Galen Nighswonger, 72, of Gering, NE, was ushered into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Sunday, November 22, 2020, after a courageous battle with COVID. He is survived by his loving wife of 17 years, Kim (Miller) Nighswonger; his daughters, GayLynn Hodges and Kara Berger; his sons, Todd and Josh Nighswonger; his siblings, Dennis Nighswonger and Lavonne Ward; twelve grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; mother-in-law, Karen Smith; brother-in-law, Kerry Smith; and an abundance of close family and friends.
Galen was born in Scottsbluff on October 17, 1948, and raised in La Grange, WY. He is the son of Harold and Wanda (Craton) Nighswonger, who preceded him in death. In his early years, Galen worked alongside his parents on the family ranch and farm. After graduating from La Grange High School in 1966, he attended John Brown University, earning a bachelor’s degree in history in 1971. Later, in 1998, he also received a master’s degree from the University of Wyoming in education administration.
Galen had numerous jobs and avid interests throughout his life, garnering many accomplishments. What marked each pursuit was his passion for people. He was a man gripped by the love and grace of God. Because of the assurance that he received in Christ, Galen loved and cared for others extravagantly. Whether it was his wife, kids, grandkids, family, church, or friends, he found true fulfillment in sacrificially serving them so that they, too, might find joy in life and flourish. He was a dedicated educator, administrator, and coach who labored diligently so that students, teachers, and athletes might live to their fullest potential. He worked in banking and later served the people of Cheyenne, WY, on the mayor’s staff. In each vocation, whether for business or on behalf of the community, he tirelessly endeavored to see others thrive. His loss will be felt by many.
There will be a viewing on Sunday, November 29, 2020, at Grace Chapel in Scottsbluff from 3:00-5:00 pm. The funeral will be officiated by Bruce Peterson at Grace Chapel on Monday, November 30, 2020, beginning at 10:30 am. Masks are required. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Grace Chapel and the Panhandle Humane Society. Online condolences may be made by visiting Galen’s memorial page at www.bridgmanfuneralhome.com. His service will be live streamed through Grace Chapel.