Chadron State College
Chadron State College

Four families receiving alumni awards

September 17, 2012

Four families with a tradition of attending Chadron State College will receive special recognition during the institution’s annual Family Day celebration Saturday, Sept. 22.

The awards are presented annually to families with three or more generations of CSC graduates. The families will be honored during a private luncheon in the Student Center that precedes the Eagles’ football game against Western State.

The Feldhausen Family

The Feldhausen Family may not have the most graduates of this year’s recipients, but its roots run deep. Members of four generations of the Reading family have studied at CSC.

The late Della Lura Clayton, a Chadron native who later married John Feldhausen, was among the first students to attend what was then Nebraska State Normal School at Chadron. She earned an elementary teaching certificate in July 1916, just five years after the institution’s founding.

Members of the family who have attended the institution, include the daughter and son of the Feldhausens– Betty (Feldhausen) Reading of Chadron and the late Clayton Charles Feldhausen.

Members of the family have completed studies in health administration, pre-nursing, business, aviation, science and education.

Three members of the family who are CSC alumni are the children of Betty, and her late husband John Reading. They are John Reading of Blackfoot, Idaho, Steven Reading of Atlanta, Ga., and Joanne (Reading) Schulte of Rogers, Minn.

John Reading and his wife, Kay, are the parents of the two members of the two family members in the fourth generation, Clint Reading of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Kim Reading of Blackfoot, Idaho.

The Gillett Family

The Gillett family, which has had at least 20 members enroll at Chadron State, has lineage in northwest Nebraska that goes back to its 1880s family homestead on the Table area south of Chadron. Two members of the family, brothers Wallace and Steven Gillett, sent their children to the Nebraska State Normal School at Chadron.

Wallace and Mary Gillett’s son, Rowland Hill Gillett entered the institution in September 1911 as its 174th student, shortly after it was founded. He later married Harriet Dickerson, a school teacher who would earn a bachelor’s degree from Chadron State College at age 60 in the same ceremony that their son LaVern earned a master’s degree.

Other members of the first generation were Jerome Canning Gillett, Wendell Lynde Gillett, Roger Wallace Gillett, Fisher Schuyler Gillett and Alzina Luella Gillett. Agnes Gillett, the daughter of Steven and Fannie Gillett also is among the CSC alumni.

The first Gilletts to attend the institution went on to use their educations in a variety of ways, including agriculture, service on local school boards, and teaching a variety of subjects, including science and art. Several were accomplished musicians.

Six of Rowland and Harriet’s 13 children, and/or their spouses, were among the family’s second generation to attend CSC.

In addition to LaVern, who now lives in Lincoln, they are Phyllis Elsie (Gillett) and Orlando S. “Landy” “Slim” Osborn of Chadron, Robert Harry“Bob” Gillett of Lincoln, Neb., the late Willa Caroline Gillett, and Terence “Terry” and Phyllis Kay (Masters) Gillett of Harrison, Neb. Richard W. Davis, the husband of daughter Norie, also graduated.

Others family members who attended CSC are Ellen Gillett of Grant, Neb., the daughter of Wendell and Emma Gillett, and the children of Alzina -- Elsie Marie Coleman, Rose Coleman, Ernest Coleman Jr., John Coleman and Ruth Coleman.

The third and fourth generation to attend CSC includes a nephew and niece of the Osborns, Tony Elbert Lutz of Benkelman, Neb., and Brittney Lutz of Oshkosh, Neb.

The Lee Family

This family’s association with Chadron State College goes back to the institution’s beginning. More than 20 members of the family are members of the CSC alumni.

Hattie Gertrude (Fox) Lee of Agate, Neb., in Sioux County was among the first class to enroll when the Nebraska State Normal School at Chadron was founded. The family has a copy of her registration card date June 13, 1911.

Hattie and her husband, Modie Lee, had six children, four of whom went on to study pursue degrees at Chadron. They are the late Dorothy (Lee) Scott, Edith (Lee) Murphy, Charles Lee and Louise (Lee) Hilton.

Family members have pursued a wide range of studies at CSC, including education, administration, English, music and pre-dentistry.

Other members of the family who have attended or graduated from CSC are Dave and Judy (Lissman) Hamaker of Lusk, Wyo., Judy (Hilton) Broeder of Mitchell, Neb., Gene Murphy of Mitchell, Neb., Marilyn (Lee) and Rick Cotant of Torrington, Wyo., and Cheryl (Lee) and William Schwarzkoph of Forsyth, Mont.

The fourth generation of the family to enroll CSC includes Cindy (Hamaker) Bergstrom of Lusk, Wyo., Will Broeder of Mitchell, Amy (Broeder) Horst of Chadron, Cody (Murphy) Haun of Mitchell, Brian Cotant of Buffalo, Wyo., and Eric Locker of Pavillion, Wyo.

Dave Hamaker’s mother, Goldie, and several cousins also are among the CSC alumni.

The Nitsch Family

At least 16 members of the Nitsch family have been among the Chadron State College student body, and several family members have been active on campus following their studies.

It started with Gil Nitsch of Chadron, a native of Hayes Center, Neb., who played football for the Eagles in 1962-1965 and was awarded a bachelor’s degree in business in 1966. His late wife Linda Nitsch, a native of Laramie, Wyo., was a business professor at CSC from 1997-2004. She earned a bachelor’s degree from CSC in 1990 and a master’s degree in 1995.

Combined, Gil and Linda have seven children. All seven of the children and four of their grandchildren, have either graduated or attended CSC. Members of the family have completed studies in a wide range of majors, including business, pre-nursing, pre-medicine, education, psychology, and health, physical education and recreation.

Other members of the family who have either attended or graduated include Chris and Nancy Stein of Chadron, Kory and Becki Richardson of Gillette, Wyo., Stacy and Dan Beebe of Elburn, Ill., Cody Spinaci of Aurora, Colo., Dean Nitsch of Cheyenne, Wyo., Kristin Yeutter of Bellevue, Neb., and Tyson and Debbie Floyd of Torrington, Wyo.

The third generation to attend CSC includes three of Chris and Nancy’s children, Kassi Hartman, Karyssa Stein and Kendra Stein. Kayla Sayer, Kristin’s daughter, also attended.

—Justin Haag, CSC Information Services