The Oldfield Brigade

Remembering the NSHS Foundation as part of your estate plan is a great way to support a great cause. In honor of the vision and generosity of the Oldfields, the Nebraska State Historical Society has established the Oldfield Brigade planned giving club. This will serve as a way for us to both thank all of our donors who are remembering the Foundation in the charitable giving portion of their estate plans, and to encourage others to consider doing the same.

Current members include:

Harl & Kay Dalstrom – Omaha
Tony & Tam Dworak – Lincoln
Leslie & Marty Fattig – Auburn
Charles (1927-1998) & Diane Oldfather – Lincoln
Jim (1945-2016) and Gail DeBuse Potter – Lincoln
Mary Ann & Ron H. May-Pumphrey – San Jose, California

As our numbers grow, we plan on making “membership” in the Brigade even more notable and fun through special forms of thanks, recognition, and celebration. If a planned charitable gift might make sense for you, we hope you’ll consider joining the Oldfield Brigade to support Nebraska history for generations to come.

The Foundation has been blessed over the years with many generous estate gifts. As long-time fundraisers, we can tell you that the only downside of receiving an estate gift is that we often did not have the opportunity to thank and celebrate the donors while they were alive. The Oldfield Brigade will allow us to do just that!

To join the Oldfield Brigade, or to share your questions, comments, or ideas regarding our mission, please contact Tony Dworak at 402-435-3535 or

Barney and Ruth Oldfield
Barney and Ruth Oldfield

Tecumseh native Colonel Barney Oldfield (1910-2003) served as a press aide to General Dwight D. Eisenhower during World War II.  After the war, he enjoyed a long and successful career as a publicist to numerous well-known Hollywood stars, including Errol Flynn, Ronald Reagan, Elizabeth Taylor, and others.  Vada Kinman married Barney Oldfield in 1936 on the campus of the University of Nebraska.  Vada joined the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corps in 1943, and served in Africa, Sicily, and Italy as a telegraph operator during World War II. 

Barney and Vada were active philanthropists throughout their lives, funding some 40 scholarship programs totaling several million dollars.  Most of their gifting went to benefit causes and people within their beloved home state of Nebraska.  In 1997, they established the Nebraska Pearl Harbor Remembrance Fund at the NSHS Foundation, which provides financial awards to high school graduates from the home towns of Nebraskans who perished in the 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  In their estate plan, they left their downtown Lincoln condominium, along with a maintenance endowment fund, to the Foundation.  As a result of their generosity and vision, the Kinman-Oldfield Suite today serves as the home office of the Nebraska State Historical Society Foundation. 

Vada Kinman Oldfield died in 1999 in Beverly Hills, California.  The Oldfields rest at Fort McPherson National Cemetery near Maxwell, Nebraska.  Barney and Vada shared a love of Nebraska, and the history of Nebraska, throughout their lives.  The Oldfield Brigade for Planned Giving seeks to carry on this spirit and vision for generations of Nebraskans to come.