This scholarship was established by Raymond and Elsie (Umberger) Shandera in memory of their son Charles, who was a 1977 graduate of Pius X.
Elsie Umberger graduated from Lincoln High School in 1937 and the St. Elizabeth School of Nursing in 1940. On her 22nd birthday in 1940, she married Raymond Shandera in the St. Elizabeth Hospital chapel. During their first years of marriage, Elsie worked various nursing jobs in Lincoln. In 1945 Ray and Elsie started a family and hoped to eventually have eight children. The Lord blessed them with five boys and three girls, including a set of identical twins. They also lost two stillborn daughters.
During their 45-year marriage, Ray and Elsie lived in Lincoln, Hastings and Grand Island, but eventually returned to Lincoln. Elsie continued to work in various nursing positions while raising their family, but is remembered for the loving care she gave Ray as his health gradually failed. He died in 1985, just three months short of their 45th wedding anniversary. Before Ray’s death, however, they experienced tremendous grief at the loss of their youngest son, Charles, who died in an auto accident two days after his high school graduation.
After Ray’s death, Elsie married Wayne Teague. They had many wonderful years together and enjoyed travel, winters in Tucson, swimming, dance lessons and classes in conversational Spanish. Wayne died in 1998 after a short illness.
Elsie passed away in Lincoln on September 7, 2004. She knew many joys and blessings during her long and active life. She relished the sacrifices, hard work and nearly constant commotion associated with having a large, active family. Through all the years and amidst many trials and joys, Elsie found great strength in her love of the Lord and her Catholic faith. She had a special devotion to the Blessed Mother and kept active in her local parishes.
* * * * *
Charles F. Shandera was born in Grand Island, Neb. on May 14, 1959, to Raymond and Elsie Shandera. As the youngest of eight children Charlie attracted plenty of attention from his four brothers and three sisters while growing up. Blessed with an outgoing personality and a cheerful disposition, he was fun, loving, full of energy and a very special member of the family.
At a young age, he learned to take his turn with chores on the family acreage. He helped take care of the pets and various farm animals and worked in the large vegetable garden. Along with the rest of the family, Charlie loved the outdoors, and he enjoyed camping, fishing, swimming and horseback riding.
The family moved to Lincoln in 1969. As a student at Pius X High School, Charlie was outgoing and popular. In addition to his studies, he found time to work at Lee’s Restaurant, play football for the Thunderbolts, participate in drama and loved to sing. He was very proud to be a member of the Madrigal Singers. Charlie was exuberant, playful and full of life. He had a beautiful smile and a big heart, and was willing to help others.
Charlies talked about possibly going into the Army after high school, but it was not to be. Two days after graduation, this promising young life was suddenly cut short. As he was stopped for a red light at 48th and Leighton, a 16-year-old drunk driver struck Charlie’s car, and he died instantly.