Six families with long-standing ties to Chadron State College were recognized by receiving the institution’s Family Tree Award Saturday. Families with three or more generations that have attended the institution are eligible for the award.
The first Family Tree Awards were presented in 1996. This year’s group brings the total number of recipients to 69.
The families were given special recognition by CSC President Randy Rhine and the CSC Alumni Office during a luncheon at the college Saturday. They also were announced prior to CSC’s football game.
The Cook Family
The matriarch of the Cook family, Cecil “Pearl” Weibling, enrolled in 1911, the same year the Nebraska State Normal School was founded. When she arrived in Chadron by train she was met by the president of the school. He found her a position with the prominent White family where she worked in exchange for room and board.
After completing the two-year teaching program, she taught in country schools in the Sandhills until she married Robert A. Cook in 1915. He was born on the day the Civil War began.
Pearl and Robert’s son, Peter, now deceased, earned his education degree from CSC in 1953, lived in Gering and taught math at Scottsbluff Junior College.
Pearl’s daughter, Roberta (Cook) Banjoff, did not attend CSC, but Roberta’s daughter, Micki Banjoff, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1968 and a master’s degree in education in 1974.
Micki’s husband, John Moore, graduated from CSC in 1969. They both taught in Pine Ridge, S.D. earned outstanding teacher awards and retired to Lead, S.D., eight years ago.
Micki’s sister, Beverly (Banjoff) Coleman, now deceased, did not attend but her son, Randy, earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial management in 1988. He lives in Alliance and has two sons, Kyle, 20, who attended CSC and Derek, 18. Randy has been a service specialist for Source Gas since 1990.
Randy’s sister, Kathy (Coleman) Wayman, did not attend CSC, but her daughter Paige Wayman graduated from CSC in 2012 with her elementary education degree and teaches fourth grade at St. Agnes in Scottsbluff.
The Franklin-Preator Family
The late Amy Marie Franklin was born in Chadron to Margaret Chaulk and Fred Strong. Amy attended Chadron State College before going on to earn a degree from Brigham Young University.
Amy and J. E. Waltman are the parents of Richard, Steve, and Judy. Amy worked in social services, genealogy and research. She was affiliated with the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Richard attended CSC and Steve attended CSC from 1964-1968.
Judy (Waltman) Preator, Amy’s daughter, attended CSC from 1970-1972 and was involved in music activities. She earned her LPN at the Alliance Vocational School of Practical Nursing. She has worked as a charge nurse, a U.S. postal service postmaster, volunteered 30 years as a 4-H leader and 15 years as a Scout den mother. She also served as a music director in her church. She now resides in Byron, Wyo., with her husband David Preator and they have five adult children: Aaron, Brad, Ryan, Chandra and Lacey.
Lacey Preator also resides in Byron, Wyo. She graduated from CSC in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in history and museum studies. While at Chadron she was involved in rugby, intramural volleyball and the Rodeo Club.
The Hartman Family
The late Blanche Stumph, born in 1898 near Whitney, is the matriarch of this family. She attended Chadron Normal School for four years, majoring in education. She was elected president of the senior class, a member of Zeta Alpha, YWCA, the English Club and Eurydice Club. She married Ivan Hartman and they had three children: Carol, and twins Jerry and Jack.
Jerry Hartman attended CSC for three years and participated in basketball, track, Psi Beta Sigma and C Club for all three years. He played football for one year and is a member of the Purple Passion group. He is a retired farmer/rancher living in Whitney with his wife, Shirley. They have three children: J. D., Paul – deceased, and Cy.
Jerry’s twin brother, Jack, also attended CSC for two years and was a member of the C Club. He passed away in July of 2010.
Jerry and Shirley’s son, Jerry Drake “J.D.”, attended one year at CSC before serving in Vietnam in 1969. After a career as an ag pilot, J.D. currently works with an oil company in Wyoming.
Their son, Cy, lives and works in Chadron. He is married to Shawn (Heiting) Hartman. In 1977 he graduated from CSC with a biology degree. He participated in cross-country, wrestling and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Cy and Shawn’s adult sons are Chip and Colby.
Shawn Hartman was involved in track, Business Club, choir and went on the Europe fashion merchandising study abroad tour while attending Chadron State. She graduated in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting. In 1998, she earned a master’s in business from CSC, followed by a master’s degree in library science from Texas Women’s University in 2008. She is the assistant director of public services at the Reta E. King Library on campus where she has worked since 1991.
Trent and Tane Hartman are the sons of J.D. Hartman of Wyoming and Janet Hartman of Chadron.
Tane earned his bachelor’s degree in management information systems from CSC in 2002. He is married to Katy (Dixon) Hartman and they have a six-year-old daughter, Addisyn. He has worked near Rawlins, Wyo., as a pipeline control room supervisor from 2002 to the present. Katy earned her degree in marketing from CSC. While a student, she served as an Admissions Ambassador. She works at Rawlins Elementary School.
Kassandra (Stein) Hartman is married to Trent Hartman and they live in Chadron where they are raising two children: Isaac, 4, and Jax, 18 months. Kassandra studied nursing at CSC from 2001-2002 before earning her associate’s degree in nursing from Oglala Lakota College in 2006. She is an RN who has been employed by Chadron Community Hospital in a variety of positions over the past 10 years.
Chip Hartman, son of Cy and Shawn Hartman, earned his range management degree from CSC in 2010. He also participated in Rodeo Club. Chip, married to Jessica (Johnson) Hartman, is currently involved in a farming/ranching operation near Whitney.
The Jones Family
Virginia Kane graduated from Chadron State College in 1968 with her elementary education degree. She taught 22 years in the Chadron public schools, retiring in 1992.
Virginia and Jerry Jones married and had five children who graduated or attended CSC.
Bruce attended CSC before entering the U.S. Navy. He retired as a line officer in 1990 and resides in Vallejo, Calif.
Doug came to CSC as a physical education major and wrestler. After graduating in 1979, he went on to earn his master’s degree in school administration at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Earlier this year he retired from teaching and coaching wrestling at Elgin Public Schools.
Doug’s wife, Deb (Ultecht), also graduated from CSC in 1979 with a degree in music education. She performed with the Eaglaires and retired as music teacher from Elgin Public Schools this year.
Kevin attended CSC in 1975 and is now a retired BN railroad engineer. He lives in Chadron.
Virginia and Jerry’s daughters also graduated from Chadron State. Rae Jones, earned a degree from CSC in 1975 and is now semi-retired in Bisbee, Ariz.
Mardi (Jones) Whitly graduated from CSC in 1981 and is employed by the Silverstone Group insurance agency. She and her husband James live in Omaha.
Kevin and Kelly’s son, Will, earned a construction management bachelor’s degree from CSC in 2009. He was a member of the wrestling team and is now self-employed with Jones Home Improvement in Chadron.
The Kuhnel Family
The late Mary (McCallister) Kuhnel – graduated from CSC in 1969 at the same time her niece, Bonnie (Johnson) Dick – both earning their bachelor’s in education. Mary and Raymond were the parents of five children, four attended or graduated from CSC.
The eldest is Nancy (Kuhnel) Ehrlick who graduated from CSC in 1971. She passed away in 2009.
Louis graduated in 1972 with a bachelor’s in business. He married Marilyn (Mason) Kuhnel who also graduated in 1972 with a degree in home economics and art. They live in Torrington, Wyo.
Mary’s son, Lorin, attended CSC from 1985-1986. He married Kristal (Zerbst) Kuhnel who graduated in 1988 with a bachelor’s in business administration.
The youngest, Leroy, graduated from CSC in 1989 with a degree in education. He lives in Hutchinson, Kan.
Louis and Marilyn’s daughter, Leah, graduated from CSC in 2002, with a business administration degree and has returned to CSC on a pre-pharmacy path. Leah is married to Tim Frye who is currently pursuing a degree at CSC. They have a son, Mason.
Betty (Kuhnel) Cutler Favier and her husband Don’s daughter, Elizabeth, attended CSC 2011-2012.
Lorin and Kristal’s daughter, Trina, attended from 2009-2012 to complete her nursing prerequisites. She is currently enrolled in the nursing program at Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota.
Their son, Casey, graduated from Wayne State College. He works for Fuller Construction in Chadron and is the foreman of the concrete sub-contract for the Armstrong Building project currently underway at CSC.
Leroy and his wife Brenda are parents of Dennis Kuhnel who is currently an archeologist for the Forest Service, manager of the Hudson-Meng Bison Kill Research and Visitor Center north of Crawford, and currently teaching as an adjunct for CSC.
The Manke-Sides Family
Helen Manke enrolled in Chadron Normal School after she graduated from high school in Edgemont, S.D. in 1931. She married Ray Sides.
Their son John earned a degree in education in 1967. John participated in “C” Club and track while a student. John still coaches junior high basketball and high jump in Hot Springs, S.D. He and his wife Carol have three adult children: Amanda, Jack and Shauna.
Helen and Ray’s daughter, Judith “Judi”, graduated from CSC in 1973 with her degree in education and a music minor. She participated in band, choir, Wesley Fellowship, Student Education Association, Music Education National Conference, Young Republicans and the Rodeo Club. She taught in Wyoming and South Dakota before retiring in 2013. Judi lives in Rapid City, S.D.
John and Carol’s son, Jack, graduated with a criminal justice degree from CSC in 2007. He was active in track and field, Blue Key National Honor Society and the Criminal Justice Club. He is currently a deputy U.S. marshal. He and his wife, Avery, reside in Omaha and have two children: Gaige, 2, and Ryker, 1.
Avery (Shaw), a graduate of Potter-Dix High School, earned her human biology degree from CSC in 2007. She was a Biomedical Research in Nebraska scholar and participated in the Rural Health Opportunities Program, Health Professions Club, Cardinal Key and track and field. Avery went on to earn her doctor of medicine degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha and is a practicing physician.
John and Carol’s daughter, Shauna, is a 2006 graduate of Hot Springs High School who earned her rangeland management degree from CSC in 2010. She works as a para-professional in Rapid City.
—Tena L. Cook, Interim Marketing Coordinator
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