Five hundred people turned up for the funeral of our village clerk Saturday, July 26.
Good on his word, Governor Dave Heineman's (R) office and Secretary of State John A. Gale (R) on June 25 sent me a scan of the state proclamation the day before her funeral.
The governor changed one line of the draft proclamation I wrote for his staff: instead of declaring Brandi Livingston Day in the Village of Broadwater, he declared it throughout the State of Nebraska.
The actual document is in the mail to her husband.
More below. . . .
A friend whose mother had once worked for the League of Nebraska Municipalities noted that she could not recall a statewide proclamation issued for a civil servant before.
The church barricaded the streets around my home for our village clerk's funeral (to keep traffic out of the pavilion pitched in the street between the church and my house, and to provide extra parking). I also had to make an emergency repair to the park flagstaff a half hour before the funeral started (flag committee is another hat I wear besides elected village trustee and street superintendent), as a clip broke on the national ensign. (Fortunately I keep extra clips at my house.)
In a town of 128, nearly five hundred people from all over Nebraska, Wyoming, and Colorado showed up in Broadwater for our village clerk's funeral: the church was filled, as was the anteroom, the dining hall, and the kitchen. Overflow areas were set up outside on the south and east lawns of the church, in the village park across the street from my house and the church, and in the north street between the church and my house. Audio and video were piped outside.
The village board came of course, as did the postmaster (who'd lowered the post office flag in accordance with the village half-staff proclamation I issued despite no directive from the USPS — the governor's office and the chairman of the village board of trustees authorised me to issue a half-staff notice for the village corporate limits).
City officials from Bridgeport, Bayard, Scottsbluff, and Oshkosh came, as did county officials from Morrill and Garden Counties. Police departments from Bayard and Bridgeport came, as did their fire departments. State officials came from Lincoln and Scottsbluff, and representatives from the Nebraska League of Municipalities came from Columbus (over four hundred miles away).
Every one of our dirt streets in town full of parked cars, as were all the alleys. Afterwards, church members and village volunteers fed the army of parishioners at the funeral. The meal afterwards ran most of the afternoon.
Virtually every citizen of Broadwater was at the funeral. Her death devastated the entire village.
As I noted at the funeral, in a community full of caring and compassionate people, she stood as a giant amongst us all; she allowed us to stand on her shoulders, that we might see a bit farther to each other.
She was diagnosed with the same kind of cancer the day after the Korean War veteran whose funeral we'd just had, and died the day after he did. Her untimely death was a great loss to all in the Nebraska Panhandle.
The text of Governor Heineman's proclamation:
WHEREAS, Brandi Livingston née Lally, was a native of Bridgeport and Broadwater, Nebraska, and graduate of Bridgeport, Nebraska High School; and
WHEREAS, Brandi Livingston served as the Village Clerk of Broadwater, Nebraska for 26 years; and
WHEREAS, Brandi Livingston was named Nebraska Outstanding Water Operator in 2010; and
WHEREAS, Brandi Livingston was named the League of Nebraska Municipalities Municipal Clerk of the Year in 2013; and
WHEREAS, Brandi Livingston served on the Scottsbluff/Morrill County Extension Board; and
WHEREAS, Brandi Livingston was very active in the community, serving on the board of Prairie Winds Community Center in Bridgeport, and taught Sunday School, youth groups, and Vacation Bible School at Messiah Lutheran Church in Broadwater; and
WHEREAS, Brandi Livingston faithfully and honorably discharged her duties as Village Clerk of Broadwater, and worked tirelessly to serve the citizens of Broadwater in fulfilling the mission of the Village Board of Trustees, which is to protect and maintain the public confidence through the fair, efficient and experienced supervision of the state-regulated financial interests of Broadwater and the State of Nebraska; and
WHEREAS, Brandi Livingston passed away on July 19, 2014; her funeral will be held July 26, 2014.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Dave Heineman, Governor of the State of Nebraska, DO HEREBY PROCLAIM the 26 of July, 2014 as
BRANDI LIVINGSTON DAY
in Nebraska, and I do hereby acknowledge the contributions Brandi Livingston has made to the citizens of the Village of Broadwater and the State of Nebraska during her successful tenure as Village Clerk of Broadwater.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand, and cause the Great Seal of the State of Nebraska to be affixed this __ day of July, in the year of our Lord Two Thousand Fourteen.
Secretary of State Governor