Obituary Record

Earl Martin Pace
Died on 11/3/2012


#1 Posted On-line: Monday, November 5, 2012; Published in The Enterprise, Friday November 9, 2012

(picture) (Veteran)

Earl M. Pace, 88

Earl M. Pace, 88, of Wahoo died Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, in Wahoo.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, November 10 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ralston. Military funeral honors will be conducted by Ralston American Legion Post 373. A reception will follow at the church until 1:30 p.m.

Earl Martin Pace was born April 25, 1924, near Shelby to Pearl and Claribel (Thompson) Pace. He was delivered by the area midwife, his grandmother Annie Thompson, and was immediately placed near the stove as he only weighed about 4 pounds.

He attended various rural schools in Polk and Butler counties. After graduating as valedictorian of the Class of 1941 at Ulysses High School, he became a farm laborer.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943. During World War II, he saw action at Guam, Iwo Jima, and participated in the occupation at Tintsien, China.

He was honorably discharged in 1946 but remained active in the Marine Corps Reserves. Later, during the Korean Conflict, he was called back to active duty serving in Korea for 14 months.

Between the wars, he attended Dana College in Blair and graduated magna cum laude in 1950. While at Dana, he won All-Conference honors in football.

On June 4, 1949, *he married Charlotte Hunsche in Herman.

Mr. Pace began his career in education teaching math and coaching at Blair High School in the fall of 1952. He also completed his master's degree at the University of Nebraska while teaching at Blair.

In 1955, he became Blair High School principal.

In the fall of 1966, Mr. Pace was asked to become the principal of Ralston High School and then went on to become the assistant superintendent of business and finance for the Ralston Public Schools.

He earned the Distinguished Service Award from the Nebraska Schoolmasters’ Club. The Nebraska Association of School Administrators cited him for outstanding administrative leadership. Both groups noted his expertise in school business management, his continuous involvement in negotiations, his experience as a legislative liaison for the schools, his involvement in professional development of administrators and his promotion of improved school insurance coverage.

While living in Blair, he played fast-pitch softball on the Korshoj Construction team for many years, and also played in the slow-pitch league.

He was a member of the first board of directors for Camp Fontanelle and served as its first treasurer and later as chairman.

Mr. Pace was active in many organizations including the Ralston American Legion Post 373, Millard VFW Post 8334, Ralston Boys Baseball Association, Ralston Chamber of Commerce, Ralston Lions Club, Phi Delta Kappa, Nebraska School Business Officials and American School Business Officials.

Among the awards he earned were the Ralston Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year, the Golden Glove and Service Awards from the Ralston Boys Baseball Association, the City of Ralston Community Service Award, and the Special Donor Award from the American Red Cross for his donation of 92 pints of blood.

Following his retirement, he found joy in substitute teaching in the Ralston and Millard Public Schools. He became very involved with the Ralston Senior Citizens Center, opening the building and making coffee each morning, and was a regular at the cribbage table. His neighbors on South 79th Ave. in Ralston were among his most cherished friends.

He spent hours tending his garden each summer and found enjoyment in canning and sharing his garden produce with neighbors, family and friends. He treasured the relationships he shared in the duck blind and fishing boat.

His four grandchildren held a special place in his heart. He and grandson Scott were roommates during his last year in his home. He rode his scooter to cheer for Paige at her softball and basketball games. Joseph graduated as valedictorian 60 years to the day after Earl had done so. Carrie was senior class president just as her grandfather was.

One of the highlights of his life, and one of his proudest moments, was the trip he made with the Honor Flight of the Heartland to Washington, D.C. to visit the WWII and Korean War Veterans Memorials.

He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Cindy and Greg Nabity of Wahoo; son and daughter-in-law, Tom and Nikki Pace of Omaha; four grandchildren from Omaha; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Jean Pace of Omaha, Bud and Pat Hunsche of Blair and Bob and Marian Christensen, Arvada, Colo, and aunts and uncles.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Charlotte; and brother, Roy.

Memorials may be directed to Camp Fontanelle.

Pruss-Nabity Funeral Home in Wahoo is in charge of arrangements.

#2 World Herald

Published Saturday, November 10, 2012;by Adam Klinker Omaha World Herald Staff Writer

Earl Pace, 88, strived to serve his country, Having served in both World War II and the Korean War, Earl Pace returned home to Nebraska each time looking for the peaceful life of a schoolteacher in a quiet town.

He eventually found it in Ralston. In 1966, he became principal of the high school and, in 1969, an assistant superintendent of business and finance for the Ralston Public Schools — a job he held until his retirement in 1987.

Pace died Nov. 3 in Wahoo at the age of 88.

“My dad was always very proud of this community,” said Pace's son, Tom, who also lives in the Ralston area. “He did a lot for Ralston, a lot for the schools. He obviously cared very deeply about the people around him and in this city.”

Earl Pace was born April 25, 1924, near Shelby, Neb., and graduated from high school in Ulysses, Neb., in 1941 as valedictorian.

In 1943, Pace joined the Marine Corps and saw action in Guam in the summer of 1944 and Iwo Jima in early 1945.

When Pace returned to Nebraska, he married Charlotte Hunsche — his wife of nearly 58 years until her death in 2007 — and finished a degree at Dana College. He then found himself back on active duty with the Marine Corps Reserve, this time for 14 months during the Korean War, where he also saw combat.

“He would always say that he (stayed in the reserves) for one reason,” said Ken Stenberg, a neighbor of Pace's and a fellow Legionnaire. “And that was for country.”

When Pace's Korean service ended, he began his career as an educator.

Pace started in Blair in 1952, teaching mathematics and coaching at the high school. In 1955, after earning a master's degree at the University of Nebraska, he became principal of Blair High School.

Eleven years later, Pace moved his family to Ralston to take the reins as principal at Ralston High School. In 1969, Pace became an administrator at the district's central office, where he would stay for the next 18 years, helping grow the district and serving as its legislative liaison.

After his retirement, Pace remained active in area schools, working as a substitute teacher in the Ralston and Millard districts.

#3 Funeral Leaflet

(photo) (United States Marine Corps)

In Loving Memory or Earl M. Pace

Entered This Life April 25, Shelby, Nebraska; Departed This Life November 3, 2012 Wahoo, Nebraska, Age 88 Years, 6 Months, 8 Days.

Funeral Service : Saturday, November 10, 2012 10:30 am Trinity United Methodist Church, Ralston, Nebraska. Officiating Clergy: Rev. Tom Buckley, Pastor Trinity United Methodis Church; Rev. Tamara Holtz, Pastor Wahoo United Methodist Church. Congregational Hymn: “How Great Thou Art”. Pianist: Christie Tyler

Obituaries and funeral leaflet courtesy of the Washington County Genealogical Society. Newspaper clippings and leaflets on file in the Blair Public Library at Blair, Nebraska. ~~~

Printed in the Washington County Enterprise on 11/9/2012