April 15, 1931-March 11, 2013
TORRINGTON – Wilba Lea (Hardesty) Rathbun, 81, of Torrington, died Tuesday, March 11, 2013 at the Goshen Care Center in Torrington. Her funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2013 at the Henry Methodist Church with Pastor Rick Reisig and Pastor Randy Simmons officiating.
Interment will be at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Morrill, Neb. The family respectfully requests that in lieu of any flowers, memorials in Wilba’s name be made in care of the church. Online condolences may be left at www.jones-mortuary.com. Jones Mortuary in Mitchell, Neb. is in charge of arrangements.
Wilba Lea was born April 15, 1931 in Henry, Neb. to Wilbur “Burr” and Erma (Hale) Hardesty. She attended Henry grade school, graduated from Torrington High School in 1948 and received her teaching certificate from Chadron State.
Wilba Lea married Wesley Wayne Rathbun on June 11, 1950 at the Henry Methodist Church. While Wes served the Navy, Wilba Lea taught school north of Morrill at District No. 67 and District No. 47 in Henry.
Moving many times, they settled in Henry for the last time in November 1966, where they raised their three children on the “farm” north of town.
Wilba Lea had many careers, and her favorite was serving the Henry Church as the organist until 1987. She then moved to Torrington and on to Guernsey in 1988. She was honored to receive her 50-, 60- and 70-year membership pins from the Henry Methodist Church.
Wilba Lea is survived by her children, Melodie and Wally Sturdivant of Guernsey, Wayne of Torrington and Ronda of Windsor, Colo.; grandchildren, Kory and Talitha Fleenor, Amber and Chris Smith, Wesley Sturdivant, Amanda and Ryan Snyder, Morgan Smith, Stacey and Sean Banahan, Toby Rathbun and Lacey Willoughby; great-grandchildren, Dallen, Noah, Kiera and DreAnna Fleenor, Jackson and Marleigh Smith, Lexi and Braylee Snyder, Emma Banahan and Maddox Rathbun and Haylynn, Peyton and Lilllian Willoughby; siblings, Sharon (Terry) Blakeslee, Edmund (Sandra) Hardesty, Joyce Kreiling, Donna Rathbun and Zella Rathbun.
Wilba Lea was preceeded in death by her husband, Wesley Rathbun; parents, Wilbur and Erma Hardesty; in-laws, Charles and Sylvia Rathbun; brother, Robert Hardesty; and brothers-in-law, Donald and LeRoy Rathbun.
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