Lyle Eugene Dankleff

My grandpa passed away earlier this week, and while it was perhaps not unexpected, it is heart wrenching. I’ve spent a couple of days looking through the boxes of photos and mementos that Grandma sent home with me before she died. The process has been alternatively comforting and terribly sad.

While I can’t offer many cohesive thoughts on the matter at this point, I did want to share a portion of a note from my Grandma, the photo that was near, and Grandpa’s obituary.

“There is no way you can tell someone else your love story, but I hope these two boxes help explain Lyle and I to all of you left behind.”


Lyle Eugene Dankleff of Avoca, Neb., died at the Good Samaritan Center in Syracuse, Neb., on September 15, 2014. He was born to John and Bernice (Mendenhall) Dankleff on November 14, 1932, in Avoca, and grew up in Nebraska.

Lyle married Carol Ann Wallen on July 20, 1952. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1953 and served in Korea. He received many medals and honors, including a Korean Service Medal with a Bronze Service Star, a United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal.

Lyle and Carol enjoyed nearly 50 years of marriage before Carol died in 2001. Lyle was a farmer, and he worked tirelessly for more than six decades to cultivate the land. One of his great joys was time spent fishing with his family. He also liked to trap, and he loved card games with good friends. He read voraciously, studied the weather closely and took exceptional care of the wild birds that called his farm home.

He is survived by his son Gary and daughter-in-law Rose (Syracuse); his son Greg (McCook, Neb.); granddaughter Rebecca Smith, her husband Bryan and great grandchildren Ava, Olivia and Owen (Lawrence, Kan.); granddaughter Katie Pasniewski and her husband Tom (Lawrence, Kan.); granddaughter Lindsey Miltner and her husband Matthew (Denver, Colo.); and grandson Christopher Dankleff, Taylor Berner and their daughter Addisyn Berner (Unadilla, Neb.). He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and his brothers Robert and Richard.

5 responses to this post.

  1. What a handsome soldier! I can see why your grandmother was so taken with him. Very sad news, Rebecca. Thanks for such a loving tribute.

  2. Posted by Karyl on September 18, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    I am so sorry, Rebecca – but yes, what a strapping handsome man he was – I was really fond of Carol – I can see why he loved her so much, and vice versa. So sad to see what happens when life partners must face life alone – I am sure your Grandpa was never the same after she died – … we love you so much, and will help you out any way we can!

  3. Posted by Dawn on September 19, 2014 at 8:55 am

    So sorry to hear this. You are in our thoughts and are here if you need to talk. That is really a gorgeous photo.

  4. Posted by Jessica on September 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    I’m sorry Rebecca…that is very sad news. Thinking of you…Beautiful post!

  5. […] grandfather, Lyle Dankleff, served in the US Army in Korea. He passed away in September, and his military services were heart wrenching. I’m grateful for the young cadets who served […]

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