Cover photo for Vance J. Wohlers's Obituary
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1934 Vance 2021

Vance J. Wohlers

November 28, 1934 — March 18, 2021

Vance J. Wohlers, 86, of St. Paul, died Thursday, March 18, 2021, at Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings.

Graveside services will be 2:30 p.m. on Thursday at the Elmwood Cemetery in St. Paul, NE. Rev. Steven Neal will officiate.

Visitation will be Thursday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in St. Paul.

Peters Funeral Home of St. Paul is assisting the family.

Memorials are suggested to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

Vance was born on Nov. 28, 1934, on a farm near St. Paul. He is the son of Harry R. and Anna M. (Johnson) Wohlers. He grew up on the farm and attended school in the Logan area north of St. Paul. As a young man, he worked at the Cornhusker Army Ammunitions Plant in Grand Island.

He was united in marriage to Shirley J. Jepson on May 1, 1954, in Dannebrog. The couple lived in St. Paul their entire married life and raised their two children, RaNae and Terry.

He worked at Jacobs Oil & Motor and began a career in construction working for John McClellan. He later started his own business, Wohlers Building Contractor, and built many beautiful homes, along with Grace Baptist Church, St. Mark’s Lutheran Church fellowship hall, Mathews Medical Clinic and a renovation of the American Legion Hall. He later worked in maintenance at Howard County Medical Center.

When he retired, he continued his passion for carpentry and fine woodworking of cabinets, cedar chests, grandfather and mantel clocks, rolltop desks and even church furnishings, such as baptismal fonts, lecterns and altars.

He was a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in St. Paul.

Vance was proud of his many years of sobriety and helped establish the St. Paul AA group. Over the years, he provided support to many and helped with their own recovery. He was also an avid hunter of small and large game with archery and firearms.

He is survived by a daughter, RaNae Cernik of Kearney; son and daughter-in-law, Terry and Diane Wohlers of Fort Collins, CO; four grandchildren and spouses, Michael Cernik of Kearney, Amanda and Patrick O’Connor of Kearney, Chad and Rebecca Wohlers of Greeley, CO, and Heather and Bayne Smallwood of Commerce City, CO; four great-grandchildren, Hailey, Zoe and Colton Wohlers and Pax Smallwood; sister, Ardys Kirby of Arizona; special friend, Nancy Oeltjen of St. Paul; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Anna; wife, Shirley on Jan. 22, 2008; son-in-law, Frank Cernik; brothers, Wayne and Doyle Wohlers; and sisters, Darlene Wohlers, Nonie Meston, Joan Culpepper and Jane Falk.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Vance J. Wohlers, please visit our flower store.

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