Roland Burger, 95, of Treynor entered into life of eternal joy on Saturday, June 4 following a very brief illness. Roland was born on July 10, 1926 to Fred and Lena Burger at home on the farm near DeWitt, Nebraska. He was the oldest of six children. He attended a parochial school through 8th grade and graduated from high school in Beatrice in 1944. After high school he enlisted in the US Army at the age of 18. He was headed for Japan to join WWII before the bombing at Pearl Harbor led by President Harry Truman. He joined the Occupational Force 6th Division as a medic with a T5 ranking, often sharing the story about sharpening needles on a rock to reuse them. Following his two years of service he came to Treynor and worked for George Schneider during harvest, getting paid $90/month plus room and board. The real bonus was meeting and marrying the boss’ sister-in-law, Wilma Schmidt. After their marriage in 1949, he worked for Willy Schmidt on a ‘full farm”, and then joined up farming with his brother-in-law Ozzie Schmidt. He soon began farming independently raising cattle, hogs, corn and soybeans. Later, Roland and Wilma added both dairy cows and chickens. They sold the milk, cream and eggs for additional income. To their marriage, they had three daughters, Linda, Rena and Emily. Their family began to grow, the daughters married and blessed them with seven grandchildren. Wilma passed away in 1997.
Roland was an active member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Treynor and an original member of the Wedded Band. He was a faithful blood donor giving blood since the Army. He has registered 31 gallons with the American Red Cross. Upon his death the family was made aware that Roland was a registered donor and his skin will be used to help 25-50 cancer patients for breast reconstructive surgeries.
Roland has been a lifetime member of the American Legion, Lamar Hartje Post 725 in Treynor; being in the honor guard, presenting the flag on holidays and military funerals. He started the project of hanging the flags on the main street of Treynor and the Avenue of flags at the cemeteries. He took pride in the collection and the disposing of worn out/damaged flags; disposing over 6,000 in a fire cage he built on the farm. In 2016, he was part of the Honor Flight to Washington DC, where he had his picture taken with Congressman Robert Doyle.
After Wilma passed, he looked for a way of helping others and soon found himself driving a bus to feed the homeless for MOHMS. He watched that mission grow from the bus to a small building and now the present-day shelter where meals are served every night. Roland went faithfully every Tuesday night to serve even if it was a holiday. He enjoyed talking with people, learning their stories, and making new friends.
Roland has been blessed with wonderful life through his faith, family and good health. He leaves behind his daughters; Linda (Andy) Anderson of Urbandale, Rena Jenkins of Arizona and Emily (Monte) Hoegh of ElkHorn. His seven special grandchildren whom he was able to share with their college graduations, and weddings: Amy Krause (Adam), Janna Hobson (Andrew), Jerod Hoegh (Aubyn), Scott Anderson (Lindsay), Jaime VanKley (Chad), Jerome Hoegh (Ashley), Jacey Hoegh (Whitney) and twenty one great grandchildren. Also, his brother Bob Burger of Wisconsin, sister Rose Blome of Nebraska, and sister-in-law, Helen Burger of Nebraska.
Preceding him in death: his parents; wife, Wilma; sister, Verona Spilker; brothers Ordale and Leonard; and son-in-law, Neal Jenkins.
In lieu of flowers, his daughters ask that you bring JOY to the life of someone, make a new friend or help someone in need. And you will find that you receive more than you ever gave!
There was never a stranger in Roland’s life. Heaven was filled with laughter and joy when Roland walked through the gates on Saturday.
Visitation will be Thursday at the Legion Room in Treynor from 10-12. The celebration of his life service will be at St. Paul Lutheran Church at 2:00 pm. Following a military service will be held at the St. Paul cemetery, then a lunch at the Treynor Community Center.