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We Mourn the Loss of Gary Reber

Gary Reber, who proudly served the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools for the last nine years, died in Lincoln on January 3, 2024.   

"Gary was always the kind, funny, gentle connector. His commitment to honoring his relationships and intentionality – to always do the right thing – made him someone we all cherish," President Wendy Van said. "He will be remembered for his quick wit and sense of humor, attention to detail, and always providing outstanding service to LPS partners and supporters."    

Gary began at the Foundation for LPS in 2015 and helped to create the donor-centered fundraising operation we have today. He served as the Development Officer for School Communities until 2020 when he was named Philanthropy Officer. In his most recent position, Gary continued his work at a deeper level with donors passionate about supporting Lincoln Public Schools students and staff, connecting them with district needs.   

"Gary was a huge supporter of LPS and LPS Music," Brett Noser, instructional music teacher at Lincoln High, said. "He helped countless teachers and departments get materials they needed to help students learn better. Without him, we might not have Los Mariachis de la Ciudad Estrella. In the ten years I've known him, he was a wonderful person to talk to and converse with, and he was always so friendly. He was a great man."  

 "Gary was exactly the kind of person you dream of working with," said one of his colleagues at the Foundation. "He knew everybody and how everything worked, so he was the go-to guy when we had questions. He was so patient, taking the time to make you understand not only how to do things but also why they were so important. Gary was also one of the funniest people I've ever met and could make even the most disagreeable person laugh."  

More than anything, Gary loved his family and his roles as husband to Pam, father to Ellen and Will, and grandfather to Olive and Frankie. Not a day went by when he didn't share a photo, video, or story about them with his colleagues, especially his beloved granddaughters.  

In addition, Gary was a devoted TeamMates mentor for over ten years, sharing time and a helping hand with an LPS student from third grade until his graduation last year. Gary was inducted into the Lincoln TeamMates Hall of Fame in 2018. Although his mentee is no longer a student, Gary made it a point to continue to meet up once a month to continue their relationship and introduce his TeamMate to his favorite local Lincoln restaurants.  

Gary graduated in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in public relations and journalism from the University of Nebraska at Kearney (then Kearney State College). He would later serve on the UNK Alumni Association Board as secretary, vice president, president, and past president.  

Before joining the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools, Gary held positions supporting fundraising at both Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Nebraska Foundation and communications positions at Aliant Communications and Alltel. He also had a thriving career as a "newspaperman." He held positions at the Wisner News-Chronicle, the Beatrice Daily Sun, and the Dodge City Daily Globe before becoming the Executive Editor at the North Platte Telegraph.  

Gary was the epitome of advocacy for public education, and we will miss him so much. Our hearts are with his family, many friends, and the numerous donors, LPS staff, and students whose lives he touched.  

Gary's family would like memorial gifts directed to the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools to be designated at a later date.  

The Numbers

  • Schools Served

    60

  • Focus & Specialty Programs Served

    15

  • Students Empowered

    41,784

  • Teachers & Staff Supported

    7,500+

  • Funds Received This Year

    $1.20M

© 2024 Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools

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