May 17, 2023

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service for Iola Huffman will be held on Monday, May 22, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Axtell, Nebraska with Pastor Gale Dorn officiating.

The memorial service will be live streamed via the Trinity Lutheran Church Facebook page.

Iola Ruth Huffman, 89 years of age, of Axtell, entered into her eternal home on Friday, May 12, 2023, at the Good Samaritan Society Colonial Villa in Alma, Nebraska. Iola was born on September 23, 1933, near Genoa, Colorado, the fourth of five children, born to Olaf and Ingeborg (Solem) Norbye. She was joined at home by Peder, Selma, and Olivia. Iola was baptized and then confirmed at Walks Camp Lutheran Church. She received her primary education from a school near Woodrow, Colorado and then attended and graduated from Limon High School in Limon, Colorado, with the class of 1951. She pursued higher education from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music.

On December 25, 1953, Iola was united in marriage to Lawrence Sylvan Huffman at her family farm south of Last Chance, Colorado. The couple was blessed with four children: Olaf Steven in 1954, Tina Ingrid in 1955, Lawrence Stanley in 1957 and Cynthia Mae in 1959. The couple spent the early years of their married life in Limon until they moved in 1962 to Axtell, where they made their home until the present day.
Following her education, Iola began a career of teaching piano and accordion lessons, which would last until 2018. Her extraordinary love and passion for music would lead her to accompanying church services at Trinity Lutheran Church and Mosaic in Axtell, special monthly music at Bethany Home in Minden, and many years of Sunday and Bible School at Trinity Lutheran.

Iola was very involved in her children’s lives and helped with both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and was also a Campfire Girl Leader, for many years.

Iola worked for many years at Bethpage Mission, now Mosaic, where she had a deep and profound love and respect for the special individuals who lived there. She shared both her love for music and her loving and calm demeanor with everyone there, residents and staff alike.

Iola was especially talented with her hands and was a very gifted seamstress, making many of her own and her children’s clothes, in her younger years. This love of sewing blossomed into hundreds of beautiful quilt tops over the years, which were then given to the Trinity Quilting Group to finish and send away to Lutheran World Relief. She believed that no matter what a person’s stage in life might be, they should have something beautiful in their home. She was also an avid gardener and her many flower beds blessed so many with their beauty, throughout the years. Iola was a longtime member of Trinity Lutheran Church and the Ladies Circle.

Most noticeably, Iola was known for her loving, kind Christian heart. She truly did her best to follow, The New Commandment of Jesus, to love everyone the way that He loved them. She welcomed countless friends of her children into her home for a hug and a meal. She had a very special love for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the many who she welcomed over the years as bonus children and grandchildren.

Iola was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters: Iola Ruth, who died at the age of 4 years old, that Iola was named after; and Selma Cash and husband, Ray, Sr.; brother, Peder Norbye; brother-in-law, Warren Parker; and infant granddaughter, Lena Janae Huffman.

She is survived by her two sons: Olaf “Oly” Huffman and his wife, Tresa; and Stan Huffman and his wife, Kristin, both of Axtell; two daughters: Tina Landen and her husband, Mike of Alma, Nebraska; and Cindy Boehler of Alma, and special friend, Terry Ostrander of Kearney, Nebraska; one sister, Olivia Parker of Fort Morgan, Colorado; three sisters-in-law: Delores Miller of Cheyenne, Wyoming; Karen Hogan and her husband, Butch of Casper, Wyoming; and Janet Huffman of Fruita, Colorado; one brother-in-law: Lowell Huffman and his wife, Linda of Strasburg, Colorado; and a host of nieces and nephews, who were all dearly loved by Iola; 13 grandchildren: Brady Nyberg; Kerry Spence and her husband, Brandon; Jeff Landen and his wife, Danielle, Jessica Miller; Melissa Bucher and her husband, Ryan; Jenny Boehler; Matthew Huffman; Bryan Landen; Joseph Boehler; James Huffman and wife, Bryce Anne; Max Boehler and wife, Alexa; Burke Boehler; and Milena Huffman; five bonus grandchildren: Sean Deegan, Mike Deegan, Beth Seyfert, Jeffrey Collison, and Trevor Popple; 15 great-grandchildren: Isabella Essink; Cord and Clancy Landen; Alexa, Owen and Oliver Miller; Sophie Landen; Jack Spence; Jackson and Madison Bucher; Lark, Blythe and Ethel Boehler; and Eli and Rhea Huffman.

There will not be a memorial book signing, visitation, or viewing, the evening prior to the service. The family has chosen cremation.
Memorials are suggested to the Axtell Trinity Lutheran Church, the Axtell Volunteer Fire & Rescue, and the Axtell Public Library.

Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at

The Nelson-Bauer Funeral Home in Holdrege is in charge of the arrangements.