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Evelyn Zehr

Evelyn Zehr, age 95, of Aurora, passed away on Monday, June 1, 2020, at Midwest Covenant Home in Stromsburg.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions in place at this time, visitation will be from 4-7 p.m., Thursday, June 4th, at Higby-McQuiston Mortuary in Aurora. Private family services will be held on Friday, June 5th with interment following at the Aurora Cemetery. Memorials may be made in care of the family to designate at a later date. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.


Evelyn Marie Zehr, the daughter of John and Addie (Brown) Cox, was born at Aurora, Nebraska on October 20, 1924 and passed away at Stromsburg, Nebraska on June 1, 2020 at the age of 95.

The family lived north of Murphy, where she attended District #4 school, and in 1932, they moved into Aurora where she graduated from Aurora High School with the class of 1942. She worked at Hesteds, and a cafe' in Grand Island.

Evelyn was united in marriage to Arbie Williams on June 6, 1942, and two children, Karen and Jim, were born to this union. Arbie preceded her in death on September 5, 1975.

After their marriage they lived in several towns and states while Arbie was working in construction. When they returned to Aurora, they co-owned and operated several cafes, Sinclair service stations, and the Aurora Hotel. In 1952, they purchased the SYA Cafe' on the north side of the square, and in 1953 they moved the cafe' to the south side of the square which also served as the bus stop.

Evelyn was also head cook at the Aurora High School, and was a bookkeeper for Vetter Brothers Dodge, and the Aurora News Register. In 1970, she was appointed to Deputy County Assessor, and in 1982, was elected County Assessor, a position she held until retirement on January 1, 1991. Evelyn was awarded the Certified Assessment Evaluator professional designation by the International Association of Assessing officers. She was the only deputy assessor in Nebraska to attain the designation and the seventh woman in the entire world to meet the qualifications.

On April 2, 1978, she married Clair "Shorty" Zehr. He preceded her in death on May 10, 2001.

She was a member of the Aurora United Methodist Church, the Order of Eastern Star #93, where she served as worthy matron and had received her 50 year pin. She also belonged to the Eagles Auxiliary in Hastings, and the Aurora Hospital Auxiliary.

Her hobbies included cooking, crocheting, playing cards, Nebraska football, and dancing.

She was preceded in death by her parents; one sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy and Glen Harp, her husbands, one son Jim on January 16, 1983 and step-son Rick Zehr.

Those who remain to cherish her memory are her daughter and son-in-law, Karen and Stan Wilshusen of Aurora, daughter-in-law, Jeanette Williams-Ferguson of Broken Bow, step-daughter, Beverly (Jim) Salmon of Evansbille, Indiana, step-daughter-in-law, Connie Zehr of Lincoln; 3 grandchildren, Tammy Cooper of Odessa, Kevin Wilshusen of LasCruces, NM, and Angela (Rick) Straw of Lincoln; 4 step-grandchildren, Brad (Kim) Salmon, Brett (Mindy) Salmon, Doug (Donita) Zehr, and Todd (Cathy) Zehr; 7 great-grandchildren, and 6 step-great grandchildren, 7 great-great grandchildren; niece Shirley (Harp) Colson and her family of Omaha; 4-legged friend, Haley.

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