In Memoriam – We Remember Robert L. Nefsky

Monday, November 27, 2023

In Memoriam, Robert L. Nefsky, April 2, 1951 – November 22, 2023

Bob Nefsky joined the board of trustees of the Cooper Foundation in September 2004, and served until his untimely death in November 2023. He filled many vital roles at the foundation during that time, serving as Vice Chair of the board, chairing and serving on the Research and Board Policy committees, and leading the nomination process for new trustees. His connections to and knowledge of nonprofit organizations in Lincoln and statewide contributed greatly to our work. He was thoughtful, patient, articulate, reliably witty, and a great friend.

We mourn with Bob’s family and friends and celebrate his memory and spirit that will remain with us.

Bob’s obituary follows.

Robert (“Bob”) L. Nefsky died November 22, 2023, and will be buried Monday, Nov. 27, at the Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln at 2 p.m. He is survived by his spouse, Mary Eckel Nefsky; his brother, William Nefsky (Deborah); his sister Frances Nefsky; and stepchildren Richard Endacott (Lisa Hofmann), Kent Endacott (Dorothy), Karen Endacott (Gil Montoya), Laura Endacott (Jack McLean) and step-grandchildren Sarah, Mark, Michael, and Clara Endacott.  He was preceded in death by his father, Leon, and his mother Lucille.

Bob was born April 2, 1951, in Lincoln and attended Lincoln Southeast High School. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1973 and the University of Nebraska College of Law with distinction in 1977, where he was assistant editor of the Nebraska Law Review.

He had a distinguished 45-year legal career with the law firm of Rembolt Ludtke L.L.P. and was recognized as an expert in insurance regulation. He represented companies before the Nebraska Department of Insurance and often served as lead counsel on complex insurance liquidation matters.

He was very active in the community, especially in areas of arts, culture and the Jewish faith. In the 1990s Bob was part of a core group of supporters who worked with the Nebraska Legislature to create a public-private partnership to support the programs of the Nebraska Arts Council and the Nebraska Humanities. Following passage of the legislation, he was instrumental in creating the Nebraska Cultural Endowment which provides an ongoing source of support for the arts and humanities in Nebraska. In 2014, Nebraska Humanities recognized Bob with the Sower Award, which honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to the public understanding of the humanities in Nebraska. In addition to serving on the board of the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, he served on the boards of the Museum of Nebraska Art; Bryan Hospital Foundation; Camperships for Nebagamon, Inc.; Nebraska Arts Council; Humanities Nebraska; Lincoln Fine Arts Radio; the Jewish Federation of Lincoln; Congregation B’Nai Jeshurun; Lincoln Children’s Zoo—where he met his wife, Mary; Nebraska Foundation for the Humanities; Sheldon Art Association; and the Cooper Foundation. In almost all of these organizations he not only served on the board of directors but as board chair.

Bob was a mentor to many community leaders and newly graduated law students and taught more than one person how to tie a bowtie. He was proud of his Jewish faith, and annually invited friends to Seder, explaining its rituals and traditions. He was excited to make his first hole in one this summer playing with his golf buddy, Tom McCurley. Bob cherished lifelong friends he first met as a youth attending Camp Nebagamon in Wisconsin; his camp friends showed their love and support for Bob until the end.

Friends gathered to share stories about Bob and his impact on their lives at the South Street Temple Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023. A recording of this gathering as well as a live stream of the burial service will be available on the Butherus, Maser & Love Funeral home website, Bob preferred no flowers at the time of his death and burial. Memorials in Bob’s name may be made to the South Street Temple, 2061 S 20th St, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68502 or the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, 1004 Farnam Street, Omaha, Nebraska, 68102.

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