Ervin F. Gobber, the youngest of four children of Fred and Christena (Knippelmeyer) Gobber, was born May 16, 1930 on the family farm near Elk Creek. He was baptized and confirmed at St. James Lutheran (Long Branch) Church. Ervin walked across the road to the “Rock School House” (District 45) for his education to 8th grade. Ervin furthered his education through personal experiences, and continual reading in his areas of interest.
Ervin served in the Nebraska Army National Guard from 1950-1956. He enjoyed traveling to different places and liked the camaraderie with his fellow guardsmen. A special memory of his was driving the tank which currently sits on display in the Auburn park.
In his teen years, Ervin started farming with his dad, while enjoying a social life of Luther League, baseball, and hometown festivities. It was at an Elk Creek basketball game that he finally asked Marilyn Sodman out for a date. That eventually led to their marriage on August 22, 1952. They would be blessed with six children: Rita, Rhonda, Royce, Ryan, Robin and Rod. Ervin and Marilyn made their home near the family farm where Ervin was born.
Always interested in growing the farm, Ervin bought his first 80 acres in 1964 and promptly sent his kids out to pick up the rocks. It was around this time he established his herd of registered Herefords and founded the Long Branch 4-H Club, which gave him an avenue for improving his herd, educating his children, and keeping them out of trouble. Over the years, Ervin received many agricultural awards including Outstanding Young Farmer (1965), WOW Farm Family of the Week (1970), Pioneer Farm Family Award (1992), and various grain yield awards, culminating with the Nebraska Heritage Farm Award for 150 years of continuous family farm ownership. In addition to his farming activities, Ervin sold seed corn for over 50 years and always looked forward to drives to the various farm locations to check the crops and the cattle.
Ervin and Marilyn have been life-long members of St. James Lutheran Church where Ervin served on the church board several times, as well as a member of the Elk Creek Fire District (25+ years), Quad-County Pork Producers, 4-State Hereford Association, and Farmers Union Coop boards.
Ervin loved to travel and listen to polka bands. Some of his most memorable travels included driving Richard Petty’s race car in Las Vegas and attending a World Series game in Atlanta. He loved his St. Louis Cardinals and centered one of few family vacations around watching them play. Hawaii was a special destination as well, and the beaches of Cabo for a family wedding was the only time he used his passport. Closer to home, many afternoons were spent playing cards and drinking coffee in the Elk Creek tavern. Weekends were often spent attending local wedding and anniversary dances and sports activities. He particularly enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren participate in their school activities.
In May, we celebrated Ervin’s 90th birthday with a card shower and parade at Colonial Acres, which he thoroughly enjoyed. It was so special that he could hear from so many of you during this time when socializing has been so limited. He and Mom read through the cards and letters many times during their almost daily visits. Ervin died peacefully on Tuesday, August 4, at Colonial Acres in Humboldt, Nebraska, where he had spent almost three years. We would like to thank the staff there for their smiles, care and love.
He was preceded in death by his parents, older sisters Lucille Rippe, Bernice Bohling-Rodie, Arlene Burow and their spouses. Surviving family members include his wife of 68 years, Marilyn, of Humboldt; children and spouses Rita and Guy Lammle of Scottsdale, AZ; Rhonda and Steve Burbach of Lincoln; Royce and Beth Gobber of Tecumseh; Ryan Gobber of Humboldt; Robin and Bill Westfall of Elkhorn; Rod and Lisa Gobber of West Des Moines, IA; grandchildren and their children Amy Wieseler, Luke and Grace; Daina and West Anderson, Ethan and Davis; Lacey and Zach Prokop, Lyla, Vivian, and Emmy; Lauren and Alexander Inda with one on the way; Leah Burbach; Whitney and Andrew Sisco, Adelyn, Aubrey, Kaden, Blaine, and Macy; Devin and Darci Gobber; Tanner Gobber; Erynn Westfall and fiancé Aaron Mason; Zach Westfall; Trent and Patience Gobber; Taylor Gobber; sister-in-law Orva Sodman; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
A graveside funeral service with social distancing and masks encouraged will be 10:30 a.m., Saturday, August 8, at St. James Lutheran (Long Branch) Cemetery near Humboldt. Please feel free to bring lawn chairs, the service will also be broadcast through church transmitter on 87.9 fm to listen from your vehicle on church grounds. Visitation will be Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Hemmingsen Funeral Home in Auburn.
The family will not be greeting guests after the funeral due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Memorials suggested to family choice.