Heaven gained the most beautiful soul on May 20, 2024, when Byrtilla Belle (Miller) Lichtenberger died at 97 years of age in Fairbury, Nebraska with family at her side. She was born, the daughter of Thomas and Emma (Hackbarth) Miller, on August 18,
1926 on a farm, north of Morrowville, Kansas. Byrtilla was the eighth child out of eleven. She attended rural Lowe Center School. Growing up through the depression, her family lived primarily off the land through hunting and gardening. With such a large
family, Byrtilla always helped with chores at home and on the farm, learning from her mother and older siblings. She gardened, cooked, canned, sewed and helped neighbors with their children. During that time in rural Kansas, cooking was done on a wood stove with no electricity.

In 1943, a young 20 year-old Rex approached 18 year-old Byrtilla Miller at a dance hall in Reno, Kansas, asking her if he, “Could hang up her coat?” Their romance bloomed, and the couple later married on February 8, 1945. Rex often spoke of this
meeting saying “she came in with her folks and the rest is history.”
Out of this union, two daughters were born, Rosalie and Ruth. While raising the family, Byrtilla was a homemaker, while Rex worked at Boogart’s Grocery. Starting in 1966, Byrtilla worked eleven years at the Fairbury Hospital as a Nursing
Assistant. After the kids were grown, in 1977 Rex was promoted to manager at Boogart’s and Byrtilla and Rex moved to Beatrice, where they resided for 43 years.

Byrtilla is survived by two daughters, Rose (Larry) Bergerson of Ashland, NE and Ruth (Dr. Guy) Stewart of Fairbury, NE; five grandchildren, Angie (John) Roderique, Chad Ferguson (Rochelle), Sara Boudty, Ashley (Chris) Bell, and Landon (Danni) Stewart; and ten great-grandchildren; Alecia Zauha and Evan Roderique, Madalyn and Isabelle Boudty, Cole and Reese Ferguson, Celia and Vaughn Bell, and Skye and Ellie Stewart. She is also survived by sister-in-law Joann Lichtenberger.

Byrtilla was preceded in death by her husband, Rex Lichtenberger, great grandson, Cash Bell, parents, Thomas and Emma Miller, sisters Anna Terpening, Minnie Terpening, Elda Adkins, Hilda Hauschel, Gladys Novak, Evelyn Hinel, Martha Harris, brothers, Luther Miller, Delmer Miller and Harold Miller.


Our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to Dr. Wergin, the caregivers at Heritage, and AseraCare Hospice for their care and compassion.

Services will be Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 11:00 a.m. at Gerdes-Meyer Chapel in Fairbury with Darlene Novotny officiating. Memorials will go to Juvenile Diabetes Foundation or Fairbury Cemetery Association. Burial will be in the Fairbury Cemetery. Gerdes-Meyer Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements. www.gerdesmeyerfh.com