Beryl Ristine was born July 28th, 1924, to Luther C. Ristine and Opal (Gibson) Ristine north of Cozad and Gothenburg. He died in Santa Maria, California on January 26th, 2012.
Inurnment will be at Fort McPherson national Cemetery at Maxwell, Nebraska, as he planned long ago. The Gothenburg Honor Guard will serve military rites with an Air Force Flag-presentor and bugler on October 1st, 2012, at 11 a.m. Family, old neighbors and Gothenburg High School friends are invited to attend the simple ceremony.
Growing up as a depression-era farm boy, he knew a life of hard times and no frills. There were too many chores and too few games. When he was about 13, his father married Thelva Elliott. He often listed Thelva as his mother from then on. He worked for aunt Nina Ristine's farm during the winter and rode his bike into Gothenburg where he attended high school until his senior year when his father moved to Waco to open a barber shop. He finished his senior year though he always attended his class reunions in Gothenburg.
In a short time, he enlisted in the army. He was trained Air/Ground Radio Operations and saw the end of World War II in Germany, where as a member of the occupational forces, he processed prisoners of war. After a short break in service and some college classes, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, continuing in Radio Communications, then retraining into the missile field. He had duty in several U.S. states, France, Germany, Turkey and Kwajalein Atoll. During all these assignments, he enjoyed traveling as much as possible. He retired as a MSgt in 1970 at Vandenburg AFB and went to New Zealand to work as a photo engraver, using skills learned through his hobby of photography. He traveled those islands and Australia extensively. After two years, he returned to the U.S. via a trip around the world, which included a train trip across Siberia. Resettling in Santa Maria, he drove school busses for the Santa Maria School District and did administrative work as a civil servant at Vandenburg, AFB.
Upon going into full-retirement, Beryl began traveling in earnest; bus and air trips all over the country, including Mexico and Canada; back to New Zealand and Australia; 17 cruises, including the Panama Canal, Alaska and a river cruise through Russia; a trip to China; a flight over the north pole to Sweden. As a member of the Santa Maria seniors travel club, he was frequently 'on the bus'. One year he won their award for Most Active Traveler. He took pride in his travels and left many pictures and journals of his travels.
He was a regular on the golf course at Vandenburg AFB for many years until a shoulder injury got in the way; then, he walked the course for the camaraderie and exercise.
Beryl enjoyed music and leaves hundreds of audio tapes; eight track, cassettes and reel to reels. He recorded many of them himself to include light classical, popular and country.
He liked to be out of the house and active, even when it was only for breakfast at Kay's Country Kitchen or coffee at McDonalds or Albertsons.
He is survived by a brother, Archie of Ellensburg, Washington; sister, Helen Voisey of Webster Texas; half-sister, Kay Etherton of Cozad; Stepsisters, Joan (Gary) Waugh, of North Platte; Jeanne (Larry) Brooks of Cozad; Cheryl (Roger) Nespor of Milford, Nebraska; and Lois (James) Hughes of Nashport, Ohio and numerous nieces and nephews.
Beryl was preceeded in death by his father, Luther, his stepmother Thelva, his mother, Opal and two half sisters, Nellie and his sisters, Doris Johnson and Kathleen Ristine; step brother, Austin Bates and close cousin, Burton Ristine.
He was cremated at Magner-Maloney Funeral Home in Santa Maria, California with inurnment at Fort McPherson National Cemetery, at 11 a.m. on October 1st, 2012.