Nicki Gayle Markut, age 45, died peacefully on August 11th, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska, after a courageous battle with cancer. Nicki was born on January 11th, 1974 in Hamburg, Iowa to Ray and Gwen (Michel) Markut. From the very beginning, Nicki fell in love with the lake spending many weekends at the family's cabin, boating, fishing and playing in the sand. Growing up with two brothers Nicki naturally became a competitor at a young age. Traveling to compete in many BMX races, and in later years enjoying many special trips snow skiing down mountains with her family. Speaking of her fiercely competitive nature, she found a great passion for sports that included softball, basketball, volleyball and her personal favorite being tennis. She qualified for state tennis three years during High School and went on to play in college and in several leagues throughout her adulthood. Did I mention her first car? She loved that red Mazda Miata convertible. If only that car could tell stories, but we won't get into that.
Nicki graduated from Shenandoah High School in 1992. She attended Doane College majoring in elementary education and special education graduating in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While at Doane she was a member of the Gamma Phi Lota sorority. Nicki continued her education receiving her master's in special education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1999. Nicki was a special education teacher at Waverly Middle School in Waverly, Nebraska for 23 years. As a teacher, Nicki was a constant advocate for her students and built strong relationships with parents and co-workers. In addition to serving on the board of the Nebraska Educational Technology Association, Nicki was a presenter and sponsored winning student contest entries. She encouraged students to present in the Student Technology Showcase at the Nebraska Association of school boards. For many years, Nicki recruited students to assist with basketball and bowling at Special Olympic competitions.
Nicki Markut was one of a kind. She loved her family fiercely and would do just about anything she could for anyone she met. In 45 short years, she managed to influence more people that most do in their lifetime. She was a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a partner, a friend, a teacher, a mentor, a colleague and a confidant, just to name a few. She played so many roles in her life...and in the words of one of her favorite musicians Bon Jovi "she rocked them all."
Nicki is survived by her proud parents; her boyfriend, Brian Thompson of Waverly, NE; her siblings, Jody Markut and wife Berlinda of Lincoln, Nebraska, and their children Hayden, Evan, Brianna and Bella and Cory Markut and wife Whitney of Malvern, Iowa and their children Xander and Liam. Preceded in death by her grandmother Dorothy Cleaveland and grandparents Harry and Hazel Michel.
Join us for a Celebration of her Life Gathering on Saturday, August 24, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with a eulogy at 6:00 p.m. at the Waverly Community Foundation Building, 11120 N. 141st St., Waverly, Nebraska 68462. Open to all family and friends, cookies and refreshment will be served. There will be a private family graveside service at Rose Hill Cemetery in Shenandoah, Iowa.
Memorials in Nicki's honor can be sent to Special Olympics of Nebraska at www.sone.org/get-involved/funds/waystogive.html or NSEA Children's Fund at http://nsea.org/childrensfund.
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Ray, Gwen, Corey & family, I'm very sorry to hear of your loss. Sending prayers! Cherish your memories!
Cory and family,
I can’t even begin to tell you how heartbroken I am, as I know you are, too. Nicki was one of the best friends I ever had. My years of teaching with her in Waverly were some of the most fun times I’ve had. Nicki was the there for me, good times and bad. I showed her my pink ribbon tattoo I got in her honor that my son, Tanner, had given me, right after I’d seen her this last time in July. (I live in Ohio now). Her text to me: I love you so much. I took a picture of the text so I’d never accidentally lose it. Corey, I thank you, too, for the fun we shared with Nicki-you were along for several of those! I am so lucky that she shared her life with me. Love, Tracy (Burcham-Berry) Burdyshaw and Tanner, Tory, Cale, And Jackson
Nicki was such a sweet and kind person. She made a difference in the lives of hundreds of students.I will miss her beautiful face. But we will see each other again! Praise God!
Gwen, Ray and family: We are so sorry that you lost your daughter at such a young age. Dennis and Linda Warrick
Gwen, Ray and family So sorry for for your loss. Know words will never take away the pain but our prayers and thoughts are with you. She accomplished a lot in her short life. All the students she helped will be her legacy. She is at peace.
Nicki the teacher. Nicki the athlete. Nicki the friend. What a woman! I’ll remember her forever for her big heart. Always caring about others is Nicki. No more pain as she is with God. My deepest sympathy to all the family. With love.
So sorry to hear about Nicki! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. She was such a beautiful and loving person.
Jim, Betty, Steven, and Chris Martin
So sorry for your loss prayers are with you and your family Steve Barbie Huerter
So sorry to hear of Nickis passing! Thinking of your family during this difficult time! Hugs!
Gwen, Ray and family, We are to sorry about Nikki’s passing. Hugs!!! Nikki was a beautiful young lady who touched so many lives and is now in the loving arms of God. You have been and will be in our thoughts and prayers. Jarrett and Jackie Harms
I'm so sorry to hear about Nicki's passing. My heart goes out to you all. She was such a smart, beautiful and accomplished woman. I'll always remember the cute little girl with the most beautiful blonde hair and she was so much fun to be around.
Sending positive thoughts and prayers for all of you.
Gwen and family, I am so sad to learn of the passing of your daughter. My heart goes out to you all at this difficult time. God Bless.
My heart goes out to all the family in this sad loss of Nicki. I remember Nicki from when she just a lil girl. She grew into a beautiful woman.. I've known the family for so many years. Our children knew ea. other. Some very nice memories over the years. My heart hurt when I learned of Nicki's passing. My heart goes out to Markut family. She was a beautiful person. She will be missed...
God Bless you Nicki..
We were saddened to hear of Nikki's passing. She accomplished so much in her life and helped so many. What a blessing she was! Sending our love & prayers to your family during this difficult time. Dan & Deb Finlay
Ray, Gwen, Jody and Corey, so sorry to learn of Nicki’s passing. May the love you shared as a family bring you warm memories and comfort. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
Stan & Pam Carlson
I was so sorry to hear about Nicki's death. I had attended several special education and technology workshops with her. She was an amazing person and great teacher. I admired her and loved getting ideas from her. She was an inspiration to all who met her. She will be greatly missed.
We are very sorry for your loss and hope for comfort for the family and all who knew her I personally didnt know Nicki but my wife bonnie and Gwen would talk about her all the time when we frequented the hair parlour. We are so very sorry for your loss our prayers are with you.
So very sorry to hear about Nicki. She was an amazing person who was taken too soon. Prayers for all of your family.
Ray ,Gwen and family so sorry for the loss of you are beautiful daughter. Cancer is a terrible thing and takes so many lives too soon.Prayers for strength and soon the memories comfort you.
Very sorry to hear of Niki's passing. She always had a smile and a laugh anytime I saw her or was around her. Prayers to Ray Gwen Jody and Corey.
we are so sorry to hear about her passing we love you all, praying for you and all of your family 💛😭 R.I.P you will be missed.
My memories of Nicki are from high school. She was a fierce competitor and me being from Clarinda made it more so that way. The rivalry in Volleyball, Basketball and Softball was always there. Was given the opportunity to get to know her outside of sports thanks to mutual friends. She did love her car and there would be some great stories told. She will be missed and my thoughts and prayers go to her family and the class of 1992 from Shenandoah.
So sorry to hear about Nicki.. She was such a fun and sweet girl. Have alot of memories of her with Traci. Thinking of you.. Just cherish all of the memories. Ina and Lyle
Thinking of all the family at this sad time. We were neighbors of Nikki, and she was the first babysitter we ever had to our two boys. She always had a smile on her face, and always busy! What a beautiful life story she had, just cut way too short. But she touched a lot of people, and for that she will live on. Our love and prayers to all of you.
John, Peg, Eric, and Dan Manrose
Ray and Gwen,
I’m so sorry to hear of Nicki’s passing! As a little 5/6th grade girl she was my idol! I can remember staring out the bus windows as she would pull into the parking lot and just think.. How beautiful she was! I wanted to be just like her and have a car just like hers too! She was incredible inside and out! Now at almost 40 and having two special needs children of my own, her story warms my heart and makes me sad at the same time that she’s so young!! What an inspiration she was and will be to so many carrying on her legacy!! Prayers to all of you and her students and parents she’s bonded with over the years!!
Gwen, Ray and Family,
I'm so sorry to hear of Nicki's passing. Although I only knew her from our St. Paul's Lutheran Church connection, she sounds like she was a lovely and giving person in her later years. My prayers are with you.
Suzanne (Rolf) and Mark Boon, Parker, Colorado
Gwen, Ray and family--Sorry to hear of your daughter's passing. You must have been so proud of her and her accomplishments. May God comfort and sustain you during this most difficult of times.
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