American Patriotic 10

Lyle I. Droge

May 13, 1922 ~ November 22, 2021 (age 99)

Obituary Image

Obituary

Lyle Irvin Droge, 99 years, six months, of Pawnee City, was born on the family farm southwest of DuBois, NE, on May 13, 1922 to Herbert and Nell (Bock) Droge, and passed away at Pawnee County Memorial Hospital on November 22, 2021. Lyle lived his childhood along with his brothers and sister, learning farm skills at an early age and attending East Star School, The neighborhood included many extended family members.

Lyle and his brother Norman attended and graduated from Pawnee City High School In 1942, to take vocational agriculture classes in preparation for a life of farming. Both were FFA State Farmers. That fall, Lyle enrolled at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and at the same time, enlisted in the United States Army. By selling his 1939 Harley motorcycle, Lyle was able to complete one semester before being called to active duty. He enjoyed playing and lettering in freshman football while there. 

In the Army Lyle studied to be a pilot in the Army Air Corps at St. John’s University at St. Cloud, MN, Santa Maria, CA, La Junta, CO, and Greenville, SC, before flying 26 missions in the spring of 1945 with the 57th Bomb Wing from bases on the island of Corsica and in Fano, in northeast Italy. Lyle received his discharge soon after the end of the war and returned to the university and farming with his brother Kermit. 

Having a dress uniform, Lyle decided to attend the annual ROTC Military Ball and asked Wilma Robinson to be his date. They had met when she visited Pawnee City with one of her Nebraska Wesleyan sorority sisters, Shirley Parli. That evening led to a four year relationship which led to a 72 year plus marriage which began on August 8, 1949.  Lyle and Wilma made their home in DuBois for 48 years where they raised their three children, later moving to Pawnee City for safety and convenience. 

Beginning in 1949, Lyle taught for ten years an On-The-Farm Training evening course at Pawnee City High School for returning veterans, which led to many lifelong friendships for the couple with area veterans and their wives. In 1960, Lyle began 28 years as a rural mail carrier, first from DuBois and later from Pawnee City. 

Lyle was a 60-year member of the United Presbyterian Church in Pawnee City, a 70-year member of Chester R. Kerl Post #39 of the American Legion at DuBois, as well as a member of Dalton-McHugh Post #5289 of the VFW at Pawnee City; the Nebraska and National Rural Letter Carriers Associations, Farmhouse Fraternity, Nebraska Chapter at UNL, Pawnee City Rotary Club #1537, the Pawnee City Men's Prayer Breakfast group and the informal morning coffee group that met for many years at the VFW Club and other sites. Lyle served for many years on the Education Service Unit #4 Board at Auburn. He and Wilma led the Frontier Livestock 4-H Club at DuBois and he served on the Pawnee County Fair Board, taking a turn as president and helping build the existing barns. 

After his retirement in 1987, Lyle established many bluebird house trails in southeast Nebraska and beyond. He helped form a team of volunteer rope makers and he and Wilma enjoyed traveling extensively, especially with their buddies, Mike and Betty Ganzel, and with Wilma’s siblings and their spouses. Lyle visited Washington D. C. on the second WWII Honor Flight from Nebraska. 

Survivors include his wife, Wilma; daughter, Doreen, of Hickman; sons, Bruce (Karin) of Pawnee City and Dale (Ginny Freitag) of Madison, SD; grandchildren, Leah Droge (Chad Petska), Lincoln, Jed (Sarah) Droge, Tecumseh, Jarrell (Ali) Freitag, Sioux Falls, SD, Colin Droge, Pawnee City, Simone Droge, Lincoln; great grandchildren, Everest and Theodore Droge, Tecumseh, Caprianha Freitag, Sioux Falls, SD; sister, Lola Jean (Howard) House, Liberty, MO; sister-in-law, Jane Preston, Springfield, MO; seven nephews, 11 nieces, (16 spouses); Ardell Chauza and Judy Mueller who helped Lyle and Wilma stay at home for many years; and a host of relatives and friends, old and new. 

Preceded in death by his grandson, Julian Freitag, sister in childhood, Mildred, brothers, Kermit (Margery) Droge, Norman (Irene) Droge; brothers-and sisters-in-law, Lyle (Wanda) Robinson, Warren (Rosemary), Betty Robinson, Donald (Dorothy) Robinson, Smith Preston, four nephews, three nieces (three spouses). 

Memorial service 10:00 a.m., Saturday, December 4, 2021 at the United Presbyterian Church/Christian Church, Pawnee City, Nebraska with Rev. Diane Morgan officiating. The service will be live-streamed on the Wherry Mortuary/Wherry Monument Facebook page and then a link is now posted to the bottom of his webpage.    Visitation on Friday, December 3, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., with family greeting friends from 5-7 p.m. at Wherry Mortuary, 919 G Street, Pawnee City.  Inurnment at the Pawnee City Cemetery, Pawnee City with full military honors by the Army National Guard Funeral Honors Team, the Chester R. Kerl American Legion Post #39 of DuBois and the Dalton McHugh Post #5289 of Pawnee City.  Memorials to Pawnee County Memorial Hospital Foundation or United Presbyterian Church, Pawnee City.  Online condolences may be left at www.wherrymortuary.com.  Wherry Mortuary, Pawnee City is entrusted with arrangements.  

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lyle I. Droge, please visit our floral store.


Services

Visitation
Friday
December 3, 2021

9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Wherry Mortuary, Pawnee City
919 G Street
Pawnee City, NE 68420

Family Greeting Friends
Friday
December 3, 2021

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Wherry Mortuary, Pawnee City
919 G Street
Pawnee City, NE 68420

Memorial Service
Saturday
December 4, 2021

10:00 AM
Wherry Mortuary, Pawnee City
919 G Street
Pawnee City, NE 68420

Video is available for this event


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