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

Jack R. Knicely

1921 to 2015


Jack R. Knicely, 94 of Sidney, passed away at the Sidney Regional Medical Center on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 24 in the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church with Pastor Dave Hall officiating. Burial with Military Honors will follow in the Greenwood Cemetery. Friends may stop at the Gehrig-Stitt Chapel on Friday from 1 to 7 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made in Jack's name to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

You may view Jack's Book of Memories, leave condolences, photos and stories at

Gehrig-Stitt Chapel & Cremation Service, LLC is in charge of Jack's care and funeral arrangements.

Jack Richard Knicely was born on Aug. 13, 1921, in Lincoln, to Ernest and Etrulia (Stone) Knicely. Jack grew up in Omaha and graduated from North High School in 1939.

After working as a Messenger and a Transit Clerk at the Federal Reserve Bank in Omaha, Jack entered the University of Nebraska in September of 1940.

On May 30, 1942, Jack enlisted as a Cadet in the U.S. Army Air Corps. While in pre-flight training, Jack married Betty Marie Klingel in St. Louis, Mo., on April 2, 1943. To this union four children were born: James, Nancy, Susan and John. Betty died on Dec. 3, 1973.

On July 19, 1975, Jack married a widow, Jeannette "Jan" (Witters) Brumfield. Her two daughters, Tami and Leigh Ann, together with his four children, made a much loved combined family of six children. Their 40 year marriage was also blessed with 17 beloved grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

During WWII Jack was a co-pilot on B-24s and C-46s, serving in the China-Burma-India Theater, flying over the "Hump" (Himalayan Mountains). After the war Jack entered Law School at the University of Nebraska. He graduated from Law School in June 1948, and opened his first law office in Wisner, Neb. In 1949 he and his family moved to Sidney, where he entered into a law partnership with R.P. Kepler. This partnership lasted until Mr. Kepler's death. Jack was elected Cheyenne County Attorney in 1952 and served in that capacity for four years, during which he also carried on his private practice. He continued in private practice until retiring at the age of 80.

During his law career, Jack remained in the Air Force Reserves, retiring with the rank of Lt. Colonel. He commanded the Sidney Unit and became coordinator for Judge Advocated General for the State of Nebraska. He served 23 years, retiring in 1981.

Jack grew up and was baptized in the Christian Church. At the time of his death, he was a 40 year member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. He served for many years as Sunday School Teacher for youth and adults, and as a leader for small Bible Study groups. Jack was a member of the Nebraska State Bar Association. He was also a member of the Sidney Rotary Club since 1949 and served as president of the club and as District Governor of Rotary District 5630. He organized and instituted the Rotary Student Foreign Exchange program for the District. He served as Chairman of the program for many years. He also helped in the organizing of the Cheyenne County Historical Association and Friends of Christian Radio. He served on the Sidney Board of Education for 13 years and the Airport Authority for 7 years. He had a great love for singing and enjoyed praising God in the church choir. In his younger days he sang at many weddings and funerals. Throughout the years he sang in the Ft. Sidney Colonels, West Nebraska Master Works Chorale and several local musical productions.

Jack is survived by his wife, Jeannette "Jan"; his combined family: Jim (Leslie) Knicely of Williamsburg, Va .; Nancy (Hal) Teague of Lincoln; Susan (John) Marker of Marina, Calif .; John (Sue) Knicely of Omaha; Tami (Joe) Cortney of Cheyenne; Leigh Ann (Tom) Siegle of Centennial, Colo .; 17 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. Also surviving are his brother-in-law, Larry (Dola) Witters and sister-in-law, Deb (Jim) Sterling of Omaha; and many nieces, nephews and extended family members. Jack was preceded in death by his first wife, Betty, his parents and his brother and sister-in-law, Clarke and Josephine Knicely.


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