One half of the philanthropic couple behind donations that led to the Armbrust Family YMCA and Armbrust Acres housing subdivision in southwest Omaha has died at age 85.
Dolores Nielsen Armbrust died Friday at Lakeside Hospital after a brief illness.
She and her husband of 65 years, Willis H. Ambrust, ran a dairy farm near 168th Street and West Center Road. That land became the housing development. Other land they acquired, near 168th and Q Streets, was donated for the Y facility.
Dolores Armbrust was born in Chicago but grew up near Irvington north of Omaha.
She attended a one-room school for grade school, then graduated from Benson High School in Omaha. She boarded with an Omaha family during high school. After attending what then was called Nebraska University, she taught a rural one-room school with more than 30 students.
She ended her teaching career when she married Willis Armbrust, a young dairy farmer. They earned national recognition for their registered Holstein dairy herd. After dispersing the herd in 1960, they were partners in Willis Armbrust Sales Service for more than 35 years. The business managed dairy cattle sales throughout the Midwest; he handled auctioneering among other duties and she was clerk and bookkeeper.
Dolores Armbrust fostered and promoted agriculture through her leadership in 4-H, involvement in the Grange and as an officer for the Nebraska Holstein Association. In later years, she focused efforts on the work of the YMCA. In addition to donating the land for the southwest Omaha Y, she and her husband spearheaded the fund drive for the building.
She served on the board of trustees for Midland Lutheran College (now Midland University) and its foundation board. She was awarded an honorary degree by Midland in 2001. Family members said she learned that some of the nurses who cared for her at Lakeside were Midland graduates and enjoyed sharing stories.
The couple enjoyed travel, especially cruises and time spent at their Door County home in Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
Survivors include her husband; son, Scott of Green Bay, Wis.; daughter, Amy of Armbrust Acres in Omaha; four grandchildren; sister Lorraine Barton and brother Marty Nielsen, both of Omaha.
Long active in St. Paul Lutheran Church in the Millard area, services there for her will be Monday at 10:30 a.m.