Chambers — Marian Rachel McClenahan, 89, of Chambers, died Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at the CountryHouse Residence Nursing Home in Grand Island.

Visitation was held Monday, July 19, 2021 at the Memorial Baptist Church in Chambers.

Funeral services were held Monday, July 19, 2021 at the church in Chambers. Revs. James McClenahan and Joe Bockerman officiated.

Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.

Biglin's Mortuary in O'Neill was in charge of the arrangements.

“her children will arise and call her ‘blessed’ .. her husband also…” Proverbs 31:28-29 tells us that children of a woman that fears the Lord will rise up and call her blessed. Today we will discuss with each other many characteristics of our mother and how it is that she has blessed us. The idea of being “blessed” is far more significant than saying that she was a “good person.” The intention of this proverb is that we can call a mother “blessed” as we think of the many facets of life in which she has affected us …. physically, socially, psychologically and spiritually.

Our mother Marian Rachel Tangeman was born on March 31, 1932. Her parents were Alvin and Rachel Tangeman and they expected her to contribute to the family farm in terms of hard work. She learned to participate in many farm and ranch tasks. She knew how to use teams of horses to mow hay and to sweep it into stacks. She, along with her brothers Larry, Arland, James and her sister Kay, milked cows daily. Their elementary education was in school district #120 one mile west and one-half mile south of their home. Transportation to school was by way of horseback…. On one occasion, Marian’s horse shied at some object, and Marian was thrown onto the frozen ground. Hitting her head in this way caused her to lose her sight for two days. Her childhood on the farm gave her a remarkable work ethic --- and an aversion to animals. She was especially not fond of dogs…. and the strange thing was that dogs always liked her. Aunt Kay would bring her black Labrador retriever to Chambers and Mom would let Kay take it upstairs to sleep in the guest room. This was an amazing concession on the part of our mother who did not permit house pets.

After her eighth grade year, she went to high school in Chambers, again she rode a horse to town. Cold and wet days were dismal as the trip was five miles. It was there that she met Jerald McClenahan. It was love at first sight for him, but maybe he had to work a little to capture her heart. When they decided to get married, Grandpa and Grandma Tangeman said that she had to teach school for one year before she could be married.  So after graduating from Chambers High School in the spring of 1949, she attended the summer school program at Wesleyan University in Lincoln. This gave her the required credentials to teach in the school. As she taught in her own rural district, she was the teacher to Arland, James and Kay for the 1949 and 1950 term. Marian and Jerald were married on May 21, 1950.

Marian learned to work hard and she attempted to transmit that quality to her children. Her children were told that laziness was not a virtue and it was our obligation to contribute to household chores, to run paper routes, to work in the garden and to practice piano. The piano practice would begin early in the morning….with six of us and only one piano, the scheduling had to be strictly managed. We were not given a choice about these matters…and so we learned the physical blessing of doing our jobs well. For this we can call our mother ‘blessed.’

We can also call our mother ‘blessed’ because of her dedication to mold us into responsible and obedient children. We were often told when we went somewhere that we were supposed to be the “best ones” there. It was sometimes difficult to understand why certain things were not allowed, but she, with Dad’s help, was usually able to get the message across. Marian also taught us that we should speak to adults when they spoke to us and that we should not talk about ourselves too much. These were a few of the social graces that we learned and that have held us in good stead in our adult years. So because Mom wanted us to be good citizens and to be positive, we can call her ‘blessed’ – because she prepared us for life outside of our home.

Marian also thought it best for us to study hard and to make good grades. She thought that this emphasis would give us a positive outlook and confidence. It was a big mistake to tell her that we were bored or that we were unhappy. Her answer to those types of concerns was that we should work harder and that we should concern ourselves with the needs of those less fortunate. It is probably true that there was no greater vice for her children to display than to complain. She would tell us that murmuring was the sin which got the Israelites into so much trouble. So complaining was never a good strategy to make something happen.

Before Marian and Jerald were married, they visited with Pastor McElheran in Chambers. He agreed to marry them, but he told Mom that even though she was a good person, she would not be able to go to heaven on the basis of her positive behavior and her hard work. He patiently told her that she would need to be forgiven of her sins in order to gain entrance into Heaven. And it would be important for her as a wife and mother to learn to use the truths in God’s Word in order to be the best wife and mother that she could be. It was then that she trusted in Christ and accepted Him as her Savior. She also brought that message to our family and to her children…because she was concerned about our spiritual life and our eternal destiny, we can call her ‘blessed.’ She was patient to read to us stories from the Bible and there was never any discussion about whether or not we would go to church. We may have disappointed her in this area at times, but it was not her fault when we considered the spiritual matters too lightly.

Marian loved music – usually something peppy—or mostly Strauss Waltzes. She played piano for services in the Memorial Baptist Church until she was no longer able to accomplish that task that she really did like to do. She was fond of the Chambers Band program….and delighted in the concerts that the band gave. She was generally supportive of the director, but probably gave him some insights from time to time.

Marian is survived by her husband Jerald of Chambers; one daughter Ruthie (Dale) Dankert of Chambers; five sons Dan (Karen) of Kearney, Jerry (Susan) of Newton, KS, Jeff (Dawn) of Spokane, WA, Mark (Ann) of Los Angeles, CA and Nathan (Dee) of Kearney; 19 grandchildren; 34 great-grandchildren; one brother Larry (Corinne) Tangeman of O’Neill; and one sister Kay (Bill) Cox of Shawneen, KS.

She was preceded in death by her parents Alvin and Rachel Tangeman, two brothers Arland and James Tangeman and one great-granddaughter Cora Paige McClenahan.

Our family wishes to express gratitude to the Chambers community for their support and understanding of Marian as she experienced the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. Your many acts of kindness and prayerful concern will always be remembered. Also a great deal of thanks goes to the staff and administration of the CountryHouse memory care facility in Grand Island. Those health care professionals walked us through the slow and difficult disease with which Marian was entrusted.

Mostly we thank our Heavenly Father who has welcomed Mom into her heavenly home. It is his kindness and grace that gives us the confidence and hope that is now ours.

Again… we rise up and call Marian blessed…because she was an amazing blessing to us all.        


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