Mennonite World Review - June 2014
Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Lapp, Ben F. ; . . Loepp, Franzie L. ; . . McElroy, Naomi Ruth Claassen ; . .
Mennonite World Review - June 9, 2014 - 92nd Year, No. 12 - p. 15
Loepp, Franzie L.
Franzie L. Loepp, 74, of Normal, Ill., died May 18, 2014, at OSF Richard L. Owens Hospice Home in Peoria. He was born June 17, 1939, to Franzie P. and Leona Dirks Loepp in Liberal, Kan.
He married Dorothy Harms at Grace Hill Mennonite Church in Whitewater, Kan., on May 29, 1961.
He earned his doctorate degree from the University of Northern Colorado and joined the Department of Industrial Technology at Illinois State University in 1970. He enjoyed teaching introductory level laboratory courses, educational methods classes, and he loved supervising student teachers. His research focused on curriculum development for integrated science, mathematics and technology in middle schools. He served as chair of the Industrial Technology Department for six years and then as director of the Center for Mathematics, Science and Technology until his retirement in 2003 as a distinguished professor emeritus at ISU.
He was devoted to helping others. He was an active member of Mennonite Church of Normal, where he played a vital role in construction of the building in 1980. He gave leadership in many situations involving volunteers and was known for his gift of bringing out the best in others. He volunteered twice weekly with Habitat for Humanity and served on many Mennonite Disaster Service project sites. He took a keen interest in the wider Mennonite church, most recently serving as a board member of the Mennonite Education Agency. In his spare time he loved to bike and to work in his shop on woodworking projects.
Survivors include his wife, Dorothy Loepp of Normal; his mother, Leona Loepp of Liberal, Kan.; a son, Leroy Loepp of Normal; a daughter, Susan Loepp of Williamstown, Mass.; and a brother, Dennis Loepp and his wife, Dori, of Turpin, Okla.
Funeral services were held at Mennonite Church of Normal. Cremation rites were accorded.
McElroy, Naomi Ruth Claassen
Naomi Ruth McElroy, 77, of Liberty, Mo., died May 27, 2014, after a lengthy bout of Alzheimer's disease. She was born Oct. 11, 1936, to Ted and Helen Claassen and grew up in Newton, Kan.
She attended Bethel College and Wheaton College, graduating from the University of Illinois with a master's degree in English literature.
She taught high school English for a number of years in the Topeka and Shawnee Mission School districts before moving to Liberty and opening the first Toyota dealership in the Northland. In most recent years she had a successful career in real estate. She worked with several companies in Liberty including ERA, Caldwell Banker, and finally retiring from active sales after more than 15 years with RE/MAX of Liberty.
She had a love for music, having played both piano and violin. She loved animals, traveled extensively, and her many hobbies included golf, swimming, writing, reading and gardening. She continued to be a lifelong member of First Mennonite Church in Newton and attended Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty, Mo.
Survivors include two brothers, David Claassen and his wife, Dee, of Denver, Colo., and Charles F. Claassen of Liberty; a sister, Mary Franz and her husband, Gary, of Newton, and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Don McElroy, who died in 2008.
A celebration of life service was held at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in the Chapel.
Lapp, Ben F.
Ben F. Lapp, 82, of Watsontown, Pa., died of a stroke on May 23, 2014, at Hershey Medical Center. He was born Dec. 31, 1931, to Henry and Katie Lapp in Lancaster County.
On Sept. 25, 1954, he married Geraldine Derstine*. They would have celebrated 60 years of marriage this year.
He attended Penn View Bible Institute and received a certificate in theology from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. One of the founding members of Beaver Run Mennonite Church, he pastored there from 1957 to 1976. From 1976 to 1995 he pastored at Frederick Mennonite Church. In semi-retirement, he was interim pastor at Whitehall Mennonite Church, Zion Mennonite Church and Salford Mennonite Church, interim chaplain at Rockhill Mennonite Community and assisted with preaching at Herstein's Mennonite Church.
After his full retirement, he relocated back to the rural Turbotville area and was a member of Community Mennonite Fellowship Church, Milton, where he was a Sunday school teacher and part of the pastoral care committee.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing and other outdoor activities. He was a kind man, well loved in the community and adored by his grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Geraldine; three daughters, Karen Bowman and her husband, David, Joyce Lawler and her husband, Tom, and Elaine Esch and her husband, Eric; three sons, Philip Lapp, Steven Lapp and his wife, Lynette, and Mark Lapp and his wife, Milissa; three brothers, Paul Lapp, Dan Lapp and Ray Lapp; three sisters, Marian King, Linda Yoder and Mary June Glick; and 12 grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at Community Mennonite Church in Milton.
*Correction from daughter, Karen Bowman Weddington, NC. Geraldine's birth name was Geraldine Derstine Alderfer.