5th at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Aurora, NE. The Rev. Loras Grell will be the Celebrant. Burial will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Giltner, NE. Visitation will be from 5:30 - 7 p.m. Friday at St. Mary's Catholic Church. A Rosary service will be at 7:00, following the visitation. Mass & Rosary will be livestreamed on St. Mary's, Aurora and St. Joseph's, Giltner Facebook page for those who are unable to attend in person. Current CDC guidelines will be followed and masks are required. Memorials are suggested to St. Mary's Catholic Church or donor's choice. Higby-McQuiston Funeral Home in Aurora is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com


Bernadine 'Deanie' A. Wanek was born April 12, 1930 in Sandy Run, PA, to Thomas and Anna (Kaschak) Matas. She passed away on November 28, 2020 at Grand Island, Nebraska at the age of 90.

She attended school in Hazleton, graduating from Hazleton High School in 1948. She attended St. Agnes School of Nursing at St. Agnes Hospital in Philadelphia, graduating in 1951.

She married Thomas K. Wanek of Aurora, NE on November 30, 1963, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Hazleton. The couple made their home in Aurora.

Deanie was a member of Saint Mary's Altar Society and was the first woman to serve on the Aurora City Council. Her devotion to her faith and her family have been an example to all who knew her. She was often called upon by people of all faiths to pray The St. Anthony Prayer asking for his intercession for the recovery of lost things. When someone in town lost something, Deanie was the first call to be made.

Deanie was a gracious, warm, and loving presence in many lives. As a nurse at Memorial Hospital, she cared for patients as if they were her own family. At St. Mary's, she made a point of greeting each and every guest and new member, making sure they knew they were welcome. Her smile and her hugs were shared without reservation. She and Tom opened their home and hearts to visitors, and everyone they met felt the power of their kindness.

Her greatest joy was her family, and they were immeasurably blessed with her constant prayers and her unconditional love.

She is survived by her loving husband of almost 57 years, Thomas K. Wanek of Aurora; a daughter and son-in-law Kathy and Hank McFarland of Grand Island; two sons and daughters-in-law, Tom and Kim Wanek of Aurora, and Jim and Annette Wanek of Urbandale, IA; ten grandchildren; Tommy McFarland and Kate McFarland of Grand Island, Andrew Wanek, Michael Wanek, Jane Wanek, and Ellie Wanek of Aurora, Katherine Wanek of Omaha, Tommy Wanek of Lincoln, Anna Wanek and Jimmy Wanek of Urbandale, IA; brothers-in-law George (Margarita) Wanek of Omaha, Mike (Bonna) Wanek of Grand Island and Dr. Stanley Nabity of Grand Island; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Anne O'Lear and her husband, Joseph, of Tamaqua, PA, and Helen Nabity of Grand Island.

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