Services for Delbert L. “Red” Ellner will be held at a later date.
Delbert L. “Red” Ellner, 89 years of age, of Holdrege, Nebraska, formerly of Funk,
Nebraska, died on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at the Phelps Memorial Health Center in
Holdrege. Delbert was born on June 11, 1933, near Lebanon, Kansas, the youngest of
two sons, to Lewis and Frances (Finch) Ellner. Red received his primary education from
a country school in Smith County, Kansas, and then graduated from Lebanon High
School in Lebanon, Kansas, with the class of 1952. Following his education, he began
working in a hardware store and a bar in Lebanon.
On July 17, 1953, Red was inducted into the United States Army and served in
Germany during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged on May 27, 1955 and
began working for Burlington Northern Railroad. He joined the crew as a means of
traveling West where he intended to settle, yet he continued to work as a lineman for 40
He met his future bride on a blind date on New Year’s Eve 1959. On October 21,
1961, Red was united in marriage to Marilyn Schoening at the St. John Lutheran Church
in Mineola, Iowa. The couple made their home in Aurora, Illinois, where their son
Patrick was born. Red continued to work for the railroad in the Communications
Department. In 1965, they moved to Holdrege. In 1967, Red oversaw the relocation of a
house to Funk and renovated it himself. Their daughter Julie was born later that year.
They then built a home next door where they resided for the next 50 years. During their
time in Funk, he served as the mayor and served on the town council and also served on
the school board. Red and Marilyn moved to Holdrege in 2010 and Red then began to
make his home at Holdrege Memorial Homes in 2017.
Red enjoyed collecting antiques, repairing antique toys, attending auctions, gardening,
wintering in Arizona, reading Westerns, camping and fishing at Harlan County Lake, and
enjoying a cup of coffee at the Coffee Cup Café in Funk. He was a member of the
Fridhem Lutheran Church in Funk.
Red was preceded in death by his parents; his father-in-law and mother-in-law; his
son, Patrick in 2016; and his brother, Dean in 2019.
Red is survived by his wife Marilyn Ellner of Holdrege; daughter, Julie Ellner of San
Diego, California; and sister-in-law, Jennie Ellner of Hays, Kansas; and several nieces.
Memorials are strongly suggested to Holdrege Memorial Homes, the Nebraska Prairie
Museum, or to Donor’s Choice.
Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at
The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege is in charge of the arrangements.
Franklin Blair “Frank” Snyder, 69 years of age, of Bertrand, Nebraska
Donald LaVerne Gaudreault, 76, of Hurricane, UT, formerly of Farnam, NE
Robert “Scott” Denzin, 74 of Kearney