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Ambrose Joseph Hugo, age 91, of West Point, NE passed away peacefully on September 12, 2022. Funeral Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, September 16th at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in West Point with Rev. James Weeder as celebrant. Because of Nora Hugo’s compromised immune system, we are requesting that no physical contact be made with her. Masks are encouraged at the visitation and funeral service. The visitation and funeral will be livestreamed on the Stokely Funeral Home Facebook page at facebook.com/stokelyfuneralhome. Burial with Military Honors will be at St. Michael’s Cemetery in West Point with lunch following at the Nielsen Center. Visitation will be Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a Knights of Columbus Rosary at 7 p.m. St. Mary’s Catholic Church in West Point. The family suggests memorials be directed to St. Mary’s Church, GACC Endowment, or the West Point Community Theatre. Arrangements by Stokely Funeral Home.
Ambrose was born February 12, 1931 to Joseph George (J.G.) and Margaret (Hiltz) Hugo in West Point, NE. Ambrose was preceeded in death by his parents and siblings Paul Hugo, Aelred Hugo, Matthias Hugo, Florence Schnur, Jeannette Polzer, and Julianna Wordekemper.
He was a lifelong member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and a proud graduate of Guardian Angels High School Class of 1949. Ambrose enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served as a C-47 twin engine cargo aircraft mechanic and aircraft and engine maintenance instructor in Japan during the Korean War. While in Japan, he took Japanese language classes, toured the area, and learned about Japanese culture.
He met his wife Nora in November 1955 at a dance at the Lincoln Air Base while finishing his military service state side. He had returned from Japan to see his father in the hospital before his father passed away. Ambrose and Nora became engaged on Mother’s Day 1956. They were married on August 11, 1956 at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Steinauer, NE, nine months after they met. They recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary.
They have four children: Duane (Mary) Hugo, Nancy (Chris) Cady, Jolene (Andy) Schack, and Keith (Linda) Hugo, nine grandchildren: Stacy (Dan) Sveen, Jessica (Nick) Howell, Mark (Kate) Hugo, Abbey Hugo, Eric Schack, Steven Schack, Andrew Schack, Thomas Hugo, and Cynthia (Jacob) Siedschlag and five great grandchildren: Braxton Sveen, Beckham Sveen, Blake Sveen, Wesley Howell, and Adelynn Howell.
After his service in the Air Force, Ambrose returned to West Point and worked as a plumber at Hugo’s Plumbing & Heating, Inc., a family-owned business founded in 1894 by his grandfather. He retired from Hugo’s at the age of 86. He enjoyed providing quality plumbing services to his customers in the local community. In 2006, Ambrose was awarded the Chamber of Commerce Service Award for his outstanding service to the community.
In 1958, Ambrose’s older brothers Paul, Aelred, and Matt, along with Ambrose and four other investors, created, designed the layout, and built Grain States Soya, Inc., a processing plant that extracts oil and meal from soybeans. Ambrose became president of Grain States in 1987 and remained president until his passing. In 1989, Ambrose and his partner, Mark Knobbe, became owners of the corporation. Today, Grain States serves customers throughout the United States and internationally. On many occasions, he climbed the 150-foot elevator leg to post an American flag for all to see.
In addition to his business activities, Ambrose excelled at enjoying life to the fullness. In 1985, he traveled to Reader AR with three other men for a two-week trip to accompany a 1942 steam locomotive engine to Fremont for the Fremont & Elkhorn Valley Railroad (FEVR). FEVR ran an excursion train between Fremont and Hooper for many years. In addition, his hobbies included: flying his 1947 Stinson airplane after earning his pilot’s license in 1973, running model trains in the caboose during the Cuming County Fair, bowling (often ten games on a Sunday afternoon), golfing, snow skiing with his family in Breckenridge, CO, attending fifty consecutive, annual Experimental Aircraft Association air shows in Oshkosh, WI, serving as Assistant Scoutmaster for his son Duane’s Boy Scout troop where his son achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, climbing and decorating his sixty-three foot evergreen tree in his front yard for Christmas, and canoeing on the Elkhorn River. Having a strong sense of adventure and no fear, he also accomplished several feats in his lifetime including sky diving, bungee jumping, water skiing, snowboarding, and hot air ballooning.
Ambrose was proud of his home town and was a strong community supporter. He was active in the Cuming County Historical Society, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), and American Legion. He served on the board of the VFW for many years.