James "Gary" Bottger
James "Gary" Bottger, 50 of rural Laurel, died Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 as the result of an automobile accident near Wayne.
Memorial services will be held Monday, Oct. 9 at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Wayne with full military rites. The Reverend Kyle Nelson will officiate. Memorial visitation will be held Sunday, Oct. 8 from 4 to 6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Wayne with family present.
Burial will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be directed to the family.
Memorials may be made to the Bowfishing Mentor Program Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation, PO Box 36, Waverly, Neb. 68462-0036.
Arrangements are with Hasemann Funeral Home of Wayne.
James Garrett (Gary) Bottger was born Oct. 15, 1966 in Lincoln, and spent most of his younger years in Ainsworth. He was baptized in the Congregational Church of Christ. Gary attended school in Ainsworth and graduated from Emerson-Hubbard High School in 1985. Following graduation, he enlisted in the Air Force on June 26, 1985 and was a Medical Administrative Specialist, stationed in places all over the world. Gary became a private civilian on Jan. 3, 1990 and moved to Sioux City, Iowa. He gained his knowledge of computer programming when he worked at Gateway and had his own computer business, Power Unlimited Consulting in Wayne. Gary was the IT Manager for R Way for 22 years. He was working at Great Dane in Quality Control at the time of his death. Gary married Bridget Boyle on Sept. 29, 1991 in Sioux City, Iowa. To this union one daughter, Jade Alyshia Bottger was born on Aug. 24, 1997. Jade was the apple of his eye and he spent hours sharing his love of the outdoors with her, patiently teaching her to call ducks. He was there for all her dance recitals, pageants, and taped every Wildcat dance routine he could. Gary was very proud of Jade’s academic accomplishments and so wanted to be there to watch her graduate as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. The marriage ended and when he met Lynn Schultz in April of 2013, she filled the lonely place in his heart. He was a role model for her younger daughter, Kristin, and he taught her daughter, Jennifer, to love hunting and fishing and his dogs. Gary was a most loving and giving man; he never met a person he didn’t like. Everyone was his friend and he loved to swap hunting and fishing stories with anyone who had a tale to tell. He was most trustworthy and honest, except he might have exaggerated a bit on some of the hunting and fishing yarns he spun. Gary loved his country and honored all the things the United States flag stands for. Besides hunting and fishing, he loved the environment, working with wood, taking photographs of the world around him, gardening, canning, cooking, and sharing the food he prepared. His specialty was cooking gar into a most delicious meal. Gary gave back to the community, especially the youth. In the summer of 2014, he and four other Hunter Safety Instructors started The Nebraska Bowfish Mentor program which focuses on sharing a love and passion of the outdoors with those who have not had the opportunity to experience it in this way.
Survivors include his daughter, Jade Alyshia Bottger of Wayne; mother, Jeannia (Rod) Bressler of Laurel; father, Don Jennings of Grand Island; adopted father, Bob Bottger; sister, Michelle Carlson of Winside; adopted brother and sister, Barron Bottger of Wickenburg, Ariz. and Laura Musgrove; uncle, Bob Jennings (Delora) of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho; nephew, Justin Tullberg (Lauren); niece, Donya (Mat) Topp, and nephew, Brock Carlson; two great nephews and a great niece; special friend, Lynn Schultz, Jennifer, and Kristin Schultz all of Wisner; two special hunting dogs, Hope and Dozer; and a host of really good friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Wally and Mary Jo Curtis and Bob and Beulah Jennings; adopted grandparents Emil and Helen Bottger; Mark Nyberg; uncle Mike Jennings; and mentor, Cecil Haun who taught him to love fishing and how to fillet a fish like a pro.
Honorary pallbearers will be Justin Tullberg, Troy Hartman, Brian Hansen, Brock Carlson, Eric Frasch and Tom Ford.