Mennonite Weekly Review - June 2011
Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Mennonite Weekly Review - June 6, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 21 - p. 9
Rohrer, Ivan Jonas
Ivan Jonas Rohrer, 93, of Dayton, Va., died April 6, 2011. He was born Dec. 13, 1917, to Clayton and Martha Rohrer in Wadsworth, Ohio.
On June 27, 1942, he married Anna Sheeler. She preceded him in death on April 4, 1979. On July 31, 1982, he married Martha Hartzler.
He was attended Eastern Mennonite College when he was called into Civilian Public Service during World War II. As a conscientious objector, he served at Sideling Hill Camp in Bowie, Md., and at a Massachusetts dairy farm. After the war he went into farming at Royersford, Pa., for three years, then was called and ordained into ministry by Franconia Mennonite Conference.
He served in mission work from 1949 to 1962, building up the church in Bartonsville, Vt. In 1962 he moved to Harrisonburg, and then earned his bachelor’s degree in religion and history at EMC in 1966. He taught at Eastern Mennonite High School for a couple of years until he bought Rockingham Motel, which he owned for 13 years.
He grew up attending Bethel Mennonite Church in Wadsworth. During his farming years he attended Pottstown (Pa.) Mission Church. After marrying Martha they lived in Shippensburg, Pa., where they attended Diller’s Mennonite Church. They moved to the Harrisonburg area in 1991, where he was a member of Parkview Mennonite Church and later at Dayton Mennonite Church. For many years he drove school bus and taxi service for the Old Order communities in Shippensburg and Rockingham County. He loved to sing, often directed congregational singing and sang with the Celebration Singers in the early 80s. He was often a guest preacher.
Survivors include his wife, Martha; a daughter, Joyce Benedict and her husband, Jim; a son, Phillip Rohrer and his wife, Linda; a sister, Ruth Mumaw of Wooster, Ohio; nine grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Anna; and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at Dayton Mennonite Church.
Arn, Sarah Eleanor Kratz
Sarah Eleanor (Kratz) Arn, 70, of Lansdale, Pa., died May 10, 2011. She was born Dec. 9, 1940, to Horace Spare and Sarah Eleanor (Wampole) Kratz in Elm Terrace Hospital, Lansdale.
She married John Willard Arn Jr. on Dec. 28, 1962.
She was a lifelong member of Grace Mennonite Church, Lansdale. She also held associate church memberships at Herold Mennonite Church, Cordell, Okla.; Bethlehem Mennonite Church, Bloomfield, Mont.; and Ho-Peng Mennonite Church, Taichung, Taiwan.
She was a 1958 graduate from North Penn High School, Lansdale; a 1958 graduate from the Lansdale Conservatory of Music; and a 1962 graduate from Bluffton (Ohio) University. She and her husband, John, a pastor, served at Herold Mennonite Church, Cordell, Okla., and Bethlehem Mennonite Church, Bloomfield, Mont. They later served with the General Conference Mennonite Church in Taichung, Taiwan, as missionaries.
She served on the church board of Grace Mennonite Church and also was their long-term pianist. She served on the board of Bluffton University from 1992 to 2007. She held positions with Eastern District Conference, Mennonite Church USA and the General Conference Mennonite Church and was a member of the Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust. She was an accomplished pianist, organist and soloist.
Survivors include her husband of 48 years, John Arn; three children, Christel Boysel of Ephrata, Kendra Hosgood and her husband, Christian, of North Wales, and Nathan Arn and his wife, Robin, of Concord, Ohio; and six grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at Grace Mennonite Church, Lansdale. Burial was in Lower Skippack Mennonite Cemetery.
Klaassen, Donna Regier
Donna Klaassen, 86, of North Newton, Kan., died May 8, 2011. She was born June 16, 1924, to A.J. and Suzanne Bargen Regier in Freeman, S.D.
The family moved to the Newton area when she was 3. She was baptized in May 1937 at Bethel College Mennonite Church. She graduated from Newton High School in 1942 and from Bethel College in 1946 with a degree in English.
She married Melvin Klaassen on Aug. 30, 1947, in the Bethel College Chapel. They lived in North Newton for about two years, during which time she worked at the General Conference Mennonite Church and Western District Conference offices. They then moved to a home they built on the family farm in Whitewater.
She was a longtime member of Grace Hill Mennonite Church, where she served as the church pianist and organist for nearly 50 years. For many years she and Melvin worked as a team accompanying and directing the choir and congregational singing. She taught preschool Sunday school classes for many years. Later she worked at Newton Public Library for 10 years. She volunteered many hours at KIPCOR, Ten Thousand Villages and Camp Mennoscah. She loved to sew and make special gifts for her grandchildren.
In January 2008, she was diagnosed with multiple myeloma cancer and began treatment. In 2009 they moved to Kidron Retirement Village in North Newton. As the cancer progressed, she was admitted to Harry Hynes Hospice in December 2010.
Survivors include her husband of 63 years, Melvin; four children, Linda Harms and her husband, Gary, of rural Whitewater, Chuck Klaassen and his wife, Liz, of Buffalo, Minn., John Klaassen and his wife, Valerie, of rural Whitewater, and Ellen Byergo and her husband, Rex, of Bronaugh, Mo.; a sister, Margaret Rich; a brother-in-law, Lester Ewy; 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Mennonite Weekly Review - June 13, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 22 - p. 9
Roupp, Nina G. Naffziger
Nina G. Roupp, 89, of North Newton, Kan., died Jan. 27, 2011, at Newton Medical Center after a short illness. She was born Jan. 16, 1922, to Christian Lee and Ida (Kauffman) Naffziger in Crystal Springs.
Her childhood was spent on the family farm at Crystal Springs. She attended Harper High School and graduated from Hesston Academy in 1940. She attended one “short term” at Hesston College in 1941.
On Nov. 6, 1942, she married Weldon Roupp of Hesston at Crystal Springs Mennonite Church. They farmed near Crystal Springs until 1953, when they moved to Oregon. They settled on a small acreage on South Miller Road near Hubbard, Ore. While there she was busy with her family and was known for selling milk, eggs, beef and cider. After the death of Weldon in 1984 she continued to live on the family farm for another 10 years before moving to Canby, Ore. She was there until 2002, when she moved to the Kidron-Bethel Retirement Center in North Newton to be closer to her daughters.
Survivors include four children, Elaine Harms and her husband, James, of Newton, Kenneth Roupp and his wife, Barbara, of Portland, Ore., Mary Regier and her husband, Lonny, of North Newton, and Ronald Roupp of Canby, Ore.; a sister, Naomi Weaver of Wichita; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Weldon; a brother, Robert Naffziger; a sister-in-law, Kathryn Naffziger; and a brother-in-law, Junior Weaver.
Memorial services were held at Bethel College Mennonite Church, North Newton, and at Calvary Mennonite Church, Aurora, Ore. Burial was in the family plot at the Zion Mennonite Church cemetery, Hubbard, Ore.
Janzen, Pearl Mierau
Pearl Mierau Janzen, 87, of Reedley, Calif., died May 16, 2011. She was born Feb. 7, 1924, to John and Lydia (Friesen) Mierau in Henderson, Neb.
She accompanied her husband, Victor, to Civilian Public Service camps in Hill City, S.D., Ypsilanti, Mich., and Downey, Idaho, during World War II. She was a charter member of Mennonite Community Church, Fresno, and a longtime, active member of First Mennonite Church, Reedley.
She served with Mennonite Central Committee in Reedley and continued to volunteer for many years at the Ten Thousand Villages store. Through Mennonite Voluntary Service, she served a number of years at Moencopi and Bacavi on the Hopi Indian Reservation. She also was a member of the General Conference Mennonite Church Commission on Home Ministries.
Survivors include three children, Mark Janzen and his wife, Nancy, Christine Moyer and her husband, Rusty, and Michael Janzen and his wife, MaryBeth; a brother, Virgil Mierau; six granchildren and three great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Victor; and a daughter, Carolyn.
Memorial services were held at First Mennonite Church, Reedley. Burial was in Reedley Cemetery.
Smoker, Viola Mae Smoker
Viola Mae Smoker, 92, died March 23, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. She was born May 9, 1918, to Daniel and Sadie Smoker in Lancaster County, Pa., the first of nine children.
She grew up on a farm and attended Millwood Mennonite Church in Gap, Pa. She married Abner K. Smoker on Nov. 21, 1936.
She worked in sewing factories before marriage and during the early years of her married life. In 1950 they moved to Phoenix, where they joined Sunnyslope Mennonite Church. In Arizona she did some housecleaning for hire and helped manage their rental properties. In 1989 she and Abner moved to Camp Verde for their retirement years.
She had a “green thumb” and grew lots of flowers inside and outside everywhere they lived. She also did scrapbooking and needlework such as sewing, crocheting, quilt making and other handicrafts.
Survivors include a son, Arlan Smoker and his wife, Donna; two daughters, Myrna Cramer and her husband, Ed, and LaVon Miller and her husband, Bob; a sister, Miram Byler of Montrose, Colo.; three brothers, Vernon Smoker of Lititz, Pa., Dale Smoker of Gordonville, Pa., and Don Smoker of Phoenix; 10 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Abner Smoker; three sisters, Verdna Smoker, Sara Stoltzfus and Anna Stoltzfus Forman; a brother, Leroy Smoker; and a great-granddaughter.