Ebersole, Lois, daughter of Martin E. and Verda A. Weaver, was born in Jonestown, Pa., died in an automobile accident in Brazil on May 28, 1983; aged 60 y. She was married to Lester Ebersole, who survives. Also surviving are 4 daughters (Judith Ebersole, Dorothy Jean Ebersole, Margaret-Mrs. Cliff Shisler, and Nilza-Mrs. Onilda Breto), one son (Kenneth Ebersole), 4 grandchildren, 3 sisters (Helen-Mrs. Elmer Showalter, Ruth-Mrs. Paul Stoltzfus, and Alice-Mrs. Ezra Beachey), and 3 brothers (Marlin, John, and Richard Weaver). Memorial services were held at Grace Chapel, Elizabethtown, Pa., June 2, in charge of Luke Weaver.
Gingerich, Gerald K., son of Jacob and Pearl (Kipfer) Gingerich, was born at Zurich, Ont., Nov. 27, 1924; died at South Huron Hospital, Exeter, May 30, 1983; aged 58 y. He was married to Pearl B. Doehn, who survives. Also surviving are one son (Gary), 2 daughters (Carol-Mrs. Gerald Witzel and Patricia-Mrs. Olive Ollies), 5 grandchildren, 3 brothers (Cyril, Victor, and Cleve). He was a member of Zurich Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 1, in charge of Clayton Kuepfer and John Smucker; interment in Zurich Mennonite cemetery.
Kemp, Benedick S., son of Samuel and Amanda (Hochstedler) Kemp, was born in Johnson Co., Iowa, Dec. 2, 1901; died at Mercy Hospital, Iowa City, Iowa; June 6, 1983; aged 81 y. He was married to Katie Ann Yoder, who survives. Also surviving are 5 sons (Samuel, Elmer, Omar, Maynard, and Alvin) and 3 daughters (Mary-Mrs. Leslie Gingerich, Mildred-Mrs. J. Edward Yoder, and Lula-Mrs. Willis Guengerich), 33 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. He was a member of Fairview Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 15, in charge of John L. Hershberger and Perry L. Miller; interment in Fairview Cemetery.
Krabill, Aaron D., son of John J. and Anna (Becher) Krabill, was born at Maximo, Ohio, Aug. 3, 1886; died at Canton, Ohio, June 13, 1983; aged 96 y. He was married to Mary Schmucker, who died on Jan. 16, 1963. Surviving are one daughter, (Loretta-Mrs. James Arner) and 2 sons (Marion and Ralph). He was a member of Beech Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 17, in charge of Paul D. Brunner and Lynn Warner; interment in Beech Mennonite cemetery.
Litwiller, Albert J., son of Jonas and Katie (Eigsti) Litwiller, was born in Tremont, Ill., May 30, 1897; died at Freeport, Ill., June 10, 1983; aged 86 y. On Oct. 14, 1922, he was married to Verna Francis Conrad, who survives. Also surviving are 3 daughters (Leda-Mrs. Charles Podbelsek, June-Mrs. Donald Shoemaker, and Jean-Mrs. Joseph Eigsti), 10 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, 2 brothers (Lester and Raymond Litwiller), and one sister (Luella Staker). He was a member of Freeport Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 13, in charge of Robert E. Nolt and Paul O. King; interment in Freeport Mennonite Cemetery.
Moore, Marguerite M., daughter of Charles and Edna (Sheppardsen) Jones, was born in Wyman, Mich., Aug. 6, 1905; died at Miami, Fla., May 4, 1983; aged 77 y. She was married to Paul B. Moore, who survives. Also surviving are 4 sons, 3 daughters, 27 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, and 4 great-great-grandchildren. She was a member of Locust Grove Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on May 6, in charge of James J. Carpenter; interment in Ridgelawn Cemetery.
Ruby, James M., son of Ervin J. and Laura (Kipfer) Ruby, died at his residence at Waterloo, Ont., June 8, 1983; aged 34 y. Surviving are his father, stepmother (Irene Ruby), one brother (Dale), and 2 sisters (Gloria-Mrs. Gerald Musselman and Carol-Mrs. Jack Holmes). He was preceded in death by his mother. He was a member of First Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 10, in charge of Glenn Brubacher; interment in First Mennonite Church Cemetery.
Stutzman, Margaret Marie, daughter of Otis and Mollie Billington, was born in Arkansas on Mar. 24, 1944; died of cancer at Oden, Ind., Mar. 29, 1983; aged 39 y. On July 16, 1971, she was married to Enos Stutzman, who survives, Also surviving are 3 sons (James. Loren, and Nevin), one daughter (Regina), and one sister (Mrs. Herbert Graber). She was preceded in death by her parents and one sister (Marjorie-Mrs. Perry Mast). She was a member of Pleasant View Mennonite Church, Hydro, Okla. Funeral services were held at Oden, Ind., Apr. 1, in charge of Eli Graber; interment in Believers Fellowship Church Cemetery.
Troyer, Ezra L., son of Abraham and Anna (Meuller) Troyer, was born in Johnson Co., Iowa., Nov. 16, 1904; died of heart failure at his home in Parnell, Iowa, June 13, 1983; aged 78 y. On Dec. 25, 1927, he was married to Martha Yoder, who survives. Also surviving are 3 children (Carroll, Lynn, and Larion), 10 grandchildren, 5 brothers (Chris E., Charles, Willis, Raymond, and Orval), and 3 sisters (Barbra-Mrs. Chris Yoder, Alma Troyer, and Dorothy Martin). He was preceded in death by one son (Donn). He was a member of Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 14, in charge of Dean Swartzendruber Dennis Troyer, and Robert K. Yoder; interment in Lower Deer Creek Cemetery.
Transcribed by Carolyn Hunnicutt, Indiana
Frey, Anna Mary, daughter of Enoch and Anna (Stauffer) Frey, was born at Ephrata, Pa., Jan. 21, 1923; died of a stroke at Harrisonburg, Va., Apr. 23, 1983; aged 60 y. She is survived by 2 sisters (Elizabeth Frey and Ruth Frey), and 2 brothers (Martin and Enoch Frey). Memorial services were held at Eastern Mennonite College (where she was an English professor), Apr. 27, in charge of Roy D. Roth and Richard C. Detweiler; interment in Weavers Church Cemetery.
Hiller, Darren Clayton, son of Gary and Doris (Keller) Hiller, was born at Ephrata, Pa., Apr. 21, 1983; died from what was thought to be a crib death at Ephrata, Pa., June 15, 1983; aged 3 mo. He is survived by one sister (Angela Renee) and one brother (Eric Andrew), maternal grandparents (Mr. and Mrs. John B. Keller), maternal great-grandmother (Anna B. Keller), and parental grandparents (Mr. and Mrs. William A. Hiller). Funeral services were held at Strasburg Funeral Home on June 17, in charge of Wilbert Lind; interment in Longenecker's Brethren cemetery.
Landis, James R., son of Ernest and Marian (Trauger) Landis, was born at Souderton, Pa., Jan. 5, 1962; died of Hodgkin's disease at Grand View Hospital, Sellersville, Pa., June 6, 1983; aged 21 y. Surviving are 3 brothers (Larry, David, and John), one sister (Sara). He was a member of Rockhill Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 9, in charge of Russell Detweiler, Henry Ruth, and Earl Trauger; interment in Rockhill Mennonite Church cemetery.
Landis, Weston N., son of Jacob and Sallie (Nice) Landis, was born in Franconia Twp., Pa., Feb. 20, 1890; died at Lansdale, Pa., June 20, 1983; aged 93 y. He was married to Ada W. Lewis, who died on June 11, 1973. Surviving are one daughter (Eva-Mrs. Norman Moyer), one son (Clarence), 12 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, 3 great-great-grandchildren, and one sister (Florence-Mrs. Arthur D. Ruth). He was a member of Franconia Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 24, in charge of Curtis Bergey and Floyd Hackman; interment in adjoining cemetery.
Lehman, Maggie K., daughter of Samuel and Christina (Keener) Martin, was born in Washington Co., Md., Dec. 12, 1888; died on June 3, 1983; aged 94 y. On Nov. 26, 1912, she was married to Amos F. Lehman, who died on Nov. 12, 1962. Surviving are 4 sons (Melvin, Fred, Harvey, and Robert), 3 daughters (Florence-Mrs. Daniel Horst, Anna-Mrs. Glenn Horst, and Margaret-Mrs. Delano Rosenberry), 27 grandchildren, 48 great-grandchildren, and one brother (Adin K. Martin). She was a member of Chambersburg Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 7, in charge of J. Mark Stauffer, Preston Frey, and Jere Horst; interment in the adjoining cemetery.
Ours, Marie Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel P. and Annie (Heatwole) Wenger, was born in Rockingham Co., Va., Aug. 30, 1896; died at Harrisonburg, Va., Mar. 4, 1983; aged 86 y. In December 1915, she was married to Russell F. Ours, who died on Jan. 9, 1949. Surviving are 2 sons (Harold and Richard), and 3 daughters (Doris Berkey, Lois Basinger, and Mary Louise Brunk). One son (Charles) preceded her in death. She was a member of Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on Mar. 6, in charge of Sam Janzen, Roy D. Roth, and Eric Kouns; interment in Weavers Mennonite Church cemetery.
Waters, Arthur, son of Moses and Lucy (Kiker) Waters, was born near Epworth, Ga., Mar. 5, 1899; died at Weatherford Hospital, Weatherford, Okla., Apr. 10, 1983; aged 84 y. On Nov. 16, 1919, he was married to Mary Detweiler, who died in 1973. He was a member of Pleasant View Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on May 3, in charge of Chester Slagell and Warren Slagell; interment in Pleasant View cemetery.
Transcribed by Carolyn Hunnicutt, Indiana
Hecker, Melvin I., son of Christian and Susan (Hostetler) Hecker, was born in Holmes Co., Ohio, Mar. 23, 1891; died at Union Hospital, Dover, Ohio, May 19, 1983; aged 92 y. He was married to Elva Immel, who survives. Also surviving are one son (Paul), 2 daughters (Marjorie-Mrs. Max W. Hughes and Mrs. Dorothy Berger), 11 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by 5 brothers, 5 sisters, and one son. He was a member of Walnut Creek Mennonite Church. Funeral services were held at Butler Funeral Home on May 22, in charge of Alvin Kanagy. Interment in Walnut Creek Mennonite Church Cemetery.
Kraybill, Mary R., daughter of Tillman S. and Elizabeth (Ruth) Kraybill, was born in Conoy Twp., Pa., Feb. 20, 1897; died at the Mennonite Home, Lancaster, Pa., June 14, 1983; aged 86 y. Surviving are 3 sisters (Laura Kraybill, Fannie Nissley, and Gertrude Miller), and 2 brothers (John and Norman Kraybill). She was a member of Bossler Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 17, in charge of Russell Baer, Harlan Hoover, and Fred Garber; interment in Bossler Mennonite Cemetery.
Longenecker, Phares B., son of Phares B. and Kathryn (Hersh) Longenecker, was born in West Donegal Twp., Pa., Jan. 2, 1923; died at Elizabethtown, Pa., June 7, 1983; aged 60 y. He was married to Anna Ruth Bair, who survives. Also surviving are 4 daughters (Ora Lee-Mrs. George Martin, Dianne E.-Mrs. Fred Stover, Audrey I. Longenecker, and Ferne E.-Mrs. Martin Miller), one foster son (William Knipe), 8 grandchildren, 3 sisters (Esther-Mrs. Paul Hiestand, Rebecca H. Longenecker, and Lois Jean Mrs. Wilmer Kreider), and 2 brothers (J. Howard and J. Wilmer Longenecker). He was a member of Bossler Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 10, in charge of Harlan Hoover, Fred Garber, and Simon Kraybill; interment in Bossler Cemetery.
Correction: In the obituary of Phares B. Longenecker in the July 19 issue the name of one surviving son (Duane B. Longenecker) was omitted.
Rosenberger, Raymond H., son of William F. and Sallie Ann (Henning) Rosenberger, was born in Hatfield, Twp., Pa., July 27, 1905; died at North Penn Hospital, Lansdale, Pa., June 20, 1983; aged77 y. On Jan. 31, 1923, he was married to Sallie M. Landis, who survives. Also surviving are 5 daughters (Mildred-Mrs. Melvin Burkholder, Gladys-Mrs. Willard Grasse, Mary-Mrs. Arthur Newcomer, Susan-Mrs. Carl Destine, and Sally-Mrs. Paul Harshbarger), 4 sons (William L., Marcus L., Henry L., and James L.), 25 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by 3 infant daughters, one daughter (Arlene in 1953), and one sister (Eva-Mrs. Raymond Hackman). He was a member of Plains Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 25, in charge of Gerald Studer, John E. Lapp, and Curtis Bergey; interment in Plains Cemetery.
Roth, Frank, son of Peter and Miriam (Neuenschwander) Roth, was born in Wheatland, Mo., Sept. 14, 1889; died in Harrisonville, Mo., June 9, 1983; aged 93 y. On Nov. 24, 1910, he was married to Emma Plank, who died on June 28, 1953. On Dec. 15, 1962, he was married to Nellie Hartzler, who survives. Also surviving are 2 daughters (Celesta Sperry and Ruth Roth), one son (Harold), 4 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, 6 stepchildren, 13 stepgrandchildren, 2 step-great-grandchildren, one brother (Pete), and 2 sisters (Nora Carpenter and Fanny Greer). He was a member of Sycamore Grove Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 12, in charge of Darrell Zook; interment in Clearfork Cemetery.
Sundheimer, Manona, daughter of Manasses and Alta (Gerber) Sommers, was born in Holmes Co., Ohio, May 15, 1913; died at Sugarcreek, Ohio, June 9, 1983; aged 70 y. She was married to Chester Sundheimer, who died in 1977. Surviving are one son (James), one daughter (Mrs. Wanda Njoroge), 2 grandchildren, 2 sisters (Mrs. Beulah Flinner and Alma-Mrs. Daniel Kandel), her stepmother (Mrs. Barbara Sommers), 4 stepbrothers (Howard and Lloyd Mishler and Orrie and Henry Miller), and 2 stepsisters (Mrs. Esther Wyss and Oleta-Mrs. Marvin Lehman). She was a member of Walnut Creek Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 12, in charge of Alvin Kanagy; interment in Walnut Creek Mennonite Cemetery.
Zeager, Nora, daughter of Amos and Clara (Whisler) Ebersole, was born in West Donegal Twp., Pa., May 27, 1897; died at Elizabethtown, Pa., June 20, 1983; aged 86 y. On Dec. 4, 1919, she was married to Walter L. Zeager, who died Aug. 8, 1967. Surviving are one daughter (Mildred E. Zeager), a foster daughter (Ruth E.-Mrs. Elvin H. Nolt), and 3 foster grandchildren. She was a member of Mt. Joy Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 14, in charge of Shelly R. Shellenberger; interment in Goods Mennonite Cemetery.
Transcribed by Carolyn Hunnicutt, Indiana
Duerksen, Ruth K., daughter of Elmer J. and Sarah Malinda (Yoder) King, was born near Smithville, Ohio, Dec. 20, 1914; died on June 22, 1983; aged 68 y. She was married to John Duerksen, who survives. Also surviving are one son (John), one daughter (Rebecca Ann-Mrs. Stanley Oswald), 5 grandchildren, one sister (Naomi-Mrs. Lester Slonecker), and 3 brothers (Loren, Floyd, and Forest King). Funeral services were held at the Mennonite Brethren Church, Ulysses, Kan., June 25, in charge of Byron Neufeld. Memorial services were held at Hesston, Kan., the evening of June 25, in charge of Paul Friesen and Milo Kauffman; interment in East Lawn Cemetery.
Litwiller, Roy M., son of Joseph and Barbara (Birkey) Litwiller, was born at Oberlin, Kan., Aug. 16, 1902; died of cancer at St. Francis Hospital, Peoria, Ill., June 29, 1983; aged 80 y. On Feb. 28, 1928, he was married to Martha Nolder, who survives. Also surviving are one son (Carol), 3 daughters (Marzella Litwiller, Joan Bright, and Jean Shepherd), 8 grandchildren, and one brother (Emery). He was preceded in death by one grandson and 4 brothers. He was a member of Hopedale Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on July 2, in charge of Aden J. Yoder and Jim Smith; interment in Hopedale Mennonite Church Cemetery.
Mark, Albert Henry, son of Henry and Clara Mark, was born in McMillan, Mich., May 23, 1899; died at Elkhart, Ind., Mar. 17, 1983; aged 83 y. On June 19, 1929, he was married to Vivian Verna Viel, who died on June 26, 1974. Surviving are 2 sons (George A. and Richard C.) and 8 grandchildren. He was a member of Prairie Street Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on Mar. 19, in charge of Philip Bedsworth and Dorsa J. Mishler.
Millard, Ethel, daughter of Stepher C. and Mabel (Alexander) Ragan, was born in Conowinga, Md., May 14, 1889; died at Tel-Hai Rest Home, Honey Brook, Pa., June 26, 1983; aged 94 y. On June 27, 1929, she was married to William Philip Millard, who survives. Also surviving are 3 sisters (Marjory-Mrs. Earl Graybeal, Katie Matthewson, and Bertha Ragan). She was a member of Rockwell Mennonite Church. Funeral services were held at Conestoga Mennonite Church on June 29, in charge of Amos Stoltzfus, Jr., and Millard Shoup; interment in Conestoga Church Cemetery.
Transcriber's note: "Stepher" as in the original.
Miller, William Atlee, son of Sol and Saloma (Cross) Miller, was born in Hartville, Ohio, Aug. 30, 1936; died in Phoenix, Ariz., June 27, 1983; aged 46 y. On Mar. 29, 1959, he was married to Betty Weaver, who survives, Also surviving are one son (Kim), his mother, 2 brothers (Howard and Harold), and 3 sisters (Alice Sommers, Mabel Campbell, and Esther Yoder). Funeral services were held in Glendale, Ariz., June 30, in charge of David Mann and Malcolm Craig; interment in Resthaven Park Cemetery, Glendale.
Oyer, Menno, was born in Sterling, Kan., July 16, 1895; died at Newton, Kan., June 29, 1983; aged 87 y. He was married to Nora Parsons, who survives. Funeral services were held at Hesston, Kan., July 2, in charge of Waldo E. Miller; interment in West Liberty Cemetery, Inman, Kan.
Springer, Theodore, son of Valentine and Emelia (Unzicker) Springer, was born in Rantoul, Ill., Dec. 3, 1897; died at Maple Lawn Home, Eureka, Ill., May 20, 1983; aged 85 y. On Sept. 28, 1922, he was married to Leah L. Naffziger, who died on Jan. 12, 1982. Surviving are 5 sons (Robert, Paul, Wilfred, Myron, and Merle), one daughter (Irene Bechler), 16 grandchildren, 6 great-grandchildren, 4 brothers (George, Elmer, Victor, and Ervin), and 3 sisters Mary Weaver, Clara Naffziger, and Dora Oyer). He was preceded in death by 3 brothers. He was a member of East Bend Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on May 23, in charge of Paul O. King; interment in East Bend Memorial Gardens.
Swope, Joseph, son of Emanuel and Maggie (Burkholder) Swope, was born in Rockingham Co., Va., Feb. 29, 1904; died of complications following surgery at Salem Hospital, Salem, Ohio, June 16, 1983; aged 79 y. On June 15, 1935, he was married to Mary Elizabeth Hertzler, who died on Jan. 31, 1975. Surviving are 2 daughters (Mrs. Fern Larue Keller and Mrs. Judy Ann Alkema), one son (Stanley), 6 grandchildren, 3 sisters (Mrs. Mary Steiner, Mrs. Nannie Lehman, and Mrs. Margaret Lehman), and 5 brothers (Oliver, Herman, Paul, Emanuel, and Cleo). He was preceded in death by 3 brothers (Roy, Ira, and John). He was a member of Lima Mennonite Church. Funeral services were held at the Seederly-Mong Funeral Home on June 18, in charge of Richard Bartholomew; interment in Lake Park Cemetery, Youngstown, Ohio.
Vance, Jason, son of Sylvester and Sarah (Morral) Vance, was born at Onego, W. Va., Apr. 12, 1893; died at Cortland Acres Nursing Home, Thomas, W. Va., May 19, 1983; aged 90 y. He was married to Emmatie Long, who died on June 26, 1967. Surviving are 3 sons (Harvey J., Bert, and Clyde Vance), 3 daughters (Marie Bradfield, Virgie Torkelson, and Lucy Vance), 19 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandson, 2 sisters (Effie Miley and Clara Ketterman), and 3 brothers (Frank, Denver, and Blake). He was a member of Brushy Run Mennonite Church. Funeral services were held at the Schaeffer Funeral Home, in charge of Oliver Keener; interment in Boggs Cemetery.
Yoder, Lizzie Ann, daughter of Harry C. and Magdalena Schrock, was born at Shipshewana, Ind., Mar 29, 1886; died at Shipshewana, Ind., June 22, 1983; aged 97 y. On Dec. 29, 1907, she was married to Lee L. Yoder, who died in March 1966. Surviving are 3 sons (Harry V., Floyd H., and Clyde J.), one daughter (Gladys Ringo), 15 grandchildren, 33 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by one son (Freeman) and one daughter (Nel). She was a member of Shore Mennonite Church, where funeral services were held on June 26, in charge of Orville G. Miller and Orvin H. Hooley; interment in Shore Mennonite Cemetery.
Transcribed by Carolyn Hunnicutt, Indiana
Gospel Herald, July 26, 1983, pages 516-517.
"Louella Blosser: pioneer missionary" by Emery Hochstetler
Louella Blosser was born 65 years ago in the Mennonite community of southeast Iowa and died there of cancer this summer. But in between she fulfilled her mother's dream for her to "see the world" through her work as a pioneer missionary in China and Japan.
Louella was part of the first mission sent to China by Mennonite Board of Missions in 1947. The unusual story of that mission, which was cut short by the Chinese Communist Revolution in 1949-50, is recorded in Dorothy McCammon's book, We Tried to Stay (Herald Press, 1953). The rest of Louella's life was spent in mission work in Japan with her husband, Eugene, and four children.
Louella's father was Christian Gingerich, who was part of the Mennonite farming community in Iowa. Her mother, Mary Zehr, was the daughter of a medical doctor in Ontario. Both parents were of German-speaking Swiss Anabaptist stock.
Three days after Louella was born, her mother died. Before her death, concerned for Louella's care as the only daughter then in a family of three sons, Mary committed her daughter's upbringing to an uncle and aunt- Menno and Lizzy Gingerich.
Louella thereby acquired a second family and set of siblings. She was fond of childhood memories, laughing over stories about the mischief she and her brother Bill got into-such as throwing rotten eggs against the back of the garage.
Early in her life, most likely during her high school years at Hesston Academy in Kansas, Louella formed firm convictions-somewhat exceptional for a woman of her time and place-about the value of higher education. Without the wholehearted support of her family, she embarked upon a career of higher education in nursing and liberal arts.
Louella studied nursing at Mercy Hospital School of Nursing in Iowa City, and completed her RN degree at La Junta Mennonite Hospital School of Nursing in Colorado in 1944. She then went on to study at Hesston College in Kansas and to earn her BS degree in natural science at Goshen College in Indiana in 1947.
It was at Goshen College that Louella began dating her future husband, Eugene, whom she had first met back in Iowa in 1935 at the "socials" arranged by West Union Mennonite Church. At Goshen, however, Louella was already making plans to go to China as a missionary, plans first inspired by her contact with Mary Helen Huber, a classmate during her nursing studies in Iowa City. Her prior commitment to mission work therefore took precedence over thoughts of engagement at this time.
In September 1947, Louella stepped aboard the Marine Lynx in New York to set sail for China. She bade farewell to her brother Bill and his family standing on the pier, and found waiting for her aboard ship a bouquet of roses sent by Eugene from Goshen-a token of things to come.
In China, Louella served under Mennonite Board of Missions in cooperation with the Chinese Methodist Church. She spent her first year in language study in Chengtu, a city far inland in the westward reaches of China, mentioned by Marco Polo for its beautiful bridges.
The following year, Louella moved to Hochwan where she opened a medical clinic and put her training as a nurse to practical use. These were years that she would later recall with great fondness-years in which she grew to love the land of China, its people, its food, its language, and its culture.
It was during the year in Hochwan, too, that Louella's correspondence with Eugene in the United States led to his proposal and their engagement to be married. And so, in August 1949, Eugene set sail from Mobile, Alabama, on a 35-day trip to Hong Kong. The two met there and were married on September 19 in St. John's Cathedral.
Following their honeymoon along Hong Kong Bay, the newlyweds settled in Chengtu to begin their work. Their fledgling mission work, however, was short lived. On December 30, the communist armies of Mao Tse-tung overran Chengtu. Work among the Chinese became increasingly difficult, as public executions began taking their toll in intimidation, and as attendance at private religious meetings in the homes of missionaries dwindled. Along with a handful of other missionaries, Blossers made a determined effort to continue their work under the communist regime. Finally, however, the work became counterproductive, and the decision was reluctantly made to leave China.
On December 30, 1950-exactly one year after Chengtu was "liberated" by the communists-Blossers departed, flying a no-frills DC-3 to Chungking and, after an 18-day delay, taking a memorable seven-day trip by riverboat down the Yangtze River to Hankow. Countless times Louella recalled this cruise through the beautiful Yangtze gorges, and how she made baby bottle formula from the dirty river water for her three-month-old son, Philip.
From Hankow, Blossers took a two-day train ride to Canton, from which they crossed the border out of communist China into Hong Kong. Never, she said, did the British Union Jack flag look so beautiful.
The next chapter in Louella's life covers three decades (1953-1983) of mission work with her husband in Japan. Their interest in this country was first inspired by talks Eugene had heard at Goshen College in 1948 by Takuo Matsumoto, a Japanese Christian who survived the atomic bomb blast in Hiroshima.
The Japan years were spent in pioneer church work, first, among the small rural settlements on the beautiful frontier island of Hokkaido, and later in the city of Sapporo-site of the 1972 Winter Olympics.
It was during these years that Blossers' daughters, Rachel and Mary Lou, were born, and Thomas, a Japanese boy, became their adopted son.
In Sapporo, Blossers had the task of providing boarding facilities for Mennonite missionary children to attend Hokkaido International School. To these children, "Aunt Louella" and "Uncle Gene" became surrogate parents and close friends during their years away from home.
After a brief term as pastoral couple at First Mennonite Church in Nampa, Idaho, in 1969-71, during which they assisted in their older children's adjustments to life in America, Louella and Eugene returned to Hokkaido for their last ten years of mission work.
It was just after the completion of this ten-year term, in 1981, that Louella began her struggle with cancer. Treatments at the University of Iowa Hospital in Iowa City gave her a merciful lease on life, allowing her to receive visits from her children and grandchildren in her supportive home community. She died on May 28 with her husband and two of her children at her bedside.
Emery Hochstetler is conference minister of Iowa-Nebraska Mennonite Conference. The Blosser family helped to write this tribute to Louella, which was delivered by Emery at her funeral on May 31 at West Union Mennonite Church. Parnell, Iowa.
Transcribed by: John Ingold, Indiana