Dorothy Webben, 88, formerly of Grand Island, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, in Lincoln.
Memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Shelton United Methodist Church, with Pastor Carla Gunn officiating.
Memorials are suggested to the family. Online condolences may be directed to www.apfelfuneralhome.com.
Dorothy was born in Dunning on Aug. 26, 1931, to Glen Hempleman and Elizabeth Schmidt Hempleman. The family lived on a ranch in the Sandhills until 1937, then moved around for a time, living in Logan, McCook (where her father worked on the air base during World War II) and Alda (where her mother and father both worked at the Cornhusker Army Ammunition Plant).
The family ultimately settled in Shelton in 1941. Dorothy and her brother, Adolf Allen, attended Shelton High School together, graduating together in 1948. She then went on to teach in the one-room school in District 57 rural for two years.
On May 31, 1950, Dorothy married Franklin Webben in Billings, Mont. The couple had three children, Dennis, Debra and Dick. The children were raised on the family farm in Shelton.
During this time, Dorothy worked as a cook in the Shelton schools for many years. After retiring from that job, she worked as a checker at Jack & Jill/Larry’s Market. She also spent several years sorting seed corn at harvest time for Gangwish Seed Farms. After Franklin’s death on Sept. 19, 1996, Dorothy remained on the farm for a year but then decided to move to Grand Island on Oct. 31, 1997.
Outside of work and raising children, Dorothy had a zest for life and a passion for travel, taking far and exotic trips well into her 70s. From New York to Australia, Dorothy loved meeting other people and seeing the world. She also loved the outdoors; one of her greatest hobbies was gardening and yard work. Her vegetable gardens were impressive and renowned in the community.
Dorothy was also very active in the community. She was a member of Shelton Chapter BI P.E.O., the Rebekah Lodge, 306 Club and an active member of Our Nite Out Extension Club. She was also a volunteer at St. Francis Medical Center for many years.
She loved music and was an amazing accordion and piano player. She was also devoted to her church, Shelton United Methodist Church, where she was a member for 48 years. She often combined her love for music there, singing in the choir for many years, as well as directing the children’s choir. In 1998, she transferred her membership to Trinity United Methodist Church in Grand Island after moving from Shelton.
Dorothy’s greatest priority, however, was her family and it showed. While they were growing up, Dorothy was actively involved in her children’s activities, becoming a Sunday School teacher and a Boy Scout and Girl Scout leader. She also loved doing things for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Being around family is when she seemed most happy and when you were most likely to catch a glimpse of her signature infectious smile.
She is survived by her children, Dennis of Shelton, Debra Glade of Lincoln and Dick (Donna) Webben of Long Beach, Calif; six grandchildren, Nicole Strange, Stephen (Mary) Glade, Andrew Glade, Bailee Glade and Jamie Webben; and three great-grandchildren, Harrison, Ethan, and Lauren Glade.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Franklin; parents; brother, Adolf Allen; daughter-in-law, Pat Webben; son-in-law, Steve Glade; and two granddaughters, Celeste Rae Webben and Amy Elizabeth Glade.
Beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. “The sweetest girl in town,” as she was called by one of her many precious caregivers, and the sweetest she was. Never a complaint from Dorothy, no matter what troubles she was facing in her life. She will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing her.