Graveside Services for Willamae Madsen Collier, age 82, of O’Neill, will be 11:00 A.M., Friday, February 28, 2020, at Arcadia Cemetery in Arcadia, Nebraska. Following the Graveside Services, there will be a luncheon at the Arcadia American Legion Hall. Willamae passed away Sunday, February 23, 2020, at Avera St. Anthony’s Hospital in O’Neill, Nebraska. Memorials can be directed to the family for future designation. Biglin’s Mortuary in O’Neill is in charge of arrangements.
Willamae Martha Madsen Collier, was born January 27, 1938, in Atkinson, Nebraska to Martunies and Jetta (Thompson) Madsen. Willamae attended Burwell School and graduated in 1956. On May 12, 1957, she was united in marriage to Gerald Collier, at the United Methodist Church in Burwell, Nebraska. Together they raised three children: Martin, Sharon, and Dale.
Willamae and Gerald made their first home in North Dakota and in 1958 moved to their farm west of Arcadia, Nebraska, where they farmed until 1978. In 1978 Willamae and Gerald moved to Milburn Dam until Gerald retired in 2001. Willamae and Gerald spent their retirement years at home east of O’Neill, Nebraska.
Willamae spent many years as a teacher, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Kearney State College in 1971 and taught school in Valley, Custer, Sherman, and Holt Counties. She enjoyed many hobbies including her love of quilting, sewing, traveling, gardening, and genealogy. Willamae was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary for nearly 47 years and a member of many clubs throughout the years. Willamae worked at the Holt County Historical Society in O’Neill, Nebraska for several years where she truly enjoyed the research and interaction with those seeking historical information.
Willamae is survived by her children, Martin (Jackie) Collier of O’Neill, Nebraska, Sharon Preston and special friend, Robert Miller, of Ardmore, Oklahoma, Dale Collier of O’Neill, Nebraska; five grandchildren, Mindy (Devin) Scott, Brandy (Rodney) Holling, Nikki (Tim) Davis, Chancy Struempler, Roxie Struempler; twelve great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren; two sister-in-laws, Bonnie Madsen of Burwell, Nebraska, Gerene Williams of Grand Island, Nebraska; special cousins, Glenespa Ferguson of San Antonio, Carol Brown of San Antonio; and many nieces and nephews.
Willamae was preceded in death by her parents, Martunies and Jetta Madsen; her husband, Gerald Collier in 2015; infant daughter, Kay Lynn Collier; brother, Neal Madsen; and brother-in-law, Bob Collier.