Dean Elvin Thornburg, 93 years of age, of Beatrice passed away at his home on Friday afternoon, March 10, 2023. He was born on June 6, 1929 in Beatrice to Elroy and Zella (Barnard) Thornburg. Dean attended Inavale Country School and was a 1947 graduate of Beatrice High School. Dean served his country in the United States Air Force from October 1950 until April 1954, serving most of his service in Okinawa, Japan. Dean and E’Linda Lou Evans were married on February 14, 1955 and from this union they raised four sons: Kim, Kent, Kirk, and Mark. Farming was very important to Dean and he was proud to farm the ground that his great grandfather homesteaded. Dean was an active member of the First Christian Church, where he served as church board chairman and then as Elder Emeritus. He was very active in community organizations and served as chairman of several organization boards including the March of Dimes, the Southeast NE Co-op Board, the Beatrice Cemetery Board, and the Blue Valley Mental Health Board. In 2015, Dean served as the Grand Marshal of the Homestead Days Parade. Dean enjoyed water and snow skiing and visiting the family cabin in Estes Park, Colorado. He also loved refurbishing buggies and antique tractors and raising cattle, always looking forward to calving season. The most important thing to him was his family and spending time with them.

Survivors include wife E’Linda; four sons: Kim E. Thornburg and wife Connie of Pickrell, NE, Kent A. Thornburg and wife Laura of Whitney, NE, Kirk D. Thornburg and wife Denise of Beatrice, NE, and Mark E. Thornburg and wife Barb of Papillion, NE; 11 grandchildren: Wade (Emily) Thornburg, Cassie Thornburg, Rebeca Thornburg, Tyson Thornburg, Angelina Thornburg, Jenna (Jonas) Larsen, Jessi (Jarod) Remmers, Liz (Brett) Bartholomew, Zander (Jeremy Vinton) Thornburg, Gabby (Brett) Alfrey, and Ben (Jenna) Thornburg; 10 great grandchildren; and brother JT Thornburg and wife LoIda of Beatrice. Dean was preceded in death by his parents, Elroy and Zella (Barnard) Thornburg, sister Leona (Monty) Yarger, and sister-in-law Eleanor (Forrest) Haggard.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday, March 18, 2023 at the First Christian Church in Beatrice with Pastor Mike Hanneman officiating. The service will be Livestreamed at Interment with military honors provided by the US Air Force and the American Legion Riders at the Evergreen Home Cemetery. The body will lie in state Friday from 10:00 AM-8:00 PM at the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice with the family greeting friends from 6-7:30 PM, and in state at the church an hour preceding the service on Saturday. A family prayer service will be held at 12:45 PM Saturday at the church. A memorial has been established to the First Christian Church with the funeral home in charge. To view service information, to leave a memory of Dean, and to watch the Livestream and video tribute go to

 These services have been entrusted to the Griffiths-Hovendick Chapel in Beatrice.