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'She’d come over here and go straight for the grandkids'

'She’d come over here and go straight for the grandkids'

From the The cost of COVID: Remembering lives lost in Southeast Nebraska series
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Nadene Stull ran the annual rummage sale at her senior living center and worshiped at Trinity United Methodist Church.

She crocheted and read and never missed a chance to be with people.

“She was such a social person,” said her daughter-in-law Mary Stull. “Even into her 90s, she was always on some kind of committee or in charge of one.”

Nadene was 94, a widow. She and Walt raised their three sons in Grand Island.

Walt was a conductor for the railroad. Nadene worked as a bookkeeper at the bank.

She was a den mother for her Cub Scout sons, Bill, Bob and Jim. She served in the PTA.

Her boys loved her chicken-fried steak and cowboy baked beans. They fought over her deviled eggs at family gatherings, much to her everlasting delight.

She was an involved mom. A strict one.

Once, Bill and his buddies rented a motel room after prom. They bought a bunch of beer, planned to crash there until morning.

In the middle of the night, they heard a car pull upside their room.

Someone peeked out: Stull, that looks like your mom.

“I looked out,” said Bill, now retired from the railroad. “Oh my gosh, that is my mom.”

After her sons grew up and she retired, Nadene volunteered for the Red Cross and at the Stuhr Museum.

After she lost Walt, Jim died in a work accident.

Eventually, she became a Stephen Minister, a layperson helping others through life’s trials, grief, divorce, illness.

“She was such a woman of great faith,” Bill said.

It helped to be in Lincoln, closer to Bill and Mary and Bob and Pam. And then there were those 10 grandchildren and eventually 13 greats.

“Her whole world revolved around her grandkids,” Bill said. “She’d come over here and go straight for the grandkids.”

After a fall, she moved from her apartment to Lancaster Rehabilitation Center and, when winter came, she contracted COVID and then pneumonia.

She died Dec. 12, two weeks before residents of long-term care facilities in Lincoln began receiving vaccinations.

The isolation of the pandemic was so hard on his mother, Bill said.

“She just wanted to hold and touch her family.”

-- Cindy Lange-Kubick


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