The ‘Pie Lady’ does so much more!

Kim Fangman pride of place Elgin Nebraska Elgin Public Pope John school Antelope County news Nebraska Elgin Review 2023 9924 3 col cmyk
Kim Fangman displays one of her recent coconut creme pies. Every year she bakes pies for and organizes the Shari Schiltmeyer Bake Sale.

Editor’s Note: This continues a series of monthly articles celebrating pride in our town and its surroundings shown through the experience of residents and organizations.

By Jane Schuchardt

Special to the Elgin Review 

What do picture-perfect, mouthwatering cream pies and sweaty, intense youth baseball and softball games have in common? Not much really, until you get to know Kim Fangman. Both are her passions. 

“I’ve always loved to bake,” Fangman said, “and pies are my favorite because I’m good at it.” We’re talking homemade crust, generally, unless she has a huge order, and the creamy kind – coconut, banana, sour cream raisin, and lemon meringue. With about a week advance notice, she bakes one up for you in about 45 minutes for a fee. Since cream pies do not freeze well, plan to eat them within a few days, though “they generally don’t last that long (before they’re eaten),” she reports with pride. 

For Elgin’s Shari Schiltmeyer Bake Sale, which Fangman organizes each year in June, she bakes 16-18 pies, a popular seller. Proceeds from the bake sale honor the memory of Shari, who died in a vehicle accident in 2003, and fund college scholarships for Elgin graduates who were on a girls softball team a minimum of two years. “I’m known as the Bake Sale Lady,” Fangman reported. “I want to keep the scholarship fund and Shari’s memory alive. Shari loved softball so much and was always fun.” In 2023, the bake sale brought in $1,700. Offered through the Elgin Community Foundation, the Shari Schiltmeyer Scholarship generally goes to two girls annually. 

Fangman got acquainted with Shari through her long association with Elgin’s summer youth baseball and softball program. With the 2023 season recently wrapping up, she said 39 girls and 56 boys participated in nine separate teams. While she used to coach, she gave that up so she can attend her grandson’s games. She arranges for umpires and works with her teammate Adam Veik to keep the program rolling smoothly. 

“It gives the kids something to do in summer, to get together with their friends, to have fun, and it teaches good sportsmanship,” she said recalling how she played softball in Elgin since 7th grade until age 16, mostly in Elgin where she and her three sisters lived with grandparents Fred and Elvera Nelson, both deceased. She graduated from Elgin Public High School in 1983. 

About her immediate family, Fangman, 58, married Rick Fangman in 1991 and they now live on the ‘home place’ near Raeville where Rick is engaged in farming. “I always wanted four girls,” she said as she flipped her signature single braid of hair in place. Bridgette is from Ericson. The other three, Bryttanie, RoseMarie, and Victoriah all hail from Albion and, as she wanted, all have nine letters in their name. Rick and Kim are members of St. Bonaventure Catholic Church in Raeville.  

For the rest of this story, see this week’s Elgin Review.