|Birth: ||Nov. 30, 1910|
|Death: ||Nov. 2, 2006|
Mary Nelson "Mary Nel" Neville Sieman died at the age of 95 in Omaha Hospice house in Omaha Nebraska. She was the oldest daughter born to Morell Keith Neville and wife Mary Virginia "Marie" (Neill) Neville. Her father was the 18th Governor of Nebraska in 1917. Her father's father was US Congressman William Harriman Neville and her father's mother was Mary Ann "Mollie" Keith.
Her family had a winter home in Pass-a-Grille Beach, Florida where she lived part of the year most of her life. She attended both North Platte Nebraska public schools and St. Petersburg Florida public schools until graduating from High School. Her college attendance included; St. Petersburg Junior College; Sweet Briar College and the University of Missouri where she received her B. A. degree. In her adult years she continued to take educational classes at Mid Plains Community College in North Platte, Nebraska and Art classes at various workshops around the country.
College Honors & Organizations included; Treasurer and Vice-President of Chi Omega Sorority; Art Honorary - Treasurer Delta Phi Delta; Student Government Association; Universal Chorus; Panhellenic Council; Y.W.C.A; Missouri Mermaids Swim Team; Vice-President, School of Fine Arts.
Her clubs & civic organizations included: American Association of University Women; North Platte & Omaha, Nebraska Chapters PEO; Children of the American Revolution; Daughters of the American Revolution, Junior; National Society Daughters of the American Revolution; DAR Page, Vice-Regent 1982-84, Regent 1984; Great Plains Regional Medical Center Auxiliary Charter Member, Vice President 1975, President 1976, '77, '80, '81, Secretary 1982-83; Community Playhouse Guild; Nebraska Humanities Council; Democratic Women's Club; Episcopal Church of Our Savior member; Episcopal Church Vestry; Episcopal Church Women, Secretary & President; Diocesan Board of the Episcopal Church Women of Nebraska; American Red Cross Swim Instructor; North Platte Canteen of WWII; Lincoln County Historical Society; Western Heritage Museum; Nebraska Historical Society; Neville Center for the Performing Arts, North Platte, Nebraska; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Nebraska; Opera Omaha Guild; Friends of Opera, Lincoln, Nebraska; Museum of Nebraska Art, Kearney, Nebraska; Lincoln County Genealogy Club; Smithsonian Institute; North Platte Country Club; Children's Memorial Hospital Guild, Omaha, Nebraska; Trinity Cathedral Omaha, Nebraska; All Saints Episcopal Church, Omaha, Nebraska.
Awards included The Cody Scout Award for Cultural Contributions in 1981, and she was nominated for Nebraska Arts Council Award in 1983.
On December 28, 1935 she married Frederick William "Fred" Sieman of North Platte, Nebraska at Episcopal Church of Our Savior in North Platte. Fred was born in Germany and emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 13 in 1923. Mary Nel and Fred Sieman made their home in Washington D.C. before returning to North Platte, Nebraska in 1938. They owned the Artificial Ice & Coal Company, later becoming Arrowhead Distributing, a beverage wholesale company. During WWII, she volunteered in North Platte's famous Canteen, giving food, drink, and cheer to military people traveling through on the train.
In 1955 Mary Nel drafted the floor plans and designed their new home at 315 West Circle Drive in North Platte. They moved into the home in 1956. Mary Nel continued to live in North Platte for many years after the death of her husband Fred in 1984. In her later years she moved to Bloomfield, an active retirement community in Omaha, Nebraska to be near her daughter Mary Ann Strasheim, her son in law Jerrold Lee Strasheim, and several of her grand children and great-grandchildren. She remained active and involved with family and community until nearly the end of her life when she was stricken with a stroke. She passed peacefully at Omaha Hospice house after a long fulfilling life.
The Neville family legacy lives on in the historic buildings of North Platte, that were originally part of the Neville holdings. Among them, the Pawnee Hotel, another the Fox Theater. The Fox Theater is now the Neville Center for the Performing Arts. At one time it might have been turned into a parking lot had it not been for the generosity of the Neville sisters. In 1980, the sisters gave the Fox Theater, built by their father in 1929, to the North Platte Community Playhouse as a memorial to their parents. The Playhouse conducted a fund drive to help pay for the costs of renovating the theater. With contributions and volunteer labor it became the Neville Center for the Performing Arts and the renovation earned the Playhouse a Governor's Arts Award in 1983.
Mary Nel was survived by her three sisters; her daughter and son-in-law Mary Ann (Sieman) Strasheim and Jerrold Lee Strasheim of Omaha; grandchildren; Sharon Lynn (Hanson) and husband Mark Douglas Frey, M.D.; Mary Elise (Hanson) Aust; John Frederick Hanson, all of Omaha; Alexander Ryder Strasheim of New York City; and Fredrick Ryder Strasheim and wife Maureen (Pudlowski) of St. Louis; 12 great-grandchildren; Natalie Rose Hanson; Julie Marie Aust; Brianne Marie Hanson; Brian Alexander Frey; James Gerald Aust; John David Hanson; Keith Frederick Frey; Adam Frederick Hanson; Sophie Pudlowski Strasheim; Sarah AnnMarie Hanson; Henry Pudlowski Strasheim; and Katherine Pudlowski Strasheim; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Neville Center for the Performing Arts, the Episcopal Church of Our Savior in North Platte, Nebraska or the Lincoln County Historical Museum. Services were held at 9:30 a.m. Monday at All Saints Episcopal Church, 9302 Blondo in Omaha. Graveside services were held at 5 p.m. Monday in the North Platte Cemetery, North Platte, Nebraska. Heafey-Heafey-Hoffman-Dworak-Cutler Mortuaries, West Center Chapel, Omaha, was in charge.
~bio by Mary Ann (Sieman) Strasheim.
Mary Nel or "Nella" as she was called by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren was deeply loved by her family, and was admired and respected by her peers. She made the world a better place with her thoughtful, loving kindnesses. She is deeply missed by her family.
M. Keith Neville (1884 - 1959)
Mary Virginia "Marie" Neill Neville (1883 - 1980)
Frederick William Sieman (1909 - 1984)*
Mary Nelson Neville Sieman (1910 - 2006)
Frances Elizabeth Neville Newberry (1911 - 2011)*
Virginia Neill "Jinx" Neville Robertson (1913 - 2008)*
Irene Morell Neville Bystrom (1918 - 2012)*
North Platte Cemetery
Plot: Lot 72, space 3
Created by: Shari Hanson Frey
Record added: Apr 18, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 36008308