Lynn Bilyeu -UPDATED


A Celebration of Life for 99-year old Lynn Bilyeu of Chadron, NE, are Sat, May 27, 2023, at 10:00 at Grace Episcopal Church in Chadron.

Burial with full military honors will follow at Greenwood Cemetery in Chadron.

Lunch will be served at Grace Episcopal Church after the burial.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a memorial donation to the Dawes County Honor Guard, Friends of Pets, or Grace Episcopal Church.

Online condolences may be left at

Lynn Bilyeu was born on June 17, 1923, in Scotia, NE, to Fred and Lily Bilyeu, joining his older brother and sister Lemuel (Jack) and May. He passed away peacefully on Christmas Day, Sunday, Dec 25, 2022, at Chadron Community Hospital with his daughter Fran Grimes by his side. 

The family moved to Chadron when Lynn was a young child and he went on to attend Chadron High School. where he participated in football and basketball. It was also where he met his future wife, Agnes Cogdill. 

Lynn graduated from high school in 1941 and attended Chadron State College before enlisting in the United States Coast Guard in 1942. Lynn was a radio man on the Q ship Asterion that patrolled the North Atlantic during WW II. His career in the Coast Guard fueled his lifelong passion for Ham Radio. He was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard in November 1945.

Lynn and Agnes were married in Atlantic City, NJ, on September 25, 1943, and returned to Chadron after his discharge. A daughter, Frances, joined their union followed by daughter Roxie, and son Kelly Lee. 

Lynn began his long career as a dispatcher with C&NW Railroad Company in 1946 and retired in 1984. Lynn often regaled his family and friends with stories about his experiences as a railroad employee.

As a young man, Lynn received his private pilot’s license and later built and flew radio-controlled airplanes. His interest in Ham Radio fueled a lifelong hobby. Lynn was receiving and transcribing Morse Code up until his time of death. 

This hobby allowed him to form many strong friendships and created worldwide contacts. Lynn was proud of being able to have had radio contact with the International Space Station. 

As a couple, Lynn and Agnes enjoyed playing golf together, dancing, playing cards with family and friends, and sharing meals that often included her famous potato salad.

Lynn was a nurturing father. If gargling with salt water did not cure his girls, then surely hot milk toast would. He especially admired his grand- and great-grandchildren’s musical abilities, mostly because those abilities were noticeably absent in his skill set. 

He was a favorite uncle (Unc) of his niece and nephews. He was a father figure to some and a mentor/advisor to most. He enjoyed them all.

He enjoyed the company of his sons-in-law, Jim Grimes and Dennis Schmitz, and especially enjoyed beating them at a game of Gin Rummy. He was a loyal friend who never hesitated to extend a helping hand. He held a high regard for animals, particularly the beloved dogs he cared for throughout his life. 

Lynn was a Christian man whose nightly prayers included his family, friends, and the needs of others. He was an active member of Grace Episcopal Church and the Pine Ridge Amateur Radio Club. Lynn was a 70-year member of the Chadron American Legion Post 12.

Grateful for having shared his life are his daughters and their husbands, Fran (Jim) Grimes of Chadron and Roxie (Dennis) Schmitz of Sioux Falls; 3 grandchildren Jeff (Lusi) Grimes, Adam (Cat) Schmitz, and Laurie Schmitz; great-grandchildren Jeremy Grimes, Jacob Grimes, Isaac Grimes, Dakota Schmitz and Autumn Schmitz; his beloved dog Ginger; his only niece Sheila Rausch; and other relatives and friends. 

Lynn was preceded in death by his parents; Fred and Lily, his infant son Kelly; his wife Agnes; his granddaughter-in-law Terri Harnell; his brother Jack; sister May Selage; his brother-in-law Micky; and five nephews.