John Allen Sahs
John Allen Sahs died of natural causes on Jan. 29, 2016 in the presence of family and friends at The Homestead in Lincoln.
Services will be held Saturday, April 9 at 11 a.m. at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 2001 S 11th Street in Lincoln. Lunch will be served at the church following the service.
John Sahs memorials c/o Larsen Tractor Museum Friends. PO Box 830833 Lincoln, Neb. 68583-0833 or to Immanuel Lutheran Church.
John retired from the Nebraska Department of Health Planning in 1995 after 25 years as Director of Health Policy, Comprehensive Planning, and Data Management. He returned as an Administrator and Policy Analyst until retiring for good in 1997. Governor Ben Nelson proclaimed Dec. 19, 1997 as John Sahs Day for his contributions to public health and his commitment to maintaining the “Good Life” for the citizens of Nebraska.
Born Oct. 7, 1924, John, the youngest of six children, grew up on a farmstead outside of Carroll. After high school John joined the Navy and graduated from the Naval Aviation Radio, Radar and Gunnery School in 1945. Having grown up in an era when tractors began to replace the horse drawn plough, John developed a keen interest in the impact machines, technology and automation have on labor and efficiency. John pursued this interest earning a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Nebraska in 1952. As secretary of the treasury and house business manager of Farmhouse Fraternity, John made many lifelong friends and acquaintances including his soon to be wife of 61 years, Shirlee Luby. The couple married in August 1952 and relocated to Detroit, Mich. where John began work at Massey Ferguson, and later, the Ford Motor Company. In 1957, John’s attention turned from tractors to rockets when he joined the Chrysler Missile Division. As a manager in the Missile and Space Information Center servicing the Department of Defense and NASA, John spent nearly a decade establishing feasibility, cost estimates and implementation plans for the Minuteman, Redstone, Jupiter and Saturn programs. From 1966—1970, John further refined his skill of using technology to analyze and manage data as a Methods Specialist at the Chrysler Automotive Production Plant. A skill set that served him well for decades at the Nebraska Department of Health.
An avid gardener all his life, John and Shirlee were canning specialists, filling the fruit cellars of their homes through the years with every variety of vegetable including John’s homemade apple sauce, and, much to the odorous dismay of next door neighbors, his sauerkraut prepared in a huge crock in the basement. John loved to read and amassed an impressive library as a resident of The Homestead where he was a member of the resident steering committee and enjoyed various activities including sing-a-longs and one of his favorite card games, 10-point pitch.
Well into his 80s, John wrote a brief memoir of his childhood for his family and grandchildren saying that “Despite the extremes in weather, the farm was a wonderful place to be. Waking up on a crisp and clear October day was something else”.
Survivors include his seven children, Linda, Tanya, Jeff, Jan, Will, Jenny and Matt; and nine grandchildren, Amanda, Luke, Leah, Justin, Emma, Jessica, Ashly, Breanna, Sean, Claire and Owen.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Minnie and Albert; wife Shirlee; brothers, Gilmore and Warren, and sisters Margaret, Irene and Edith.