In Memory

Gwen Meister (Meister) VIEW PROFILE

Gwen Meister (Meister)


Gwen Kay Meister, 76, of Lincoln, NE died October 16, 2023.

Gwen Meister was a folklorist with a master’s degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. She was an active member of the American Folklore Society. Gwen was folk arts coordinator for the Nebraska Arts Council for more than four years.

In 2003 Gwen and a group of Lincoln educators founded the Nebraska Folklife Network, a statewide non-profit organization that creates educational materials about Nebraska’s many cultural groups. Gwen served as the executive director of the Network for 20 years.

The Network works closely with both newer immigrant groups and established ethnic organizations in their work of documenting, promoting, and presenting the folk arts and cultural traditions in Nebraska. The Network currently maintains materials about Mexican Americans, Germans from Russia, Iraqi Americans, Irish Americans, Sudanese Americans Swedish Americans and Vietnamese Americans who live in Nebraska. Members of the Karen ethnic group from Burma (Myanmar), who have made Nebraska their home, are a new focus of the Network, as well. The Network also presents various events such as traditional music and dance concerts and celebrations of Nebraska's other cultural traditions, such as Lincoln's annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration on the first Sunday in November.

On July 4, 1982 Gwen Meister married Bill Behmer. Gwen and Bill enjoyed traveling, camping, their dogs and performing folk music.

Gwen is survived by her husband Bill, brother Mel Meister, nieces Melinda Thomas and Melissa Meister, and her nephew William Meister. Condolences may be sent to


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10/24/23 04:57 PM #1    

Jennifer Seyler (Jacobs)

Gwen was just a lovely person and we shared a love of Cultural Antropology and supporting diversity. RIP. 



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