The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

William "Bill" Junior Fankhauser

1920 to 2014


William "Bill" Junior Fankhauser, 93 of Humboldt, Neb., was born on Dec. 2, 1920 in Humboldt, to William and Pearl Viola (Kinter) Fankhauser. Bill was raised on the family farm south of Humboldt where he attended country school. He then attended Humboldt public schools and graduated from Humboldt High School with the class of 1938. Bill continued his education at Peru State College where he received his Bachelors Degree in 1942 and earned a Masters of Education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1954.

On June 21, 1950, Bill was united in marriage to Willistine Marie Clark in Humboldt. To this union three children, William, Suzanne, and Stuart were born. Bill began his career as an instrumental and vocal director for Tabor Public Schools in Tabor, IA for 3 years. He then served as superintendent and music director for Honey Creek Consolidated Schools near Salem, Neb. for 2 years and high school vocal music director and instrumental music director at Gordon Public Schools in Gordon for 3 years. Bill finished his career at Sidney Pubic Schools in Sidney where he was a vocal instructor for 6 years, high school assistant principal and activities director for 8 years, and junior high principal for 15 years. He retired in 1986 after serving in the Sidney Public Schools for 29 years.

Bill was very active throughout his career in many professional and community organizations. He was a member of the Nebraska State and National Association of Secondary School Principals, Past President of the Sidney Education Association and Western Nebraska Principals Association, Nebraska School Masters Club, National Education Association, Past President and Charter Member of the Western Nebraska Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, Past State Choral Chairman for Nebraska Music Educators, and District President of North Platte Convention Steering Committee. He also belonged and was active in many community organizations in the various areas in which he lived. Bill was a Charter Member and Co-director of Ft. Sidney Colonels (singing group), Member, Elder, and past choir director of the Light Memorial Presbyterian Church, member of the Four-Mile Congregational Church, Past President of Kiwanis Club Sidney Chapter, Past Lt. Gov. Div. 6 of Kiwanis Club, a member of the Sidney and Humboldt Rotary Club, Past President of the High Plains Arts Council, Past President of Lodgepole Valley Shrine Club, member of the Cheyenne County Chamber of Commerce and member of the grant reviewing committee for the Nebraska Arts Council. Bill was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Sidney and Pawnee City and received a 50 year pin as a member of the Order of Eastern Star in Sidney and Humboldt.  

Bill passed away on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, at the Colonial Acres Nursing Home in Humboldt having reached the age of ninety-three years, ten months, and twenty-two days. He was preceded in death by his parents and wife Willistine.

Bill is survived by his children: Bill Fankhauser and his wife Jo Ellen of Omaha; Suzanne Swahn and her husband Craig of Agency, IA, Stuart Fankhauser and his wife Jane of Chandler, Ariz .; 6 grandchildren; 2 great-grandchildren; and many other nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m. on Sat., Nov. 1, 2014, at The Four-Mile Congregational Church in rural Humboldt, with Pastor Ron Russell officiating.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thurs., Oct. 30, 2014, at The Wherry Mortuary in Humboldt, with family greeting friends from 6 to 8 p.m. at the mortuary. A Masonic Service will be conducted at 7 p.m. by the Pawnee City Masonic Lodge #23.

Interment will be at The Four-Mile Cemetery.

Memorials contributions are suggested to The Four-Mile Congregational Church and Shriners Hospital.

Online condolences may be sent to

Arrangements entrusted to Wherry Mortuary-Humboldt, Nebraska (402) 862-2915.


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