Lester D. Stufft, 80
Lester Duane Stufft of Ainsworth was born on January 16, 1937, and passed away at the Cherry County Hospital in Valentine on December 29, 2017 at the age of 80. Lester was born and raised at the family ranch south of Ainsworth to Foster and Ruby (Stewart) Stufft. He attended rural school and worked on the ranch. Later he drove truck for a construction company and also hayed for neighbors, helped with ranch chores, and also helped drill water wells around the area. Lester married Barbara Wheeler, of Long Pine in 1958. They had six children and continued to live at the ranch. His mother Ruby had him assist her with the weather readings for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Later on Lester took over the duties of reading the temperatures, and precipitation twice daily, and reporting to the North Platte Weather Station. He received several awards for his service to the NOAA which included the Benjamin Franklin, Edward H. Stoll, Thomas Jefferson, John Campanius Holm, and the Richard Hagemeyer awards. Lester was also presented a Life Time Achievement Award for the Stufft family for the weather service. Lester’s interests were gardening, and raising Gladiolus flowers, which he delivered around town when they were in full bloom. He also enjoyed the ranch life, branding, and calving, as well as his grandkids and helping out neighbors. Receiving the Nebraska Pioneer Ranch award this fall was a highlight for Lester as well. Lester was preceded in death by his parents, Foster and Ruby Stufft; sisters, Dorothy Menchau (Orville), Vera Goodrich (Gerald), and most recently on January 6, 2018, Eveyln Moody (Leland); brothers, Harold and James Stufft. He is survived by his children, Shiela Baragar (Allen), of Ainsworth, Franklin Stufft of North Pole, AK, Curt Stufft of Ainsworth, Shana Harper (Chad) of Paulina, IA, Garret Stufft, of Elgin and Michael Stufft (Loretta) of Mesa, AZ; four grandkids, Logan Baragar of Ainsworth, Irene Stufft of Alaska, Jarren and Kaitlyn Harper of Iowa. Brothers, William Allen Stufft (Roberta) of Albuquerque, NM, and Francis Stufft (Haroldine) of Stromsburg; and sister-in-law, Nona Stufft. Memorial Services were held on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the Hoch Funeral Home in Ainsworth, with Pastor Gary Graesser officiating. A family graveside will be held at the Ainsworth Cemetery at a later date.