Milford Afrank, 87, of Cedar Rapids, NE, passed away on Friday, August 26, 2016 at the Cloverlodge Care Center in St. Edward, NE of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
Funeral Services will be 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at the United Methodist Church in St. Edward with Rev. Vern Olson officiating. Interment will follow at Rose Hill Cemetery in Albion, NE with Military Rites conducted by the Dan Cox American Legion Post #44 of Cedar Rapids, NE. Visitation will be 5 – 7 p.m. Tuesday at the church.
Memorials may be given in Milford’s memory of his courageous struggle in the face of ALS to the ALS Association, Mid-America Chapter, 10730 Pacific Street, Suite 103, Omaha, NE 68114.
Levander Funeral Home of Cedar Rapids, NE is in charge of arrangements.
Milford Melvin Afrank was born on July 23, 1929, on the family farm near Cedar Rapids, Nebraska, to parents, Chris and Johanna (Ter Mors) Afrank. He received his education at Plum Center School District #9 east of Cedar Rapids, Nebraska, and Albion High School. Milford grew up in a hardworking farm family near Cedar Rapids, Nebraska. Milford was proud of his service for the United States Army during the Korean War where he entered via the draft on December 7, 1953, and was honorably discharged in October 1955. Milford was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, where he received certification as an expert sniper.
Milford and Marilyn Johnson were married at St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church in Rosenborg, Nebraska, on June 3, 1956. Milford and Marilyn farmed near Cedar Rapids, Nebraska for 50 years. Milford and Marilyn raised both crops and animals on the farm, where they were true life partners, down to wearing their matching seed-corn jackets. Milford developed a love of land and nature’s cycles for the crops. He became a very astute agri-businessman embracing technology to monitor farm prices and trading futures and options before these practices became commonplace in managing farm risk. He enjoyed dancing with Marilyn, boating, bus trips and visiting with his family and their children after long work days on the farm.
In 2009, Milford and Marilyn moved to St. Edward, Nebraska. In 2010, he moved to Cloverlodge where he was joined by Marilyn in 2012. Milford enjoyed visiting with family and friends, watching TV, and going for rides in his van to monitor the growth and yield of crops in the fields.
Milford instilled in his children and grandchildren the boundless love and strength of an everlasting relationship with your partner. Milford and Marilyn were inseparably intertwined for over 60 years. They would get each other up in the mornings at Cloverlodge, knowing that each day was another day they could spend together despite the challenges each faced. Their devotion to each other, their “us against the world” mentality and the way in which they led their lives serves as an inspiration to their children and grandchildren.
Milford’s smile and laughter lit up a room! He loved a good joke. His contagious sense of humor never failed to get us all laughing over something until we couldn’t speak. We will all miss his wonderful smile and his eternal goodbye wish “Love You!” when you left Cloverlodge.
Milford is survived by: his wife Marilyn, of 60 years, of St. Edward, NE; his daughters: Jo Kinberg and husband Kirk of Lincoln, NE; Jan Afrank and Darla Zink of Omaha, NE; three granddaughters: Erin Panowicz and husband David of Omaha, NE; Hannah Neuhaus and husband Alex of Omaha, NE; and Kelsey Kinberg of San Francisco, CA; brother and sister-in-law: Ray and Sharlene Afrank; sister-in-law and brother-in-law: Loreta and Roger Olson; sister-in-law: Faye Gray; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by two brothers: Henry Afrank and Vic Afrank; two sisters: Dena Johnson and Christina Gray; and his parents.