Donald R. Benning

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Donald R. Benning Oct. 10, 1936 – July 14, 2017

Dr. Benning was born in Omaha, Neb., the youngest of Erdie and Mary Benning’s five children. He attended Omaha North High School where he wrestled and played baseball and football before graduating in 1954.

He attended the then-Omaha University where he played football and wrestled, and upon graduation was offered a graduate fellowship in the school’s education department.  He was working as director of Omaha’s Near North Side YMCA when the university in 1963 hired him as head wrestling coach — the first African-American head coach at a predominately white university in the United States. He also was the first full-time black faculty member at the school. Under his leadership, the school’s wrestling program gained national prominence and in 1970 brought the state of Nebraska its first-ever collegiate national championship. Dr. Benning was NAIA Wrestling Coach of the Year, a member of the Nebraska Scholastic Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame and a member of the 1969 U.S. Olympic Wrestling Committee. He is a member of the Omaha University Hall of Fame and the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Following his coaching career, Dr. Benning went on to distinguished career in education, including nearly three decades with Omaha Public Schools. During his time as an administrator in the state’s largest school system, Dr. Benning served as an assistant principal and athletic director at Central High School, director of the Department of Human-Community Relations for OPS, and assistant superintendent. He helped lead the district’s desegregation effort and developed the nationally-recognized Adopt-a-School program. He also worked for racial equity in education including through the school district’s Minority Intern Program and Pacesetter Academy.

After leaving OPS, Dr. Benning joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was the first black doctorate recipient in the university’s College of Education. At UNL, Dr. Benning was coordinator of the school’s urban education program, charged with training educators to become administrators in urban and diverse school systems. He taught at the university until his retirement in 2011.

Dr. Benning is a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a member of Kappa Alpha fraternity.

Donald R. Benning is survived by wife Marcidene (Dee) Benning, children Victoria L. Benning, Tracy L. Benning (Deb), Donald R. Benning Jr., Kymberly D. Benning, Damon G. Benning (Jennie), grandchildren Rayniece, Brandyn, Cameryn, Calvin, Caleb, Mya, Jordan, Micah, Breeanna, sister Phyllis Joseph, many nieces, family & friends.

Visitation Monday 9:00 AM till service time. Funeral Service Monday (7/24/17) 11:00 AM at St. John’s A.M.E. Church 2402 N. 22nd St. Private family interment. Family prefers Memorials to North Omaha Boys & Girls Club, Girls Inc., Butler Gast YMCA.

Helen L Draper

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10/29/1926 – 7/12/2017

Of Gretna, Preceded in death by husband Jack. Survived by children Marsha (Harry) Yosten, Mark (Roxanne),  Martin (Betsy), 8 grandchildren, 8great grandchildren, family & friends. Order of the Eastern Star, Social Order of the Beaucent, Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem, Daughter of the Grand Army of the republic, Lutheran Church Women, PTA, Cub Scout Den Mother and retiree of Creighton University.

Visitation Friday 5-7 PM at Roeder Mortuary 2727 N 108th Street Omaha, NE. Memorial Service Saturday (7/22/17) 11:00 AM at Resurrection Lutheran Church 153 S. McKenna Ave. Interment Crescent Cemetery in Crescent IA. Memorials Resurrection Lutheran Church, Road Runners Group Tangier Shrine or Alzheimer’s Association.

Charles J. Jisa

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9/19/1928 – 7/15/2017

Of Gretna, Preceded in death by wife, Letha (Nabity), daughter Rose Zaracki. Survived by daughters Jean Vachal (Tony), Ruth Nolan (Tim), Joan Standeven (Rich), and Jane Bober. 13 Grandchildren:  Lisa Barrientos, William Zaracki, Jeffrey Zaracki, Kelly Powers, Kristin Ehlers, Emily Ferguson, Kathryn Nichols, Laura Ibraham, Sonja Biller, Jon Nolan, Rebecca Bertrand, Jessica Bober, and David Bober. 12 Great-Grandchildren:  Brett Kastrup, Kaitlin Kastrup, Max Barrientos, Gaby Barrientos, Stephen Troutman, Shelton Troutman, Liberty Biller, Allison Ehlers, Teagan Nichols, Brett Owen Ehlers, Anna Ibraham, and soon-to-be baby Powers. 3 Sisters:  MaryAnn Hofmann (Kalispell, MT), Ilene Woebbecke (Kansas City, MO), and Agnes Simcox (Huntington Beach, CA) and many other relatives and friends. He was also preceded in death by brothers:  Leonard Jisa (Hastings, NE), Eugene Jisa (Lincoln, NE) and sister: Betty Jean Horn (Waco, TX). Parents: Charles F. Jisa and Agnes (Ruzicka) Jisa.
Charles was an honest and caring person who would do all he could to care for and help his family.  He loved farming and always raised a beautiful, bountiful garden.  He also loved cars and trucks, John Deere tractors, camping, and watching the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

He will be dearly missed.


Visitation Wednesday 5-7 PM with Vigil Service 7:00 Roeder Mortuary 11710 Standing Stone Gretna, NE. Funeral Service Thursday (7/20/17) 10:00 AM at St. Patrick Catholic Church 508 Angus Street Gretna, NE. Graveside Service Thursday 3:00 PM at Westlawn Cemetery at  Grand Island, NE.  Memorials To St. Patrick Catholic Church.

JoAnn J. Robins

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4/15/1944 – 7/16/2017

Of Omaha, survived by children; Christopher (Susan), Melissa (Tim) Kaspar,  grandchildren Jacob, Joshua, Joseph, Ashley, Erin,  Kaylee, Sydney, Savana, siblings Michael Cackin (Melody).  Candice Hurlbut,  many nieces, nephews and loving family and friends. Preceded in death by husband Kenneth, twin sister Jennifer Cackin.

Visitation Tuesday 5-7 PM at Roeder Mortuary 2727 N 108th Street Omaha, NE.  Funeral Service Wednesday 11:00 AM at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church 2650 Farnam Street Omaha, NE. Graveside Tuesday 1:30 PM Forest Lawn Cemetery. Memorials Alzheimer’s Association or Douglas County Health Center.