Albert H. Gutz
January 8, 1922 – February 12, 2021
Albert H. Gutz, (formerly of Shelby) passed from this earthly life to Life Eternal in Heaven with Jesus Christ on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, at his home in Columbus, Nebraska, at the age of 99.
His Celebration of Life will be at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Gresham, Nebraska, with Rev. Lee Seetin officiating. Knowing he is absent from the body, present with the Lord, his earthly body will be laid to rest in the church cemetery following the service, with military honors by The American Legion Hartman Post 84 Honor Guard. Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. on Wednesday at Gass Haney Funeral Home in Columbus. Everyone is welcome for a short prayer service at 5:30 p.m.. Visitation will continue on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. until service time at the church. The funeral service will be broadcast live on Gass Haney Facebook page.
Albert Henry Frank Gutz was born on Jan. 8, 1922, to loving Christian parents, Amandus and Alvina (Pfanstiel) Gutz, at their rural Osmond farm. He was baptized Jan. 22, 1922, confirmed on April 14, 1935, and attended parochial school, all at Immanuel Lutheran in Osmond.
Albert left farming to proudly serve his country in the U.S. Navy from January, 1944 to March, 1946, and was honorably discharged with the rank of Radioman 2nd Class. He served aboard the USS Zeilin and was involved in many battles in the Pacific during WWII. A kamikaze plane hit the ship, as they were bound for the first wave of action at Iwo Jima. They were towed to dry dock for temporary repairs, and quickly pressed back into service for a later attack wave. During a leave home, a fellow sailor from Iowa took Al to meet his family, which included the sailor's kid sister, Loverna. Unbeknownst to Al, she had "set her cap" for him and a few years later, she became his wife. Albert married Loverna "Vernie" Heineman on June 6, 1948, at Immanuel Lutheran in Osmond. This loving union produced five children, Gregory, Timothy, Lori, Mark and Rebecca. An added blessing of a third daughter, Kimberley, came through adoption following the death of Vernie's sister in 1966.
In 1948, Al joined Union Pacific Railroad as a Telegrapher/Agent. Early on, his seniority required frequent moves to locations across Nebraska. For the first nine years of marriage, their "tiny home" was on wheels and towed behind their car, making those moves very efficient. Eventually, in 1960, they settled in Shelby, Nebraska. After retiring in 1983, Al enjoyed more years in retirement than in employment!
Al and Vernie were active in their church, wherever they lived. After moving to Shelby, the family chose St. Peter's in Gresham as their church home. Al served on church boards, taught catechism and Sunday School, and was active in Lutheran Laymen's League. He was a lifetime member of VFW Post 3704 and the American Legion. They enjoyed Union Pacific Oldtimers, USS Zeilin Ship Reunions, traveling, gardening and spending time with their kids, grandkids, and extended family and friends.
Albert "walked the walk", with his eyes constantly on Jesus and never wavered in his faith. He spent a lifetime witnessing, instilling and nurturing faith in Jesus, not just with his family but with anyone he met. To the end, he was encouraging his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren in their faith, and looking forward to a grand reunion in Heaven.
Those left behind to cherish Al's memory are his son Gregory (Alice) Gutz of Fremont, Nebraska, son Timothy (Dixie) Gutz of Columbus, Nebraska; daughter, Lori (Terry) Borchers of Columbus, Nebraska; son-in-law, Matthew Thomas, of Genoa, Nebraska; son Mark Gutz of North Platte, Nebraska; daughter, Rebecca (John) Rose of Newcastle, Wyoming; grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Sarah (Jon) Zatechka, Isaac and Estella; Seth(Emily) Gutz, Elijah and Evangeline; Samuel (Stacy) Gutz, William, Caroline, Amelia; Danielle (Franklin) Doerneman, Katelyn, Hailey and Fynn; Brett Borchers (Melissa); Thadeus (Amy) Borchers and Colson; Zachary Thomas (Jenny) and Tyler Steiner; Whitney (Jordan) Fuesser; Jordan Thomas and Levi; Regis Gutz; Nicole Gutz; Tyler (Beth) Weishahn and Avery; Malinda Zahnow (Danny); Tiffany Zahnow; Anthony Zahnow (Nakayla) and Dimitri; brother, Arnold "Bud" (Maxine) Gutz; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Paul and Karon Heineman, Kenneth Kirchner, Alberta Karll, and David Talbert; as well as many other relatives and friends.
Albert joins those already in Heaven, including wife, Vernie (2015); his parents; parents-in-law, Carl and Evalyn Heineman, daughter, Kimberley Thomas; daughter-in-law, Pamela (Fagen) Gutz; grandson, Carl August Gutz; brothers Martin, Herbert, and Richard; and sisters Hilda Jensen, Helen Gansebom and Lydia Peters.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Mission Central, Immanuel Lutheran School, Camp Luther, Lutheran Hour, or the donor's choice.
Condolences may be sent to www.gasshaney.com.