Timothy James Classen was born in Omaha, Nebraska, to Arthur and Elaine Classen on March 6, 1944. He was baptized on April 9th and later confirmed in the Christian faith at American Lutheran Church in Omaha on March 30th, 1958. Tim passed away on June 3rd after being at a care facility in Lincoln for 3 weeks.
Tim attended school in Omaha and graduated in 1962 from North High School where he played football and was a 145 lb. center and his senior year the Vikings were State champions. Tim also loved playing tennis in high school and went on to play at Dana College and at Univ. of Nebraska at Omaha. After college he played fast pitch and then slow pitch softball. So many lifelong friendships were made with those his North High men and continued for the next 60 years!
Tim married Colleen Nelson in August of 1969 – after softball season was done. After getting his teaching degree from UNO in 1971 … he loved school and took his time in graduating… he began his 30-year career at Centennial Public Schools in Utica, Nebraska. He mainly taught Junior High science, was the defensive line coach for the football team and the head wrestling coach. Despite never having wrestled himself, he learned the sport and went on to have several successful teams, even two state championships and one runner-up. In addition to working with the student athletes, he loved the camaraderie of fellow teachers and coaches. He retired from teaching and coaching in 2001 but then volunteered at the State Wrestling Tournament as one of their floor managers up until 2020 when his dementia made it necessary to retire.
During his teaching and coaching years he and Colleen didn’t travel a lot but then made up for it after that, traveling to countries in Europe and throughout the United States. One of Tim’s goals was to visit a winery in every state – he made it to 43 of them, including Hawaii and Alaska.
Tim’s interests also included learning to cook and he stuffed many rigatoni noodles, reading his National Geographics and many books, watching science programs, putting jigsaw puzzles together and a lifetime of playing cards especially with family at the South Dakota reunions.
Tim is survived by his wife, Colleen, daughter Nicole Warner and her husband Aaron and their son Benjamin from Kirkland, Washington; brother Greg Classen and wife Julie from Papillion, Nebraska; sister-in-law Patty Classen from Omaha; brother-in-law Jim Nelson and wife Cindy from Creston, Iowa, plus nieces and nephews and lots of extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents and in-laws, also older brother Daniel Classen.
Be kind to each other and be kind to the earth!
Memorial may be given, in lieu of flowers, to: Nebraska Public Media(NET/NPR), Doctors without Borders or Environmental Defense Fund – all favorite organizations of Tim’s.
If you cannot attend the service we invite you to worship with us by live streaming at live.stpaulutica.com
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