Victoria J. Preister
December 17, 1931-October 17, 2023
Visitation: Thursday, November 2, 2023, 5-7 p.m., at the West Center Chapel, followed by a Vigil Service: at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial: Friday, November 3, 2023, 10:30 a.m., St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 11802 Pacific St. Interment: Omaha National Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church or to the Charity of your choice. To view a live broadcast of the Service, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.
Victoria Josephine Preister was born on December 17, 1931, to John and Lucy Rist on their farm five miles southeast of Humphrey, Platte County, Nebraska. She was the second of four children. She lived on this 160-acre crop and dairy farm until she was married.
Vicki attended Saint Mary of the Angels Elementary School, located near the farm, and Saint Francis High School, in Humphrey, where she graduated in 1949. She attended Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska, during the summer following her graduation and earned a teaching certificate. Her first employment as an educator was in a one-room schoolhouse several miles south of the family farm where she taught for one year. She taught the next two years at a country school west of Tarnov.
Vicki met Larry Preister in 1948. During this time, Larry was living in Michigan and visiting Nebraska, and Vicki was dating Larry’s cousin, Norb Zimmerer. Larry never forgot the date: July 5, 1948. On this date, Larry was with Norb when Norb stopped in to see Vicki on the farm. Larry’s focus was set. Although Larry continued to live and work in Michigan for several years, he saw Vicki over the course of several visits to Nebraska. He moved to Platte County in 1951, and Larry and Vicki started dating. They became engaged in June, 1952.
Vicki and Larry were married at Saint Mary of the Angels Church on September 30, 1952. After their honeymoon in Yankton, South Dakota, they moved to Omaha. They initially lived in the Midtown and Benson areas, but eventually settled in the Westgate neighborhood, where they raised seven children. The improbable birth order of their children is boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, boy. Larry earned the family income as a milkman, and later as an insurance agent, while Vicki cared for the kids. The family moved to a home on Shirley Street in 1973.
Vicki started taking night and summer classes at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1966. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education in 1969, and started teaching elementary school in Omaha. She continued her education and earned a Master’s degree in Education from UNO in 1974. For a number of years she taught first grade at Pawnee Elementary School, before changing to fifth grade. Later in her teaching career she was a reading specialist at Horace Mann Middle School. Vicki continued to teach school until 1988.
Vicki and Larry enjoyed life in their retirement years. They had many friendships and social activities. For many years, they spent two months each winter at a condominium on the Texas Gulf Coast in Port Aransas. Since 2010, they lived at Maple Ridge Retirement Community in the company of many good friends. Larry passed away in 2020. To the end, their marriage was the epitome of love, mutual respect, and fun family times.
Vicki enjoyed reading, doing puzzles, playing cards, and socializing with her wonderful friends at Maple Ridge. She also enjoyed visiting with her grandchildren (12), great-grandchildren (15), and other friends and relatives. In late September, she traveled to a family gathering in Colorado Springs where she and everyone else had a great time.
Vicki lived a remarkable 91 years filled with love, laughter, and unwavering kindness. She was not only a teacher, but also a caring mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, cherished sister and aunt who made every visit special, a neighbor whose door was always open, and a friend who could brighten the darkest days with her wonderful sense of humor and joy for life.
Her presence in Platte County, Westgate, Shirley Street, Maple Ridge, and locations beyond, made the world a better place, and her kindness was a source of comfort for all who knew her. She loved to have fun, and even during the toughest times, she’d sprinkle positivity and reassurance to lift our spirits.
Although she is no longer with us in the physical sense, her love, wisdom, and laughter will forever remain in our hearts. She was a source of inspiration and a shining example of a life well-lived. As we say goodbye, we are grateful for the incredible woman she was and the enduring love she leaves behind.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Larry; brother, Clem Rist; sisters, Clarine Loseke (Leland) and Geraldine Wiese (Lenny); and son-in-law, Fred Love (husband of Mary Kay). She is survived by her children, Dave (Lisa), Cheri, Dan (Di), Mary Kay, Mike (Selina), Teresa (Don), and Bill (Tracy); sisters in-law, Sister Margaret Mary Preister and Delores Rist, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.