Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Mennonite World Review - April 2019
Bartel, Stanley Roy ; . . Bowman, Irma Ebersole ; . . Dyck, Paul I. ; . . Hjelmstad, Doris Eloise Rupp ; . . Longacher, Constance Elaine Brenneman ; . . Sieber, Paul Clarence ; . . Swarr, Bertha Carolyn Wenger ; . . Troyer, LeRoy S. ; . .
Mennonite World Review - April 1, 2019 - 97th Year, No. 7 - p. 15
Troyer, LeRoy S.
LeRoy S. Troyer, 81, of South Bend, Ind., died Dec. 2, 2018. He was born Nov. 23, 1937, to Seth Troyer and Nancy (Miller)?Troyer in Middlebury in an Amish household. He married Phyllis Eigsti.
He was founder, former president and chief executive officer of the Troyer Group, a firm that offered architecture, engineering, urban planning, interior design, landscape architecture, construction management and integrated services. He effectively used his passions and talents to organize and provide leadership concerning the living standards of people on local, regional, national and global scales. Influenced by an Amish upbringing and his Christian faith, he focused his architecture training on meeting the basic human need for shelter, the elimination of poverty housing, the advancement of global living standards and increased awareness of environmental, economic and quality of life challenges.
He was especially committed to eliminating poverty housing. His work with Habitat for Humanity International and his close working relationship with former President Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter drew national and international attention to housing needs in the United States and around the world. A pioneer in intergenerational living, he led the planning, design and development of Southfield Village in South Bend, which serves as a model of this. He continued philanthropic work with organizations that promote peaceful, humanitarian support in ways that empower individuals to make a better life for themselves and their families.
Survivors include his wife of more than 60 years, Phyllis; three sons, Terry (Cyndi) Troyer, Donald (Beth) Troyer and Ronald Troyer, all of South Bend; three siblings, Esther (Melvin)?Mast, Lloyd (Loretta) Troyer and Edna Hochstetler; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Services were held at Kern Road Mennonite Church, South Bend, of which he was a founding member and architect of the church itself. Memorials may be made to The Fuller Center for Housing, Americus, Ga., Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County, South Bend, and Hope Ministries, South Bend.
Bowman, Irma Ebersole
Irma Bowman, 90, of Lititz, Pa., died March 13, 2019, at Landis Homes. She was born March 7, 1929, to Lester and Mamie (Zimmerman) Ebersole in Sterling, Ill.
She grew up on a farm and rode her pony to a one-room school. She was active in her MYF and participated on the state committee. In 1950 she graduated from Goshen (Ind.) College. During the summers she worked for church service units in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and downstate Illinois.
After graduation she began her career as a teacher before answering a call from Mennonite Central Committee to serve two years at a home for refugee children in Bad Durkheim, Germany. There she met Earl Bowman, a member of a Pax service unit. He captured her heart when he carried her heavy suitcase during a group tour of Palestine. They married in 1955.
She and Earl built a home in Akron, where they became founding members of Akron Mennonite Church. She taught third grade at Akron Elementary School while MCC trainees from Europe assisted in their home. She led Bible studies and hosted many couples in a marriage enrichment program. She enjoyed hosting family holiday dinners and traveled with family to Ireland, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and Canada. She retired from teaching after 31 years and moved to Landis Homes after Earl’s death.
Survivors include a son, David (Karen) Bowman; a granddaughter and a grandson.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ivan Earl Bowman, in 2011; a daughter, Mary Beth (David) Moser; and two brothers, Richard and Myron Ebersole.
Memorial services will be at Akron Mennonite Church. A private burial will follow at Akron Mennonite Cemetery. Contributions may be designated for Mennonite Disaster Service or Landis Homes Caring Fund.
Mennonite World Review - April 15, 2019 - 97th Year, No. 8 - p. 15
Bartel, Stanley Roy
Stanley Roy Bartel, 76, of Manhattan, Kan., died Feb. 28, 2019, after a short, intense battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born June 22, 1942, to Paul and Elva (Schmidt) Bartel in Goessel.
He graduated from Goessel High School in 1960. He played basketball and baseball for the school teams, and his interest in sports lasted his entire life.
From 1964 to 1966, he served on a Pax team with Mennonite Central Committee in Aridea, Greece.
He married Myrna Funk in 1968 and they moved to Manhattan.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education and later a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Kansas State University.
He taught high school vocational agriculture and science classes. He worked in many capacities beyond teaching: club sponsor, activity bus driver, football videographer, athletics concessions coordinator and school handyman. He served as the Future Farmers of America adviser, a role he treasured. He received an Honorary American FFA Degree in 1976. In 1995, he was honored as a finalist for Kansas Teacher of the Year. He spent 29 years as an educator at Manhattan High School and taught briefly at Jewell High School after his first retirement.
He also worked with the Tohono O’odham Nation, located in south central Arizona, as an adviser from 2000 to 2002 on workforce training and preparing tribe members for farming as a career.
He was raised in Tabor Mennonite Church near Goessel and became a founding member of Manhattan Mennonite Church. He served the church as a Sunday school teacher, choir member, song and worship leader, youth group sponsor and church moderator.
For 30 years, he enjoyed being on the chain crew on the sidelines for the KSU football team. He spent time traveling, fishing and boating with friends and family, completing woodworking projects to share and volunteering in the Manhattan community with Mennonite Disaster Service and with MCC.
Survivors include his wife, Myrna; two children, Alex (Sheri) Bartel and Amy (Josh) Lingenfelser; and five grandchildren.
Memorial gifts may be sent to MCC, MMC’s building fund or Kansas State’s Johnson Cancer Research Center.
Longacher, Constance Elaine Brenneman
Constance Elaine (Brenneman) Longacher, 82, died Feb. 22, 2019, in Harrisonburg, Va., of pancreatic cancer. She was born Nov. 14, 1936, to Mennonite missionaries Fred and Millie (Page)Brenneman in Dhamtari, India.
They moved to Hesston, Kan., when she was 4. She graduated from Hesston College in 1956 and Goshen (Ind.) College in 1958, but spent one semester at Eastern Mennonite College, where she met Joseph Longacher. They were married at Doylestown, Pa., on Dec. 30, 1958.
After his medical school and internship they spent 1964 to 1968 in eastern Kentucky, the first two years in voluntary service under Mennonite Central Committee. They returned to Richmond for his training in gastroenterology, which he practiced for three years in Bluffton, Ind., then 37 years in Richmond. When he retired they moved to Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community in Harrisonburg in 2013.
She was a full-time homemaker by choice and was always there for their four children, reading to them daily and attending all their activities. She conveyed her Christian faith clearly and will be remembered for her intellect and sense of humor. In Richmond she was a member of First Mennonite Church, serving as a Sunday school teacher and elder and as a mentor and role model for younger women. For her work as chair of its Alternatives to the Military Committee, Virginia Mennonite Conference awarded her its annual peace mug. Her favorite avocation was reading. She enjoyed travel with family to national parks and overseas to the British Isles, India and China.
Survivors include her husband of 60 years, Joseph Longacher Jr.; her children, Deirdre (Sherwyn) Smeltzer of Harrisonburg, Steven Longacher of Corvallis, Ore., Mark (Lisa) Longacher of Castle Rock, Colo., and Karen Minatelli of Alexandria; a “Spanish daughter,” Montse Adan, former exchange student from Barcelona, Spain; and six grandchildren.
Mennonite World Review - April 29, 2019 - 97th Year, No. 9 - p. 15
Sieber, Paul Clarence
Paul Clarence Sieber, 97, of Mahomet, Ill., died Feb. 22, 2019, at The Glenwood. He was born April 20, 1921, to Boyd and Katie (Wert) Sieber in Juniata County, Pa.
Shortly after his birth, the family moved to Freeport, where he grew up on a farm, learning the value of hard work from his father.
On April 24, 1943, he married Martha Meck, a classmate at Dakota High School who attended the same church youth group.
In 1948, he and Martha moved to West Liberty, Ohio, where he became superintendent of a children’s home, serving until 1953. Then they moved to Goshen, Ind., so he could attend seminary. In 1958 they moved back to Freeport, where he was instrumental in starting the Pleasant View church. He worked full time as a dairy farmer to support his family.
In 1965 they moved to Arthur, where he accepted the pastorate of Arthur Mennonite Church and worked part-time as a mail carrier to help pay his children’s college expenses. In 1977, he became pastor of Ann Street Mennonite Church in Peoria. He was president of Illinois Mennonite Conference for 10 years and interim pastor at Metamora, Roanoke and Freeport Mennonite churches. In 1985 he retired from full-time pastoring.
He never knew a stranger, sharing his enthusiasm for life and his faith. He never let a conversation end without making sure people were aware of God’s love and grace.
Survivors include his children, Gerald (Yvonne) Sieber of Hesston, Kan., Delmar (Sandy) Sieber of Champaign, Marlin (Peggy) Sieber of Mansfield, Norma (Thomas) Symns of Longmont, Colo., and Nancy (Dennis) Seaman of Champaign; 12 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Martha, in 2013; two brothers, Floyd Sieber and Sam Sieber; two sisters, Grace Leu and Mary Yoder; and a great-grandchild, Rayce Mowry.
A service will be held May 4 at First Mennonite Church, Urbana. Memorial contributions may be made to Carle Hospice, Mennonite Central Committee, or an organization of donor’s choice.
Dyck, Paul I.
Paul I. Dyck, 93, of Bluffton, Ohio, died April 13, 2019. He was born Jan 14, 1926, in Olds, Alta.
He married Lois Mae (Bartel) Dyck on Aug. 14, 1956. She preceded him in death on Dec. 8, 2005.
An active, curious learner with a gift for initiative and innovation, he was generous with his time and a gifted woodworker.
After completing his undergraduate at Bethel College and seminary training at Chicago Theological Seminary, he moved to India in 1956 with his wife, Lois, and two young sons to serve as missionaries.
He served as administrator of a hospital and rehabilitation center for people with leprosy. While in India he showed a knack for creative problem solving, whether refitting a tractor to plow in a flooded rice field or supporting the social and livelihood needs of people living with leprosy. Returning to Canada in 1968, he pursued his fascination for cultural dynamics by completing a master’s degree in anthropology, developing theories of how people can transcend the limits of caste structure.
In 1973 he was invited to Bluffton to be administrator of Mennonite Memorial Home. For 18 years, he led a significant expansion of facilities and initiated new services for elders in the community.
His love of learning translated into a love of teaching. He taught English at Mennonite Collegiate Institute in Gretna, Man., and anthropology at Bluffton College. He also taught at the Institute for Learning in Retirement in diverse topics. While spending his entire adult life far from where he grew up, he cultivated ties with extended family. He maintained friendships forged in India and loved using Hindi to make new friends.
Survivors include four children, Rodney (Marie Yoder) Dyck, Curtis (Shelly) Weaverdyck, Martin (Liz) Dyrst, Doris (Su Flickinger) Bartel; two siblings, Jim Dyck and Lorna Louden; a companion of 10 years, Fran Core; 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held May 19 at First Mennonite Church in Bluffton. A private burial will be at Maple Grove Cemetery in Bluffton. Memorial contributions may be made to Mennonite Memorial Home, 410 W. Elm St., Bluffton, OH 45817 or First Mennonite Church, 101 S. Jackson St., Bluffton, OH 45817.
Hjelmstad, Doris Eloise Rupp
Doris Eloise Rupp Hjelmstad, 101, of La Junta, Colo., died March 11, 2019, at Arkansas Valley Regional Nursing Care Center. She was born Dec. 21, 1917, to Roy and Ethel Rutledge in Pioneer, Ohio.
In 1954, she realized her dream of becoming a registered nurse after graduating from La Junta Mennonite School of Nursing. She was employed at Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Rocky Ford for 13 years, two years in Newfoundland and then at La Junta Medical Center until her retirement in 1977.
She married Magnar Hjelmstad on Dec. 31, 1974. They were married for 24 years, living first in La Junta and then in Rocky Ford.
She was a charter member of Rocky Ford Mennonite Church at its inception in 1960 and remained a member until the church closed in 2017. Her life reflected her Christian beliefs, and her favorite Bible verse was Psalm 23:6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
Her husband preceded her in death on Sept. 8, 1999, and in 2001 she moved to Casa Del Sol in La Junta. Many of her days were filled with volunteer work after she retired, including serving as a volunteer nurse at Casa Del Sol, working at Crossroads Thrift Store, assisting at the blood bank and with the La Junta Hospital Auxiliary.
Survivors include a brother, Robert Rutledge; a niece, Sarah Jane (Doyle) Saddler; a nephew, George (Joan) Swihart; stepchildren Ellenor (Derald)?Brenneman, Don (Barbara) Hjelmstad and Dottie (Phil) Kinsinger; seven grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at Emmanuel Mennonite Church. Memorial gifts may be made to Arkansas Valley Hospice.
Swarr, Bertha Carolyn Wenger
Bertha Carolyn Wenger Swarr, 86, of Harrisonburg, Va., died April 9, 2019, at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. She was born April 13, 1932, to Jesse Walter and Ella Lehman Wenger in Versailles, Mo.
She studied two years at Hesston (Kan.) College, taught several years in the public schools of Versailles and then completed an education degree in 1953 at Goshen (Ind.) College. It was there she met Paul Swarr of East Petersburg, Pa. They were married at Mount Zion Church May 8, 1955.
They lived in Middletown, Conn., and then LaJunta, Colo., before accepting an invitation to serve God in Israel in 1957. This life calling continued until 1987. The Tel Aviv area became home.
She did teaching, writing and editing, active mothering, assisting Paul in his managerial role in Sharon Tours and later secretarial work in the United Christian Council in Israel. They were active in the congregational life at Baptist Village. In the last 10 years in Israel, they served as pastoral couple for the Beit Immanuel congregation of mostly Messianic Jewish believers in greater Tel Aviv.
Returning to the U.S., they lived in Powhatan from 1987 to 1990 and then for 18 years in Richmond. She spoke at women’s church gatherings to report on Messianic ministry in Israel. She and Paul were active in Youth With A Mission in the Richmond area to disciple and train international youth. This work took them to nations such as Ghana, South Africa and Brazil. She was supportive of Paul’s pastoral calls at Powhatan Mennonite Church and at Hope Christian Fellowship in Richmond.
In 2008, she suffered a stroke that caused her first to walk with a cane and more recently with a walker. They moved to Harrisonburg in 2008 and to VMRC in 2016.
Survivors include her husband, Paul Swarr; three children, David (Sharon) Swarr of Richmond and Galilee, Israel, Evelyn (Jay) Hostetter of Powhatan and Carolyn (Carl) Stauffer of Harrisonburg; seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A celebration service will be May 11 at Ridgeway Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg. Memorial contributions may be made to VMRC.