Rodella Avanel Wacker

WAYNE, Neb. — Rodella Avanel Wacker, 95, passed away peacefully on Monday, June 30, 2020, at Providence Medical Center in Wayne, Nebraska. 

Rodella was born on Nov. 4, 1924, in Grand Junction, Colorado. At the age of 2 she moved to Nebraska. Her parents were Ludwig Hinerich and Lucy Ann (Kester) Gramberg. She attended country schools in Nebraska, where she graduated from Wayne High School in May 1942.

Rodella later attended Wayne State College, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in teaching on May 29, 1947. Her first job was a schoolteacher in Hinton, Iowa, where she taught mathematics and home economics. She later taught at Laurel, Nebraska, and Wayne public schools and became the Wayne public librarian. She enjoyed canning, quilting, playing bridge and camping trips and was passionate about sewing.

Rodella was a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church, where she taught Sunday school, was a church council member and was involved in many other church activities. Her favorite Bible passage from a young age was Matthew 5:16: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Rodella fell in love with World War II veteran Herman “Bud” Walter Wacker and was wed on June 13, 1948, in Wayne. Rodella and Bud celebrated 54 years of marriage until Bud’s death on March 16, 2003. 

Rodella was known to be a loving caretaker early in life as she helped raise her sister and four brothers on a farm outside of Wayne. She sought adventure and traveled to San Francisco for new opportunities but returned home to care for her dying father. Rodella shared eternal optimism to those who met her and lived a life of compassion toward others, always stating that she was blessed.

Rodella is survived by her son, Timothy and his wife, Cinda, of Lincoln, Nebraska, with two grandchildren, Eric, great-granddaughters, Brooklynn and Brittneay, and Jason and his wife, Lydia, and great-grandchildren, Emerleigh and Hudson; a daughter, Jeannie Marie and her husband, Bill Mills, of Parsons with two grandchildren, Caleb and his wife, Dayane, great-grandson, Sebastian, and granddaughter, Haley and her husband, Jason, great-grandsons, Joel and Isaac; and a son, Roger Allan and his wife, Ann, of Houston, granddaughters, Jeannette Jewell and Michelle Avanel. Rodella is also survived by two brothers, Gilbert Gramberg and Merlyn Gramberg and his wife, Karleen; and a sister, Joy West.

She is preceded in death by both parents and two brothers, Kenneth Gramberg and Dale Gramberg.

The graveside service was in Wayne. Hasemann Funeral Home of Wayne was in charge of arrangements.

Memorials are suggested to Our Savior Lutheran Church of Wayne.

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