William "Bill" Leon Putnam, 75, of O'Neill died Saturday, March 31, 2018.
Memorial visitation was held Monday, April 9, 2018 at Biglin's Mortuary in O'Neill with a Knights of Columbus rosary.
Memorial services were held Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in O'Neill. Fr. Bernard Starman officiated. Music was provided by pianist Suzie Krammer and soloist Kay Stepp.
Honorary pallbearers were Matthew Osborne, Rachael Osborne, Blake Jamber and Aaron Jamber.
Burial will be at a later date in the O'Neill Cemetery in O'Neill.
Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.
Bill was born on April 27, 1942 to Wilma (Nelson) and Leon “L.D.” Putnam in O'Neill.
He grew up working on the ranch while attending school at St. Mary’s Academy and graduated in 1960. He then attended Wayne State College where he met Nancy Ann Kurtenbach of Platte Center. The two became engaged in December 1964.
Bill was drafted into the U.S. Army where he was trained as a medic and was awarded a sharpshooter badge. He was honorably discharged in 1964.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and attained the rank of 4th degree knight.
Nancy and Bill were married on May 22, 1965 in Platte Center. They made their home in O’Neill and had two children Mari Catharine and Anne Elizabeth.
A life-long rancher, Bill loved the land and his livestock. Managing operations in South Dakota and Nebraska, Bill employed many cowboys and ranch hands over the years.
In the early 70s his father-in-law Ted Kurtenbach introduced him to the game of golf. After throwing a club or two, he learned to enjoy the game and spent countless hours at the O’Neill Country Club. With a combination of skill and luck he shot a hole-in-one on three different occasions. His grandkids often accompanied him on golf outings, and occasionally Grandpa Bill would let the grandkids “fish” at the golf course and catch themselves a bucket of balls.
There was no greater fan than Grandpa Bill. Until his health would no longer allow him, he faithfully attended any activity in which his family was involved. Bill loved to watch sports especially those in which his kids, grandkids, nieces or nephews were participating. He umpired softball and baseball for many years and was also a coach. Bill was well known for his shrill whistle and could occasionally be heard doing a little officiating from the stands. He was never shy about sitting in on a game of cards and was known to be a shrewd poker player over the years.
Bill was passionate about many causes and was never afraid to give an honest opinion. He welcomed a good debate on nearly any subject and enjoyed the time spent having coffee with friends and discussing the day’s events. Bill's generosity not only extended to the community but to many individuals as well. He was one of a kind, a loyal friend and will be greatly missed.
Bill is survived by his wife of 52 years Nancy Putnam of O’Neill; two daughters Mari (Steve) Osborne of Atkinson and Anne (Troy) Jamber of Omaha; four grandchildren Matthew of Lincoln, Rachael of Atkinson, Blake and Aaron, both of Omaha; six nieces and nephews Shannon Putnam of Canggu, Bali, Sean Putnam of Lincoln, Tara Putnam of Seattle, WA, Shane Putnam of Poulsbo, WA, Kara Putnam of Seattle, WA, and Shea Putnam of Dallas, Texas; and one sister-in-law Donna Putnam of York.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his father and mother-in-law Ted and Evelyn Kurtenbach, one brother Daniel and one sister-in-law Judy Putnam.