Harold "Dyke" Waitman, 86

Harold "Dyke" Waitman passed away on Friday November 23, 2012, just four days short of his 87th birthday. He and his wife Marge were celebrating Thanksgiving with his daughter, two granddaughters, four great-grandchildren and their great-great-granddaughter and their families.

Dyke was born in Bridgeport NE on November 27, 1925 in the old Riddle Hospital. Dyke grew up on the Center Valley Ranch west of Redington NE. He attended Bridgeport High School before joining the Navy during WWII serving in the North Pacific off the coast of Alaska as well as the eastern Pacific at the end of the war. He married Marjorie Henderson, of Bridgeport in Seattle WA on June 9, 1945 before returning to farming and ranching in Western Nebraska. He spent many of his years as a working cowboy on ranches and in management of feedlot operations in Colorado before retiring to Bridgeport in 1989.

Dyke and Marge loved to travel and explored most of the Central and Western states, researching family history and history of the Oregon Trail. They were instrumental in establishing the Paul and Helen Henderson Research Library at the North Platte Valley Museum in Gering, Nebraska. Dyke co-authored and published Sharing Rails, Trails, Tales with Paul and Helen Henderson,a biography of Paul and Helen,. with Marge and brother in law, Ross Boyer. Dyke wrote and published two other books, My Favorites Country Poems, and Maps of Manifest Destiny, which highlights maps from the Henderson library of the Oregon Trail and Pony Express Routes, and includes short stories of historic locations along each stretch of trail.

Dyke is survived by his wife Marge, three daughters, Terry Waitman and her husband Gary Blair of Oregon City OR, Paula and her husband Stephen Weatherford, of Mobile AL and Kitty and her husband Alan Kinoshita, of Greeley CO, as well as eight grand children, twenty great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter. He was proceeded in death by his parents John and Grace Waitman, his brother Max Waitman and grandson William Weatherford.

Funeral services will be held at the Bridgeport Memorial Chapel in Bridgeport NE on Thursday December 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm. Burial will follow at the Oregon Trail Memorial Cemetery in Bridgeport, NE with military honors by the U.S. Naval Honor Guard. Visitation will be Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the chapel.

Memorials are Paul Henderson Archives at North Platte Valley Museum and the Bridgeport Rescue Unit.

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