Mennonite Weekly Review - May 2009
Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Egli, Ida; Eitzen, Lena Baerg; Esau, Keith Nyles; Goering, Peter W. Jr; Hackman, Ada Clemens; Hassan, W. Richard "Dick"; Kennel,
Mae Etta Hershberger; Larrison, Shirley Fay; Miller,
Edna Pearl Scheffel; Rhodes, Hazel Schertz; Sears,
Swartzendruber; Stork, Helen King; Swartzendruber,
Mark P.; Troyer, Beulah E. Short; Weber, Martin;
Mennonite Weekly Review - May 4, 2009 -
87th Year, No. 18 - p. 13
Martin Weber, 84, died April
18, 2009, in Atmore, Ala. He was born in East Earl, Pa., and moved to
Atmore in 1962.
He served as chaplain in the Alabama State Prison system for 20 years,
founded the We Care Program prison ministry and served as an evangelist
in numerous churches. He was a visionary who started several
businesses. He was an active member of Grace Fellowship Church. He
dearly loved the Lord and was devoted to his wife, children,
grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Anna (Hoover) Weber of Atmore;
two sons, James Weber and his wife, Ruth, of Atmore, and Phil Weber and
his wife, Twila, of Rosedale, Ohio; four daughters, Mary Jane Schrock
and her husband, Calvin, of Atmore, Ruth Ann Yoder and her
husband, Alvin, of Pigeon, Mich., Velma Schrock and her husband, Arlin,
of Mobile, and Joyce Suter and her husband, Robert, of Pandora, Ohio; a
daughter-in-law, Susan Weber of Atmore; a brother, Raymond Weber of New
Holland, Pa.; four sisters, Mary Weaver, Mabel Hurst and Irene Rutt,
all of New Holland, and Ida Weaver of Hesston, Kan.; 19 grandchildren
and 29 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son, Leon Weber.
Funeral services were held in Atmore, with a live broadcast at
Hinkletown Mennonite Church, Ephrata, Pa. The service may be viewed
online at www.wecareprogram.org.
Kennel, Mae Etta Hershberger
Mae Etta (Hershberger) Kennel,
81, of Albany, Ore., died April 10, 2009, after a long battle with
cancer. She was born Feb. 22, 1928, to Allen and Katie Hershberger in
She taught school for one year in Beaver Crossing, Neb. In 1946, the
Hershberger family sold their farm in Milford and moved to a farm near
Albany. She taught at Fry Station Grade School in Albany for two years.
On June 18, 1947, she married Willard Kennel, and they began married
life on a small farm near Scio.
They were members of Albany Mennonite Church and remained lifelong
members of the Mennonite church. A talented musician, artist and
teacher, she served the church for more than 50 years leading music,
singing, playing piano and teaching Sunday school. She was especially
known for her clear soprano voice as she led singing in church worship
services and other special music. Her yodeling presentations delighted
her audiences. She led Bible studies, helped with summer camps, led and
participated in women’s ministries and other church-based volunteer
In 1956, they moved from Albany to Siletz to help with newly
established Logsden Mennonite Church. From 1966 to 2006, they served at
Western Mennonite School outside of Salem. In addition to
administrative assistant work in the WMS office, she taught typing,
painting, drawing and calligraphy classes until retiring in 1988. She
made and helped with countless quilts for Mennonite church and WMS
fundraisers. She was well known for her generous hospitality.
Survivors include her husband, Willard; five children, Russel Kennel
and his wife, Maribeth, of Salem, Rachel Hickman and her husband,
Wayne, of Maryville, Tenn., Julia Miller and her husband, Wayne, of
Salem, Janine Rands and her husband, Barry, of San Luis Obispo, Calif.,
and Lori Jamison and her husband, Francis, of Philadelphia, Pa.; four
sisters, Verle Vogt of Hesston, Kan., Edith Roth of Nampa, Idaho, Clara
Miller of Albany and Wilma Kennel of Molalla; two brothers, Del
Hershberger of Sun City, Ariz., and Ivan Hershberger of Vale; 10
grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a grandchild.
Swartzendruber, Mark P.
Mark P. Swartzendruber, 87, of
Kalona, Iowa, died April 14, 2009. He was born in Johnson County to
Peter and Lydia (Swartzendruber) Swartzendruber.
He graduated from Wellman High School in 1941. He attended Normal
School Training at Iowa State Teacher’s College in Cedar
Falls and taught at Pacific School #8 near Wellman for one and a half
years. He served in Civilian Public Service in Idaho and Michigan from
1942 to 1946. Returning to the Kalona area, he was employed at Yoder
Feeds for 45 years.
He married Doris Marner at Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church on June 1,
1947. The couple lived in the Kalona area all their married life.
He was a lifelong member of Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church, where he
served as treasurer for many years. He and Doris were the first
sponsors of Mennonite Youth Fellowship at Lower Deer Creek. He also
served as a Sunday school teacher and superintendent. He was area
coordinator for Mennonite Disaster Service for 30 years and also served
on the board of Iowa Mennonite School and Pleasantview Home. He
volunteered in the chaplaincy program at the University of Iowa
Hospitals and was a member of the Kalona Optimist Club for 30 years. At
Kalona Historical Village he guided bus tours for a number of years and
was a member of the 8:30 Parlor Coffee Club. He also wrote a column of
local news in the Kalona News for more than 10 years. He enjoyed
meeting people, going to coffee with friends and neighbors, and
“fishing” with anyone he met.
Survivors include his wife, Doris, of Kalona; a son, Linwood (Woody)
Swartzendruber and his wife, Karen, of Ankeny; a daughter, Mary Lou
Farmer and her husband, Roger, of Washington; a brother, John
Swartzendruber and his wife, Anita, of Wayland; a sister, Faith
Carpenter and her husband, Jim, of Sturgis, Mich.; a sister-in-law,
Lois Swartzendruber of Wellman; two grandchildren and four
He was preceded in death by a brother, Wilbur Swartzendruber.
Stork, Helen King
Helen (King) Stork, 73, of Venture, Calif., died April 22, 2009,
at Venturan Nursing Home, where she had been a resident for several
years. She was born Feb. 10, 1935, to Elbert and Goldie (Grove) King in
She received Jesus Christ as her Savior in her youth and became a part
of Calvary Mennonite Church in Los Angeles, where she served as a
Sunday school teacher, song leader, Bible school teacher and many other
opportunities of service.
After high school graduation, she worked for the Los Angeles Department
of Water and Power as an executive secretary for 12 years. In 1965, she
went to work for Mennonite Central Committee, first at their head
office in Akron, Pa., for two years, and then for three years in their
Jerusalem, Israel, office. She then returned to California, settled in
Ventura and became a member of First Methodist Church, where she taught
Sunday school for many years.
In 1975 she married Harold R. (Bill) Stork of Ventura. From her home
she maintained a MCC Selfhelp store for years as her way of helping
people in developing countries.
They enjoyed camping. One of their favorite spots was at King’s Canyon
in central California, where they tried to spend a few days each year.
Survivors include a sister, Hazel Kremer of Hesston, Kan.; two
brothers, Leo King and his wife, Pauline, of Salem, Ore., and Donald
King of Goshen, Ind.
She was preceded in death by an infant brother, Ronald; and her
A memorial service will be held on May 9 at First Methodist Church in
Hackman, Ada Clemens
Ada Alderfer Clemens,
101, of Edmonton, Alta., died March 24, 2009. She was born Jan. 6,
1908, to a farm family in eastern Pennsylvania.
She attended a one-room school, where she completed grade eight.
As a young woman she worked in a clothing factory. At age 21 she
married Linford Hackman, a carpenter.
During the 1930s Linford’s interests became focused on Christian
mission work among northern communities. His vision included learning
to fly small aircraft. Their life together took her and their young
children to northern Minnesota (1939-45), and then to Alberta.
From 1946 to 1965, they lived in a farming community west of Carstairs,
Alta. Linford served as an assistant pastor at West Zion Mennonite
Church. He spent considerable time visiting other communities, so she
had the primary responsibility of looking after the household. In 1965
they moved to Edmonton. By then the children were raised, so she was
free to join him in his work. She spent considerable time offering warm
and loving hospitality to out-of-town guests. She traveled with Linford
by car to northern Alberta to visit families who were attempting to
establish Christian communities. She considered this one of the most
enjoyable times in her life.
Linford died in 1983. Because of many church connections established
over the years, as a widow she received much support through
correspondence and personal visits. Survivors include two daughters,
Twila Steckly of Edmonton and Martyne Kempel and her husband, Ted, of
Warsaw, Ohio; three sons, Lowell Hackman and his wife, Rae, and James
Hackman and his wife, Jeanette, all of Cochrane, and Arlin Hackman and
his wife, Judy, of Toronto; five grandchildren and seven
A private family memorial is planned for July 11 in Cochrane, at which
time her ashes will be buried in the family plot at West Zion Mennonite
Weekly Review - May 11, 2009 - 87th Year, No. 19 - p. 9
Hassan, W. Richard "Dick"
W. Richard Hassan, 87, of
Goshen, Ind., died April 28, 2009, at Greencroft Health Care. William
Richard Hassan (Dick) was born on July 10, 1921, to Clair and Bertha
(Franz) Hassan in Middlebury.
On June 18, 1960, he married Hazel Nice at Morrison, Ill. She
He attended Goshen College, Northwestern University’s School of
Journalism, Ball State University and Purdue University. He received
bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Ball State University and taught
social studies in several area schools. He later worked in student
personnel services at Purdue University and was a head resident at
Illinois State University in Normal. From 1965 to 1967, he served as
dean of students at Huntington College. After moving to Rockford, Ill.,
in 1967, he worked as a secondary guidance counselor at Harlem High
School until his retirement in 1981. He was a member and past president
of the Goshen Evening Exchange Club. He was deeply interested in the
history of his hometown of Middlebury and did extensive research about
the community. He wrote several pieces about Middlebury’s historic
landmarks. He was the first editor of Mennonite Heritage, a quarterly
publication of Illinois Mennonite Historical and Genealogical Society,
from 1974 to 1988, and also wrote some of the articles. He served on
the finance committee of Illinois Mennonite Conference and on the MCC
Great Lakes Committee. He was a member of College Mennonite Church in
Goshen. He enjoyed spectator sports, especially Indiana high school
basketball, the Green Bay Packers and the White Sox. He watched golf
when Tiger Woods played.
He was preceded in death by his only brother, Kent Hassan, and his only
sister, Roberta Jackson LeFevre.
A prayer service was held, with burial afterward, at Grace Lawn
Cemetery at Middlebury. A memorial service was held at College
Mennonite Church after the burial.
Miller, Edna Pearl Scheffel
Edna Pearl (Scheffel) Miller, 90, of Pryor, Okla., died April
16, 2009. She was born April 7, 1919, to Jake and Lizzie (Sutter)
Scheffel in Pryor.
She was a lifelong Pryor resident who never lived more than two miles
from where she was born. She attended school at Ogreeta School for
She married Elmer Miller on Nov. 22, 1945, in Pryor. They celebrated 50
years of marriage prior to his death in 1995.
She was a hard-working woman who began milking cows when she was 6. She
and Elmer operated a dairy farm their entire married life, and she
milked cows until she was 80. She loved working outside, gardening and
raising fruit, and always had garden produce to share with family and
neighbors. She was known for her hospitality and loved to cook for
As a young girl she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior, was baptized
and became a member of Zion Mennonite Church, where she was a faithful
member until her death. She taught Sunday school for many years, from
the youngest class to her mother’s senior citizens class. She was
involved in many church projects in the ladies sewing; making homemade
lye soap for overseas relief projects. She and Elmer took many children
from the community to Sunday school and to Bible school. She supported
missionaries through various organizations. Her blindness in later
years prevented her from doing things she loved to do, but she was
cheerful and became the family prayer warrior. She was a loving,
faithful wife, mother and grandmother.
Survivors include two sons, Gene Miller and his wife, Nancy, and Paul
Miller and his wife, Mary, all of Pryor; two daughters, Elsie Miller
and Ruth Miller, both of Pryor; two brothers, Everette Scheffel and Ken
Scheffel, both of Pryor; two sisters, Letha Miller of Sweethome, Ore.,
and Lena Yoder of Rogers Ark.; seven grandchildren and eight
She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer Miller; and a sister,
Eitzen, Lena Baerg
Lena Baerg Eitzen, 85, formerly of Lustre, Mont., and Mountain
Lake, Minn., died May 3, 2009, in Newton, Kan. She was born June 18,
1923, to Henry G. and Elisabeth Rahn Baerg in the Lustre community of
Valley County, Mont.
On Sept. 5, 1943, she married Alvin D. Eitzen in the Bethel Lustre
Mennonite Church in Frazer, Mont. After their marriage, they lived and
farmed in Mountain Lake for one year, but for the next 36 years they
lived and farmed in the Lustre community in Montana.
She served in Sunday school, in the Mission Society of the church and
with music. She was active in the women’s organizations of the former
Northern District Conference and General Conference Mennonite Church.
In April 1981, she and Alvin retired and moved to Mountain Lake, Minn.,
where they continued to be actively involved in church and community
life. Alvin preceded her in death on Dec. 3, 2004. In December 2006,
her family moved her to Presbyterian Manor in Newton due to her
advancing Alzheimer’s disease.
Survivors include her children, Howard Eitzen of Great Falls, Mont.,
Erwin Rempel of Newton, Kan., Norman Rempel of Fresno, Calif., Barbara
Rempel Busenitz of Elbing, Kan.; and their families.
She was preceded in death by three sisters, Susie Baerg, Anna
Baerg and Elisabeth Kliewer; and three brothers, Ruben, Arthur and
Funeral services and burial were held at Lakeview Gospel Church in
Mountain Lake, Minn.
Ida Egli, 94, of Kalona,
Iowa, died April 18, 2009. She was born Dec. 6, 1914, to C.B. and Emma
Grimm Egli on a large farm north of Manson.
She came from a family of 13 children that was poor during the
depression years, but they always had enough food to eat and clothes to
wear. Her father raised and sold horses, and they also had a big herd
of milk cows, which she helped to milk before and after school.
In 1942 she went to La Junta, Colo., to do mission work at La Junta
Mennonite Hospital. In 1957 she left the hospital and went to work in a
doctor’s office in La Junta, where she worked for 25 years. She then
worked part time for two years, then retired in November 1983. It was a
difficult decision for her to make, but after much prayer she felt led
to leave Colorado and come to Kalona, where it was nice to be near
Survivors include nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by 12 siblings: Amon, Joseph, Louie, Emery,
Maude Swartzendruber, John, Samuel, Lawrence, Elsie Litwiller, Jesse,
Rosette Egli and Stanley.
Services were held at Kalona Mennonite Church. Burial was in Rose Hill
Cemetery in Manson.
Mennonite Weekly Review - May 18, 2009 - 87th Year, No. 20 - p. 9
Sears, Shirley Swartzendruber
Shirley (Swartzendruber) Sears, 77, died of a massive stroke on
Feb. 21, 2009, in Sarasota, Fla. She was born Oct. 31, 1931, to Herb
and Fern Miller Swartzendruber.
She grew up in Hopedale, Ill., and graduated from Polo High School in
northern Illinois. She attended Goshen (Ind.) College.
She married Wilmer Sears on March 10, 1957, at Willow Springs Mennonite
She was an active member of Willow Springs Church, teaching young
children and helping at the community Bible school. She was devotional
leader for Mennonite Women and pieced many quilt tops for Mennonite
Central Committee and the MCC relief sale. She crocheted for the prayer
She was an active member of the Gideons and visited women in jail. She
is remembered for her work with 4-H clubs teaching cooking, sewing and
quilting. She served on the Senior Center board in Princeton and led
the Golden Needles Club. She was a member of the Covered Bridge Quilt
Guild. She worked as office manager at Prairie View Nursing Home for
about 30 years.
As a family historian, she collected family history books and made
scrapbooks of many family events. She updated the computer family
genealogies. She and Wilmer worked as hosts at Illinois Mennonite
Heritage Center, where she was secretary of the executive committee for
Survivors include her husband, Wilmer, of Tiskilwa, Ill.; two brothers,
David Swartzendruber and his wife, Judy, and Bill Swartzendruber and
his wife, Jan; two sisters, Donna Wirges and her husband, Bill, and
Nancy Cranfill and her husband, Paul; and a sister-in-law, Donna
She was preceded in death by a brother, Duane Swartzendruber; and a
nephew Bill Sears.
Memorial services were held at Bay Shore Church in Sarasota and Willow
Springs Mennonite Church at Tiskilwa, Ill. Burial was held at Willow
Springs Church Cemetery.
Larrison, Shirley Fay
Shirley Fay Larrison, 87, of
Comins, Mich., died May 2, 2009. She was born Feb. 3, 1922.
On Oct. 30, 1941, she married C. Emerson Larrison.
She was a lifelong member of Comins Mennonite Church, where she
actively served as a Sunday school teacher and in the Women in Mission
group, where she helped with many quilts, comforters and school kits
for the Mennonite Central Committee relief sale.
Survivors include two sons, James Larrison and his wife, Dawn, of
Comins and Philip Larrison and his wife, Lisa, of Fairview; a sister,
Sally Shantz and her husband, Merlin; a sister-in-law, Darlene Bailey;
two brothers-in-law, Joe Larrison and Dick Larrison; three
grandchildren and three great-granddaughters.
She was preceded in death by her husband, C. Emerson Larrison; a
sister, Dorothy Winton; and a brother Roy Bailey.
Funeral services were held at Comins Mennonite Church. Burial was in
Clinton Township Cemetery in Comins.
Yoder, Herbert W.
Herbert W. Yoder, 91, of
Fairview, Mich., died April 9, 2009. He was born April 30, 1917,
to Oscar and Cora L. (Reidenbach) Yoder in Topeka, Ind.
He moved to Fairview in 1920, where he spent his life farming. On Sept.
14, 1941, he married Eloise W. Yoder at Comins Mennonite Church.
He was always a farmer, but he also spent much of his time doing
woodworking and carpentry. His children still cherish the toys he built
for them as kids. He gave several years of labor to raising mink and
working with the 4H Rabbit Club. He had a love for gardening,
especially flowers, which he frequently gave to family and friends.
Hunting was also a favorite past time. He was a member of Comins
Mennonite Church and was involved in the relief sale, donating both his
time and woodworking talents.
Survivors include his children, Larry Yoder and his wife, Jackie, of
McGregor, Texas, Leroy “Twig” Yoder and his wife, Sally, of Curran, Pat
Bontrager and her husband, Chuck, of Bristol, Ind., Jerry Yoder and his
wife, Sharon, of Fairview, Linda Holberton and her husband,
Frank, of Comins, Marcia Weldy and her husband, Jim, and Don Yoder, all
of Goshen, Ind.; a sister, Eva “Polly” Brazier of Petoskey; a
sister-in-law, Lois Perry of Merrill; 14 grandchildren; 25
great-grandchildren and a great-great-granddaughter.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Eloise; three sisters, Ruth
Handrich, Ruby Handrich and Margaret Kasper.
Services were held at Comins Mennonite Church. Burial was in Fairview
Troyer, Beulah E. Short
Beulah E. Troyer, 88, of
Fairview, Mich., died April 6, 2009, at The Home at AuSable Valley
Community. She was born May 29, 1920, to Andrew and Mary (Miller) Short
in Wauseon, Ohio.
She married Levi Troyer in Wauseon on May 10, 1942, then they moved to
She worked at Mio AuSable Schools as a cook for 14 years. She was a
faithful member of Fairview Mennonite Church, and also helped pastor
the Brethren in Christ church. She enjoyed sewing, she pieced several
quilts for the Mennonite Central Committee relief auction, and enjoyed
singing and cooking.
Survivors include her husband, Levi; five children, J. Marvin Troyer
and his wife, Mary Jean, of Fairview, Rhoda Williams and her fiance,
Roger Zinn, of Portland, Mich., Levina Miller and her husband, Wayne,
of Newport News, Va., Roger L. Troyer and his wife, Verda, of Mantua,
Ohio; and Shelia Heil and her husband, Paul, of Lancaster, Pa.; two
sisters, Florence Aschliman of Archbold, Ohio, and Martha Miller and
her husband, David, of Souderton, Pa.; a brother, Lawrence Short and
his wife, Doris, of Archbold, Ohio; 12 grandchildren and 10
She was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Angela; and brothers and
sisters Elden, Harold, Verden, Luella, Viola, Lillie and Mary Jane.
Funeral services were held at Fairview Mennonite Church. Burial was in
Rhodes, Hazel Schertz
Hazel Schertz Rhodes, 100, of
La Junta, Colo., died April 28, 2009. She was born June 11, 1908, to
William and Magdalena Ulrich Schertz in Manson, Iowa.
After graduating from Manson High School, she went to La Junta for
nurses training, graduating from La Junta Mennonite School of Nursing
On Dec. 11, 1932, she married Marvin D. Rhodes of La Junta. They farmed
in the Fairmount area south of Swink for many years before retiring to
La Junta. After Marvin’s death in 1993, she moved to Casa del Sol
She had a quick sense of humor and love for people. In addition to
being a nurse, she was an avid quilter, active in the local Mennonite
church and hospital auxiliary. She and Marvin traveled extensively and
volunteered with Meals on Wheels.
Survivors include three daughters, Nelda Thelin and her husband, Bob,
Irene Rhodes and Marva Kremer and her husband, Claude; four
grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, brothers and sisters.
Inurnment and a private service were held at Fairview Cemetery in La
Esau, Keith Nyles
Keith Nyles Esau, 41, died May
9, 2009, in Denton County, Texas; he resided in Dallas along the shores
of White Rock Lake. He was born in Winnipeg, Man., on Oct. 31, 1967. He
was adopted by John A. and Bernice A. (Klaassen) Esau in 1969 while the
family lived for a year in Winnipeg. He was naturalized as a United
States citizen on Oct. 29, 1979, and retained dual U.S. and Canadian
He was baptized upon his confession of faith on May 24, 1984, and was a
member of Bethel College Mennonite Church of North Newton, Kan.
He graduated from Newton (Kan.) High School in 1986. As an athlete he
ran with the cross country team. He graduated from Bethel College in
North Newton in 1990 with a degree in business. After his college
graduation he served two years with Mennonite Voluntary Service in
Dallas, working as a grants writer and data systems monitor for Aids
Services of Dallas (ASD). After his years as a volunteer he was
employed by ASD and worked there for nearly 20 years.
Survivors include his parents, John and Bernice Esau of North Newton; a
brother, David Esau and his wife, Jill, of Ann Arbor, Mich., and a
sister, Sheryl Esau, of Wichita, Kan.
A memorial service was held at Bethel College Mennonite Church.
Weekly Review - May 25, 2009 - 87th Year, No. 21 - p. 9
Goering, Peter W. Jr.
Peter W. Goering Jr., 60, of
Topeka, Kan., died Feb. 7, 2009, at home after a courageous two-year
battle with cancer. He was born Sept. 23, 1948, to Peter and Mary
(Henderson) Goering in Goessel.
He graduated from Lehigh Rural High School in 1966, among the last
class to graduate from that school. He attended Bethel College for two
years before transferring to Kansas State University, where he
graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1970.
After two years spent in I-W at the Menninger Foundation in Topeka, he
began his career in journalism in 1973 when he accepted a job as
sportswriter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He covered college sports
for many years before being named assistant sports editor in 1981. In
1990 he became sports editor, a position he held until being named
managing editor in 1996. During his time in sports, he was named Kansas
Sportswriter of the Year five times. He served as the Capital Journal’s
executive editor, continuing to write his sports and news column until
his health declined, leading to his retirement in September 2008. He
received the Clyde M. Reed Jr. Master Editor Award from the Kansas
Press Association in April 2008 for lifetime achievement in the
Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Diane; two daughters, Debbie
Redd and her husband, Ryan, of Topeka, and Elizabeth Goering of Topeka;
a son, Brett Goering of Dana Point, Calif.; two sisters, Deanne
Duerksen of Hillsboro and twin sister Peggy Goering-Kuck of Pacific
Funeral services were held at Christ the King Church in Topeka. Burial
was in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Topeka.
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Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, PA
Used with permission by the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen,
Permission granted to private family researchers to use selected
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