John Albert Hall
July 17, 1933-May 15, 2019
John Albert Hall, 85, celebrated his heavenly birthday on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, at Genoa Community Hospital's Long-Term Care Unit, after a brief illness following a stroke.
As he wished, John will be cremated. A Celebration of Life will be held from 4-6 p.m. on Friday, May 31, at Genoa City Hall. Everyone is encouraged to share their memories and stories of John. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Genoa Airport in memory of John.
John was born on July 17, 1933, in Creston, to George Hall and Mona Decker Hall. They made their home in Manassa and Walsh, Colorado, until after his father's death when John was nine years old. At that time, his mother decided to move closer to family in Nebraska. John stayed in Colorado with the Mooney family while his mother returned to the Omaha area to look for a job. While staying with the family, John and his friend uncovered an army shell on the property of Camp Hale. They were told it was not armed, and they could keep it. While swinging on a swing set, John banged the shell against the leg of the structure, and it exploded, requiring his arm to be amputated just below the elbow.
John endured additional trauma and tragedy at an early age, when he contracted rheumatic fevert. Vitus' Dance, and was in an iron lung for a time. Ever the fighter, John persevered to overcome these obstacles to become one of the most talented and versatile individuals ever known to family and friends.
John graduated from Central City High School with the class of 1950. He married Mary Jane Hoffmeister on Oct. 18, 1955. They made their home in Genoa, where John worked as the Administrator for Hoffmeister Nursing Home. He was a jack-of-all-trades and master of many. At various times throughout his illustrious life, he was employed as a truck driver for Westring, operated the Lincoln Manor Steak House in Central City, and the Steak House above the bowling alley in Genoa. He worked on various construction and/or remodeling projects, including building houses, car wash, etc. In addition, he served as a Deputy Sheriff for a time. John was a certified scuba diver, and often assisted with recovery operations at surrounding lakes. His love of motorcycles took him to the Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally as often has he could get away.
John had a passion for airplanes and flying. He was instrumental in establishing the Genoa Airport and served on the Genoa Airport Authority for years. Despite losing his arm, John never let it limit him in any way, including conquering the airways. His ultimate accomplishment was earning his pilot's license, followed by his instructor's license. Many aspiring pilots received at least some of their flight training from John. He flew chartered flights to many destinations, and at one time, safely landed a plane in a cornfield after the plane was refueled with the wrong type of fuel.
He leaves his wife of 63 years, Mary Jane (Hoffmeister) Hall of the home; his son, Michael (Sonjia) of Grand Island; sisters, Laurel Fishler-Bockoven (Jamie) of Apache Junction, Arizona, and Peggy Fishler-Dey (Bill) of Baldwin City, Kansas; two grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, George Hall and Mona Bray; step-fathers Lester Fishler and Steven Bray; sister, Bonnie Jean McDonald; nephews, Tim and Liam McDonald, Bret Ewing, Stephen Croxton, and Rhian Dey; brother-in-law, Frank Hoffmeister; and sister-in-law, Irene Hoffmeister-Ellenwood.
Condolences may be sent to www.Ramaekersfh.com.