David Henry Jellen

David Henry Jellen

March 28, 1944 – November 5, 2019

He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Jellen and Catherine Slobodnik Jellen. He is survived by his wife, Mary Beth Jellen; children, Karen Marie Smith (Alex), Mark David Jellen (Holli); grandchildren: Nathan, Eric, Michaela, Ava and Michael.

David Henry Jellen lived a life of grace, evident in his selfless giving to others. He dedicated his life’s work as an educator and devoted husband, father, and grandfather.

Dave most enjoyed spending time with family and friends! No matter if he was playing poker, partying in the Wyoming mountains, golfing, fishing or just having Tuesday coffee he relished the friendships and love.

Dave was born on March 28, 1944 in Omaha, Nebraska and grew up in South Omaha. After graduating from Ryan High School in 1962 he attended ­­­­Seminary. He finished his college years with a Master of Science from Creighton University.

While at Creighton Dave met his future wife, Mary Beth Glode at Duchesne College in Omaha. They were married at St. Anne’s Church in Saratoga, Wyoming on June 21, 1969.

Dave began his career as an educator at Paul VI High School in South Omaha and then moved onto Tech High School where he was able to work in the same building as his wife, Mary Beth. In 1973 Dave accepted a position in the Papillion Public Schools and began teaching Biology and Physiology at Papillion-La Vista High School. In addition to teaching, he made life-long friends, coached the Girls Golf team, served as a negotiation representative and was nominated by the student council for Morp Royalty.

During non-teaching times Dave and family spent their time in Saratoga Wyoming. Dave worked at Mary Beth family’s hardware store. When he wasn’t working he spent his time golfing and competing in the Shively Invitational, fishing and picnicking with family and friends.

Dave retired from teaching in May 2000. After retirement Dave and Mary Beth volunteered, traveled to new places all over the US and Europe and spent time enjoying family and friends.

Family will receive friends Monday, November 11th from 4pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel, followed by a VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Tuesday, November 12th, 10:30am, St. Columbkille Church, 200 E. 6th St.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Columbkille St. Vincent de Paul Society.




  • Mel Melcher Posted November 6, 2019 7:41 pm

    To Mary Beth and the immediate and extended family I want to extend my deepest sympathies for your loss. David was a respected colleague and great friend to all of us fortunate enough to work with him. He was a pleasure to be around and will be greatly missed.

  • Luanne & Bob Gray Posted November 8, 2019 9:26 pm

    So sorry & shocked to hear about Dave. Just so you know we are thinking about you & know that God will give you strength to get through the days .

  • Dave and Lane Patterson Posted November 9, 2019 9:34 am

    We are so sorry to hear of Dave’s passing. Such a great guy. We will miss him at the Senior luncheons and exercise class. Our prayers are with you Mary Beth and your family. May God give you comfort and peace.

  • Sr, IAnne Wente Posted November 9, 2019 11:04 am

    Dear Mary Beth, Karen, Mark and your families,
    What a tragedy to lose Dave without warning. Dave was such a warm, caretaker for so many and so full of life. I trust that your families and friends will be a loving support for your in this time of grief and adjustment.

  • Anne Wente Posted November 9, 2019 11:08 am

    Dear Mary Beth, Karen, Mark and your families,
    What a tragedy to lose Dave without warning! He was so full of life, gracious and caring of others. For 59 years Mary Beth, you and Dave created a beautiful marriage that reached our to encompass many people! Feel their support now. Love, Anne

  • Jud Kingman Posted November 9, 2019 5:56 pm

    I value Dave’s influence, inspiration, and encouragement. I am deeply sorry for your loss. All I can share is what King David said in 2 Samuel 12, that he knew his loved one would not come back to him, but that they would be together again. My prayer is that the hope of the Gospel comforts your hearts.

  • Joe and Sharon Rysavy Posted November 10, 2019 1:26 pm

    Mary Beth, Karen, Mark and family,
    We are sorry for your loss. Dave’s untimely passing is a sadness for all who knew him. We regret that we can’t be with you in Omaha to celebrate Dave’s life but know that you are in our thoughts. Dave was a long time friend. From Ryan High to Creighton to grad school and on into our senior years, we have many fond memories of Dave and Mary Beth, especially the recent days we spent with you both visiting us in Oregon. Nearly 50 years ago Dave was witness to our marriage, and he will forever be our “best man.”

  • Tabitha Bierly Posted November 10, 2019 5:34 pm

    Dave was a welcome addition to our family. A bonus grandpa to our kids, a friend to all those who knew him and was always there for us. I knew with him close by I never had to worry about my kids attending college in Nebraska as they always had someone looking after them. The many visits and times spent with Dave will never be forgotten. He was an amazing man who treated those he knew and even those he didn’t with compassion, respect and love. My heart breaks for the family. Love you all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all, the Bierly family!

  • Glenda Wallace Posted November 12, 2019 12:22 pm

    So sorry to hear of His passing! I have such great memories of leprechaun lane and the golf team at Papillion LaVista high! My thoughts and prayers are with your family during this time!!!

  • Adam Virant Posted November 13, 2019 9:29 am

    Dave was my Godfather, teacher, friend and supporter. I simply could not have been more blessed with a more honest but encouraging individual to grace my life. As a teacher he was tough but cared about every student and their desire to learn. As a friend and supporter, he was always positive and chose the right time to drop some dry humor that left me laughing for days. As a Godfather, his guidance and thoughtfulness made me feel safe and loved. Dave- thank you and may you rest in peace.

    My condolences to Mary Beth, Karen and Mark, and all of the grandchildren. May you find peace as you reflect on how great of a person Dave was throughout his life and the positive influence he had on so many.

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