Cover photo for Jack L Claney's Obituary
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1925 Jack 2023

Jack L Claney

February 20, 1925 — December 8, 2023

Jack Claney

Jack Claney, son of the late William and Pearl Claney, was born February 20, 1925. Jack passed away Friday, December 8, 2023, at the Imperial Manor Nursing Home. He was 98 years of age.

Jack’s family has a long history in the Imperial community. In the fall of 1916, Jack’s grandfather, Frank, and father, Bill, made a trip from Coggin, Iowa, to Nebraska. They were very impressed with Chase County, Nebraska. In March of 1917, Bill purchased a farm just east of Imperial, Nebraska.

The Bill Claney family and daughters resided in Imperial for a short time while their farm home was being constructed east of Imperial. They moved to the farm home in 1919. Their sons, Jim and Jack, were born in the farm home east of Imperial.

Jack graduated from Chase County High School in 1942. Jack remained on the farm until 1945 when he enlisted in the Army. Jack did basic training at Camp Roberts in California. Upon completion of training, he was shipped to Germany to Central Intelligence school in Oberammergau. Jack served the remainder of his service in Munich with the CIA. Jack was discharged from the Army in March 1947.

Jack returned to farming in Imperial which also included wheat land in eastern Colorado. He commuted between both farms by piloting his own airplane and fondly became known as the “suitcase farmer” which for many years remained his call name.

On August 12, 1950, Jack was united in marriage to Helen Smith Sandman. Helen’s husband, Ralph Sandman Jr., died in 1946 leaving her with her daughter, Sylvia. Jack became the father to Sylvia and raised her as his own. In 1951 the Claneys were blessed with another daughter, Tonda. Jack and Helen lived on the farm east of Imperial for over 40 years.

Jack served as Commander of the Andrew Kinder Post No 4688 Veterans of Foreign Wars and also served on the Chase County Fair Board. Jack was one of a six-man team of Chase and Dundy County wheat growers sent to Washington in 1959 to meet with members of congress and appear before the committee which was considering proposed wheat legislation. Jack was also a member of the Chase County Stompers and a life member of the Imperial United Methodist Church. He also enjoyed golfing and hunting in his spare time.

Jack was a kind and compassionate man.

The illness that took Jack’s life never overcame his spirit. He passed away with courage and grace, knowing for certain that he will be with us forever, cherished by his family and friends for the love and laughter he brought into our lives.

Jack was preceded in death by his wife Helen; daughter Sylvia Polly; parents Bill and Pearl Claney; sisters Lois Foutz and Faye Blevins; and brother Jim Claney.

Survivors include:
Daughter: Tonda McGarr and husband Max of Imperial, NE.

3 Grandchildren: Christine Oetjen and husband Tim of Gilbert, AZ, Janette Reed and husband Eddie of Highlands Ranch, CO, and Russell Mann.

3 Great-Grandchildren: Zachary Oetjen of Gilbert, AZ, Brock and Emme Reed of Highlands Ranch, CO.

Nephews: Jimmy Claney of Springfield, MO, and Jerry Foutz of Salt Lake City, UT.

Memorial Services for Jack will be held Saturday, December 16, 2023, 10:30 a.m. (MT), at the Imperial Methodist Church, with Pastor Brian Loy and Chaplain Tyler Thiessen officiating. Inurnment with full military honors will follow at Mount Hope Cemetery, Imperial, NE.

A memorial, in Jack’s memory, has been suggested to the Andrew Kinder Post No 4688 Veterans of Foreign Wars, Imperial, NE. (Funds will be used for Mount Hope Cemetery flags)

On-line condolences may be left at

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Services

Saturday, December 16, 2023

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