Kelly: Marine lost a few limbs in war, but his Husker spirit will always be there -
Published Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 1:44 am
Kelly: Marine lost a few limbs in war, but his Husker spirit will always be there

Attending today's Nebraska-UCLA football game will be lifelong Husker fan Caleb Getscher, 22 — a triple-amputee from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

His dad, Bill Getscher, a 1971 graduate of the old Omaha Ryan High and now retired from the Marine Corps, over the years would occasionally bring the family to Lincoln for NU games.

Caleb eventually enlisted in the Marines, as did his brother.

On June 18, 2011, Caleb was walking a tree line on patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand province when he stepped on an improvised explosive device. His legs and his left arm below the elbow had to be amputated.

Though his dad left Omaha long ago and the family lives in Maryland, the Nebraska connection has remained strong through Husker football.

Caleb, who previously has received letters of encouragement from Coach Bo Pelini and Gov. Dave Heineman, flew to Lincoln on Friday with wife Emily. They will attend a tailgate party this morning at the Governor's Mansion and get ready to exercise their lungs at Memorial Stadium.

This is Emily's first visit to Nebraska, but she, too, is a Husker fan like Caleb.

“He was born into it,” she said, “and I married into it.”

Cena Mayhew of Omaha was shocked to learn that she was the grand prize winner of 3,000 “Dental Dollars” from the grand opening of her dentist's new office.

Dental Dollars? Hmmm, that's a new one. They could be used to pay any bills there.

Cena, 31, had undergone several procedures this year and didn't have insurance. A nice coincidence is that her bill was $3,000.

She received the news about her prize recently from Susan Corpuz, office manager for her husband, dentist Ralph Corpuz. He has practiced for 20 years and moved into new quarters early this year at 138th and Q Streets.

But the patient was puzzled. She didn't remember entering any contest.

“Uh, someone else must have entered your name,” said Susan, who now says she is “not a very good liar.”

Cena's dad, Cyril Mayhew, who is retired from the Omaha Public Power District, had come to the office earlier and written a check for $3,000 to cover his daughter's bill. He dreamed up the “Dental Dollars” ruse.

“She was totally surprised,” said Cyril, who showed up at her final appointment. “It was just something I wanted to do.”

Her name was Young but she grew very old — and now has died at 106.

Florence Young, a longtime Omaha Community Playhouse volunteer and a top season-ticket seller, reached the final curtain on Aug. 20. The reason for her longevity?

“It's probably because she was always happy,” said daughter Helen Bucher, 74, who lives near Iowa City. “She got up every day looking for the good things.”

Florence is said to have appeared in the first play ever staged by the Playhouse, “The Enchanted Cottage” in 1925. Though her name doesn't appear in the program, daughter Helen said, “She was a substitute for one of the dancers who couldn't make it.”

She grew up as Florence Taminosian and graduated from the old Technical High School in 1925. Over the years, she organized many class reunions.

Her husband of 60 years, Kenneth Young, was a superintendent for the Metropolitan Utilities District. He died in 1991.

OWH Columnists
Columnists Michael Kelly, Erin Grace and Matthew Hansen write about people, places and events around Omaha. Read more of their work here.

Florence ran stenography offices, worked as a real estate broker and repaired Oriental rugs.

If all the world is a stage, Florence Young made sure she had a front-row seat — she and Kenneth visited more than 120 countries.

Margie Clark Horgan of Omaha celebrated her birthday this week as she normally does — with her mother and father, because all three were born on Sept. 11.

George Thorpe Clark and Joann Emmert Clark, her parents, had wanted to be married on their joint birthday in 1948, but the date was already taken at Dundee Presbyterian Church in Omaha, her hometown. So their wedding there was two weeks later, on Sept. 25.

They have lived their married life in Sioux City, Iowa, where he grew up. He is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

George, called “Thorpe” by family and close friends, turned 90 on Wednesday. Joann is 88, and Margie, 64. Many attended a reception at the family-owned, 110-year-old Thorpe and Co. Jewelers.

Students at the Omaha Home for Boys stripped down a 1999 Harley-Davidson motorcycle last winter and began rebuilding it.

Now it's a beauty and ready to be raffled off at the home's Sept. 26 fundraising dinner at the Hilton Omaha.

“It turned out to be absolutely phenomenal,” said Jeff Moran, the home's president and CEO. “It was a great program. The youths did almost everything except the paint job.”

The father-son team of Mike and Jeremy Colchin, owners of the Black Rose Machine Shop, guided students through the months of Tuesday evenings working on the customized motorcycle.

Jeff, a Husker running back four decades ago, said many of the students come from foster care or single-parent homes.

“This gave them an opportunity to turn a wrench and get their hands dirty,” he said. “It's kind of exciting. The motorcycle needed some love and care. Rebuilding a motorcycle is kind of like rebuilding a life.”

Contact the writer: Michael Kelly    |   402-444-1000

Mike writes three columns a week on a variety of topics.

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