MERNA — Emma Theresa Safranek Lyon, 99, of Merna, passed away on Saturday, May 16, 2020.
Graveside funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday in the Merna Cemetery with Pastor Jason Krause officiating. Burial will follow in the Merna Cemetery.
Visitation was on Monday at Govier Brothers Mortuary in Broken Bow. Govier Brothers Mortuary will comply with the CDC and State of Nebraska in regard to COVID-19 health rulings. We sincerely encourage each person to make your decision whether to attend a service, viewing or visitation based on the best interest of your health and that of your community.
Emma was born on April 2, 1921, near Merna to Caroline (Vollmer) Safranek and Paul Herman Safranek. She was baptized on July 3, 1921, and confirmed in the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Merna in 1935. Emma grew up in the Merna area, graduated from Merna High School in 1938, and taught four years in area rural schools. During one summer she attended Kearney State Teachers College.
On April 2, 1944, Emma married Dwight William Lyon at the Merna Immanuel Lutheran Church. They lived in California and North Carolina while Dwight was in the U.S. Army, preparing to leave for Europe in World War II. Until Dwight’s return, Emma resided and worked in Lincoln. After his return, the couple settled near Merna on the Lyon Ranch and were members of the Merna Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Born to the union were three children: Carolyn Sue (1947), William Dean (1955-1956) and Dennis Lee (1958). From 1998 to 2010, Emma and Dwight lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., as winter residents where they were associate members of Desert Foothills Lutheran Church. Dwight passed away in 2010 and Emma moved to Off Broadway Assisted Living in Broken Bow in 2016. She was a resident of Brookstone View Care Center when she passed away.
Throughout her life she was involved as the church organist at Merna Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sunday School teacher and Vacation Bible School teacher. She held all offices in the LWML (Lutheran Women’s Missionary League), was a delegate from the Kearney Zone to the International Convention in Kansas City, Mo., and attended five other International Conventions.
Emma’s involvement in the community included: Extension Clubs, 4-H Clubs, Merna American Legion Auxiliary for 60 years and the American Cancer Society Annual Drive.
Survivors include a daughter, Carolyn Teten (Arnold) of Peoria, Ariz.; a son, Dennis Lyon of San Diego, Calif.; a brother, Herman Safranek (Detta) of Merna; grandchildren, including Darci Fortune (Charles) of Gunter, Texas, Dr. Ryan Teten (Tonya) of Kearney and Dr. Andra Tharp (Jim) of League City, Texas; a stepgrandchild, Matthew (Ashley) Forture of Anna, Texas; six great-grandchildren, Aidan and Seth Teten, Grace and Braden Fortune, Odessa and Grey Tharp; and two great-great-stepgrandchildren, Harper and Mattis Fortune.
Emma was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Dwight Lyon; a son, William; sisters, Gertrude Tillman and Josephine Cool; a brother, Karl Safranek; two sisters-in-law, Lenore Lyon and Mildred Safranek; and two brothers–in-law, Dale Cool and Art Tillman.
All memorials will go to the Merna Immanuel Lutheran Church.