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Cozad Resident: Elizabeth L. McKeone, Age 88

(1931-2019)
Thursday, November 14, 2019
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Elizabeth L. McKeone

Elizabeth (Betty) Lou McKeone, 88, of Cozad, Nebraska, passed away on November 9th, 2019 at Linden Court in North Platte. Betty was born on January 31st, 1931 in Grand Island, Nebraska to Robert and Helen McElroy. She graduated from Grand Island High in 1948 and attended Hastings College for one year where she met Joe McKeone, the love of her life. She received her Elementary Teaching Certificate from Kearney State College and was a first grade teacher in Harvard, Nebraska from 1951 to 1952. Betty and Joe were married on August 3rd, 1952 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Kearney. The young couple moved to Cozad in 1952 where they started making their impact on the community. Betty taught first grade in Cozad for 2 ½ years before their first son was born. In the summers, Joe managed the swimming pool and Betty was in charge of swimming lessons and taught lifesaving. Betty was a devoted mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She loved attending their sporting events and was well known across the state for her love of referees.

Betty was an accomplished artist, graduating with a BA in Art Education from Kearney State College in 1983. She taught Elementary Art Enrichment, adult education art classes and painting workshops. She received Awards of Excellence from the Association of Nebraska Art Clubs and was appointed 1996 Artist of the Year and 1997 “NELI” Art Award. Her painting “All Gone” appeared on the cover of Nebraska Life Magazine. Her paintings can be found in homes and businesses across the United States.

Betty served on the original Board of Directors of the Robert Henri Museum in Cozad and spent countless hours in the renovation and preservation of the building. In May 2019, Betty was recognized as Artist of the Month at the Henri Museum and was honored by the community for her long support of museum.

Betty is survived by her children, Kert (Lorre) McKeone of North Platte, Mark (Jen) McKeone of Cozad, Tod (Michele) McKeone of Lexington and Barbara (Kent) Wichelt of Blue Grass, IA; her sister, Kay Fyfe of Kearney; 13 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren; along with many extended family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe McKeone and parents, Robert (Bob) and Helen McElroy.

Memorials are suggested to the Robert Henri Museum, 218 E. 8th Street, Cozad, NE 69130 or St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, 1520 Avenue B, Cozad, NE. Online condolences may be shared berrymanfuneralhome.com. A memorial service will be held Friday, November 15th, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. at the Cozad United Methodist Church with Pastor Doug Gahn officiating. Those wishing to sign the memorial book may do so on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. with family receiving friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Berryman Funeral Home.

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