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Leona Paustian - October 14, 2011

Leona Mae Paustian was born in the rural Dundy County community of Lux on May 4, 1909, to Frank and Carrie (Nuding) Buffington and went home to be with her Lord and Savior on Oct. 14, 2011, at the Chase County Hospital in Imperial, Neb.
Leona was baptized in a small stream north of Haigler, Neb. She attended Haigler High School, leaving at age 16 to move to the Wauneta area.
On June 2, 1927, Leona wed George Schwenk, Jr. in Wray, Colo. The couple lived south of Wauneta where George farmed and Leona was a homemaker. A son, Emerson, was born to them in 1928, followed by daughter Joan, in 1932. In 1946, they moved to Wauneta, with George continuing to farm on the South Divide. With brother Tom, Leona purchased the Whiteway Grocery store.
Following George’s sudden passing in 1956, Leona moved to Colorado Springs, Colo., where her parents resided. She took a job as a cashier at Sears and Roebuck where she remained for a total of 15 years. Leona also became a landlord at that time. While in Colorado Springs, Leona married Chuck Jobbins, only to have him pass away a year later.
Leona continued to succeed at her job at Sears and managing rental property. In the early ’70s she met and married Elmer Paustian and moved to Leadville, Colo., where she opened a business in their home.
Leona and Elmer decided to return to Wauneta, Neb., in late 1973 to escape the Colorado winters in Leadville. Elmer died suddenly while making a return trip to Colorado during the move.
Leona enjoyed gardening, needlework, crossword puzzles and cooking. As an avid reader, she read the Bible daily. She was an active member of The Church of the Nazarene for many years, serving on the board and holding several offices. She could always be counted on to provide a homecooked dish for any church event or family gathering.
Leona was preceded in death by her parents; her three husbands; three brothers: Harold Buffington, Thomas Buffington and Ed Buffington; sister, Edna McBride; son Emerson Schwenk; great grandson, Cody Sis and great great grandson Noah Brunkhorst.
Survivors are daughter Joan Denker; daughter-in-law, Joyce Schwenk; grandsons Matt (Tammy) Schwenk, Nick Schwenk and Kurt (Minnie) Denker; granddaughters Rhonda (Lynn) Brunkhorst, Janet (Rich) Keiser and Michelle (Steve-deceased) Sis; nine great grandchildren; four great great grandchildren; sisters-in-law Laura Buffington and Arlene Buffington; numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral services for Leona Paustian were held Tuesday morning, Oct. 18, 2011, at 11:00 a.m. (MT) at Redeemer Lutheran Church of Wauneta with Pastor Greg Stuckwisch officiating. Interment followed at Riverside Cemetery in Wauneta.
Visitation was held Monday afternoon Oct. 17, 2011, from 2-6 p.m. (MT) at the Funeral Home in Wauneta.
A memorial has been established to the Dundy County Hospital Foundation.
Online condolences can be left at
Liewer Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.