April 16, 1925 - June 9, 2021
Geneva Madeline Kirk Davis was born April 16, 1925 in Mullen NE and graduated to her eternal home on June 9, 2021. She was the daughter of Estes and Grace (Palmer) Kirk and sister to Kenneth Kirk. The family moved near Vetal, SD when Geneva was age 3 and then to Rock County, NE in 1937. She attended Dist. #44, 3 miles north of the family ranch. She achieved the highest scholastic score for the county in 7th grade and second highest in the 8th grade. Geneva graduated from Rock County High in 1943. Her senior year she obtained a teaching certificate by completing what is known as Normal Training. During the summer of 1943, she worked for QO Ordinance plant in Grand Island, where shells and bombs were made to support the war effort. Forever a patriot, she felt proud to have contributed to the safety of America. Growing up in rural Nebraska, she did her share of ranch work, sometimes driving a team of four horses pulling a “Go-Devil” which cultivated four rows of corn. She also drove a team to rake, mow or sweep hay in the summers. Geneva was an expert with a rifle and enjoyed being on horseback, often riding to school as a student and as a teacher. On June 1, 1946, she united in marriage to the love of her life, Harold J. Davis at a double marriage ceremony including Harold’s nephew Don Davis and wife Margaret at Valentine NE. These two couples continued to celebrate on June 1st every year until their health began to fail. Three children were born to Harold and Geneva; Eddie Deane, (1947) ArLou Ereatha (1951), and Jolene Mae (1955). They resided on the Joe Davis place in southern Rock County until 1951; then moved to the Kirk ranch southwest of Bassett, purchasing it from Geneva’s parents. Geneva taught grades K through 8 in one-room schools for 28 years. She was one of a large group of other teachers who gave their all, offering an excellent education to hundreds of rural children. That employment also came with responsibilities of janitor, nurse, counselor, music teacher, track coach and other obligations while often dealing with blizzards, prairie fires, snakes, skunks and a rare unruly child. Working 10-hour days was common, then returning home to family and ranch chores, grading papers and making lesson plans. There were times she was too tired to move from her chair to discipline her own children. She did have a good aim with her stiletto-heeled shoe and it proved effective. Geneva had a special musical talent and began playing piano for barn and house dances to accompany her father’s violin. Shortly after marriage, her father-in-law presented her with something she had often dreamed of, an accordion. She brought joy to many with both piano and accordion music. Harold always requested “Yellow Rose of Texas.” Geneva was conscious of community projects and if she saw a need, she acted on it. One such accomplishment was co-authoring the purple Rock County Centennial history book, published in 1987 to celebrate and document 100 years of life in Rock County. This large volume of 640 pages, she created from a hand typed manuscript set with photos, without the aid of computer programs. With help from Harold, she located, walked and platted all known cemeteries in the county. Geneva published Cemeteries and Other Graves, now archived in the National Library of Congress, Washington D.C. She also assisted in documenting names and dates to create directories later placed on site at the Bassett and Duff cemeteries. Throughout her retirement, she enjoyed giving countless hours of volunteer work to the Rock County Library, American Legion Auxiliary, Singing Seniors Choir, and the Sandhills Quilt Guild. Because of her love of quilting, she was instrumental in co-founding the quilt guild and made hundreds of quilts for family and friends along the way. Geneva was an active member of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Bassett. She was passionate about community projects honoring our veterans. With the help of others, a beautiful World War II Memorial was renovated and updated, it is on display at the Rock County Court House. A second project, The Veterans Honor Roll is displayed at the American Legion Club. Determined that none are forgotten, she took it upon herself to enter military records for many Rock County vets into a national web site. Another hobby was genealogy. She began researching the Davis/Adams family in 1971, and with the help of a relative published 260 pages of family history that spanned 16 generations beginning in 1460, again without the aid of computer programs. Geneva went beyond the career of schoolteacher. By example, she taught strong values, discipline, and determination. She was an amazing historian, cook, gardener, seamstress, and faithful rancher’s wife. She was an overcomer in difficult times of lack and loss, and with that special smile she encouraged others to do the same. In 1996 Harold and Geneva moved from their ranch to Sunrise Terrace in Bassett. At age 92 she moved to Cottonwood Villa in Ainsworth for a short time then to Southern Wind Manor, Pittsburg TX until her death. Geneva was preceded in death by her parents and brother Kenneth, husband Harold, son Eddie Davis, daughter ArLou Lutz, and granddaughter Manda Ann Lutz. Geneva is survived by her daughter Jolene Turner Wilson and husband Tim of Hughes Springs TX, daughter-in-law Joan Davis Thorne (Abbie) of Adaire Ok, son-in-law Mike Lutz (Laura) of North Platte, NE; two nephews, Ray Kirk of Chico, CA and Gene Kirk of Monroe, WA. Grandchildren: Shareen (Wade) Dearmont of Bassett NE, Shawna Skaggs of Kearney NE, Delynn Plott of Adaire OK, Diann (Jeffrey) Thorne of Cleburne TX, Shelly (Mark) Donner of Laramie WY, Kelci Lutz of Brighton CO, Kirk (Ashley) Lutz of Brighton CO, Casey (Brandy) Turner of Pittsburg TX, Ryan (Wendy) Turner of Pittsburg TX, Clay (Megan) Turner of Mt. Vernon TX. Great Grandchildren: Kyleigh Skaggs; Dalya, Dalton, & Justin Dearmont; Phillip, Clayton, & Olivia Plott; Logan & Grace Thorne; Jonas Lutz; Joshua, Corbin & Hayden Donner; Nathan & Gracie Lutz; Kale & Kolby Turner; Avery & Zachary Turner; Claire & Mason Turner; numerous nieces and nephews along with a large host of friends. Funeral Services were held on Thursday, June 17, 2021 at the United Methodist Church in Bassett with Pastor Jenice Epp and Pastor Dennis Quigley officiating. Music was provided by Carolyn Clark and special music, “I Want To Stroll Over Heaven With You” by Rod Stolcpart. A video production by Delynn Plott was played. Casket bearers were: Casey Turner, Ryan Turner, Clay Turner, Kirk Lutz, Clay Kuchera and Jake Johnson. Honorary Casket bearers were: Shareen Dearmont, Shawna Skaggs, Delynn Plott, Diann Thorne, Shelly Donner and Kelci Lutz. Memorials were suggested to the Rock County Public Library Renovation Project or to the Bassett American Legion Auxiliary in Geneva’s name. Interment was in the Duff Cemetery near Rose, Nebraska under the direction of the Hoch Funeral Home of Bassett. Online Condolences may be left for the family at www.hochfuneralhome.com.
Geneva Madeline Kirk Davis was born April 16, 1925 in Mullen NE and graduated to her eternal home on June 9, 2021. She was the daughter of Estes and Grace (Palmer) Kirk and sister to Kenneth Kirk. The family moved near Vetal, SD when Geneva... View Obituary & Service Information
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