Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Mennonite World Review - April 2016
Bucher, Kathryn Ellen Hostetter
Kathryn Ellen Hostetter Bucher, 91, of Harman, W.Va., died March 16, 2016, at Cortland Acres Nursing Home in Thomas. She was born March 18, 1924, to D. Ralph and Kathryn E. Hostetter in Harrisonburg, Va.
On Aug. 13, 1988, she married Samuel Bucher. He preceded her in death on May 21, 2010.
She was a nurse. She graduated from Rockingham Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and received a bachelor's degree in nursing from Eastern Mennonite College. In addition to working at Mountain Clinic in Harman for 30 years, she worked as a nurse in several states and two continents.
She loved to travel and visited all 50 states, five Canadian provinces and 24 countries. She loved nature, especially wildflowers and birds. She participated in the West Virginia Wildflower Pilgrimage at Blackwater Falls State Park for more than 30 years. She was a member of Mennonite Nurses Association for more than 30 years and served as its treasurer for 11 years. In 1984 she was honored as its nurse of the year. The honor recognized her gentle, courteous, caring and efficient nature. She maintained contact with friends around the world by sending many cards and letters. She was a member of the Randolph County Extension Homemaker and served as vice president. She volunteered with Randolph County Tygart Affiliate of Literacy Volunteers of America and at the Harman Senior Center doing blood pressure checks monthly. She was a member of the Mennonite church, serving as a song leader and Sunday school teacher. She sang with the community church choir and played the piano, a skill her father taught her.
Survivors include two stepdaughters, Sarah Ellen Myers and her husband, Herb, of Harman, and Mary Beth Lind and her husband, Lester, of Philippi; two stepsons, Samuel Jonathon Bucher and his wife, Ester, of Alberta, and Joseph Daniel Bucher and his wife, Judy, of Harman; seven step-grandchildren and 14 step-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel; a sister, Elizabeth Louise Hostetter; and a step-great-granddaughter, Nora Lynn Myers.
Mennonite World Review - April 25, 2016 - 94th Year, No. 9 - p. 23
Brunk, James R.
James R. Brunk, 89, of Harrisonburg, Va., died Dec. 3, 2015, at the Mennonite Retirement Center. He was born May 25, 1926, to Harry and Lena Brunk in Harrisonburg.
He married Thelma K. Brunk in July 1948.
After serving in Civilian Public Service for two years, he graduated from Eastern Mennonite College and the University of Virginia Medical School. After working at Blue Ridge Sanatorium in prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, then in student health at the University of Virginia, he joined a private practice in internal medicine in Harrisonburg until his retirement.
Survivors include his wife, Thelma; three sons, Bob Brunk of Harrisonburg, John Brunk of Sarasota, Fla., and Don Brunk of Bellingham, Wash.; a daughter, Beth Bergey of Bethlehem, Pa.; two brothers, Harry Brunk Jr. of Harrisonburg and Fred Brunk of St. Michael, Minn.; 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church.
Yordy, James Walter
James Walter Yordy, 83, of Tucson, Ariz., died Feb. 19, 2016, in Tucson. He was born Sept. 5, 1932, to Walter and Alma (Eigsti) Yordy in Peoria, Ill.
As a child, his family moved to Chicago, a city he loved, enjoyed and knew well. As a conscientious objector, he served in Germany through Pax from 1952 to 1954.
On June 9, 1956, at the Mennonite Home Mission in Chicago, he married June L. Davis. Together they raised five children.
He was a hard worker, including the years he owned and drove truck for Yordy's Grease Service. He was an active member of Lombard (Ill.) Mennonite Church and later Shalom Mennonite, Tucson.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, June (Davis) Yordy; children Janice Yordy Sutter and her husband, David, Jonathan Yordy and his wife, Jean, Jill Stasch and her husband, Michael, and Jeanne Yordy and her husband, Matt Baer; daughter-in-law Patricia Yordy; and eight grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by infant son Jack Davis Yordy and son Jeffrey James Yordy; grandson Timothy Christian Sutter and granddaughter Josey Yordy Baer.
Services were held at Shalom Mennonite, Tucson, and at Assembly Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind.
Unruh, Robert E.
Robert E. "Bob" Unruh, 86, of North Newton, Kan., died March 31, 2016. He was born April 11, 1929, to Jacob S. and Sara (Friesen) Unruh in Goessel.
He was a 1947 graduate of Goessel High School and in 1952 received a bachelor's degree in music education from Bethel College in North Newton. In 1956 he received a master of music education degree from Wichita State University.
He married Helen Ruth Jantzen, who he met at Bethel College, on June 19, 1953, at Beatrice (Neb.) Mennonite Church.
He taught public school music at Lehigh for three years, then taught at Kingman public schools from 1955 until 1966. In 1966 he exchanged his role as a music teacher with that of a piano tuner/technician and part-time employee of the U.S. Postal Service. After his postal service retirement in 1989, he devoted full time to his piano tuning and repair while living in Kingman and Hutchinson. In 2006, they moved to Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton. In 2013, he transitioned to the nursing care unit because of dementia.
Many of his church and community activities centered around music. He directed choirs and sang in local ensembles. He enjoyed traveling and twice fulfilled his dream of going to Europe. His sense of humor often found its way into life's situations and conversations.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Helen Ruth Unruh; a son, Jon Unruh; a nephew, Alan Stoetzl; and a niece, Elizabeth Stoetzl.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Eskil Unruh; and his sister, Charlene Stoetzl and her husband, Marion.
Memorial services were held at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton.
Fisher, Rachel S. Swartzendruber
Rachel S. Fisher, 95, of Goshen, Ind., died April 9, 2016, at IU Health Goshen Hospital. She was born Sept. 15, 1920, to Herman and Esther (Rodgers) Swartzendruber in Hesston, Kan.
She married Robert D. Fisher on Jan. 3, 1942, at the home of her parents in Wellman, Iowa.
She and Robert volunteered with Mennonite Central Committee in Europe from 1942 to 1948. After returning from Europe, they moved to the farm near Iowa City, Iowa, where their four children were born. In 1958 they moved to Scottdale, Pa., to work for Mennonite Publishing House.
She graduated from Hesston (Kan.) Academy in 1937 and Hesston Junior College in 1939. She also attended Goshen College and Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart.
She served the Mennonite church for 30 years in many capacities. A member of College Mennonite Church, she was called to be their first female pastor, serving for 11 years and retiring in 1986.
Survivors include a son, David Fisher and his wife, Joy, of Grottoes, Va.; two daughters, Julie Profeto and her husband, Ray, of Goshen, and Suzette Prokopin and her husband, Leonard, of Moreno Valley, Calif.; a brother, Leo Swartzendruber and his wife, Shirley, of Grand Junction, Colo.; a sister, Geneva Stoltzfus and her husband, Glenn, of Goshen; four grandsons and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 69 years, Robert, on Jan. 26, 2011; a son, Lowell; and three brothers, Wallace, Willard and Don Swartzendruber.
Memorial services were held at College Mennonite Church. A private burial took place at Elkhart Prairie Cemetery.