Cover photo for Emily Schwartz Kaufman's Obituary
Emily Schwartz Kaufman Profile Photo
1918 Emily 2019

Emily Schwartz Kaufman

May 30, 1918 — November 14, 2019

Emily Lois Schwartz Kaufman, 101, of Oshkosh passed away Thursday evening, November 14, 2019 at the Regional West Garden County Nursing Home in Oshkosh.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, November 22, 2019 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Chappell with Reverend Neil Carlson officiating.  Burial will follow in the Chappell City Cemetery.

Visitation will be held Thursday afternoon from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 pm at the Holechek-Bondegard Funeral Home in Oshkosh.

Memorials in Emily’s name can be made to the Regional West Garden County Foundation (c/o Nursing Home projects), the Oshkosh Library, Garden Club of Garden County, or the Zion Lutheran Church in Chappell.

Holechek-Bondegard Funeral Home in Oshkosh is serving the Schwartz and Kaufman families.

Emily Lois Schwartz Kaufman was born in Denver, Colorado on May 30, 1918, to Emil Robert and Theresa Sarah Mae (Lehman) Kielgass.  At age three she moved with  her family to Sedgwick, Colorado and graduated from Sedgwick High School in 1936. 

Emily's father published newspapers in Sedgwick, Ovid and Crook, Colorado and, starting very young, Emily delivered the “Rocky Mountain News”  door to door during her growing up years. 

In 1937 Emily moved with her family to Arizona and on February 18, 1938, she married Ernest Schwartz in Yuma, Arizona who brought her back to Nebraska where she lived on the Schwartz farmstead until Ernest met with a fatal accident in 1957.

To this marriage were born two children, Steven and Lana Schwartz. 

Emily moved to Oshkosh, Nebraska in 1959 when she married Walter Ekdahl.  A few years after Walt Ekdahl died, Emily married Albert Kaufman in 1985.

Since 1938, Emily has been a member of the Zion Lutheran Church in Chappell, a church where she was confirmed after marrying Ernest, the church where her children were baptized and confirmed, the church where she married Walter Ekdahl and Albert Kaufman and the church where she wanted her final services.

Emily had numerous interests, starting with being a 4-H leader as a young bride and then a Girl Scout Leader when she moved to Oshkosh. She loved playing golf, which she did until age 95; playing bridge  until age 101, and raising enviable gardens of vegetables and flowers.  For 22 years, Emily was the Site Manager for the Oshkosh Senior Center and found her niche in life when she became a charter member of the “Just Write” writer's group in Oshkosh.  There seemingly was no end to her imagination and life recollections from which she produced numerous stories. 

Emily loved farming and liked the freedom it provided.  She remained engaged in her farming operation until her death, always wanting to know what was planted where.

Preceding Emily in death were her parents, Emil and Theresa Kielgass, her husbands, Ernest Schwartz, Walter Ekdahl and Albert Kaufman; her son, Steven in 2011, and all of her five siblings:  John (Jack) Kielgass, Sarah Louise Sneith, Liska Warner, Earl Kielgass and Patricia Laybe.

Surviving are Emily's daughter, Lana Schwartz Balka; daughter-in-law, Kathy Schwartz, Sterling, CO; Step-daughter, Susan Ekdahl Lake, Bellevue, NE; grandchildren, Jim and Jennifer Schwartz, Chappell; Eric Schwartz, Zumbrota, Minnesota; David and Amy Stoekl, Sequim, Washington; Ronald and Janel Rutherford, Topeka, KS; Captain Carrie Schwartz and husband Major Nate Hofferman, United States Air Force, stationed in Germany; Darin and Penny Falk, Grand Junction, Colorado; Sherry Brown, Sterling, Colorado; Launa and Robert Brown, Sterling, CO and numerous great and great-great, grandchildren, nephews and nieces.



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Emily Schwartz Kaufman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, November 21, 2019

1:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

Holechek-Bondegard Funeral Homes and Cremations

, Oshkosh, NE 69154

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Funeral Service

Friday, November 22, 2019

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

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