COZAD — William “Bill” Royal Vasey, 89, of Cozad died Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, at Meadowlark Pointe Assisted Living in Cozad.

Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Monday at the Cozad Church of Christ on Newell. Burial will be at Cozad Cemetery.

Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Sunday at Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad with the family present 5-7 p.m.


Bill, son of Royal and Hilda (German) Vasey, was born at Cozad Sept. 22, 1930. He attended District 19 and Cozad City Schools and graduated in 1948. Bill attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo., and graduated in 1953.

Following graduation, he entered the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Okla., and spent most of his time in Germany during the Korean War. After his years in the service, Bill returned home to the family farm where he spent his remaining working career.

Bill married Mary Jane Bovee on March 16, 1957, at the Cozad United Methodist Church. To this union, three children were born: Douglas, Susan and Nancy. Bill and Mary Jane made their home on the farm east of Cozad for almost 58 years before moving to town in 2015.

Bill made service a high priority in his life. His rank as first lieutenant in the U.S. Army was just one example of his leadership. After returning from Germany, he taught a veteran’s agriculture class at Cozad High along with sponsoring Future Farmers of America.

He was a lifelong member of Cozad Church of Christ and was an elder for over 50 years. Bill was a past president of Nebraska Flying Farmers, president of the Cozad Chamber of Commerce, president of District 19 school board, board member of Educational Service Unit 10 and board chairman of Central Platte Natural Resources District. He was also a member of the Cozad Elks Lodge 2250 and Rotary Club.

The Vasey family was honored by the Cozad Chamber of Commerce as Farm Family of the Year in 2008, received a Stewardship Award for having the longest operating well in Nebraska and also received a Nebraska Pioneer Farm Award. Bill joined many other family members in his love for flying. He was a pilot of several of his own planes and enjoyed traveling the country with the Nebraska and International Flying Farmers.

His passion for Haymaker and Husker sports was unmatched and he most enjoyed watching his grandchildren compete in all sports, but especially at state track meets.

Survivors include daughter, Nancy (Chris) Henry of Cozad; son, Douglas (Sherry) Vasey of Nashville, Tenn.; sister, Patricia (Al) Henderson of Boise, Idaho; sister-in-law, Elinor Vasey of Sylvia, Kan.; sister-in-law, Phyllis Bovee of Cozad; and grandchildren, Matthew Henry and Carly Henry of Lincoln, Brett Vasey of Nashville and Amanda Moore and Taylor Moore of Boise.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Jane; daughter, Susan; sister, Arlene Hart; sister, Bette Green; and brother, Robert “Bob” Vasey.

A memorial has been established in his memory.

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