Lonnie Knehans, 71, of Red Cloud, NE passed away on August 31, 2019 after a brief battle with cancer. While he fought gallantly to stay on this earth with his loved ones, he has always been prepared to meet his Lord and Savior and has now been called to his Eternal Home.
Lonnie was born on June 15, 1948 at Red Cloud, Nebraska to Kurt C. and Myrtle A. (Degner) Knehans. He was baptized into the Lord’s family on August 22, 1948 and confirmed on June 3, 1962 at Zion Lutheran Church in Red Cloud, Nebraska. He attended grades K thru 5 at Guide Rock and 6 thru 12 at Red Cloud, graduating with the class of 1966, after which he attended colleges in McCook and Kearney.
Lonnie worked various jobs, including 7 years on highway construction, before moving back to Red Cloud to help his mother care for his cousin Steve, who had been involved in a tragic traffic accident.
It was during this time that Lonnie met Brenda Lawson, and they were married on February 28, 1976. They owned a plumbing business for several years, after which Lonnie worked on the Webster County Bridge Crew prior to beginning a career of 27 years as a public servant to Webster County with the position of County Clerk. He retired in March 2013 and was elected to a term beginning in January 2019 as Webster County Commissioner for District 3. He enjoyed his retirement years working both as a Rural Water District Technician for the Lower Republican NRD until his health no longer allowed it, and for the Webster County taxpayers until very recently.
Lonnie was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church in Red Cloud his entire life, where he held many duties, including serving several terms as Elder, and as Secretary for the last several years. He especially enjoyed Thursday morning Men’s Bible Study. He was a member of the Red Cloud Lions Club, having served as President from June 2017 until June 2019; member of the Red Cloud Gun Club since 1985; Hunter Education Instructor for Nebraska Game & Parks Commission from 1987 to present; served on the Red Cloud Ambulance EMT squad from 1985 until 1995; and coached many youth trap shooting teams over the years. He enjoyed various volunteer activities at the Red Cloud Opera House as well as camping, fishing, shooting sports, and he worked for their entire marriage at designing and remodeling the home they purchased in 1976, where they raised their children and have welcomed friends and family over the years. He has always treasured spending as much time as possible with family, especially the 2 or 3 times a year they could all be together at different locations. He often impressed the family with new ideas and creative one-of-a-kind “inventions”.
Preceding him in death were his father in 1974, mother in 2013, and cherished uncle Ray, Ray’s wife Marie and their children Michael and Barry in 1975.
Left to treasure his memories are wife Brenda; son Chris, wife Amanda and daughters Jillian and Kayleigh of Fredonia, WI; daughter Kati and children Madylien, Kohlton, and Harper of Overland Park, KS; and son Kelsey, fiancé Mariah and daughter Remington of Juniata, NE. Also surviving are sister Connie Brumbaugh, nephew Glen Brumbaugh, wife Avery and son Max of Red Cloud; parents-in-law Richard and Barbara Lawson of Noblesville, IN, brother-in-law Gary Lawson and wife Sue of Mill Creek, IN, nephew Ben Laureys, wife Gina and son Gavin of Chesterton, IN, and special cousin Steve Degner, wife Roxanne and children Landon and Riley of Olathe, KS, along with many other relatives and close friends.
Services were at the Zion Lutheran Church in Red Cloud on Thursday, September 5 at 10:30 a.m. with Pastor Jeffrey Kuddes officiating. Interment was at the Red Cloud Cemetery.
The family requests that no flowers be offered; but rather donations be made to the Red Cloud Community Foundation Fund, or to the family for further disbursement to organizations of their choice in Lonnie’s honor.
Williams Funeral Home
241 West 4th Avenue
Red Cloud, Nebraska 68970
To send flowers to Lonnie's family, please visit our floral section.