Gordon Backer

NORFOLK — Gordon Francis Backer died on Aug. 9, 2019, at the Norfolk Veterans Home.

A graveside service will be held Tuesday, Aug. 13, at 9 a.m., at Grand Island City Cemetery. All Faiths Funeral Home is serving the family.

Gordon was born in Randolph, to Fred and Alice (Lewis) Backer, on Jan. 5, 1928.

He attended school in Randolph, graduating in 1946.

He proudly served in the U.S. Air Force from 1946 to 1947, being stationed in Okinawa.

Gordon worked for Kansas Nebraska Natural Gas Company in Hastings, North Platte and Grand Island. He worked for Nebraska Nurseries in Lincoln, then for Tilley’s Nursery and Grand Island City Utilities Department before starting Backer Nursery in 1962, which he owned and operated until retiring in 2004.

He married Betty Janzen on March 31, 1956, in Aurora.

Gordon served as Hall County chairman of Bluebirds Across Nebraska, an organization devoted to returning bluebirds to their natural habitat by placing and maintaining nesting boxes across the state. He also served as a volunteer at Crane Meadows Nature Center.

Some of his other interests included, watching and attending sporting events, especially those involving his grandchildren. He enjoyed polka dancing, hunting, fishing, wood carving, and spending time with his cat, Callie.

Gordon is survived by his son, Thomas (Jody) Backer of Grand Island; grandchildren, Kayla (Dustin) Hasselmann of Grand Island, Nathan Backer of Stilwell, Kan.; great-grandchildren, Lillian, Ashton, Bentyn, and Hudstyn Hasselmann; sister, Evelyn Bonge of Norfolk; and his former wife, Betty Backer of Grand Island.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and sisters, Virginia Fenchak and Betty Schultz.

Online remembrances may be left at www.giallfaiths.com.

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