Laura E. Daehling


Laura E. Daehling

April 12, 1912 – Aug. 14, 2019

Laura Emma Daehling passed away as one of the oldest residents of Seward County on Aug. 14, 2019, at the age of 107 years, 4 months and 2 days. Laura was born in Seward County on April 12, 1912, to Benhard and Caroline (Brandt) Priess. She was raised on a farm near Malcolm with her four brothers and one sister. She attended District 52 rural parochial school through the eighth grade.

She met Fredrich (Fritz) Daehling at the Seward County Fair in the early 1930s. They were united in marriage on Dec. 27, 1933, at the Trinity Lutheran Church near Malcolm. They lived with his parents, Ernest and Marie, on their farm outside of Staplehurst. Laura helped with the farming, livestock, cooking and housework.

Their daughter Darlene was born in the same farmhouse where Fritz had been born. For a time, they had three generations living together on the farm. Laura enjoyed packing up the family to take draft horses to the state fair. She helped groom the stallions and prepared all the family’s food and camping gear. Laura loved going to baseball games to watch Fritz play ball (well into his 40s). They hosted many card parties and often had people over after church for Sunday dinner. When they weren’t working side-by-side on the farm tending to crops, livestock and chickens, moving irrigation pipe or chasing puppies and kittens, they would load up their fishing poles and go fishing at every opportunity.

Laura always had a large garden and put up hundreds of canned goods. She crocheted blankets, sewed quilts and baked her coveted cinnamon rolls and apple pies. She enjoyed watching Nebraska Cornhusker baseball, football and volleyball throughout her life, and on any given day she could tell you about the weather anywhere in the nation. Laura continued to reside on the farm even after Fred passed away in 1996. Her family convinced her to move to an apartment in Seward at age 95. Ten years later, she moved to Brookdale Assisted Living Center. Laura’s sharp mind never faltered; as a lifelong “wiz” with numbers, she often played the role of card scorekeeper well into her 90s. She remained, as always, interested in the whereabouts and activities of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Laura was preceded in death by her parents; her in-laws; her husband, Fred; her brothers and sisters-in-law, Adolph (Vera), Ben (Agnes) and Ted and Albert (Katherine); sister and brother-in-law, Florence (Leonard Kraus); her husband’s sisters and their spouses, Hulda (George) Meyer and Stella (Henry) Schaefer; as well as a grandson, Steven Wood, who died at birth.

Laura is survived by her daughter, Darlene and son-in-law, John Wood of Seward. She also has three granddaughters, Kelly Wood of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Susan Wood-Ellis and her husband Dr. Michael Onstad of Colorado Springs and Beth Wood and Traver DeMaranville of Doniphan; five grandchildren, John Ellis, Madeline Ellis, Michael Ellis, Kristopher Stading and Maridith Stading; several nieces, nephews, their children and their grandchildren, plus a host of other relatives and friends.

A funeral service was held Aug. 20, 2019, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Staplehurst, with the Rev. Shawn Kitzing officiating. A graveside service and interment were in Seward Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at


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