Darrel Marvin Jurgena died in the early morning of Thursday, March 2, 2023, at his home being cared for by loved ones. He was 92 years young. Born on February 13, 1931 to Pete and Edna Jurgena, Darrel was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church and graduated from Fairbury High School in 1948. After graduating high school, Darrel helped his dad farm and worked for Swansons Company for 6 years until the plant closed. He then enlisted in the Fairbury Army Reserves Unit in 1951 and one year later volunteered for 3 years of active duty, during the Korean War. After basic training, he felt blessed to be assigned to do Military Police work in Delta Alaska. Their mission in Alaska was to test out big equipment in very cold weather (sometimes as cold as 52 degrees below zero) and to be prepared to defend the U.S. in the case of an invasion. During this time, he also enjoyed managing the base bowling alley as a side job for extra cash.

After completing his 3 years of military duty, Darrel chose to forego a career in farming and set out for the big city of Omaha. He was hired at AT&T, where he worked for the next 30 years. He chose to retire from there at age 60 years, when the company offered an early retirement benefit due to downsizing. In his young adulthood, Darrel enjoyed being a bachelor and spending lots of time with his siblings, nieces and nephews.



On January 7, 1977, he married his sweetheart of 5 years, Renie, and exactly 6 months later adopted their only child, Shana, who was 7 years old at the time of her adoption. They spent most of their marriage living in Omaha, NE. After retirement, Darrel and Renie sold their home, stored their possessions for 1 year and toured the United States. They spent most of their winters in South Padre, so Darrel could pursue his passion of fishing in the Ocean with his high waters and life jacket on. They came home each spring with their coolers full of fish fillets.  Eventually, Darrel convinced Renie to move with him back to Fairbury, his childhood small town. After Renie passed in 2015, Darrel sold his camper and enjoyed tending his flowers and continuing to hunt and fish locally with his brother and nephews. Darrel was thrilled to recently celebrate his 92nd birthday here, achieving his much desired goal to be the longest living member of the Jurgena family.

Darrel is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Shana & Tony Romero of Omaha; his grandsons Kole and Dillon Romero; his brother Harvey (Sharon) Jurgena of Fairbury; many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Renie; his parents; sister Venetha Retzlef; sister Vera Monroe; sister Verda Schipper; brother Orval Jurgena; and a few nieces and nephews. Darrel was a kind soul, who embraced the simple things in life, and he will be greatly missed by many family and friends.

Services will be Tuesday, March 7, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Fairbury. Memorials will go to Cottonwood Hospice. Gerdes-Meyer Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.  www.gerdesmeyerfh.com