Mennonite Weekly Review - October, 2003
Mennonite Weekly Review
October 6, 2003
81st Year, No. 40
Abram John Klassen
Abram John (A.J.) Klassen, 77, died July 15, 2003. He was born April 12, 1926, to John C. and Elizabeth (Martens) Klassen in Kamenez, Neu Samara, Russia.
Three months later the family immigrated to Canada. At age 14 he accepted Jesus as Savior, was baptized and received into the Mennonite Brethren Church. After graduating from Bible school in South Abbotsford, B.C., he was a high school teacher.
On Aug. 23, 1953, he married Betty Suderman at Matsqui (B.C.) Mennonite Brethren Church.
After being called into the preaching ministry, he attended and graduated from Goshen Biblical Seminary. While studying at Wheaton (Ill.) Graduate School, he pastored a small Baptist church in Elgin, Ill.
In 1962 he taught at Mennonite Brethren Bible Institute, now Columbia Bible College, in Clearbrook and preached at Matsqui MB Church. In 1965 he taught at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary in Fresno, Calif. He completed his doctoral work at Claremont Graduate School and taught at the seminary for 14 years. They moved back to Canada to pastor the King Road church in 1981. Later he and his wife went on some short-term mission assignments together.
He was a gifted storyteller with an amazing memory. He thrived on Church Partnership Evangelism & Discipleship assignments in India and Russia, preached occasionally at King Road and in-care facilities. During his final CPED mission to Neu Samara, in 2001, he celebrated his 75th birthday.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Betty; three daughters, Grace Klassen of Three Rivers, Calif., Esther Klassen-Isaak and her husband, Ken, of Fresno, Calif., Charlene Klassen Endrizzi and her husband, George, of New Wilmington, Pa., a son, Daniel and his wife, Rita, of Richmond, B.C.; four brothers, John, Neil, Peter and Bill; three sisters, Katherine Martens, Louise Willms and Anne Nickel; and four grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at King Road MB Church. Burial was in MacLure Road Cemetery.
Walter Lee Siemens
Walter Lee Siemens, 77, of Harrisonburg, Va., died Sept. 24, 2003, at the University of Virginia Medical Center. He was born June 10, 1926, to Henry Siemens and Elise Froese Siemens in Buhler, Kan.
He grew up on the family wheat farm. When Walter was 14, his father died, and so he assumed responsibility for his mother and 7-year-old brother, Abe. His older brothers, married and with families of their own, lived nearby, and the Siemens brothers remained close. In high school he excelled in basketball, baseball, music and science.
While studying at Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., he met Janis Krehbiel of Freeman, S.D. They shared a love of music and performed together in the choir. He graduated from Bethel with a degree in physics and education in 1951. They each took teaching positions in different towns but remained in touch and married in the spring of 1952. They settled in Oakley, Kan., and both taught.
He resumed his postgraduate education at the University of Notre Dame, and later at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. From Charlottesville they moved to Northern Virginia, where he took an administrative position with Fairfax County Schools and Janis taught music in the public schools. After his retirement, he resumed teaching at the college level.
He is thought of fondly by the many students he guided. He will be remembered for his gentle nature, his sense of humor and his beautiful bass voice.
They remained at their home in Vienna, Va., until 2000, when they moved to Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community in Harrisonburg. He had been in failing health, with advanced Parkinson's Disease, and suffered a fall Sept. 23, which resulted in cerebral hemorrhaging that caused his death.
Survivors include his wife, Janis; three daughters; two sons-in-law; a brother; and four grandchildren.
Fanny Smucker, 94, died Aug. 22, 2003, at Pleasantview Home in Kalona, Iowa, where she had lived for many years. She was born Aug. 11, 1909, to John and Lydia (Reber) Gingerich, and grew up in Washington Township in Johnson County, Iowa.
On Nov. 30, 1933, she married Herman J. Smucker. Except for a few years in West Liberty, Ohio, they lived in Kalona, Iowa City and Hills, Iowa.
Baptized in her youth, she became a member of Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church. For many years she was also a member of Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church of Hills, where her husband pastored.
Children were always her delight. In the early 1950s she was in charge of the "Nurse's Nursery" at the University of Iowa hospitals, and when that closed, she continued babysitting for several families until her health failed. She enjoyed teaching children's Sunday school classes. She also had friends of all ages.
Survivors include her daughter, Mary Lou Bowers and her husband, Paul, of Iowa City; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Herman, in 1970; two brothers, Melvin and Ralph Gingerich; and two sisters, Mary Marner and Alta Kauffman.
Services were held at Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church of rural Kalona. Burial was in Lower Deer Creek Cemetery.
Dale S. Galle
Dale S. Galle, 92, of Moundridge, Kan., died Sept. 27, 2003, at Memorial Home. He was born Aug. 21, 1911, to David W. and Emma E. (Toland) Galle in Moundridge.
He was a lifetime Moundridge area resident and graduated from Moundridge High School in 1929.
On Aug. 26, 1934, he married Bertha F. Meyer in Moundridge.
He was a retired farmer and helped with the Kansas Mennonite Central Committee relief sale for many years. He was a member of West Zion Mennonite Church of Moundridge.
Survivors include his wife, Bertha; a son, Nelson D. Galle of Manhattan; three daughters, Dorothy Claassen of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Edith Dahlsten of Lindsborg and June Krehbiel of Moundridge; a brother, Gilbert D. Galle of Moundridge; 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Richard W. and Robert D. Galle; and two sisters, Fern Block and Gwen Janzen.
Memorial services were held at West Zion Mennonite Church.
Mennonite Weekly Review
October 13, 2003
81st Year, No. 41
Mary McNeil Trissel
Mary McNeil Trissel, 81, of Harrisonburg, Va., died Sept. 7, 2003, at Rockingham Memorial Hospital. She was born June 29, 1922, to Abner F. and Emma F. Shank Weaver in Augusta County.
She married J. Ward Trissel on June 12, 1947.
She was a member of Staunton Mennonite Church and attended Dayton Mennonite Church. She loved singing, sewing, cooking and playing the piano, and was the first woman to lead singing at the annual Harmonia Sacra at Weaver's Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg.
Survivors include her husband, J. Ward; a son, John W. Trissel and his wife, Bernell, of Waynesboro; a brother, Paul A. Weaver of Greenville; and a grandson.
She was preceded in death by a brother, Raymond Weaver.
Funeral services were held at Springdale Mennonite Church. Burial was in the church cemetery.
Barbara D. Borntrager
Barbara D. Borntrager, 94, of Hesston, Kan., died Oct. 4, 2003, at Schowalter Villa. She was born Nov. 24, 1908, to David and Lizzie Chupp Plank in Bucklin.
She married Andrew A. Borntrager on Dec. 16, 1926, at Garnett. He preceded her in death on June 11, 1999.
She lived in the Yoder, Burrton and Hesston areas most of her life. She owned the Yoder Cafe from 1950 to 1963 and was also a homemaker.
She was a member of Yoder Mennonite Church.
Survivors include five sons, Andrew Borntrager of Council Bluffs, Iowa, David Borntrager of Minneapolis, Minn., Daniel Borntrager of Burrton, John Borntrager of Trimont, Minn., and Charles Borntrager of Burchrun, Mich.; a daughter, Betty Eash of Abbyville; 17 grandchildren; 43 great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; 13 step-great-grandchildren and a step-great-great-grandchild.
She was preced in death by her husband, Andrew Borntrager; seven brothers; three sisters and a grandchild.
Funeral services were held at Yoder Mennonite Church. Burial was in the church cemetery.
Mennonite Weekly Review
October 20, 2003
81st Year, No. 42
Paul Y. Benner
Paul Yoder Benner, 93, of Harrisonburg, Va., died Oct. 2, 2003, of cancer. He was ill for four months and under the care of the Rockingham Memorial Hospital Hospice. He was born March 13, 1910, to Charles and LeAnna Benner in Souderton, Pa.
He married Margaret May Longacre on Dec. 28, 1932. She preceded him in death May 2, 1985. On July 22, 1989, he married Vivian Martin Troyer of Goshen, Ind.
A hosiery knitter for most of his adult life, he was an ordained deacon in the Mennonite Church and was an active member of Bethany Mennonite Church, Briery Branch, until the time of his illness.
Survivors include his wife, Vivian; two sons, Richard and his wife, Marlene, of Harrisonburg, and Stanley and his wife, Marge, of Toronto, Ont.; three daughters, Beatrice Benner of Vanderhoof, B.C., Florence Witmer and her husband, Samuel, of Broadway, and Louise Baerg and her husband, Marvin, of Langley, B.C.; two brothers, Marvin of Earlington, Pa., and Willard of Phoenixville, Pa.; three sisters, Irene Alderfer of Harleysville, Pa., Edna Styer of Hatfield, Pa., and Dorothy Shenk of Newport News; 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son, Ernest, in July 1948, of leukemia at age 14; and two brothers, Edwin and Merrill.
Funeral services were held at Pike Mennonite Church of Harrisonburg and at Vincent Mennonite Church, Spring City, Pa. Burial followed in the church cemetery. Spring City is the community of origin for the Benner family.
Henry E. Wiebe
Henry Enz Wiebe, 90, of North Newton, Kan., died Sept. 5, 2003, at Kidron-Bethel Health Care. He was born May 9, 1913, to Henry B. and Katie Enz Wiebe in Newton.
The family moved to Aberdeen, Idaho, in 1930, and he graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1933. He was baptized in 1931 and joined First Mennonite Church of Aberdeen.
He was deferred from military service in World War II because he was needed on the farm. After the war he did voluntary service, taking a load of cattle on a Liberty Ship to Europe under United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation in conjunction with Mennonite Central Committee. He went on another MCC assignment to Poland to teach tractor maintenance for six months.
On June 13, 1951, he married a young war widow, Ruth Schmidt Peters.
His employment included working for his brother Walter's grocery store, driving a truck to deliver gas and oil, working as a field man for Lamb-Weston Potato Processing Co., and operating heavy equipment for Bingham County road maintenance.
At First Mennonite of Aberdeen, he served as church treasurer, Sunday school treasurer, deacon and Men's Brotherhood president, and sang in the men's chorus.
In November 1990 they moved to Kidron-Bethel Village. He transferred his membership to First Mennonite Church of Newton, Kan., in 1992. He entered Kidron-Bethel Health Care in 1998.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth; three children, Marianne Harper and her husband, Curtis, of Fort Worth, Texas, Gordon of Beaverton, Ore., and Dorothy Wiebe-Johnson and her husband, Steve, of Elkhart, Ind.; a sister, Elsie Epp of Newton; and four grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, Walter, Karl and Willard; and two sisters, Esther Becker and Florence Nickel.
Services were held at First Mennonite Church of Newton. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery.
Evelyn Lorraine Bridges, 71, of Gardnerville, Nev., died Oct. 10, 2003, at Carson City. She was born Dec. 7, 1931, to Bernhard and Tina (Wiebe) Warkentin in Borden, Sask.
She married Robert Bridges in 1951. He preceded her in death in 2000.
She worked for General Telephone Electric in Southern California for more than 20 years, retiring in December 1988.
She was a member of Downey Immanuel Mennonite Church in Southern California.
She was family oriented and enjoyed genealogy, studying her families' roots. She like traveling.
Survivors include a daughter, Susan Weiss of Gardnerville; two sons, Robert Bridges of Gardnerville and Donald Bridges of Lake Elsonore, Calif.; four sisters, Clarice Johns of Nevada, Lucille Langeman of Washington, Roslyn Lambert and Marjorie Isaac, both of California; six brothers, Alvin, Willy, Ron and Stanley Warkentin, all of California, Larry Warkentin of Nevada and Dale Warkentin of Canada; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert; and a brother.
Burial was in Northern Nevada Veteran's Cemetery in Fernley, Nev.
Mennonite Weekly Review
October 27, 2003
81st Year. No. 43
Ervin N. Hershberger
Ervin N. Hershberger, 89, of Meyersdale, Pa., died Sept. 3, 2003. He was born April 17, 1914, to Noah E. and Savilla (Yoder) Hershberger near Grantsville, Md.
He was a member of Mountain View Mennonite Church since his youth, and served as deacon on the ministerial team since 1964.
On May 12, 1940, he married Barbara Beachy, who preceded him in death on June 12, 2000.
The church was very important to his life. Children and youth had a special place in his heart. He knew the first and middle names of everyone in the church and prayed regularly for each person by name. Whenever his health and schedule permitted, he taught a weekly Bible class at the local nursing home.
Though he felt inadequate and did not really desire to be an editor, he accepted God's call to that responsibility. He served as editor of Herold der Wahrheit from the 1950s until Calvary Messenger began in 1970. He was the founding editor of Calvary Messenger and continued in that capacity until 1997, except for a short time when others served in that position. His grammatical precision and concern for clarity shone through his writings.
For 26 years he served as a teacher at Calvary Bible School, Calico Rock, Ark., from which he retired in 1995. He faithfully read and studied the Bible. He dug deeply and gleaned a vast knowledge of biblical truths. He was widely used to teach the truths he had learned from studying the Old Testament tabernacle.
Survivors include a daughter, Mildred Yoder and her husband, Marvin, of Meyersdale; a special friend of the family, Irene Shearer and her husband, Harold, of Sarasota, Fla.; a sister, Fannie Beachy, and a sister-in-law, Fannie Hershberger, both of Grantsville, Md.; and three grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara; a stillborn daughter, Dorcas; two brothers, Simon and Elmer, and three sisters, Sadie, Vernie and Lydia.
Funeral services were held at Mountain View Mennonite Church. Burial was in the Mountain View Church cemetery.