John Wightman died January 5, 2017 in Lexington, Nebraska at the age of 78. John was born October 2, 1938 in North Platte, Nebraska to Byron Franklin and Bessie Mae Wightman. He grew up in Brady and Maxwell and later on a farm between Sumner and Overton. He graduated from Sumner High School in 1956. He graduated from Kearney State College in 1959. He taught high school in Dannebrog for one year, and then attended the University of Nebraska College of Law graduating in 1963.
In 1963, he moved to Lexington to practice law. On June 14, 1964, he married Janet Lucille Hyde who was originally from Gothenburg. John and Jan had three children: John (Jack) Milton Wightman, Jr, Jeffrey Mason Wightman and Jill Marie Wightman.
John practiced law in Lexington for more than 52 years. He enjoyed meeting with his clients and helping them solve their legal problems. He practiced with several different law firms over his career, and worked with his son Jeff for nearly 20 years.
John also loved being involved in politics and with the community. He served on the Lexington City Counsel from 1974 to 1978 and from 1984 to 2000. He served as the mayor of Lexington from 1992 to 1995. He was elected to the Nebraska legislature and served in that body from 2007 to 2015. He was one of the founders of the Lexington Community Foundation and served on the board of Dawson Area Development. He was a member of the Lexington United Methodist Church, a Shriner and member of the Lexington Masonic Lodge for more than 50 years.
John is survived by his wife of 52 years, Janet, and his children: Jack and wife Anna of Omaha; Jeff and wife Gail of Lexington; and Jill of Lincoln. He is also survived by four granddaughters whom he cherished: Kate and Celia Wightman of Lexington and Emalie and Meg Wightman of Omaha. In addition, John is survived by brothers Paul Wightman and wife Carlene of North Platte; Rodney Wightman and wife Marla of Summersville, West Virginia; sister-in-law Sarah Wightman of Summerfield, Florida and brother-in-law Thomas Hyde of Lincoln, Nebraska. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews and their children.
John was preceded in death by his parents, and a brother Wesley Wightman who died in April of 2016.
Funeral Services will be held Tuesday, January 10, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Lexington with Reverend Anne Gahn officiating.
Burial will be in the Greenwood Cemetery at Lexington.
Visitation will be Monday, January 9, 2017, from 5-7 p.m. at the Reynolds-Love Funeral Chapel in Lexington.
Memorials are suggested to the Lexington Community Foundation, First United Methodist Church or Dawson County Historical Society.
Reynolds-Love Funeral Home in Lexington is assisting the family with arrangements. To share online condolences with the family, please visit: reynoldslovefuneralhome.com.