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

Ioan E. Childers


Ioan E. Childers, age 92, of Sidney, NE passed away Sunday, July 18, 2021 in Bassett, NE. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, July 24, 2021 in the First United Methodist Church in Sidney, NE with Pastor Corey Jenkins officiating. Burial will be at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, July 26, 2021 in the Kimball Cemetery in Kimball, NE. Friends may stop at the Gehrig-Stitt Chapel on Friday from 1-6:00 P.M. You may view Ioan’s Book of Memories, leave condolences, photos and stories at In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the United Methodist Church, Sidney, Nebraska.

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

Ioan E. Childers was the second daughter born to Vincent “James” Vavra and Helen Blanche (Herman) Vavra on April 25, 1929 in Newman Grove, NE. Her maternal grandparents were Carl A. and Anna (Pacooska) Herman; paternal: Joseph and Mary (Knap) Vavra. Ioan grew up north of Bushnell and attended Sunshine Valley District 20 and Kimball County High School. Ioan remembers the good times with neighbors and relatives at school parties and dances as she was growing up. Some special things were going hunting with her Dad, her Mom teaching her to mix bread, Dad making Christmas gifts and Mom’s holiday cooking all year round.

After graduating from high school, Ioan attended Chadron State College for a year and then was employed as a bookkeeper by Joe Morris, who owned and operated Morris Hardware, L.P. Gas Company and The Morris Hotel and Café. During that time, she saw a picture in the drug store window of servicemen from Kimball. LeRoy was one of those servicemen and she thought him the best looking one in the bunch and hoped to meet him one day. After he was discharged, her sister Betty and her beau Ed took Ioan to a dance and she saw LeRoy there. Ioan told Ed she would sure like to meet and dance with LeRoy. Ed made that happen, and the dance continued….for the next 55 years. They were married on June 5, 1949, in Kimball at the Methodist Church. They made their home at the farm in Sidney owned by Carl Olson. There they raised six children, Kenneth, Korla, James, Michael, Brian and Phillip. They had many fun times with their children during their growing up years through school, 4-H and church events. Many weekends were enjoyed with other family members, with outings to Estes Park, CO, Snowy Range, WY, Wild Cat Hills or just the Oliver Reservoir west of Kimball.

In 1974 they purchased the Anna Olson farm west of Sidney and had a diversified farming and ranching operation. Ioan worked part-time at several jobs through the years including the lumber yard and Sidney Office Supply, but her main and most important job was her family. Ioan baked fresh bread every week when all the family was home, took care of house and home, had a huge garden and canned everything, raised chickens, did 4-H projects with every child from horses, pigs, chickens, lambs, garden, sewing, baking, etc. Ioan sewed lots of clothes for the family, she and LeRoy made quilts and did baking, carpentry, and every other project together, except riding horses. Ioan tried, but never got the hang of riding horses.

LeRoy passed away in 2004 and Phillip was helping with the farming at that time so Ioan and Phil partnered up to carry on. They had a good go from 2004 to 2020 when COVID hit and she was unable to take care of herself and get to the Dr. regularly, so she went to live in Bassett with daughter, Korla.

Ioan celebrated her 92nd birthday in April 2021 and had many of her family there to enjoy the day. In June, Ioan traveled to Sidney to see home again and any family that she hadn’t seen in the last year.

She is survived by her children, Kenneth, Korla and friend Scott, Jim and spouse Kris, Michael and spouse Keith, Brian, Phillip and spouse Wendy, along with 25 grandchildren (with spouses and/or significant others) and 23 great grandchildren, (including spouses and/or significant others}, as well as many nieces and nephews and a host of good friends.

Ioan is preceded in death by her parents, Jim and Helen Vavra, husband, LeRoy Childers, siblings, Irene Nelson and her husband Leland, Betty Robinson and her husband Ed, Larry Vavra and his wife, Toni, and daughter-in-law Jerilynn Childers.


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