Keith Foster Udell (Digger) was born October 10, 1933 IN Kanerado, Kansas to William Rueban Udell and Gladys Pearl Foster Udell. He had three older siblings: Marietta, Billy and Jack.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at the First Congregational
Church in Burwell, Nebraska. Inurnment will be at a later date in Cottonwood Cemetery in Burwell. Pastor Alan Petersen will officiate. A memorial visitation will be Friday from 5 -7 p.m. at Hitchcock
Funeral Home in Burwell. Memorials are suggested to Burwell Veteran’s Park or Calamus Golf Course.
The Udell’s migrated from Kansas when Keith was just a year old. They lived on several farms. The Udell children attended Rose Hill. In the 40s, Bill, Gladys, Marietta, Billy, Jack and Keith loaded the wagon and headed across the North Loup River to set down roots in Burwell. Keith attended Burwell
Elementary and Burwell Jr. Sr. High School and proudly graduated with the class of 1952. After commencement he moved to Omaha in order to attend business college but then decided to serve his country in the United States Air Force. In 1954, he became an electronics instructor for the Air Force in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Soon, however he was sent to Germany as part of a missile detachment. He remained in Germany for three years. Upon returning Keith joined his father Bill and brother Jack at Udell Feeds. He was united in marriage to Maralee Reineke on June 7, 1959. Keith and Maralee moved to Dorchester, Ne where Maralee taught and Keith attended Milford Community College, majoring in electronics.
Keith and Maralee returned to Burwell in 1961. This time he returned for good. Keith worked at Udell
Feeds first with his father and brother. When Jack retired Keith continued to run the business until his own retirement in June of 2012. He was proud of the family business. He truly enjoyed serving
his customers and working with his co-workers. Keith felt honored to be a part of the business community of Burwell.
Keith and Maralee started their family in 1963. They were the proud parents of their three daughters Risa, Amy and Marcy and their son Bill. He loved every moment he spent with his family. He loved listening to Risa play the piano. He loved the times people gathered around the piano to sing. He loved finding horses for Amy and helping her prepare for horseshows. He loved watching her perform in plays, sing, and play the clarinet. He loved listening to Marcy sing and learn to ride a horse. He loved
rebuilding a jeep with his son Bill. And he loved cheering Bill (Billy) on at wrestling meets and football games. He was a huge fan of his kids.
The roots he set down in Burwell were deep and wrapped around this community and the people. He cared so deeply about his church, The First Congregational Church. This is where his children were baptized, where he sang in choir, saw his daughter get married, listened to inspiring messages, and practiced his golf stance when hymns had more than three verses. His devotion to his town meant that he was active. At different times, Keith was a member of the Burwell Fire Department, Lions Club, American Legion, Rotary, Burwell Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Board, and
4-H to name a few. He was one of the dreamers of having a golf course and was very active in the Veteran’s Memorial project.
Burwell was home. He spent hours gazing out the window appreciating the beauty of the North Loup river and the hills beyond. He took pleasure in seeing a groundhog, deer, geese, and eagles. He did not take pleasure in seeing squirrels. He found comfort in jumping into his vehicle and driving around his town and down to the park. He looked forward to having breakfast with his buddies even if they stole his bacon. And… who cares if breakfast stretched into coffee time with the crew. He enjoyed every single
moment and I’m certain that a lot of the world’s problems were solved between sips, or as Digger would say, “What a fella oughtta do”.
Keith loved Burwell. It was where he grew up, where he met his wife and raised his children, had his
business, and lived out his dreams. The most important relationships of his life were here, all of you… his friends and his family… He would want to thank all of you for making it a great, great life.
Keith was preceded in death by his parents William R and Gladys Pearl (Foster) Udell, his sister
Marietta Donnor and brothers William and Jack Udell. He is survived by his wife Maralee (Reineke) Udell. He is survived by his daughter Risa Udell of Lincoln, David Schumann of Lincoln and Kayla and Casey Campbell of Lincoln. He is survived by his daughter Amy and Dr. David Owen of Kearney and their children Dr. Benjamin Owen and his wife Dr. Amanda Woodward Owen of Sacramento California, Rachael Owen of Iowa City, Iowa, and Daniel Owen of Omaha, Nebraska. He is survived by Marcy Udell of Barstow California and Marcy’s daughter Cassandra and her children Uyedon, Jamel and Levi of Barstow, California. He is survived by William “Bill” and Tina Udell of Lincoln NE and their children Emily, Lauren, and Maxton Udell of Lincoln, Nebraska. Keith is also survived by his loving sister-in-law Genevieve Udell, his nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.