Mennonite Weekly Review - January, 2005
Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Mennonite Weekly Review, January 3, 2005, 83rd Year, No. 1, p. 8
Curtis Janzen, 74, of Baltimore, Md., died Dec. 3, 2004. He was born Feb. 9, 1930, to Jacob and Helena (Wiebe) Janzen in Henderson, Neb.
His mother died when he was 2 years old. His father later married Susan Schroeder, who was the mother he most remembered.
He served with Mennonite Central Committee in Germany from 1951 to 1954 as a conscientious objector. He was the director of the Pax program, which served refugees there.
During his work with Pax, he met Dorothy Hurley. They were married May 1, 1955, in Chicago.
He continued in his desire to serve others, first by attending Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Chicago, then by choosing a career in social work. He earned a master's degree in 1958, and then a doctorate in 1972, both from the University of Chicago.
In 1971 he began teaching at the University of Maryland School of Social Work. He co-authored a book with Oliver Harris, Family Treatment in Social Work Practice. He also had a private practice in family therapy and was an active member of the First and Franklin Street Presbyterian Church.
Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; a daughter, Joy Janzen; a son, Scott Janzen; a daughter-in-law, Sara Gordon; and two grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at First and Franklin Street Presbyterian Church.
Joel Albert Wiebe, 77, of Clovis, Calif., died Dec. 16, 2004. He was born Dec. 31, 1926, in Corn, Okla.
He dedicated his life to Christian education. He served at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kan., Fresno Pacific University, Fresno Christian Schools and Heritage Academy in Bakersfield.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Lucille; three children, Barbara Klein and her husband, Ralph, Pati Funk and her husband, Don, and Jay and his wife, Annette; a brother, James; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at North Fresno Church.
Mennonite Weekly Review, January 10, 2005, 83rd Year, No. 2, p. 8
Vernon Samuel Zook, 90, of Kalona, Iowa, died Dec. 6, 2004. He was born Jan. 13, 1914, to Lewis and Clara (Stutzman) Zook at Hydro, Okla.
When he was 4, the family moved to Kalona, where he attended Pleasant Hill School. At age 14, he committed his life to Christ during revival meetings, was baptized and became a member of East Union Mennonite Church.
On Jan. 25, 1939, he married Marguerite Emde at her home in Wellman. They moved to a farm of rural Iowa City, where they lived for the next 58 years.
Although he was not able to continue school beyond the eighth grade, he was an excellent student and an avid reader, with special interest in natural science. He especially enjoyed in-depth Bible study. He maintained enthusiasm for learning his whole life.
He volunteered with several out- of-state, short-term Mennonite Disaster Service projects. He remained physically active as long as he possibly could until severe arthritis curtailed his mobility.
They moved from the farm to Pleasantview Home in Kalona in 1998, first to a cottage, then to residential and finally to nursing care in March 2004. His physical health declined steadily in spite of his mental determination to keep going.
Survivors include his wife, Marguerite; a son, Donald and his wife, Verna, of rural Iowa City; a daughter, Linda Paine and her husband, Paul, of Alamosa, Colo.; son-in-law Manfred Leodolter of Creston; a sister, Mary Ellen Zook of Kalona; and six grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Janice, in 2002; a sister, Barbara; and three brothers, Leroy, Bill and Oscar.
Funeral services were held at East Union Mennonite Church. Burial was in East Union Cemetery.
Mennonite Weekly Review, January 17, 2005, 83rd Year, No. 3, pp. 8-9
Ralph Claude Kauffman, 94, of Freeman, S.D., died Nov. 15, 2004. He was born to Charles and Fannie (Schrag) Kauffman on a farm nine miles from Freeman.
From a one-room schoolhouse a mile from his home to Freeman Junior Academy, Bethel College, Colgate Rochester Divinity School and finally Yale University, his educational career evolved. He obtained a master of divinity degree and a doctorate in psychology of religion.
His professional career included teaching in a one-room schoolhouse, serving as professor and dean at Bethel College, and as assistant professor of psychology and assistant dean at the University of Arizona. He was adviser to foreign students at Bethel and adviser to premedical students in Arizona. In retirement, he worked as curator and developer of Heritage Hall Museum in Freeman.
Between 1944 and 1946, he provided alternative service as a conscientious objector with the Bengal Famine Relief Fund in India. He considered these years among the most fulfilling of his life.
He married Marion Lorenz in Rochester, N.Y., in 1937. After she died in 1985, he married Dorothy Preheim.
He enjoyed restoring washing machines, bicycles, motorcycles and many other mechanical items. Other hobbies included chess and checkers, violin playing with Marion on the piano, pool, hair cutting and listening to classical music.
He was a contributor to many charities and causes. He was a member of Salem Mennonite Church of rural Freeman.
Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; two children, Bonnie Kauffman Hemry of Anchorage, Alaska, and Edward Charles Kauffman of Sedona, Ariz.; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Marion; and siblings Lloyd Kauffman and Rose Kauffman Goering.
A memorial service was held at Salem Mennonite Church.
Alvin D. Eitzen, 86, of Mountain Lake, Minn., died Dec. 3, 2004. He was born Sept. 4, 1918, to David P. and Elizabeth Nickel Eitzen in Mountain Lake, Minn.
He accepted the Lord as Savior at an early age, was baptized by his father in 1931 and accepted as a member of Bergfelder Mennonite Church, now Lakeview Gospel Church.
He graduated from Mountain Lake High School in 1938. The next three years he attended Mountain Lake Bible School.
He married Lena Baerg on Sept. 5, 1943, at Lustre, Mont.
They bought a farm north of Frazer, Mont., where they lived, farmed and ranched for 36 years.
He was a member of Valley County and Montana State Farm Bureau, serving as president of the County Farm Bureau several years. He served on the first board of Lustre Bible Academy and was treasurer of the academy for 15 years.
He and his wife, Lena, joined Bethel Lustre Mennonite Church, which he was involved in building in 1948. He served in various leadership roles until the church disbanded in 1974. Then they attended Lustre Mennonite Brethren Church until their retirement to Mountain Lake in 1981, where they joined Gospel Mennonite Church.
During retirement, he became involved in the development of the Senior Citizens Center. He was involved in the MCC Minn-Kota Relief Sale for 10 years. He also was involved with MCC relief meat canning, having been on the executive board several years.
They adopted a son, Howard, in 1948. In 1957, when Alvin's sister and her husband died of cancer 15 months apart, they became foster parents of the three children, Erwin, Norman and Barbara.
Survivors include his wife, Lena; children Howard Eitzen, Erwin Rempel of Newton, Kan., Norman Rempel of Fresno, Calif., and Barbara Busenitz of Newton, Kan.; 15 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, David D. and Peter D. Eitzen; a sister, Elizabeth A. Eitzen Rempel; and a brother, Theodore, in infancy.
Melvin Eugene Schmidt, 79, of Lamont, Fla., died Dec. 6, 2004, at Hospice Hospital in Tallahassee. He was born Dec. 7, 1924, to Louis and Lodie Schmidt of Durham, Kan.
He grew up in Greensburg, Kan., and served in the army during World War II. After working at Cities Services Gas Co. in Ulysses, Kan., for 38 years, he retired and moved to Walsenburg, Colo., where he was a faithful member of Walsenburg Mennonite Church. In 2002 he moved to Lamont, Fla.
Survivors include his present wife, Wanda Aker Schmidt; one son; two grandsons; four brothers and two sisters.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Neva, and his second wife, Dorothy.
Graveside services were held at Fairview Cemetery in Greensburg, Kan.
Evelyn Claassen, 87, died Oct. 15, 2004. She was born Sept. 15, 1917, to Andrew and Wilhelmina Jantz on the family farm near Ruff, Wash.
She was baptized at age 13 at Menno Mennonite Church on April 5, 1931. She graduated from Ritzville High School in 1935. She studied at Washington State College and Eastern State College and worked as a secretary at Adams County Farm Extension Agency.
She married Clint Claassen on May 31, 1941.
She expressed her wide range of interests on the family farm where she was born and where she lived the rest of her life. With assistance from Clint, she made squirrel feeders, restored and refinished furniture, made clothes for her daughters and their dolls and an afghan for each of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She made food for the relief sales and black- bottom cupcakes as special treats for her family. She enjoyed raising fruit trees, gardens and roses; chickens for food; and deep-sea fishing for salmon. She loved to keep busy.
She cared deeply about her family and others. She spent many hours visiting people in hospitals, taking food to neighbors and friends when they needed encouraging. She cared deeply about her faith and church. She loved God and expressed that love in commitment and service to the church. She set an example by hardly ever missing church or women's mission meetings.
Survivors include her husband of 63 years, Clint; a daughter, Sharon Meyer and her husband, Stan, of Moses Lake; a son, Gene and his wife, Dorene, of Marlin; a son, Cleon and his wife, Elizabeth, of Moses Lake; a daughter, Patrice Claassen of North Newton, Kan.; two sisters, Martha Robinson of Traverse City, Mich., and Malinda Zilliox of Moses Lake; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by two brothers, Leonard and Walter Jantz; and a sister, Mary Precht.
Reuben Henry Diller Jr., 74, of Plain City, Ohio, died Sept. 27, 2004. He was born Nov. 19, 1929, to Reuben and Sarah (Halteman) Diller in Sellersville, Pa.
He married Irene Bender on Nov. 2, 1951. He and Irene served in the church in numerous ways during their marriage.
In the 1950s they were involved in a church plant in Mount Morris, Mich. From 1978 to 1982, they served as house parents of the voluntary service unit in El Dorado, Ark., under Rosedale Mennonite Missions. In the fall of 1982 the Dillers moved to Grantsville, Md., where he served as the administrator of Goodwill Mennonite Nursing Home for 14 years.
After retirement, they moved to Rosedale, Ohio, where from 1997 to 2001 they filled the role of host and maintenance couple at Rosedale Mennonite Missions. More recently, they were involved in a senior intercessors team committed to praying regularly for RMM's workers and ministry. He was a member of Shiloh Mennonite Church.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Irene; six children: Barbara Miller and her husband, Jerry, of Hartville; David Diller and his wife, Mayela, of El Paso, Texas; Carol Miller and her husband, Wendell, of Hartville; John Diller and his wife, Mae, of Hartville; Sarah Brenneman and her husband, Newton, of Orrville; and Christine Maust and her husband, Duane, of Beckley, W.Va.; 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by an infant son, James, twin of John; and a sister, Betty Mast.
Funeral services were held at Shiloh Mennonite Church. Burial was in the church cemetery.
Edwin Eugene Neufeld, 73, of Goshen, Ind., died Dec. 26, 2004. He was born March 19, 1931, to Frank and Mary Fehdrau Neufeld in Inman, Kan.
He graduated from Inman High School. He was baptized June 9, 1949, and joined Bethel Mennonite Church of Inman.
On Aug. 26, 1953, he married Marjorie Banman at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church of Goessel, Kan.
He attended Bethel College of North Newton, Kan., for two years, then transferred to the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where he received a bachelor's degree in liberal arts and a master's degree in speech pathology and audiology in 1965. While in Iowa, he was a researcher at University of Iowa Hospital, 1965-1967.
He worked for Herald Book and Printing Co. in the late 1950s as a typesetter. In 1967 he moved to Elkhart, where he served as director of speech and hearing at Aux Chandelles School. Having dealt with his own stuttering, he now had become an expert in his own dilemma. In 1973, he opened a private practice, covering five counties.
When Ten Thousand Villages needed a manager in Denver, he spent four years there. He spent another four years opening a store in Cambridge, Mass.
Upon returning to Goshen, and in spite of a grim prognosis with a weakened heart and chronic lymphocytic leukemia, he accepted the challenge of selling patio enclosures with the Raber group.
He had an incredible optimism, a passion for life and a vibrant faith. First Mennonite in Denver, Trinity in Boston, St. Paul's Methodist in Elkhart and Silverwood Mennonite Church of Goshen all played a vital role in nurturing his faith.
Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Marjorie; four children, Ron of Nashville, Tenn., Jan of Elkhart, and Martha and Patty, both of Goshen; 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at Silverwood Mennonite Church.
Walter D. Unrau, 87, of Bluffton, Ohio, died Jan. 8, 2005, at Blanchard Valley Regional Health Center, Bluffton Campus. He was born Dec. 14, 1917, to Peter Voth and Helen (Schmidt) Unrau in Goessel, Kan.
On Aug. 1, 1953, he married Ruth Baughman.
He was an accountant for the General Conference Mennonite Church. He also was business manager for the Commission on Education, business manager for Mennonite Ministries, an accountant for Woodstock School in India, Hesston Corp. and Kropf Lumber Co. He enjoyed traveling and reading and assisted his wife in operating Book ReViews Etc. of Bluffton.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth; two daughters, Susan Unrau Stucky of LaHonda, Calif., and Paula Jean Unrau of Dallas, Texas; three brothers, Arthur of Pryor, Okla., Rahlen of Chouteau, Okla., and William of Lincoln, Neb.; and a sister, Wilma Miller of Reedley, Calif.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Marvin; and two sisters, Ella Pankratz and Martha Copper.
A memorial service was held at First Mennonite Church of Bluffton.
Mennonite Weekly Review, January 24, 2005, 83rd Year, No. 4, p. 8
Mary (Wiens) Goossen, 76, of Beatrice, Neb., died Dec.
21, 2004. She was born Feb. 17, 1928, to Henry and Anna (Enns)
Wiens in McPherson, Kan.
She graduated from Inman (Kan.) High School. She attended nursing school and received her registered nurse degree.
She married William Goossen on Oct. 28, 1955, in Inman.
She was employed aas a registered nurse at Mennonite Hospital in Beatrice after moving to Beatrice in 1955. She was a member of First Mennonite Church of rural Beatrice. There she taught Sunday school and was a member of the Mission Circle. She was also a member of River View Extension Club and enjoyed music, playing the piano.
Survivors include her husband, William; three sons, Michael Goossen and his wife, Debra, and Andy Goossen and his wife, Ann, all of Beatrice, and Robert Goossen and his wife, Chris, of Homer City, Pa.; a sister, Rosella Regier of Newton; and five grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by six brothers and five sisters.
Memorial services were held at First Mennonite Church.
Perry J. Beachy, 78, of Hesston, Kan., died Jan. 3, 2005. He was born Jan. 8, 1926, to Jacob L. and Anna (Yoder) Beachy of Arthur, Ill.
He married Eleanor Niemela on June 2, 1956.
He was baptized Dec. 7, 1941, and became a member of Arthur Mennonite Church. He developed a strong belief in the Anabaptist interpretation of Scripture and believed one should live out one's faith.
He was the first Mennonite in his community to attend high school and thus paved the way for others. He graduated from Hesston College and Goshen (Ind.) College, received a master's degree in education from Indiana University and a master of divinity degree from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary.
For 14 years he was a teacher and principal in public schools. He then served as a pastor in Mennonite churches for 20 years. These included churches in Geary, Okla., Geneva, Neb., Pueblo, Colo., and Pawnee Rock, where he and Eleanor were co-pastors for more than 11 years.
He was active in community life. He was a visionary and often started new projects, inviting others to join the effort. Among these were leading the development of a day- care center, starting a drug education program, placing Choice Book racks in public places and starting a community news sheet.
He took two years out of his work life to care for his father before his father's death.
Survivors include his wife, Eleanor; a son, Jonathan and his wife, Gloria Hegge, of Wichita; a brother, David Beachy of Arthur, Ill.; and a sister, Bertha Marner of LaGrange, Ind.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, Arthur Martin, Levi and Noah; and two sisters, Mayme Miller and Edna Soule.
A memorial service was held at Hesston Mennonite Church.
Mennonite Weekly Review, January 31, 2005, 83rd Year, No. 5, p. 9
Frances Marie Becker Ewy, 83, of Fresno, Calif., died Dec. 14, 2004. She was born Jan. 3, 1921, to Henry J. Becker and Ruie Ratzlaff Becker in the family farmhouse near Helena, Okla. She graduated valedictorian from Helena High School and majored in business at Bethel College, North Newton, Kan.
She taught for two years at Macksville High School and three years at Buhler High School in Kansas before teaching at Bethel College in 1947. She earned a master of business administration degree from the University of Denver in 1949.
On June 1, 1950, she married Daniel J. Ewy of Reedley, Calif.
In 1951, they moved to Fresno. She was a homemaker and mother for 15 years. She returned to teaching business at Reedley College for 18 years, retiring in 1984.
During World War II she directed a girls' summer voluntary service unit of Mennonite Central Committee at Norristown (Pa.) State Hospital. She was active in the League of Women Voters in Fresno. From 1978 to 1986, she did bookkeeping for the Et Cetera Shop in Fresno. She served on the Mennonite Historical Society Board and the West Coast Mennonite Central Committee Relief Sale Board.
She served in many capacities at Mennonite Community Church of Fresno. She was the first woman elected as chair of the church. She served on the church's Integration Committee of the West Coast Mennonite Church, General Corderence.
She had a loving commitment to her family. She cared for her husband in his decline with Alzheimer's disease.
Survivors include four children, Annette Percival and her husband, Timothy, of Sparks, Nev., Richard Ewy and his wife, Kathy, of Clovis, Phyllis Tappe and her husband, Allan, of Moraga, and Gordon Ewy of Fresno; a brother, Paul Becker of Bethlehem, Pa.; a sister, Janora Ratzlaff of North Newton, Kan.; and and seven grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Daniel, on April 15, 2002; and a sister, Phillis Jantzen of Meno, Okla.
Walter E. Schrag, 88, of Hutchinson, Kan., died Jan. 5, 2005, at Hutchinson Hospital after a short illness. He was born Jan. 25, 1916, to Tobias J. and Frances Graber Schrag in Pretty Prairie.
In 1942 he was called to service at Civilian Public Service Camp 33 at Seaman's Dam in Fort Collins, Colo.
On Nov. 16, 1948, he married Jean Schrag at Salem, Ore.
He was a longtime Pretty Prairie resident, moving to Hutchinson in 1972. That year he retired from his commercial feed-hauling business and then went to work for Earl Kirk Enterprises. He belonged to First Mennonite Church of Pretty Prairie.
Survivors include his wife, Jean; a brother, Joseph of South Hutchinson; four sisters, Esther Albright of Pretty Prairie, Emma Gehring of Buhler, Bess Huxman of Pretty Prairie and Elaine Krehbiel of Moundridge.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Erwin E. and Elmer B.; and a sister, Ida Schrag.
Funeral services were held at First Mennonite Church of Pretty Prairie. Burial was in Fairlawn Cemetery in Hutchinson.
Frank Kenneth Horst, 91, of Warden, Wash., died Jan. 3, 2005. He was born Feb. 10, 1913, to Jacob S. and Anna Horst at Peabody, Kan.
He married LaVerne Shetler on Aug. 28, 1940, in Hesston, Kan.
He began his service career as a public school teacher, earning his first teaching certificate while still a junior in high school. On Jan. 12, 1941, he was ordained as a minister of the gospel and began a pastoral ministry that included five churches in three states.
In the Arkansas Ozarks, he was active in planting a new congregation and pioneering a Christian day school. In Oregon, he served as president of Latin American Fellowship, 1960-64. In Washington, he was active in the local Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Basin Association of Evangelicals, Columbia Basin Retired Teachers Association, Public School Employees of Warden and Kiwanis.
He enjoyed reading his Bible and memorizing Scripture. He liked music and especially liked singing with his family. He liked cross-country travel, bicycling and the annual summer campouts for the family reunions. A lifelong hobby was woodworking, and many folks benefited from his skills. He enjoyed free-lance writing and photojournalism. For several years he wrote a weekly column for the Warden Register. He prepared a manuscript for a book about his growing-up years, which was unpublished. He was a member of Warden Mennonite Church.
Survivors include his wife, LaVerne; six daughters, Annada Tomlin of Springfield, Ore., Karen Haury and her husband, Daryle, of Salem, Ore., Salome Horst of Spokane, Phyllis Dorsing and her husband, Curt, of Othello, Ferne Flaming and her husband, Jim, of Vale, Ore., and Patricia Tilden and her husband, Bob, of Moscow, Idaho; a son, Timothy and his wife, Debbie, of Phoenix, Ariz; 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a granddaughter.
Memorial services were held at Warden Mennonite Church.
Arlene E. Wiens, 68, of Goessel, Kan., died Nov. 23, 2004, at Bethesda Home. She was born Feb. 19, 1936, to Gustav and Martha Nickel Klassen of Goessel.
She was baptized May 27, 1950. She married Stanley Ray Wiens on Sept. 15, 1955, at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church.
She attended Gordon Grade School and Goessel High School. She was a member of Goessel Mennonite Church, where she taught Sunday school, sang in the choir, served as youth group sponsor and played piano for worship services. She taught a community handicapped Sunday school class for 20 years. Her jobs outside the home included baking at a restaurant and serving as a receptionist at Bethesda Home. She enjoyed nature, spending time gardening and watching birds.
Survivors include her husband, Stanley Wiens; two daughters, Donna Oswald of Olathe and Marla Wiens of Topeka; two sons, Dale Wiens of Goessel and James Wiens of Little River; a sister, Alice Jantz of Hesston; a brother, Harold Klassen of Hesston; seven grandchildren and two step-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by two brothers, LeRoy Klassen and Dwane Klassen.
A memorial service was held at Goessel Mennonite Church. A private burial service was held at Goessel Mennonite Church Cemetery.
Ruth Alice (Schmidt) Hershberger, 94, of Hesston, Kan., died Jan. 13, 2005. She was born on April 24, 1910, to Samuel G. and Alice (Shupe) Schmidt at Harper.
She graduated from Hesston Academy in 1928. She attended Goshen (Ind.) College for one year. In 1999, at age 89, she completed a course in "Introduction to Biblical Literature" at Hesston College.
In 1919, she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior, was baptized and became an active member of Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church. She was also an associate member of Hesston Mennonite Church.
On May 4, 1947, she married Andrew Hershberger at her parents' home in Harper.
The family enjoyed several trips together camping in the Colorado mountains, a trip to Yellowstone Park and the Black Hills, and many outings in the southern Kansas area. Her travels took her to 46 of the 48 contiguous states.
She worked periodically as a housekeeper and in dietetics. She worked four years in Los Angeles in the late 1930s and was in charge of food service at the Civilian Public Service camp in Marietta, Ohio, 1941-43. She also worked in the Harper area over the years.
When she moved to Hesston in 1988, she continued her interests in quilting, knitting, crocheting and reading. Genealogy was also an interest, and with her computer she entered more than 1,300 names in her genealogy program. She moved to Showalter Villa on Oct. 1, 2004.
Survivors include two sons, Roy Hershberger and his wife, Aldena, of Owensboro, Ky., and Dale Hershberger and his wife, Janice, of Clay Center; a sister, Edna Curtiss of Newton; a brother, Earl Schmidt of Biglerville, Pa.; and four grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Andrew; a son, Donald; a sister, Mary Schmidt; and a brother, Vernon Schmidt.
Services were held at Schowalter Villa Chapel. Burial was in Pleasant Valley Mennonite Cemetery of Harper.