On Tuesday, April 2, 2013, Hollis Virgil Emil Branting, 92, passed away peacefully in his sleep of natural causes at Centennial Park Retirement Village in North Platte. He was born on July 20, 1920, in Osceola, to Arvid Melden and Florence Victoria (Anderson) Branting.
When he was 2 years old, his family moved to a farm south of North Platte. He attended one-room rural schools and graduated from North Platte High School in 1937.
On his 21st birthday he married Frances Oscel Brott on July 20, 1941, at the First Baptist Church in North Platte. They were married for 53 years and had four children.
During World War II he proudly served in the U.S. Army in the European Theater from 1942-1945. He served in the 3217th Signal Service Battalion in General Eisenhower''s communication unit headquartered in London, and he lived through the London Blitz, receiving several commendations for his actions at that time.
When he returned after the war, Hollis worked as a mechanic and body man for Shrake''s Auto Body Shop. In 1954 he, his brother Russell, and Fred Shrake founded ABC Auto Salvage, and he operated that business for 35 years, at which time he retired.
Hollis was a very active member of the North Platte community. He belonged to the First Evangelical Lutheran Church for 90 years, where he was confirmed and served on the Church Council and numerous committees. He also was on the North Platte City Council 1962-1964, a charter member of the Cody Lions Club, troop leader for Boy Scouts of America, the Flatlander Car Club, the North Platte Woodcarvers Club, and the Living History Group. He was a 70-year member of American Legion Post 163, a lifetime member of the Odd Fellows Walla Walla Lodge 56, and served 25 years on the North Platte Odd Fellows High Rise Housing Board of Directors. He was on the statewide Keep Nebraska Beautiful Committee under the auspices of First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson.
He enjoyed numerous activities, including camping, hunting, and fishing with his family. He loved dancing, bowling, working on restoring antique cars, learning about his Swedish heritage, and woodcarving.
He was especially fond of his red 1948 Willies Jeepster, frequently driving it in the Nebraskaland Days Antique Car Parade.
Hollis is survived by his daughter Sandy (Van) Kistler of Lakewood, Colo., son Jim of Helena, Mont., sister Dr. Arlene Sukraw of North Platte, brother-in-law Joe (June) Brott of Ely, Iowa, and special and devoted friend Lorraine Rosane of North Platte; grandchildren Heather Kistler of New York City, Lynette Kistler of Blair, Tom (Jody) Branting of Helena, Christopher Branting of Bozeman, Mont., Robert James Branting of North Platte, Jamie Jo Branting of Lincoln, Heidi Smith of Lakewood, and Tracy Smith of Lincoln; great grandchildren Tristen Branting of Helena and Jaiden Branting of North Platte; special friend/daughter-in-law Bonny Branting of North Platte; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife Frances Brott Branting, daughter Carol Branting Smith, and son Robert Francis Branting, and brothers A. Melden Branting and Russell Allen Branting.
Memorials are suggested to the 20th Century Veterans'' Memorial, P.O. Box 1393, North Platte, NE 69103.
Services were Monday, April 8, at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church at Fifth and Sycamore in North Platte with the Rev. Frank Fitch officiating. Burial was at Ft. McPherson National Cemetery with military honors. Carpenter Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.