Paul F. Kjar, 94 of Cozad, Nebraska, formerly of Lexington, Nebraska, died Sunday, September 30th, 2012, at Meadowlark Pointe in Cozad.
Paul was born November 17th, 1917, at Lexington to Carl and Clara (Duryee) Kjar. He graduated from Lexington High School in 1935.
Following high school, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served for 4 years. His time in the Navy allowed him to travel the world, visiting ports in a host of different countries.
Upon his discharge, Paul and a friend started a logging business in Washington State. He would eventually join the U.S. Army in 1942, and ended up in Raeford, North Carolina. Just a few years later, Paul married Odessa Kloepping on February 4th, 1944. The two had been neighbors in high school before Paul joined the Navy and after keeping in touch for years, Odessa rode the train from Lexington to North Carolina so that they could wed. Paul was part of the 551st Parachute Infantry Battalion, which suffered tremendous losses and adversities throughout WWII. Much of the Battalion was absorbed by other units during the war effort, leaving their story and sacrifices untold for years until an eventual Presidential Unit Citation was awarded nearly half a century later. Following his discharge in 1945, the couple made their home in Lexington, where they lived the majority of their married lives.
Paul and Odessa owned a service station in Lexington and later, a coffee shop downtown. Paul eventually came to work at the mill and elevator at Lexington, before going to work at Monroe Automotive in Cozad. He retired after 16 years at Monroe and subsequently took up maintenance for the Dawson County Fairgrounds. Most recently Paul and Odessa made their home at Meadowlark Pointe in Cozad, where they made many friends.
Paul was a member of the Lions Club. He enjoyed gardening and spending time woodworking. He was a tremendous storyteller and loved sharing them with family and friends alike. He was an avid Nebraska football fan and took pride in having taken his grandkids to their first games.
As a person, Paul was honest and true. He had a tremendous work ethic and took pride in doing the right thing. Paul possessed many of the powerful qualities that earned his generation the moniker ‘greatest’.
Paul was preceded in death by his daughter, Denise Kjar in March of 2012; two brothers, Carl and Bob; two sisters, Rosalie and Margaret.
Survivors include his wife of 68 years, Odessa Kjar of Cozad; son, Thomas (Peg) Kjar of Cozad; five grandchildren, Audra (Chris) Dishman of Malcom, Tony (Crystal) Kjar of Lincoln, Abbey Jones of Kearney, Andrew (Maira) Sherman of Lincoln, Nebraska, Jeremy Sherman of Lincoln; seven great-grandchildren; a brother, Gene Kjar of California; sister, Patricia Wieczorklowski of Arizona; sister-in-law, Lea Kjar of Lexington; and many other relatives and friends.
Services will be held (today) Thursday, October 4th, 2012, at 10 a.m. at the Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad with Father Don O’Brien officiating. Burial with military honors will be in the Cozad Cemetery.
A memorial has been established in his memory. Condolences may be shared at berrymanfuneralhome.com.
Berryman Funeral Home in Cozad is in charge of arrangements.