Cover photo for J.W. "Bill" Empson's Obituary
J.W. "Bill" Empson Profile Photo
1916 J.w. 2012

J.W. "Bill" Empson

September 28, 1916 — June 26, 2012

J.W. “Bill” Empson, 95 of Chappell, Nebraska died early Tuesday morning, June 26, 2012 at his home in Chappell.

Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M., Monday, July 2, 2012 in the Chappell United Methodist Church with Pastor Ezekiel Koech officiating. Burial will follow in the Chappell Cemetery.

Memorials have been established to the Chappell Senior Center or the Chappell United Methodist Church.

Friends may call from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. Sunday at the Holechek Funeral Home in Chappell.

John William Empson, the son of Clyde and Edna (Rouston) Empson was born September 28, 1916 at Oshkosh, Nebraska. He grew up in Chappell and graduated from Chappell High School in 1935. He then attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln where his love of Nebraska football started. He worked as a bus boy at the Cornhusker Hotel to help pay his tuition.

On June 5, 1940 he married the woman of his dreams, Verna Drake. To this union two children were born, Priscilla and Mark.

He served in the armed forces during World War II and was stationed in Long Beach, California.


After his discharge the family moved to Bushnell, Nebraska and then to Venango where he was employed in the Venango Credit Union as Vice President with his wife’s uncle. They moved to Chappell in 1953 when his father died and he took over the Empson Insurance Agency. His wife later took over the agency when Bill was appointed hospital administrator at Miller Memorial Hospital. In 1972 he became vice-president of the Deuel County State Bank. He was forced into retirement in 1989 when he lost his eyesight. Losing his eyesight was devastating to him as he could no longer do his two loves anymore: Go to Big Red Football games, which he did for years without missing a game and work at the bank.

His family, loving him as much as they did, tried to ease the pain. There wasn’t anyone he met he didn’t like and most likely everyone felt the same about him. He will be sadly missed.

Bill was very civic minded. He was a member of the American Legion, Chappell Rotary Club, the Sidney and Ogallala Elk’s Lodges and had served on the school board and city council. He had been the Senior Center president, served as the Methodist Church Treasurer, the Virginia Smith Treasurer and Chamber of Commerce Treasurer.

Survivors include his daughter Priscilla Callihan of Chappell, NE; son Mark Empson and wife Merva of Ogallala, NE; three grandchildren: Matt Kalb, Shad and wife Rebekah Hansmeier and Shane and wife Amie Hansmeier: five great-grandchildren: Levi Kalb; Carlee, Ellison and Peyton Hansmeier and Casey Anderson; one sister Edna Mae Wornick of Sun City, AZ; an aunt Al Schroeder and one sister-in-law Shirley Empson.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife and one brother.

Goodbye #1 supporter of Nebraska Football – Go Big Red!

Holechek Funeral Home and Cremations in Chappell is serving the Empson family.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of J.W. "Bill" Empson, please visit our flower store.

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