Mass of Christian Burial for Eugene “Gene” “Lefty” Cerny, age 79, of Papillion, Nebraska will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, August 30, 2018, at St Columbkille Church, 2250 E Sixth St, Papillion, NE.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the St. Columbkille Church in Papillion, with a Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m.
Graveside services will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, September 1, 2018, at St. Ludger Catholic Cemetery, Creighton, Nebraska.
Military Honors will be provided by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1151, American Legion Post 74, Army National Guard Honor Guard, and American Legion Riders.
Kahler Dolce Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Brockhaus Funeral Home in Creighton is in charge of local arrangements.
Gene passed away August 25, 2018, surrounded by his family. He was born June 9, 1939, in Burke, SD, to the late Frank and Mildred (Pistulka) Cerny. Gene married Julia (Judy) Sukup on May 9, 1964, at St. Ludger Catholic Church in Creighton, NE.
Children are Dee Kohler (Steve) of Papillion, NE, Kris Donnelly (Patrick) of Columbus, NE, Doug Cerny (Angie) of Gretna, NE, and Gina Woods (Scott) of Grand Island, NE; eleven grandchildren, Sarah Cooper, Drew Kohler (Jasmaine), Claire Donnelly, Mallory Woods, Sean Donnelly, Cameron Cerny, Megan Woods, Gracie Woods, Caleb Cerny, Carter Cerny, Callum Cerny; and one great grandchild, Brandon Cooper; siblings and in-laws, Frank (Betty) Cerny, Tom (Pam) Cerny, Midge (Don) Effle, and Ray (Pat) Cerny, Ann Sukup, Dan (Connie) Sukup, and Dave (Barb) Sukup.
He was preceded in death by brother-in-law, Ray Sukup.
Gene entered the US Army after graduating from Verdigre High School in 1957. He was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, MO. He attended Wayne State College in 1963.
Gene was a math teacher at Omaha Central High School until 1970. He was a High School Principal in Verdigre, NE, from 1970-1976; and Bloomfield, NE from 1977-1978. The family moved when Gene became Superintendent of schools at Bradshaw, NE, from 1978-1986. He also served as the York County Superintendent. He finished his career as Superintendent at Madison schools in Madison, NE, from 1986 to 1998.
Gene and Julie were an amazing dancing couple. He took lessons before their wedding to learn the waltz, salsa, and other dances. Many people would comment how much joy it was to watch Gene and Julie dance. They surprised everyone at their 50th wedding anniversary with a montage dance routine that required an encore!
Gene was active as a 4th degree in the Knights of Columbus. He enjoyed improving and building things -- community centers, meeting places, schools, baseball fields, and teams of teachers. He was a lifelong learner and was always reading and sharing books. He was always growing in his faith and sharing scripture with others.
After retirement, he tutored inmates at Madison County Jail for their GED.
Gene and Julie moved to Papillion, NE, in 2005, to be closer to their family and grandchildren. Gene was actively involved in sending words of encouragement and pride for his grandchildren’s birthdays and celebrations.
The fondest memories from our family include summer “road trips” to visit Uncle Frank and Aunt Betty in Michigan, with stops along the way to Wisconsin Dells or other fun places. Several of Gene and Julie’s grandchildren remember Gene and Julie hosting “Grandma and Grandpa Camp” in Madison with 6, 7, 8 or more grandkids - at the same time!
In the 80’s during snowy winter weather, our family would often drive in the family station wagon to check out snow drifts to see if school should be closed. We also have several unforgettable stories of Gene subbing as a bus driver when needed.
Gene knew his true purpose in life was to serve others. He was a believer in God and the fulfillment of His church. During his last days on earth, he reflected and shared with others his feeling of fulfillment and peace.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St Jude Children’s Hospital.