Erika Frieda Place, 87, of Scottsbluff, formally from Salina, KS, passed away Sunday, March 27, 2022, at Monument Rehabilitation and Care Center in Scottsbluff. Her celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 31, 2022, at Reverence Funeral Parlor in Scottsbluff, Nebraska with Pastor Willie Coop officiating. Cremation has taken place in accordance with her wishes. Memorials may be made to the ALS Association or the Purple Heart Foundation. Online condolences may be made by viewing Erika’s memorial page at www.reverencefuneralparlor.com.
Erika was born in Erlangen, Germany on January 29, 1935 to Alexander and Luise (Zeller) Bogner. The youngest of six children, Erika learned her exceptional cooking skills at the family restaurant. She met the love of her life, Bernard A. Place, when he was stationed in Germany. They married on August 1, 1954 and moved to Fort Riley, Kansas the following year. Their union was blessed by four children: Claudia, Charlotte, Michael, and Christine.
Erika continued her education in the United States, where she mastered the English language better than many English-speakers, she liked to say, and obtained her U.S. citizenship in 1960. For many years, Erika and Bernie owned a very successful ceramic business in Abilene, Kansas. They were a great team. Erika had a mind for business and was whip-smart, artistic, clever, and quick, with a sense of humor that delighted family, friends, and customers alike.
She and Bernie loved traveling together and imparted their love of adventure to their children. From exploring the jungles of Panama; to camping through southern Germany, the Alps in Switzerland, northern Italy and Austria. Their travels also saw them in England and the Netherlands. Erika was also blessed to experience much of the United States, making a home for her family in Connecticut, Kentucky, Texas, Wisconsin, and ultimately settling in Abilene, Kansas and then Salina, Kansas, for 49 years before moving to Nebraska in 2021.
Erika and Bernie returned to Germany and Australia to visit family and friends as often as possible. Always active, they gardened extensively, participated in the local German Club, and were regulars on the dance floor for many, many years with the Jolly Mixers. They were also members of the Great Plains Theatre.
Erika is survived by her husband, of 67 years, Bernard; daughters, Claudia Elliott of Lafayette, CO, Charlotte Reynolds of Scottsbluff, and Christine (Michial) Pozorski of Rapid City, SD; daughter-in-law, Nancy Place of Scottsbluff; grandchildren, Rebecca Coet of Frederick, CO, Kiffany Trevithick of Windsor, CO, Jonathan (Caterina) Webb of Arvada, CO, Brandon (Jill) Eva of Rapid City, SD, Bryan (Gleeh) Eva of Box Elder, SD, Bethany (Nick) Zaczek of Cheyenne, WY, and Alison and Elizabeth Place of Scottsbluff; and fifteen great-grandchildren.
She was preceded death by her son, Michael B. Place; siblings, Hans, Rudy, Eugene, Trudy, and Louise; and her parents.