LAUREL - Wilbur George Rath, 95, Laurel, died April 4, 2021, at Hillcrest Care Center, Laurel.
A visitation will be held April 8, from 5-7 p.m., at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Laurel. The funeral service will be April 9, at 10:30 a.m., at Immanuel Lutheran Church, with Rev. Jeffery Warner officiating.
Burial with military honors will be in the Laurel Cemetery.
Arrangements are under the direction of Bressler-MunderlohSmith Funeral Home, Wakefield.
Wilbur was born April 13, 1925, to Fritz and Mollie (Heitman) Rath in Coleridge. He attended Claremont Country School through the eighth grade. Wilbur started farming and was drafted into the Army in 1944, where he served with the 82nd Paratroopers. He served 20 months in Germany and was stationed at Ft. Bragg, N.C., before returning to the Midwest. He worked with his brother, Orlo, in the wheat fields in the Dakotas and later attended mechanics training with his cousin, Gerald Rath, in Chicago, Ill. Wilbur married Dorothy Garvin in 1957, and they had four children, Valerie, Brad, Marcine and Scott. Wilbur and Dorothy farmed together west of Laurel for 16 years until Dorothy died in December 1973. In 1985, Wilbur married Joyce Galvin and moved off the family farm. He continued farming until 1988 when he retired. After retiring, he enjoyed helping Brad and Ben on their farms when needed.
Wilbur was an active member in the Missouri Synod Church and the Laurel VFW. He served on the Co-op board in Laurel, the Cedar View Country Club board, and was one of the original shareholders of the bowling alley. Wilbur enjoyed golfing and bowling. In his later years, Wilbur liked going out for coffee twice a day with his many friends. He loved his family and always worked to be a solid example of what an honest, responsible, and Christian man should be. Wilbur was always welcoming and had a smile on his face.
Wilbur is preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Dorothy; second wife, Joyce; brothers, Kenneth Rath and Orlo Rath; one great-granddaughter.
Wilbur is survived by his children, Valerie (Michael) Hitchings, Fort Collins, Colo.; Brad (Shelly) Rath, Laurel; Marcine (Pat) Higney, Broomfield, Colo.; Scott (Angie) Rath, Laurel; step children, Olivia (Andy) Embrey, Milford; Nancy (John) Abts, Laurel; Lisa (Bob) Floss, Milford, Iowa; Ben (Terri) Galvin, Laurel; 22 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; sister, Zella Dederman; and sister-in-law, Magdalene Rath.
Memorials are suggested to the Laurel VFW Post 54 (215 E 2nd St., Laurel, NE 68745, or the family for future designation.