Elizabeth Catherine Spitzenberger

Elizabeth Catherine Spitzenberger

November 27, 1946 – May 5, 2024

Elizabeth Catherine Spitzenberger (née Hynes) left this world on Sunday, May 5th, 2024, peacefully, at home, and in her sleep.  Her age is nobody’s business.  She was a timeless beauty until the very end.  After a lifetime of enriching the world around her, the Lord has called her home to continue shining as an angel in heaven.  To know her was to love her.

Liz was the baby of eight children born to Matthew and Helen Hynes (née Rotherham) in O’Neill, Nebraska.  She spent her childhood at her father’s pool hall in O’Neill and remained a skillful shark throughout her life.  Elegant and graceful, her beauty and wit did not preclude resilience, and she was that rare symphony of glamor, salt, style, and fortitude.  Understandably, it was not long before she found love in her darling husband, James Oscar Spitzenberger, whom she met in O’Neill.

Her marriage to Jim would take her coast to coast and beyond, creating treasured memories in San Francisco, Denver, Athens, GA, and more, before finally settling in Omaha.  Together with Jim, Liz raised three wonderful children, Joe, Nicole, and Catherine.  She kept a nurturing, inviting home always filled with her delicious cooking and a dog or cat or two.  Her children will always cherish their caring childhoods with Liz.

She volunteered for charitable organizations much of her life and in her spare time she loved to read mystery novels including authors Sue Grafton and Agatha Christie.  Liz was a devout Roman Catholic her entire life.  She loved great wine and food and had fun times with her book club and birthday group.  She spoke often of her cherished girlfriends.

Liz retained her lifelong affinity for the finer things, insisting on travels to Kansas City for hair appointments and remaining a talented shopper.  With Jim, she traveled often to New Orleans for the jazz festival, reveling in the food, music, and culture.  She even visited South America with her granddaughter, Elizabeth, and daughter-in-law, Kara, expanding her comfort zone and enjoying the gilded historical churches and unique marketplaces in the Andes.  She spent her final two decades spoiling her grandchildren Elizabeth, David, Michael, and Finn, for whom nothing was too grand or indulgent.  Along with Jim, Liz taught them to play pool, pray to their guardian angels, and never to be ornery.  They are lucky now to have a guardian angel in their grandmother in heaven.

She was predeceased by her parents Matthew and Helen, siblings Pat, John, Margaret, Mary, Matt, and Bill.  She is survived by her husband Jim, brother Terry, children Joe (Kara), Nicole, and Catherine (Heath), grandchildren Elizabeth, David, Michael, and Finn, and many nieces and nephews.

For those who never knew her, we are sorry for your loss.

We appreciate your love and support during this difficult time.


VISITATION: Friday, May 10th, 5 to 7 p.m., at West Center Chapel, 7805 W. Center Rd., followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7 p.m.

MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Saturday, May 11th, 10 a.m., at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 11802 Pacific St.

Private Family Burial, Omaha National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Child Saving Institute.

To view live broadcasts of the Vigil Service and Mass, please

visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.


  • Liz Reinhardt Posted May 6, 2024 1:22 pm

    My condolences to you all, what a big loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. She was a beautiful person in all ways and I loved seeing and speaking to her recently.
    Liz Reinhardt

  • sarah turner Posted May 7, 2024 5:43 pm

    Liz had such a calming presence. When I was around her it felt as though the room was instantly elevated. I will miss her presence and grace. My love to all of her cherished loved ones. The Mertzes (Sarah Turner, Josh, Turner and Ella)

  • Traci MGinn Posted May 7, 2024 8:33 pm

    So sorry🙏 she was a beautiful soul. Rest in both peace ✌️ & reincarnation Liz!!

  • Seán De Viam Posted May 7, 2024 9:19 pm

    Traci McGinn has highly talked about Liz quite often! Please rest well Liz and my condolences to all her loved ones!

  • Elizabeth J Schneider Posted May 8, 2024 5:04 am

    May God give my Aunt peace and her Soul, rest. May He give her dear family and friends strength in the days ahead. Bless her Soul. With deepest sympathies, Liz Schneider

  • VaReane Heese Posted May 8, 2024 3:16 pm

    Cathy and I attended St. Mary’s together. In later years, I was lucky to have Joe as a first grade student in Lincoln, Nebraska. Your loss is very clear to me as my husband died earlier this year, also at home. Even though home hospice was difficult, it provided he and I and our sons and their families with much treasured time together. All of you will be in my daily prayers going forward.

  • Thomas and Betty Forster Posted May 8, 2024 8:33 pm

    God bless Liz. Our sympathy to you Jim and your family.

  • Kate Hauter Posted May 8, 2024 9:56 pm

    May all who grieve her loss be surrounded by love, peace and grace. Aunt Liz was a beautiful person inside and out. She gave so much of herself to all those she loved. Heaven gained an angel full of grace, beauty, love and light, rest in peace and perfect light Aunt Liz.

  • Gayle Murphy Posted May 9, 2024 7:32 pm

    I haven’t seen Kathy in years, but we were childhood friends and went to high school together. Her spirit and energy will be missed. My condolences to Jim and the family.

  • Fr. Jim Clifton, SJ Posted May 10, 2024 4:38 pm

    Joe: I remember you well from Prep. I am so sorry to learn of the death of your mother. I will remember her at Mass this Sunday, asking God to hold her close in eternal life and to console your family.

  • Pam Crowe Posted May 11, 2024 7:53 pm

    My heart is broken. Liz was a beautiful., kind, funny person. I’ll miss her so much. She was a wonderful friend.

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