OSMOND — Funeral services for Joan Baer, 89, of Kearney, formerly of Osmond, were held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, at United Methodist Church in Osmond with Rev. Rodgers Chisiba officiating. Burial was in the Osmond city cemetery. Pallbearers were Chris Baer, Amy Demarest, Rick Demarest, William Baer, April Nelson, Zach Nelson, Dean Kiichler and Clark Wilke. Honorary pallbearers were members of the United Methodist congregation. Charlotte Kiichler was organist. Congregational hymns included "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus," "No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus" and "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." Soloist Bill Korth sang "How Great Thou Art."
Visitation was one hour prior to service at the church.
Joan died Dec. 31, 2019, at Mother Hull Nursing Home in Kearney.
Joan N. Baer was born Joan N. Bloss Dec. 22, 1930, to Roscoe and Eugenie (Phillips) Bloss in the small Colorado town of Collbran,the youngest of five children as a child, she enjoyed a rural lifestyle and wholesome Christian family life. Everyone who knew her knew of her affection for and collection of frogs. One of her childhood stories was how she converted an old duck pond into a frog pond on their little place in the mountains. Later in life, she would say that f.r.o.g. stands for " Fully Realy on God" a fitting statement for as devout a Christian as she was. As a young woman, she helped out on her sister and brotherin- law's ranch. She learned how to play Pinochle by doing chores. As close as she probably ever came to gambling, the loser of the game had to do all the chores. She enjoyed games with family and friends her entire life. As a high school girl, she cooked at the local hospital. She was fond of saying how no one died from her cooking there. At the age of 16, she graduated high school as salutatorian and headed for business college in Denver. While in Denver, she met the love of her life. On Nov. 4, 1949, she married Joe M. Baer. She worked a variety of jobs to help support them as he was enrolled in Denver University School of Theology. Once he graduated and became an ordained minister, they began their life in the ministry of Christ in the Methodist church. Joan worked a variety of jobs, primarily accounting and secretarial. As the minister's wife, she was automatically the church secretary until the 1970's, when people began to realize that the church secretary should be a paid position rather than entirely a pastor's responsability. Their first church was in Eads, CO. While at Eads, they had their first son, Michael. The next church was Springfield, CO. (and Pritchet). While there, they had their other son, James. Also in Springfield he worked for the local drug store and the ASCS office. She toldof how bad the drought and dust storms were while there. Joan began working with the MYF youth group, something she continued for many years. Next was a short stint in Pine Bluffs, WY, then on to Burke, SD, where they served four churches (Burke, Herrick and St. Charles, SD, and Jamison, NE). They survived a tornado in Burke which uprooted trees in the yard and moved the house on the foundation. They moved south to Republican City, where again they served four churches (Republican City, Reagan, Wilcox and Huntley). Harlan County Reservoir provided entertainment and she survived a broken leg and gallstones there. Next was Ponca, NE, where the church truly had bats in the belfry. Next they went west to Hemingford, where Mike came of age and began his own family. On to Osmond (Crawford Valley and Stark Valley) where they lived until Joe died in March of 1981. The common thread to all of these parishes is that they are rural. Joe had opportunities to go to the big city churches, but they enjoyed their rural life and stuck with it. Joan continued to live in Osmond for another 33 years (42 in total). She worked many years for Duane Reed accounting with Duane and also Marion Adkisson. In 2014, Joan went to live with Jim and Cindy in Ulysses, KS. In 2016, her health made it necessary to move into Mother Hull Home in Kearney, where she lived out the remainder of her days. Through those years, she continued to enjoy activities and time with family and friends. Through their years in the ministry, Joan made good friends everywhere she went, still receiving Christmas cards from all over the place.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brothers Phil and Roscoe Lee; sisters Euna and Freda; son Mike and daughter-in-law Marceen (Nichols).
She is survived by son Jim and wife Cindy (Brunckhorst); special daughter-in-law, Linda Baer (Campbell); grandchildren Chris (Marla) Baer, Amy (Rick) Demarest, William (Brittany) Baer, April (Zach) Nelson and Ted Nichols; nine great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Ashburn Funeral Home in Osmond is in charge of arrangements.