HOLDREGE — Lonita M. “Nita” Staples, 86, of Holdrege, formerly of Bertrand, died Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Christian Homes Care Community at Holdrege.

Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Monday at the Christian Homes Chapel in Holdrege with the Revs. Glenn Frecks and Darrel Wissmann officiating. Interment will be 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Highland Cemetery at Bertrand.

Visitation will be 1-4 p.m. Sunday, with the family greeting 1-2:30 p.m., at Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege.


Nita was born May 2, 1933, in Ogallala, the third of four children to Walter S. and Marchen M. (Dinkleman) Gake.

She received her primary education at District No. 2 in Keith County and graduated from Ogallala High School with the class of 1950. She then pursued higher education, attending summer college courses from Kearney State Teachers College. Nita taught for one year at a country school near Ogallala.

On June 18, 1952, she was united in marriage to Donald A. Staples in Ogallala. To this union four children were born, Theresa Ann, Debbie Sue, Rick Allen and Tamara Rae.

The family made their home in Ogallala, and later began to make their home in Bertrand, where Nita focused on her family’s needs. Later in life, she was employed by Becton-Dickinson in Holdrege, in the molding department, for 26½ years of service to the company. Throughout the years, Nita enjoyed being involved as a mother and grandmother.

She was a member of Faith Free Lutheran Church in Bertrand, serving as a children’s Bible study leader and crafter.

Nita enjoyed attending craft shows, crafting, gardening, canning, playing bingo with friends at Christian Homes Care Community and following the stock market.

Nita leaves to celebrate her life her children, Theresa Ann West and her husband, Bob of Lincoln, Debbie Towndrow and her husband, Randy of Holdrege, Rick Staples of Los Lunas, N.M., and Tamara Belmudez and her husband, Abraham, of Thornton, Colo.; nine grandchildren, Heather, Todd, Mandy, Brandie, Heidi, Christina, Phillip, Fatima and Tonya; two stepgrandchildren, Barrett and Cathy; many great-grandchildren; along with a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, in the Staples and Gake families.

Nita was preceded in death by her parents; father-in-law and mother-in-law; her husband, Donald in 1999; her sister, Corrine Hiner and her husband, Keith; two brothers, John Gake and Lloyd Gake; a daughter-in-law, Linda Staples; and two brothers-in-law, Kenneth Staples and Oran Magnuson and his wife, Janet.

A memorial has been established in Nita’s honor, and kindly suggested to the Bertrand Veteran’s Organization.

Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at www.nelsonbauerfh.com.

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