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William C. Laird, Age 90

Thursday, March 14, 2019
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William C. Laird

Cozad Resident:

William Calvin Laird's spirit was released from his worn out body March 9th, 2019 at the age of 90. He was born on July 4th, 1928 at the Laird Homestead west of Cozad, Nebraska.

Billy was baptized at 12 years of age at the Cozad Christian Church. He served on the church board and as a deacon for many years. He married Donna Jean Bartlett March 30th, 1953.

Billy was sitting on a milk stool at 5 years of age. This was the start of a life full of hard work, but also lots of colorful life events. Staying true to his 4th of July birthday, anyone that knew him realized he was a firecracker to the end. He led quite an interesting life filled with wonderful adventures with many family and friends. Trading labor with his brothers-in-law, Dale and Wayne Bartlett, and neighbor Vern White, resulted in many wild adventures in the north hills and river pastures. The SOB Truck-Line, later known as the “Over-the-Hill” Truck-Line, was born of these work relationships. He cherished memories of picking corn, haying, and running cattle. Every event and job was a family affair. Stormy, he's going to catch you up in heaven! (His favorite horse).

He loved the mountains! Family elk hunts in the mountains of Wyoming were always a special time. This love led to working 20 years at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park beginning in 1985. He and Donna made many wonderful friends from all walks of life. Many a happy hour was spent around the campfire with them. All of Old Faithful knew when the “Pot Stirrer” showed up!

After his Yellowstone years, he began a new adventure in 2004, opening a feed store with his two sons. Health issues forced him to retire, but he maintained his daily job as “Chief Coffee Maker” and questionable “Public Relations Manager.”

He and Donna enjoyed once a month Pinochle Club for many years. In later years, Saturday mornings were reserved for coffee and rolls with kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. He loved making early morning wake up calls and visits to his children. Happy Hour (5:00 p.m.) with a cold drink was a favorite time of his. His family was his love greatest .

Bill was the son of Nancy (Harlan) and Ross Laird. He was preceded in death by an infant sister, Blanche Ellen and younger sister, Beverly (Laird) Boyd. He is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, 11 months and 9 days, Donna Jean. A feat in its own! Five children left to cherish memories of him are: Cynthia (PJ) Jacobson, Nancy Laird, Pat (Barbara) Laird, Ann (Bruce) Bergman, and Tom (Pam) Laird. Eight Grandkids: Billy (Cali) Jacobson, Dane (Chandra) Robison, Lorne (Jody) Laird, Kasey (Tyler) McNitt, Meggan (Eric) Ide, Emily Laird, Jacob Laird, and Ellen Laird. Eight Great Grandchildren: Mylo and Wyatt Jacobson; Brady Robison; Beau and Berkley McNitt; and Myles, Landry and Benjamin Ide. Two Step Great Grandchildren; Jaysa Ott and Sophie McNitt. Also survived by one brother, John Ross (Bobbi) Laird, brothers-in-law: Dale Bartlett, Lyle Bartlett, and Gordon Boyd, and lots of nieces, nephews and friends.

Please remember him by raising a glass of your favorite drink in his memory. Jack Daniels would be quite appropriate! His favorite toast: "Here's to mud in your eye!" That's the way it was going west!

Memorials are suggested to the family in his memory for later designation. Online condolences may be shared at A private graveside service will be held at Cozad Cemetery. Pallbearers will be the 8 Grandchildren and Honorary Pallbearers will be the 8 Great Grandchildren. Visitation was Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 from 1pm to 8pm with family receiving friends from 6pm to 8pm at Berryman Funeral Home.