Mary Lou Kline peacefully passed away Saturday, March 3, 2018 at the University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, CO. Her funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, at Faith Lutheran Church in Gering, with Rev. Richard Neugebauer officiating. Interment will follow in West Lawn Cemetery in Gering. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorials in Mary Lou’s honor be made to the family for later designation or to Faith Lutheran Church. Visitation will be held at the Bridgman Funeral Home in Scottsbluff on Wednesday, March 7 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Visitation will also be held at Faith Lutheran Church in Gering on Thursday, March 8 from 1 to 2 p.m. Her obituary may be viewed online at www.bridgmanfuneralhome.com where online condolences may be left for the family.
Mary Lou was born October 28, 1943, to Ida (Gerdes) and Norval Reno in Alliance. She was baptized into the Christian faith on March 23, 1948, and confirmed in the Lutheran Church (MS) on March 10, 1963. Mary Lou grew up in Alliance and graduated from AHS in 1960. On December 10, 1961, Mary Lou was united in marriage to Samuel J. “Sam” Kline, Jr. and they were blessed with three children, Christine, Claire, and Tim. They were residents of the Scottsbluff-Gering area since 1962.
Education was Mary Lou’s passion. She graduated from Chadron State College with a B.A. in Elementary Education in 1984 and also received a Graduate Certificate of Specialization in Gerontology (Study of Aging) from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1995. After she got those degrees, she did not rest on her laurels, she immediately applied all those gifts in her personal life as well as working with others. She decided that working with senior citizens was immensely rewarding and inspirational. Along with other community members, Mary Lou helped start several community activities to meet hundreds of seniors’ social, physical, intellectual, and emotional needs. Mary Lou was part of the committee that started the Fall Wellness Festival which later became the Spring Wellness Festival. Mary Lou’s energy was endless. In spite of these roles that she played in the community, she continued to have an actively nurturing role with her family. When Sam contracted cancer, Mary Lou devoted her love and energy to caring for Sam for over nine years. At the same time, she continued loving, caring, advising, and being involved with her children, grandchildren, and eventually, her great-grandchildren. Mary Lou always shared that she received many more blessings from her family than she was ever able to give. She felt that her great-granddaughters kept her young and energized. She taught them to love learning and to love Jesus. To her last day, Mary Lou was determined to be independent and to live her life to the fullest, with God’s help.
Mary Lou was a member of St. John’s and Faith Lutheran Churches where she served on various boards and committees. True to her passion for education, she enjoyed teaching Sunday School, Bible Class, and Vacation Bible School. Directing Vacation Bible School and the Childrens’ Christmas Program brought her great joy.
Survivors include children, Christine (Dave) Hopp, Claire Foster, and Tim (Stacey) Kline; grandchildren, Ashton Foster and Emily Kohut; great-granddaughters, Gracelyn and Maylyn Foster, all of Gering; sister, Judy Ehrenberger of Westminster, CO; brothers John (Susan) Reno of Omaha, NE, Bill (Sandi) Reno of Alliance, NE, Russ (Julie) Reno of Lincoln, NE; sister-in-law Janice (Gerald) Goetzinger of Martin, SD; step grandchildren Hannah (Clay) Johnson of Rozet, WY and Maggie (Ben) Fulk of Ocean Side, CA; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and grandson, C.J. Kohut.