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Loretta  Louise  Pilakowski
     Loretta Louise Pilakowski, 96, of North Platte passed away on Monday, May 15, 2017 at Linden Court. Loretta was born Aug. 7, 1920, to Earl Vincent and Christine Elsie Elizabeth Wagner Battershell in Paxton, where she grew up.
     During her junior year of high school, the family moved to Lodgepole, where Loretta graduated with the Class of 1938.
     On Aug. 15, 1938, Loretta was united in marriage to Vincent Stanley Pilakowski at Chappell. They first lived in Lodgepole then moved to North Platte in 1941 where Vincent worked on the railroad and Loretta stayed home to raise their eight children.
     In 1970, the family moved to Paxton and lived there until in 1982. The couple then retired to Salida, Colo. Following Vincent''s death in 1997, Loretta returned to Nebraska to be closer to her family.
     In North Platte, Loretta was an active member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church and was active with Catholic Daughters. She was also a member of the Monday afternoon ladies pitch group and volunteered at the Bargain Bin and with RSVP.
     Loretta was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great great-grandmother. She was also a great cook who will always be remembered for her famous angel food cakes, homemade egg noodles, and creamed chicken and "kniddle" (knudel).
     She leaves behind her sons, Gerald "Jerry" and Philip (Patricia), both of Omaha, Fredrick of Billings, Mont., and James (Melissa) of Yuma, Ariz.; daughters, Betty (Jerome) Steffes of North Platte, Nancy (Ronald) Morgan of Gilbert, Ariz., Mary Teresa (Sid) Petersen of Kimball, and Karen Hargis of Fremont, Ind.; sister, Laura Hargens of Norfolk; and sister-in-law, Lee Battershell of Karmichael, Calif.; grandchildren, Dave and Dennis Steffes, Diane Gilbert, Doug and Don Steffes, Tim Pilakowski, Kaylynn Larson, Michelle Szaro, Melissa Casassa, Stacey Parker, Janelle Wolfe, Lisa Van Dine, Scott Zuviceh, Nichole and Zarek Pilakowski, Rylee Shaw, Elton Ogg, Robin Fendley, Vincent and Zane Pilakowski, and Kathryn, Jeremy and Justin Taylor; 46 great-grandchildren; 15 great great-grandchildren; close friend, Peg Lawler of Paxton; and other family.
     Along with her husband, Vincent, Loretta was preceded in death by their two baby boys and daughter, Kathryn; parents; brothers, Forrest Battershell and Arnold "Red" Battershell; sister, Margaret Abernathy; daughter-in-law, Sharon Pilakowski; granddaughter-in-law, Wanda Steffes; grandson, Dan Steffes; great-granddaughter, Beth Steffes; and great-grandson, Ethan Fendley.
     Services will be on Thursday, May 18 at 10 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church with Celebrant Fr. Mark Seiker. Burial will follow in Fort McPherson National Cemetery. Odean Colonial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
     Memorials are suggested to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church or North Platte Catholic Schools Endowment & Trust.
First published in The North Platte Bulletin print edition on 5/17/2017
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