Lyle Japp’s Obituary

5519bc831a697.imagePosted: Sunday, March 29, 2015

Japp, Lyle William

Japp, Lyle William Oct 29, 1925 – Mar 23, 2015 Lyle William Japp, age 89, passed into Glory on March 23, 2015, following a courageous battle with pulmonary fibrosis. He was born October 29, 1925 in Blair, Nebraska, to Walter and Marie (Wrich) Japp and grew up on the family farm. Following service in the army from 1945-46, he attended the University of Nebraska, graduating with a degree in business. He began a career with New York Life Insurance Company that lasted more than 60 years.

During his lifetime and continuing up until his death, Lyle was actively involved in a large number of religious and civic organizations, often as a cofounder or member of the board of directors. He served with the Good News Jail Ministry for 40 years, the Gideon’s for 40 years, Gambling With the Good Life for 20 years, Kiwanis for 35 years, the Open Door Mission, Overcomers in Christ, the Teammates mentoring program, and many others. In recognition of his lifetime contributions Lyle was awarded the Spirit Warrior Award by the Christian Business Men’s Committee.

Lyle will be remembered by his family and friends for his warm smile, ready conversation, eager hospitality, endless generosity, and an ever-ready desire to share the Good News of his Savior Jesus Christ whom he had received almost 60 years before. He was always willing to help, whether it was coaching the little league team, making a pot of chili, or providing housing for someone in need. Of course he was a faithful follower of nearly all Husker sports. Lyle was a unique and gifted man. He will be greatly missed.

He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 58 years, Phyllis M. Japp, PhD; parents, and his sister Mary Lou (Andersen). He is survived by his children Debra Japp, PhD and John Michael Japp (Janet); grandchildren Brendan (Jennifer) and Rachel Gilkey (Joseph); great-grandchildren, Griffin, Edie, and Maddox. He is also survived by two siblings: Walter, Jr (JoAnn) and Mildred (Krampe) along with numerous nieces and nephews.

Lyle’s LIFE WILL BE CELEBRATED on Thursday, April 2, at 11am at Brookside Church, 11607 M Circle, Omaha, NE. A luncheon will follow.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Lyle’s memory are encouraged to donate to one of the organizations he supported during his life, e.g. the Good News Jail and Prison Ministry, Gambling With the Good Life, Volunteers for Christ Campus Ministry, The Phyllis and Lyle Japp Scholars Fund at UNL, and others. For additional details on the organizations and how to give, send an email to

Former Lincoln Race Course manager claims wrongful firing

Article from the Lincoln Journal Star


Lincoln Race Course’s former manager has filed a lawsuit claiming he was wrongfully fired in retaliation for reporting his boss for alleged illegal use of the pari-mutuel betting system.

Judd Bietz, and his wife, Shanna Bietz, were fired and escorted from the Lincoln Race Course by security in April 2013, three months after state racing officials learned he had reported Greg Hosch of Omaha to Lincoln police, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Lancaster County District Court.

The Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, owner of the Lincoln Race Course, said through its attorney, Lynne Schuller, that the group is “denying all allegations and we expect to be vindicated.”

Hosch has not been charged with a crime. He is general manager of Horsemen’s Park in Omaha and oversees the Lincoln Race Course as vice president of Omaha Exposition & Racing Inc. Hosch lost a bid for the state Legislature’s District 12 seat in November.

Bietz, who was hired as director of the Lincoln Race Course in July 2009, says in his suit that an employee told him in late 2012 that Hosch had directed cashiers at the simulcast facility and Thoroughbred racetrack to create vouchers and pay out cash — generally $100 to $300 — to certain people even though they had not placed bets.

Bietz feared Hosch’s use of the system violated state and federal laws and reported it to police.

“Horse racing, like professional boxing and wrestling, has many disbelievers in the honesty and integrity of the sport,” his lawsuit says. “The false ticket for cash scheme would not help the sport’s reputation.”

At the same time, the Lincoln Race Course was in the process of moving from the former State Fair Park to its new home at U.S. 77 and West Denton Road.

Omaha Exposition & Racing President Kevin Hulse told Bietz in December 2012 that the group planned to hire him to manage the new Lincoln Race Course, according to the lawsuit.

A month later, Bietz told Horsemen’s Association President Todd Veerhusen about a police investigation into a cash payout scheme.

Hosch also found out about the investigation, allegedly after the company that provides the betting software called him about being contacted by police.

Once word had spread, the suit says, Hulse told Bietz to “lay off” and to stop cooperating with police.

Bietz was fired soon after.

His lawsuit names both the Nebraska and national horsemen’s associations, as well as Omaha Exposition & Racing, which manages both Horsemen’s Park and the Lincoln track.

It asks for payment of lost wages — he made $59,5000 annually, plus bonuses and benefits — plus two years future pay, and unspecified amounts for costs, attorneys fees, pain, suffering and mental anguish.

Bietz said he has applied at other horse racing venues but failed to get the jobs, and he believes the reason is that he has been blacklisted by Omaha Exhibition & Racing, the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association and Hosch, according to the lawsuit.

Bietz has since gotten a part-time job making a fraction of his former salary. He and his wife have had to cash in their retirement savings to pay for living expenses, the lawsuit says.

Hosch and Hulse could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Veerhusen declined to comment, and the national association did not return a message… READ MORE