Garry F. Smedra, 75, of Overland Park, KS, formerly of Loup City, died Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, at the Grand Island Veterans Home in Grand Island.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at St. Josaphat’s Catholic Church in Loup City. The Rev. Marty L. Egging will officiate. Burial will be in the Evergreen Cemetery in Loup City, with graveside military honors by Offutt Air Force Base Honor Guard.
Visitation will be Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the church, with a 7 p.m. vigil service.
Peters Funeral Home of Loup City is in charge of the arrangements.
Mr. Smedra was born on Aug. 14, 1936, at Loup City, the son of Clarence and Theresa (Badura) Smedra.
He is survived by his wife, Judi L. Smedra of Overland Park, KS; two sons and daughters-in-law, Michael and Amy Smedra and their children, Nicholas and Abigail of Deer Park, TX and Daniel and Jane Smedra and their son, Jonathan of St. Louis, MO; one daughter and son-in-law, Katherine and Paris Smith and their son, Jacob of Chicago, IL; and a sister and brother-in-law, Louise and Archie Ziola of Columbus.
Garry grew up on the family farm in Sherman County where he attended rural schools and was a 1953 graduate of Loup City High School.
He served in the United States Air Force for over 23 years. During his career he served in North Africa, France, Panama, Iceland and Thailand. He then worked as a recruiter in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota, later working as a medical recruiter stationed in Kansas City, MO. He retired in March 1978 as a Senior Master Sergeant.
He was united in marriage to Judith L. “Judi” Peknik on Sept. 22, 1962, at Richards -Gebaur AFB in Belton, Missouri.
After his military career he worked for the University of Kansas Medical Center for nine years in the continuing education field. He set up programs for doctors and nurses in Kansas outside of the metropolitan areas.
Due to failing health he moved to the Grand Island Veterans Home in 2006, where he lived the rest of his life.
He was a member of Prince of Peace Catholic Church and Knights of Columbus in Olathe, KS and the VFW in Chanute, KS.
Garry enjoyed gardening and visiting with family and friends. He loved attending his children’s sporting events of softball, baseball, football and wrestling. A “Big Red” fan, he was always anxious for Nebraska football season.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Jerome Smedra.
Memorials are suggested to the American Heart Association or the Grand Island Veterans Home.