Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Weekly Review - August 3, 2009 - 87th Year, No. 29 - p. 13
Nachtigall, George F.
George F. Nachtigall
, 87, of
Buhler, Kan., died June 3, 2009, at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.
He was born Dec. 10, 1921, to Bernard (Ben) Nachtigall and Lena (Franz)
Nachtigall in Henderson, Neb.
On June 2, 1946, he married Norma J. Walker at Hastings, Neb.
He served in Civilian Public Service from 1942 to 1946 after graduating
from Hastings College. He worked in all capacities at Buhler State Bank
and was president and chair of the board when he retired in 1984.
During that time, he graduated from the Graduate School of Banking,
Madison, Wis., and served a term as president of the Reno County
Bankers Association. Also, he was a partner in the Nachtigall-Franz
Insurance Agency, a charter member of Buhler Lions Club, treasurer of
Buhler Grade School Board and served on the board of directors of
Buhler Sunshine Home. He was an avid photographer and won many Kodak
Survivors include his wife, Norma; three daughters, Linda Simmons of
Brighton, Colo., Nancy Elliott and her husband, Roger, of Wichita, and
Joyce Heisey and her husband, Spencer, of Elizabethtown, Pa.; a sister,
Betty Gerbrandt of San Jose, Calif.; six grandchildren and a
He was preceded in death by a brother, Wilbur, and a sister, Florence
Memorial services were held at Buhler Mennonite Brethren Church.
Private inurnment took place prior to the service.
Souder, Ruth F.
Ruth F. Souder
, 91, of
Souderton, Pa., and formerly of Sellersville, died July 11, 2009, at
Grand View Hospital. She was born to Harvey A. and Bessie (Freed)
Souder in West Rockhill Township on the Souder Homestead.
She was employed for many years by Lemmon Pharmaceutical Co. in
Sellersville, now TEVA. She enjoyed interacting with her many friends
at Souderton Mennonite Community, where she lived for the last 18 years.
She was a lifelong member of Rockhill Mennonite Church of Telford,
where she taught Sunday school and Bible school as a younger woman. She
also participated in the church’s Sewing Circle. She enjoyed traveling
both in this country and overseas.
Survivors include two sisters, Eva Moyer and her husband, Joseph W.,
and Marie Shisler, all of Souderton; and eight nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Paul F. Souder, and a nephew,
Funeral services were held at Souderton Mennonite Homes. Burial was in
the Rockhill Mennonite Church Cemetery.
Breneman, John R.
John R. Breneman
, 90, of
Lititz, Pa., died June 23, 2009, at the Heart of Lancaster Regional
Medical Center in Lititz. He was born March 20, 1919, to Harry and Anna
(Ranck) Breneman in Strasburg Township.
He graduated from West Lampeter High School in 1936. He married Ruth E.
Hess on April 1, 1945.
From 1941 to 1946, he served in Civilian Public Service in Virginia and
western Pennsylvania. From 1946 to 1971, he was a herdsman at Rhoads’
Acres Dairy Farm. After moving to New Danville, he worked from Jerome
Rhoads Inc. as an oil burner technician. In his retirement years, he
volunteered at Black Rock, Camp Andrews, the Mennonite Home and Landis
Homes. He was a member of New Danville Mennonite Church, having served
at various times as Sunday school superintendent, Sunday school
teacher, trustee and elder. He enjoyed traveling, hunting and fishing.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth; two foster sons, Steven J. O’Connell
and his wife, Joan, of Urbana, Ill., and Randy P. O’Connell of New
Providence; a brother, Pastor Robert A. Breneman and his wife, Mabel,
of Strasburg; six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a brother, C. Henry Breneman.
Funeral services were held at New Danville Mennonite Church of
Lancaster. Burial was in New Danville Mennonite Cemetery.
Warkentine, Elmer "Virgil"
Elmer “Virgil” Warkentine
of Seattle, Wash., died July 1, 2009, at Burien Nursing and
Rehabilitation Center. He was born July 9, 1921, to Herman and Mary
(Boese) Warkentine in Turpin, Okla.
He grew up near Liberal, Kan. He graduated from Shafter (Calif.) High
School and served in the United States Army during World War II.
He was an avid car salesman, beginning his sales career in 1953 with a
Buick dealership in Wasco, Calif. He last worked in Kent, Wash., at a
Chevrolet dealership, until the agency ended business in the fall of
2008. He enjoyed traveling to Kansas and California to visit family and
friends. He also enjoyed growing patio tomatoes.
Survivors include three children, Julia Warkentine, Erich Warkentine
and his wife, Edie, and Kathi Young; a brother, Al Warkentine; and two
He was preceded in death by his wife, Harriet on June 10, 2009; and his
sister, Thelma Neufeld, in January 2009.
Mennonite Weekly Review - August 10, 2009 - 87th Year, No. 30 - p. 13
Reimer, Hugo Bernhard
Hugo Bernhard Reimer
, 89, of
North Newton, Kan., died July 23, 2009, at Kidron-Bethel Health Care.
He was born May 23, 1920, to Heinrich and Katharina (Baergen) Reimer on
his family’s farm east of Inman.
He graduated from Inman High School in 1940 and entered Bethel College
in North Newton that fall. After two years he was drafted during World
War II. He served in Civilian Public Service camps in Weeping Willow,
Neb.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Lapine, Ore.; and Norristown, Pa. He
graduated from Bethel in 1948. In 1955 he earned a master of music
education degree from the University of Wichita.
He married Norma Mae Tieszen on Aug. 10, 1948, in Marion, S.D.
For several years they both taught school in Hanston and Chase. They
lived in Wichita for about 28 years, then moved to North Newton. He
taught in public schools for 36 years, primarily in industrial arts but
occasionally in music as well.
He was active in the Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus, serving as a
regional rehearsal director. He had a secondary career as a piano tuner.
He was baptized in June 1937 in Inman Mennonite Church. He was a
longtime member of Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church during his time in
Wichita, where he served at times as choir director and deacon. He was
a member of Bethel College Mennonite Church since 1986.
His first wife, Norma, died in 1998. Later he met Ruth Sutter Rediger
at a CPS reunion, and they were married Feb. 18, 2001.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth, of Bethesda Home in Goessel; a
daughter, Roberta Rae Schmidt and her husband, Phil, of Henderson,
Neb.; a son, Raymond Hubert and his wife, Rosie Epp, of Sioux Falls,
S.D.; three brothers, Paul and John of Inman and Ernest of Hutchinson;
three sisters, Gertrude Sigler of Derby, Sally Regier of Colwich and
Mildred Rogers of Wichita; five grandchildren; two great-grandchildren;
three stepchildren; multiple step-grandchildren and
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Norma Mae; an infant son,
Ralph Hugh; a brother, Harry; and two sisters, Emma Schierling and Ruth
Memorial services were held at Bethel College Mennonite Church. Burial
was in Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church Cemetery of rural Inman.
Weekly Review - August 17, 2009 - 87th Year, No. 31 - p. 9
Thiessen, Richard Leigh
Richard Leigh Thiessen
died July 18, 2009, in Everett, Wash., after a long disability caused
by Huntington’s Disease. He was born Nov. 8, 1954, to Harold Thiessen
and Marie Zuercher Thiessen in Elkhart, Ind., and grew up in
Donnellson, Iowa, Summerfield, Ill., and Snohomish, Wash.
He spent most of his professional life as a geology professor at
Washington State University in Pullman. Starting in his
undergraduate days at Western Washington University, he maintained a
lifelong interest in international folk dance, even dancing with the
care home staff even during the final stages of his illness. He
also loved travel and had made extended trips to Europe, Egypt and
Israel. He will be missed for his good humor and ability to bring a
smile up to the very end.
Survivors include three children, Nathaniel, Matthew and Lydia; six
siblings, Renette Davis, Rosilyn Switzer, Connie Jackson, Jon Thiessen,
Mike Thiessen and Doug Thiessen; 15 nephews and nieces; and his ex-wife.
Reimer, Lenora Mae
Lenore Mae Reimer
, 85, of the
Phoenix, Ariz., area, died July 26, 2009, at Encore Senior Village of
Paradise Valley due to a malignant brain tumor. She was born Aug. 21,
1923, to John S. and Elizabeth Pankratz Reimer on a farm near Lehigh,
She received her elementary education in the Springfield School and
attended Goessel Rural High School, graduating in 1942. She later
entered nurses training at St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in
Wichita, Kan., graduating in 1952. She also spent one year in voluntary
service with Mennonite Central Committee.
On June 1, 1941, she was baptized upon her confession of sin and
profession of faith and became a member of Goessel Mennonite Church.
Later she transferred her membership to First Mennonite Church of
McPherson, Kan. After moving to California in 1955, she transferred her
membership to Bethel Community Church in Santa Fe Springs.
She spent 33 years in California as a registered nurse, caring for sick
and suffering humanity. In 1988 she moved to Phoenix to make her home
at Glencroft-North Retirement Center, which later became Baptist
Survivors include her only sister, Mary Jane Swartzendruber and her
husband, Paul, of Phoenix; a nephew, John Swartzendruber, and a niece,
Susan Smith, both of Mississippi.
Weekly Review - August 24, 2009 - 87th Year, No. 32 - p. 9
Yoder, Esther Mable Baer
Esther Mable Yoder
, 78, died
June 27, 2009, at her home in Denbigh, Va. She was born Aug. 19, 1930,
to Jacob and Esther Hahn Baer in Hampton.
She was a lifelong resident of the peninsula and was known throughout
the community for her work in the Mennonite churches, her sponsorship
of the folk operas at the Yoder Barn Theatre, her writings, her
interest in researching the histories of family, church and the
community. For years she was an editor of a local paper, The Warwick
River Tide, and served on the board of the Virginia Conference
Historical Committee in Harrisonburg. She also served on the school
board of Warwick River Christian School and volunteered in many offices
at Huntington Mennonite Church, where she was a member for many years.
She loved to travel and visited many countries around the world.
Her travel experiences, as well as being an avid reader, made her
knowledgeable on many subjects. She was a close friend and
counselor to many people.
Survivors include her loving husband of 59 years, John David Yoder; a
daughter, Christine Yoder; a son, John Alan Yoder; a sister, Dorothy
Powell of Harrisonburg; two brothers, Jacob Baer and Nelson Baer and
his wife, Kathryn, all of Newport News; and two granddaughters.
She was preceded in death by her youngest son, Mark E. Yoder.
Funeral services were held at Huntington Mennonite Church. Burial was
in Warwick River Mennonite Church Cemetery.
No obituaries in MWR - August 31, 2009