Mennonite World Review - May 2019
Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Diener, Thomas Jennings ; . . Ramseyer, Lelia "Mae" Miller ; . .
No obituaries in May 3, 2019 issue
Mennonite World Review - May 27, 2019 - 97th Year, No. 11 - p. 15
Diener, Thomas Jennings
Thomas Jennings Diener, 85, died March 10, 2019, at his home in Louisville, Ky. He was born July 6, 1933, to Ruben and Orene Kauffman Diener in Middlebury, Ind.
The first of his family to attend college, he graduated from Goshen College in 1955. After graduation, he enlisted in the Army and served in Korea and Okinawa for two years.
In August 1957, he married Carolyn Smith of Eureka, Ill., whom he had met at Goshen College.
They lived in Bloomington, Ind., where he earned a master’s degree in 1958. He was assistant dean of students at Illinois Wesleyan University. They moved to White Plains, N.Y., in 1962, for his doctorate work at Teachers College of Columbia University in New York City. While pursuing his degree, he was assistant director of admissions for Columbia University Law School, and for two years was assistant to the president of Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn.
In 1967, he joined the faculty of the University of Georgia in Athens in higher education administration. In 1970, he became executive director of The Institute for Higher Education Research and Service at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. He served as president of Tuscaloosans for International Understanding, was a founding member of The Kentucky Arts Festival and president of Northport Chamber of Commerce. He was an elder at both University and Covenant Presbyterian churches.
In 1985 he became executive director of Kentuckiana Metroversity, a consortium of seven area educational institutions. In Louisville, he was an elder at Harvey Browne Presbyterian Church. He served as president of Louisville International Cultural Center and taught in China through The Crane House program one summer. A gifted musician, he sang with the Bach Society for many years. An active Rotarian, he attended international conferences and participated in a Rotary Polio Immunization in India.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Carolyn Smith Diener; three daughters, Julia (David) Miller of North Carolina, Kristin (Martin) Diener of New Mexico, and Laura (Kevin) Pearce of North Carolina; a sister, DeVere Fulmer; and two grandsons.
Services were held at Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church, Louisville. His body was bequeathed to University of Louisville Medical School.
Ramseyer, Lelia "Mae" Miller
Lelia “Mae” (Miller) Ramseyer, 90, of Smithville, Ohio, died May 8, 2019. She was born on July 3, 1928, along with her twin sister, June, to Bert and Edna Miller in Bloomington, Ill.
She graduated from Danvers High School in 1946 and earned her bachelor’s degree in home economics at Bluffton College. She served in voluntary service with her sister at Vineland Hospital in New Jersey before graduating. She married Arden Ramseyer in February 1951 and built a loving and welcoming home with him in Smithville.
She was active in Mennonite Women, Yarn Club, Mother’s Club and served as a 4-H adviser. She enjoyed spending time with family and friends, gardening, cooking, reading her Bible and being an active member of Oak Grove Mennonite Church.
She lived a Christ-centered life, and his light shone through her to everyone she encountered. She cared deeply for others, spending countless hours praying for, visiting and serving those around her. She served as a Stephen minister, youth mentor and Sunday school teacher. She humbly gave of her time to help others, many acts of kindness going unnoticed. Her gentle spirit, words of encouragement and servant heart touched many.
Survivors include her children, Dennis (Karen) Ramseyer and Diane (Dan) Schwendeman; a sister, June Bertsche; two sisters-in-law, Imogene Miller and Phyllis (Bill) Miller; five grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Arden Ramseyer; her brother, Orlyn Miller; and a brother-in-law, Paul Bertsche.
Memorial gifts may be given to Oak Grove Mennonite Church Memorial Fund, Smithville; Mennonite Central Committee, Akron, Pa.; or LifeCare Hospice, Wooster.