Longtime Nebraska banker dies

Longtime Nebraska community banker Steven Lee Clabaugh died Jan. 2 at age 72 in Deshler, Neb. 

Clabaugh, who began his banking career in 1970 at First National Bank of Lincoln, moved to Nelson, Neb., seven years later and joined his father in the family banking business at Commercial Bank. 

Clabaugh, who graduated from the Parks School of Business in Denver, was on the board of the Nebraska Bankers Bank from 2001-16, and received a 50-year banking service award from the Nebraska Bankers Association last year. 

Nebraska Bankers Association President & CEO Richard Baier described Clabaugh as “the epitome of banking” in the state, a banker who stayed true to local banking throughout the decades, even in the depths of the farm crisis in the 1980s. 

Clabaugh was also active in the communities he served: A founding member of the Nelson Cable TV company, Clabaugh was involved in the state’s emerging biofuels sector. 

“Steve was not a guy to be up front, but he did a lot of work behind the scenes to make things happen,” Baier noted.