KEARNEY — Lela M. (Cornelius) Claussen, 85, of Kearney died Monday, July 20, 2020, at Good Samaritian Society, St. John’s Home in Kearney.

Private family memorial service is 10 a.m. Monday at Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral and Cremation Services with the Rev. Kevin Holloway officiating.

Burial will follow at Kearney Cemetery.

Visitation is 2-4 p.m. Sunday at Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral Home.


Lela was born June 20, 1935, in Kearney to Carl J. and Anna (Crow) Cornelius Sr. She grew up in Kearney and graduated from Longfellow High School in 1953. She attended the University of Wyoming and University of Nebraska Medical Center earning her degree in nursing.

Lela married Joseph Williams Feb. 8, 1951, in Kearney. Lela married Dwayne Claussen June 3, 1960, in Laramie, Wyoming.

Lela was a registered nurse, certified public health nurse and was a director of nursing and program administrator at numerous locations around the country. Lela was a board member for Kearney Center for Nursing and for Modoc County Schools in California.

Lela was an active member of the Kearney First Baptist Church, Eastern Star and Daughters of the American Revolution. She loved to play piano, quilt, read and listen to late-night radio. If she was cooking for a few her motto was to cook for an army.

Survivors include her sons, Hart (Jayne) Williams of Eugene, Oregon, John (Lilies) Claussen of Grand Lodge, Michigan, and Jay (Debra) Claussen of Omaha; daughters, LeAnn Reed of Atascadero, California, and Sarah (Eric) Drum of Middletown, Pennsylvania; brother-in-law, Howard Roberts Jr. of Omaha; sister-in-law, Rose Cornelius of Sidney; 10 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Lela was preceded in death by her husband, four brothers and one sister.

Memorials are suggested to be made to Kearney First Baptist Church or Salvation Army.

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