May 29, 1927 – September 27, 2019
Born in Greenwood, NE
Resided in Lincoln, NE
Ferne M. Bates
Ferne Marie Bates was born on May 29, 1927 in rural Greenwood to Franklin and Mildred (Pilfold) Comstock. Ferne was the second oldest of six children. Her siblings included brothers Wayne, Frank, Max, and Lyle and her sister Marilyn. Ferne attended District 49 “country school” and then high school in Greenwood. She graduated from Greenwood High School in 1944, with eight other graduates.
She noticed a young man (Elden Bates) delivering ice to a neighbor. They met, dated, and eventually eloped and were married in Marysville, Kansas on April 1, 1946 (53 years). They then lived in Weeping Water, Greenwood, and Nehawka before moving to Lincoln near 28th & L, and then built their current home in 1957. Two daughters Barbara and Janet were born from this union. Ferne was proud of her daughters and their accomplishments.
Ferne was an excellent cook and homemaker while also working full time in the grain industry. She worked her way up from a secretarial position to a grain merchandiser. Ferne enjoyed working with and helping customers during her career; she worked for several grain companies, including Honegger’s, Lincoln Grain, and Continental Grain, all in Lincoln. Ferne spent 40 years buying and selling grain. Even after retirement Ferne followed the grain markets and enjoyed talking to all her farmer friends.
Ferne and Elden spent many hours at Lincoln Gun Club and enjoyed trap shooting events. While Elden participated in most registered trap shoots, Ferne was often in charge of event registrations, finances and presentation of awards.
Ferne also enjoyed watching her daughter Janet play sports at Lincoln Northeast and run track at UNL. She’d gladly welcome Janet’s track friends from out of town into their home for a home cooked meal and a place to relax.
Ferne enjoyed attending Husker games in Memorial Stadium with her sister Marilyn. They also attended Husker Volleyball games in the Coliseum.
Ferne enjoyed cooking for others. Big Sunday dinners were a tradition, meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and cherry cheesecake were just a few of our favorites. If there was a picnic, Ferne would almost always bring the fried chicken, potato salad and chocolate sheet cake.
Ferne had many passions and talents. Ferne loved to babysit, whether it was her grandkids or children of friends. Caring for babies and young children was very satisfying for her. Holding her great grandson, Easton brought her the most enjoyment in the last months of her life.
After her grandkids moved on from Morley Elementary she volunteered at Morley to help Mrs. Bergholz for many years helping 2nd graders with their spelling, reading, and classwork. “Grandma Ferne” loved the students and the feeling was mutual.
Ferne is survived by daughters, Barbara Geranis and Janet (Paul) Zillig, grandchildren Jennifer Geranis, Stephanie (Brian) Addleman, Taylor (Megan) Zillig, Adam (fiancée Ali Keate) Zillig, Jamie (Eric) Kielian; great grandchildren Nathan Geranis, Robert Addleman, Grace Addleman, and Easton Kielian; great great grandchild Jackson Addleman; sister Marilyn; and brothers Max Comstock, and Lyle (Kathy) Comstock; and many nieces and nephews.
Ferne proudly lived in the home Elden and she built 62 years ago. She then moved to Oxbow Living Center in Ashland, this fall, when she needed additional care. She received great care at Oxbow, but it wasn’t home. She often told Taylor that he was her best hope of breaking her out of there! Ferne passed away at Oxbow on Friday, September 27, 2019 at the age of 92 years.
As Ferne would sign many of her birthday cards to family ………. “Love ya!”
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