John Frederick Menke, Jr.

Exeter Man Is Killed In Accident

John F. Menke Jr., 30, of Exeter was killed instantly when his semitrailer left U.S. 6 about two and one-half miles east of Friend early Tuesday morning, struck a tree and turned over.

Menke, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Menke Sr. of Exeter, was returning home from Omaha, driving an empty truck, when the accident occurred. It was believed he may have fallen asleep at the wheel.

The deceased, a lifetime resident of Exeter, operated a service station in Exeter and also was employed by the Adamson Trucking Company. Survivors are his parents and seven sisters. Funeral arrangements were not learned in time for this week's Signal. 

Nebraska Signal
 Geneva, Nebraska
Thursday, October 31, 1957



John Frederick
Menke, Jr.

John Frederick Menke, son of John and Elizabeth Menke, was born August 2, 1927 at Exeter, Nebraska, and passed away October 29, 1957, at the age of 30 years, 2 months and 29 days.

He attended St. Stephen's elementary school and graduated from Exeter High School with the class of 1946.

He ran the projectors at the Exeter Theater for Clyde Anderson for several years and also worked at the Glen Farmer Electric Shop. In July 1947 he took over the Service Station formerly run by the Hall brothers. He still operated the station with the help of his father and was driving stock trucks, part time, the last couple of years for Johnny Adamson.

The community, along with his parents and sisters, were shocked to hear of his tragic accident and instantaneous death early Tuesday a.m., October 29. Returning from Omaha after delivering a load of stock, the truck left the highway and crashed into a tree just east of Friend.

He was buried from St. Stephen's Catholic Church at Exeter on Saturday, November 2, 1957, with the Rt. Rev. Msgr. Ingenhorst celebrating the Requiem High Mass.

He is survived by his mother and father and seven sisters, Mrs. Arliene Regan, Lincoln, Mrs. Alma Devaney, Fullerton, California, Mrs. Mary Vavrina, Mrs. Ann Catherine Mooberry, Mrs. Joanne Schuller, all of Lincoln, Mrs. Geraldine Tieso, Exeter, and Mrs. Elizabeth Hansen of Portsmouth, Iowa, all of whom were able to attend with their husbands and families with the exception of Jack Devaney, and the children of Mary and Lu Vavrina, who were confined to their home with the flu, and the Hansen and Devaney children.

Six cousins acted as pallbearers: Alfred Crick, Paul Becker, Jr., Harold Matthews, Lou Barkmeier, Jerome Leininger and Gene Cody.

He was a loving son and brother and always so kind and never too tired to do anything he could for others. His pleasant disposition and happy smile will be missed by all who knew him.

The many cards, spiritual bouquets and beautiful flowers testify to the respect and high esteem held for him in his home and throughout the community.

Fillmore County News
 Exeter, Nebraska
November 7, 1957



John and Elizabeth Menke

(Standing - Back Row - Left to Right)
Alma (Menke) Devaney, Ann Catherine (Menke) Mooberry, Geraldine (Menke) Tieso,
 Arliene (Menke) Ragan, Mary (Menke) Vavrina and Joanna (Menke) Schuller


(Sitting - Front Row - Left to Right)
Elizabeth (Menke) Hansen, John Menke, Elizabeth "Lillie" (Nevin) Menke
and John "Johnny" Menke
, Jr. 



Menke Hi-Way Cafe and Service Station

Dave Hall moved his family to Exeter in 1935 and started in the garage and oil business four blocks west of the main street on U.S. Highway 6.  After World War II when four of  his sons returned, two of them, Ray and Howard, built an addition to the Hall garage and started a cafe.  The business prospered, but they soon had other plans and sold the garage and the cafe to Mr. and Mrs. John Menke and son, John.  The Menkes continued to operate the garage, station and cafe after young John's death, until 1962. The place had earned a reputation as a favorite of the young people.  Mr. and Mrs. Eckhart owned the business for a few years, then sold it to Floyd and Annabelle Mason in 1966.  They are still operating the place, with son Dale having taken over the garage end of the business the past two years.


The Exeter Centennial Book Committee
Exeter, Nebraska