Billy Wetterer

Longtime Grand Island Independent family life columnist Billy Wetterer died Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, at age 92.

Longtime Grand Island Independent family life columnist Billy Wetterer died Wednesday.

Funeral services for Wetterer, 92, will be at 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wood River.

Wetterer worked for the Independent for 23 years as family life editor, retiring in 1995.

During retirement, she continued to write a column that was featured in the Occasions section of the Sunday Independent. She stopped writing the column last year because of health reasons.

“Billy was a treasure to the Independent and our readers for more than 45 years,” said Jim Faddis, the Independent’s managing editor. “Her love and care for her family and her community showed in her column each week. She will be deeply missed.”

Wetterer was actively involved in many Grand Island area organizations for years.

She was a member of the American Red Cross Board for decades and served as its president three times. Wetterer was named the Grand Island YWCA Woman of Distinction in 1996.

She had 10 children and was involved in and honored by the Nebraska Mothers Association. She also served on the board of the Hall County Historical Society and was involved in Project Hunger, the Grand Island Kiwanis Club, Citizen Advocacy and other organizations.

In her column, Wetterer often wrote about laughter and keeping a good attitude. In a 2005 column she wrote:

“Without a word, a smile recognizes others and lets them know we appreciate who they are.

“Sometimes we must even smile at ourselves, especially when we wake up to a gloomy day after what may have been a bad night. Look at yourself in the mirror, smile and remind yourself, ‘God loves you.’”

“Billy was known for having a good attitude,” Faddis said. “She never seemed down and she was always looking to cheer up others.”

Visitation will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Wood River.

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