Cover photo for Ray Hegert Jr.'s Obituary
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1934 Ray Hegert Jr. 2023

Ray Hegert Jr.

September 15, 1934 — June 18, 2023

Lincoln, NE

Raymond (Bunny) Frederick Hegert Jr. age 88 and longtime resident of Hartington, Nebraska died on Sunday, June 18, 2023 at Gateway Vista Senior Living in Lincoln.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, July 24, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Hartington with the Rev. Owen Korte officiating.  Burial of his cremated remains will be at St. Michael’s cemetery in Hartington.  Visitation will be on Sunday, July 23rd from 5-7:00 p.m. with a vigil service at 6:00 p.m. at the Wintz Funeral Home in Hartington. Visitation will continue on Monday, at church, one hour prior to services.  Arrangements are under the direction of the Wintz Funeral Home in Hartington.

He was born on September 15, 1934, in Hartington, to Raymond and Mary (Roskopf) Hegert. Raymond was named for his father, inheriting both is his given name and also the nickname Bunny, and that was the name everyone in Hartington knew him affectionately by. If someone showed up asking for Ray, it was a sure sign they were out-of-towners.

Bunny’s father, Ray Hegert Sr., owned and ran Hegert’s Hardware store for many years in Hartington.  Bunny attended both Hartington High School and Holy Trinity High School, from which he graduated in 1952. At 6’4’’, he was a talented tight end in football and forward in basketball. After graduating from high school, he attended Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he was recruited to play basketball. After a year at St. Benedict’s, he returned to Hartington, where he courted Marilyn Gildersleeve. They were married in 1954, and raised six children in Hartington.

Bunny worked for the Hartington Telephone Company for nearly four decades. He loved golfing and fishing, and he and Marilyn led a very full and fun life. There were years of attending their children’s sporting events, and later those of their grandchildren.  They were also avid Nebraska Cornhusker fans, caravanning with friends to Lincoln for home games for many years, as well as traveling to bowl and National Championship games.  After retirement, he and Marilyn enjoyed spending time at their “cabin” along the Missouri River near Brooky Bottom.

Bunny was active in civic life in Hartington. He was on the Hartington Public School District Board of Education for many years, serving for some of them as president of the board. He was also a board member at the Hartington Country Club and Golf Course, helping to build it into one of the prettiest courses in Nebraska. In addition, Bunny was a charter member of “The Meeting,” held at various Hartington establishments, like Tooties and Main Street Bar over the years, enjoying the fellowship of his many friends. He was witty, funny, and never took anything too seriously.

Bunny and Marilyn moved to Lincoln in 2013 to be closer to their children’s families, but always thought of Hartington as their true home.

Bunny is survived by sons Todd (Denise) of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Mark, of Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Chris (Mary), of Kearney, Nebraska; Russ (Jill), of Lincoln, Nebraska; Paul (Dawn) of Eagle, Nebraska; daughter Amy Ferretti of Walnut Creek, California; 15 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

 Bunny was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn; an infant daughter and great granddaughter; parents, Raymond Sr. and Mary Hegert; and father and mother-in-law, Ted and Agnes Gildersleeve. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials are to be directed to the Hegert family for a memorial yet to be determined.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ray Hegert Jr., please visit our flower store.


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