Lonnie Buckley, age 91, passed away November 26, 2019 at Mankato, Kansas long term care.
Lonnie was born on the Lewis family farm south of Burr Oak, KS on September 20, 1928, the oldest of five children born to Emmett and Verda (Fogo) Lewis. She was a lifelong resident of the Northbranch and Burr Oak communities. Lonnie received her formal education at the Burr Oak, KS schools, graduating in 1946. She also attended Fort Hays State University. She was an active member of the Northbranch Friends church.
In November, 1946 she married Donald Diehl, in Burr Oak, KS. They made their home on the family farm at Northbranch. Don and Lonnie were the parents of three children, Regi, Mac, and Angie. In June 1989, Lonnie married Earl Buckley and the two resided at Lonnie’s home in Northbranch for the next twenty years. She welcomed her extended family of kids and grandkids and assisted Earl with his custom harvest business, traveling throughout many states preparing meals for harvesters.
Lonnie was a homemaker who was blessed with many skills and talents she readily shared with others. She was an outstanding cook. Her custard pie, cream puffs, homemade noodles and chicken and dressing were always in demand at church dinners and family gatherings.
She was a skilled musician who excelled at playing piano and organ, and in her younger years, guitar and accordion. She had a beautiful soprano voice, was a member of a popular trio from the Northbranch Friends church, and though not many knew it, she could also yodel. Lonnie provided keyboard and vocal music for church services, weddings, funerals and other events throughout the area for over 50 years. The gift of music continued well into her later years, as she would often play the piano for residents of the Mankato long term care center even as dementia took away almost every other skill.
One of Lonnie’s greatest passions was fishing. She began fishing with her dad Emmett as a child, and carried her love of fishing throughout her life. It did not matter whether it was pond, lake, or river, even ice fishing, she became a master at the sport. She could “think like a fish” and her children and grandchildren were given many tips and secrets on how to catch a “lunker.” Her friends were the proud beneficiaries of many fish fillets and occasional frog legs prepared and delivered free of charge to their homes by Lonnie.
Lonnie experienced many ups and downs through her 90 plus years, which included the slow and steady loss of memory. She kept a daily diary for years, and her writing shows how much she fought to keep strong in the face of loss. She showed others the benefits of acceptance and the ability to find peace on the other side of struggle. Her words of wisdom to her family were “in tough times, when you have trouble, treat others with kindness, hold fast to your faith and your family and you will come through stronger than before.” A sermon she heard in 1950 prompted her to write these words in 1999: “Today I see God in everything instead of just a Sunday outing. I know He is by my side in the good and tough times and that He will never leave me.”
Preceding her in death were her husband Earl Buckley, father, Emmett Lewis, mother Verda Lewis, infant sister Judee Sue Lewis, and son Mac Diehl.
Survivors include her children Regi Wieland and husband David, and Angie Holzmeister and husband Ray, Oakley, KS; Daughter in law Cindy Diehl, Lisco, NE; sisters Loyce Jeffery and husband Kermit, Northbranch, KS, Jerre Mann, Denver CO, and brother Bud Lewis and wife Bobbi, Castle Rock, CO; Grandchildren, Justin Wieland and husband Matthew Thomas, San Diego, CA, Ben Wieland, Brandon Beougher and wife Morgan, Dexter Bouray, Bailey Thompson and husband CJ, all of Oakley, KS, Mattie Holzmeister, Hays, KS, Amanda Diehl, Lincoln, NE, Emily Diehl, Gardner, KS, Eden and Ivy Diehl, Lincoln, NE; Great grandchildren Savannah, Shanlee, and Adalee Beougher, Curtis and Piper Thompson, Gabriel and Braxton Wieland, all of Oakley, KS, and Emmett Russell and Eli James Kowalewski of Gardner, KS.
Funeral services will be held Monday, 3:00 p.m., December 2, 2019 at the Northbranch Friends Church with Pastor Jon Harkness and Pastor Rod Rose officiating. Interment will be in the Burr Oak Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM at the Williams Funeral Home in Red Cloud and Monday, 12:00 noon to service time at the church.
Memorials are suggested to the Jewell County Longterm Care Unit or the Northbranch Friends Church.
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970
To send flowers to Lonnie's family, please visit our floral section.