HASTINGS — “It is with deep regret that I must fade into the sunset as I will be 90 years old October 12, 2020. It is amazing to me that I still feel that I am 20 years old and need to somehow continue on but …” These words were written by Dorothey “Dora” Hefner in July 2020 in a letter to her customers upon selling her credit bulletin business.
On Aug. 13, 2020, Dorothey’s spirit quietly left us to be with her precious Savior, Jesus and to reunite with her beloved husband, Lyle, and all those she knew and loved who went home to Heaven before her.
Dorothey was born Oct. 12, 1930, in Boelus to Edward and Florence (Crowe) Whitefoot, one of five children including a set of identical twin boys. She spent most of her early years living in Boelus. She often told the story of how she, at the age of 10, worked alongside her dad in his gas station grinding valves and washing spark plugs. She told how her dad would say to her “Dors, if you don’t want to go the extra mile in anything you do, just don’t even start it.” This was the beginning of her strong work ethic and her pursuit of excellence in her work and in her life.
At the age of 16, Dorothey and her mother moved to Grand Island where she attended and graduated from Grand Island Senior High in 1949. On Aug. 26, 1950, Dorothey was united in marriage to Richard L. “Dick” McFeely in Grand Island. The couple lived in several places in Nebraska including Omaha, Wahoo, Beatrice, Lincoln and Grand Island, with a brief time in Minnesota and Ohio. Four children were born to this union. On June 1, 1965, the couple started the Hall County Area Credit Bureau which Dorothey owned and operated until 2006, when she sold the credit bureau portion of her business.
On Nov. 10, 1982, Dorothey married Lyle Hefner. Lyle died Oct. 6, 2005. She and Lyle both had a deep love for Jesus and traveled in their RV to church-related meetings, conferences and revivals throughout the Unites States. Both were generous in helping others and sharing the word of God. She learned to play the piano by ear and had a God-given gift for writing praise and worship music. She led praise and worship for several churches and meetings.
The Lord was first in her life, but she loved and enjoyed her time with family and friends, going to garage sales and thrift stores, playing card games with her kids and grandkids, and spending time with her cat, Kiki, who preceded her in death.
Dorothy died Aug. 13, 2020, at Mary Lanning Healthcare in Hastings, at the age of 89. She experienced a beautiful, peaceful departure, surrounded by the love and respect of her four children.
She wrote these words to her customers: “I thank God who has given more than I could ever hope for, expect and for and live for in life. I do not deserve all that He has given to me. So, love Him and it will go well with you all the days of your life.” This was her story of a life lived well and to the fullest.
Survivors of the family include children, Patricia McFeely of Hastings, Mike McFeely of Oklahoma City, Okla., Rich McFeely of Plattsmouth, and Sally (Michael) Hunter of Mount Vernon, Iowa; 12 grandchildren; four step-grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Dorothey was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Lyle; three brothers, Lynn, Richard and Donald Whitefoot; a sister, Helen Anderson; and a son-in-law, Rick Palu.
A celebration of live service will be planned at a later date. Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.apfelfuneralhome.com
She wrote these final words in her letter: “I will miss the last 55 years of serving all of you and hope that you will also miss me a little bit, too.”
And we do …
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