Agnes Winifred Sasse, 91, long-time resident of Gordon Nebraska, passed away at her beloved ranch on September 6, 2022, surrounded by her loving family. Agnes was a life-long devout Roman Catholic and a member of St. Leo’s Parish in Gordon, NE.
She was born March 20, 1931, in Rushville, NE – the sixth of eight children born to Hop and Helen Vinton. Helen went by horse and wagon from the family ranch in order to have Agnes in a hospital. Agnes attended grade school in a one room schoolhouse (128 North) on the family ranch 38 miles southeast of Gordon, NE. She then attended and graduated from St. Agnes Academy High School in Alliance, NE in 1949. During this time, she had fond memories of her dad (Pop) flying her back and forth from the ranch to Alliance. She always thought Pop was a great pilot as he owned one of the first airplanes in the area. She attended nursing school at Mercy Hospital in Denver, CO and graduated in 1952 as a registered nurse. After graduating from college, and for the next couple of years, Agnes traveled around working as a nurse in numerous states to include Biloxi, MS and Spokane, WA.
Agnes eventually made her way back home, working at Gordon Memorial Hospital as a charge nurse. This move was significant as she positioned herself unknowingly to meet the love of her life. In 1955, Agnes was introduced to Stanley G. Sasse. Stan was a rancher and a handsome young man, with Native American heritage from Batesland, SD. Always grinning from ear to ear, Agnes enjoyed telling people that Stan was literally the only boyfriend that her Pop approved of and liked. Agnes dated Stan for only 11 months, and they were married on February 11, 1956, in Gordon, NE. From this union, and over the course of the next 21 years, 13 children (8 girls and 5 boys) were born.
The newlyweds honeymooned all of one day in Denver, CO and then headed back to the Sasse ranch near Batesland, SD where they worked for Stan’s parents, Carl and Alice Sasse. After a year of working on the ranch, they moved to Chadron, NE where Stan attended Chadron State College for a year. The family then moved to Ft. Collins, CO where Stan attended and graduated from Colorado State University. After college, Stan worked at several jobs, while Agnes stayed home lovingly nurturing and taking care of their growing family. Upon the death of Stan’s father in 1965, the family moved back to the Sasse ranch, working for Stan’s mother Alice. In 1974, Stan and Agnes had an opportunity to move to the Vinton ranch, southeast of Gordon, NE, going into business with Agnes’ mother, Helen.
After Helen’s death in 1977, Stan and Agnes continued to operate the ranch, teaching their children the value of hard work, integrity, stewardship of the land, and most importantly, honor God in all you do. In 1978, Agnes was selected by the Gordon Community Chamber of Commerce for the Mother of the Year award, stating that “Agnes Sasse exemplifies what American motherhood is all about.”
After a long illness and 39 years of marriage, Stan passed away in 1995 with Agnes taking care of him at home until the very end. For the next 27 years, Agnes, along with her two son’s Bob and Pat, continued to run the Sasse-Vinton ranch until her death. Her wish was to die at home, and her loving family worked hard to honor and accomplish her request. Agnes was an innovative businesswoman who loved the ranch and took great care of the land and resources entrusted to her. She always smiled and loved unconditionally, and never, ever complained. Agnes lived Mother Teresa’s essential teaching of “Do something beautiful for God.”
God and family is what mattered most to Agnes. In her 91 years of living, Agnes was a loving and devoted wife, an amazing and loving mother of 13 children, a wonderful grandmother to 40 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren. Hospitality was her trademark, and most importantly she taught her family the joy of living life to the fullest. Anyone who had the privilege of meeting Agnes knew that you didn’t just meet her, you experienced her.
The passionate love Agnes had for her family will be carried on by her children: Debbie Sasse of Apple Valley, MN; Laura (Kenny) Scalva of Atwood, CO; Ann (Sam) Smith of Batesland, SD; John (Eileen) Sasse of Monument, CO; Bob (Sonja) Sasse of Gordon, NE; Jane (Mark) Super of Kalispell, MT; Angie (Pat) Burke of Wahoo, NE; Jim (Amber) Sasse of Gordon, NE; Ted (Janna) Sasse of Lincoln, NE; Meg (Scott) Wallace of Gordon, NE; Pat Sasse of Gordon, NE; Bridget (Joel) Dickinson of Phoenix, AZ; and Sarah (Tracy) Moser of Lincoln, NE. Agnes is also survived by two of her sisters: Sr. Helen Ann Vinton, S.P. of New Iberia, LA; and Donnie Connealy of Lincoln, NE.
A Rosary will be held on September 18, 2022, at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Gordon, NE at 7 pm. Mass of Christian burial will be held on September 19, 2022, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Rushville, NE at 10 am. Burial will follow at the City of Gordon cemetery, where Agnes will be laid to rest next to her husband Stan. Lunch and fellowship will follow at the Gordon American Legion in Gordon, NE.