Mennonite World Review - November 2019
Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Mennonite World Review - November 11, 2019 - 97th Year, No. 23 - p. 15
Spicher, Doris Yoder
Doris Arlene (Yoder) Spicher, 90, of Glendale, Ariz., died Sept. 11, 2019, after a short illness. She was born Jan. 25, 1929, to John M. and Nancy (Guengerich) Yoder in Parnell, Iowa.
She attended school in Iowa and Kansas. After obtaining a teaching certificate, she began teaching in a one-room schoolhouse in Iowa. In 1954 she and her sister Hazel moved to Phoenix, where she taught all grades at Sunnyslope Mennonite Church.
She married Samuel A. Spicher on Dec. 30, 1955.
She and Sam were charter members of Trinity Mennonite Church, where she attended regularly until her death. While raising three children, she had various jobs, including library aide, first at Palo Verde Elementary School and then at the City of Phoenix Library in downtown Phoenix, as well as file clerk at the City of Phoenix Prosecutor’s Office. After retiring in 1989, she began working at Glencroft Retirement Community in home support and assisted living. In 2007 she moved to Glencroft and continued working there. In 2011 she retired again, but continued to volunteer in various capacities at Glencroft.
Survivors include three children, Jeff (Jennifer) Spicher of Glendale, Julie (Gary) Hedine of Tampa, Fla., and Jeannine (Bruce) Janzen of Glendale and Elbing, Kan.; and four grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, Sam; sisters Hazel and Ruth Yoder; and brother Ed Yoder.
Memorial services were held at Trinity Mennonite Church, Glendale. Donations may be made to Trinity Mennonite Church or Hospice of the Valley, Phoenix.
Kreider, Roy Herr
Roy Herr Kreider, 94, of Broadway, Va., died Oct. 29, 2019. He was born Dec. 19, 1924, to Irvin K and Fannie Herr Kreider in Lancaster, Pa. He was a graduate of Eastern Mennonite College, Eastern Mennonite Seminary and Goshen Biblical Seminary.
On Aug. 17, 1951, he married Florence Cressman.
In July 1953, in the wake of World War II and the Holocaust, which sent thousands of traumatized Jews to Palestine seeking refuge, he and Florence were commissioned to Israel, where they lived for 32 years.
His service in Israel began with studies in Hebrew, biblical archaeology, historical geography, Jewish history and rabbinical and Mishnaic studies at Hebrew University and Bar Ilan Orthodox University. He managed two Christian bookstores, coordinated Bible Lands Seminars, served as co-pastor at Immanuel House Congregation in Jaffa, and was a member of three interfaith dialogue groups. He served as general manager of Nes Amim International Agricultural Settlement, secretary-treasurer of the board of Sharon Tours International and as a member of the executive committee of the United Christian Council in Israel. He authored and co-edited several books, including Sojourners in the Sacred Land and its companion, Pilgrim Map of the Holy Land, and his Israel memoir, Land of Revelation.
In 1985 they returned to the Shenandoah Valley, where he served Cornerstone Churches as counselor and instructor in the Cornerstone Bible Institute and as consultant to the Mennonite Middle East Reference Group.
He is remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather and by all who knew him for his wise, winsome, gracious and caring spirit. He enjoyed meeting people across cultures, faiths and worldviews and engaged all with warmth, appreciation and respect.
Survivors include his children, David (Mary Ann) of Harrisonburg, Jonathan (Fran) of Lima, N.Y., and Rosemary (James) Hess of Broadway; a sister, Janet Kreider of Lititz, Pa.; 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Florence; and a sister, Elizabeth Kreider.
Memorial services were at Lindale Mennonite Church in Linville.
Schrock, Eldon James
Eldon James Schrock, 93, of Albany, Ore., died Oct. 21, 2019, at Albany Mennonite Village Health Care Center. He was born June 29, 1926, to Elmer and Bertha Heyerly Schrock.
During World War II he served in Civilian Peace Service as a cook in Glacier Park, Mont., for two years and then transferred to serve in a mental hospital in Marlboro, N.J.
He married Mildred Maxine Kuhns on Dec. 29, 1950, in Albany.
He graduated from Linfield College, McMinnville, and received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He enjoyed accounting and served as superintendent of the Rock of Ages Retirement Home, McMinnville, then worked in accounting at Woodland Park Hospital in Portland. Later, returning to Albany he worked in accounting at Mennonite Village, later becoming administrator of the Mennonite Village Health Care Center until retiring.
He was a member of Albany Mennonite Church. Through the years he served in various positions and enjoyed singing in men’s quartets and choirs. After retiring, both he and Mildred were involved in volunteer work, especially at the Mennonite Central Committee Etcetera Shop in Lebanon, at Mennonite Village, Drift Creek church camp and summer volunteer service with youth in relating to migrant workers’ children.
Survivors include a daughter, Diane Kabanuk of Detroit, Mich.; a son, Jon of Salem; a brother, Perry Schrock; a sister, Florence Gerig; and a brother-in-law, John Willems, all of Albany; and a granddaughter.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred; a daughter, Valerie Sutter; a sister, Dora Willems; brother-in-law Elmer Gerig; sisters-in-law Sophia Schrock and Audrey Schrock; and a grandson.
Memorial services were held at Albany Mennonite Church. A private graveside service was held at Fairview Mennonite Cemetery.
Liechty, Paul "Richard"
Paul “Richard” Liechty, 87, of Fort Wayne, Ind., died Oct. 31, 2019. He was born May 15, 1932, to Silas and Sarah (Frey) Liechty in Allen County.
On Oct. 12, 1951, he married Ruth Marie Brace of rural Spencerville at Lockport Mennonite Church in Stryker, Ohio.
He lived nearly all of his life in rural Allen County. As a very young man he was a farmer and never lost his love for the land. Always self-employed, he loved working with his employees to create and complete the projects of his imagination, whether in land, retail or housing development. In the early 1960s, with one part-time employee he started Leo Distributors, which he built into a major building supply company with stores in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan employing more than 100 people.
His love primarily focused on Jesus Christ, but his family ran a close second. He also loved traveling, golfing, hunting and all types of water sports and old cars. He was a charter member of North Leo Mennonite Church and Fort Wayne Home Builders Association.
Survivors include his wife, Ruth, of Fort Wayne; daughters Carma (Tony) Reincke of Grabill, Connie (Lonnie) Norris of Huntertown and Sarah Whittle of Rockwall, Texas; 11 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; a son-in-law, Bill Huffman; a sister-in-law, Ruth E. Liechty of Sarasota, Fla.; and a brother-in-law, William Brace of Auburn.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Marla Huffman; brothers and sisters-in-law Jesse (Margie) Liechty, Simon (Leah) Liechty, Omer (Mary) Liechty and Reuben Liechty; sisters and brothers-in-law Mildred (Raymond) Graber, Delilah (Ralph) Seiler, Mary (Jesse) Stuckey, Ruth (Charles) Shue and Donna Brace; and a granddaughter.
Services were held at North Leo Mennonite Church. Burial was in Leo Memorial Park Cemetery.
Memorials may be sent to Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Disaster Service or the Allen County Habitat for Humanity.
Mennonite World Review - November 25, 2019 - 97th Year, No. 24 - p. 15
Kaufman, Bertha L. King
Bertha L. King Kaufman, 102, of West Liberty, Ohio, died Sept. 1, 2019, at Logan Acres Care Center. She was born Dec. 10, 1916, to Archie and Rhoda (Yoder) Hartzler in Champaign County.
On Oct. 15, 1939, she married Harley E. King. After 68 years of marriage, he preceded her in death in March 2008. In June 2008, she married Paul Kaufman, who preceded her in death in February 2014.
She was an active member of South Union Mennonite Church and enjoyed music, singing hymns, flower gardening and writing poetry. She was a deeply spiritual woman who loved God and reading and meditation on the words of the Bible. She was a diligent mother and homemaker who was dearly loved by all her family.
Survivors include five children, daughter Kathleen (Harold) Cunningham of Versailles, Ky., sons David (Jerri) King of Corpus Christi, Texas, Robert King of Colorado Springs, Colo., Phillip King of Chickasaw, Ala., and Marlin (Anita) King of Bellefontaine; 14 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husbands and two daughters-in-law, Evelyn King and Judy King.
Funeral services were held at South Union Mennonite Church, West Liberty. Burial was in South Union Cemetery in West Liberty. Memorial contributions may be made to South Union Mennonite Church or Universal Home Health & Hospice of Bellefontaine.
Swartley, Willard Myers
Willard Myers Swartley, 83, of Goshen, Ind., died Nov. 6, 2019. He was born Aug. 6, 1936, to William Henry Swartley and Ida Myers Swartley at Gardenville, Pa.
On Aug. 16, 1958, he married Mary Lapp in Lansdale, Pa.
He graduated from Lancaster Mennonite High School in 1954 and from Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va., in 1959 with a bachelor of arts degree. He continued his education at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Garrett Theological Seminary, Evanston, Ill., and Princeton (N.J.) Theological Seminary, where he earned a doctorate in New Testament studies in 1973.
He touched many lives through his pastoring and teaching career. After he pastored for five years at Locust Grove Mennonite Church, Elkhart, he taught at Eastern Mennonite University, Conrad Grebel College, Kitchener, Ont., and AMBS. In addition to teaching, he wrote many books and articles and was frequently invited to speak at conventions, conferences and churches.
He and his wife, Mary, were longtime members at Belmont Mennonite Church, Elkhart.
Survivors include his wife, Mary; a daughter, Louisa Renee Swartley Oyer (Gary Oyer), of Hesston, Kan.; a son, Kenton Eugene Swartley (Emily Hertzler Swartley) of Cedar Falls, Iowa; a sister, Dorothy Swartley Martens of Chester, Vt.; and six grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Jessica Lynn Swartley; and six siblings, Marian Swartley Myers, Emerson, Henry Jr., John, Clifford and Kenneth.
Memorial services were held at Belmont Mennonite Church. Memorial contributions may be made to AMBS or a charity of choice.
Steckly, George Edward
George Edward Steckly, 85, of Portland, Ore., died Nov. 14, 2019. He was born March 16, 1934, to Edward and Lillie Steckly in Albany.
He attended Western Mennonite School and Hesston (Kan.) Academy. From 1953 to 1955 he volunteered with Mennonite Central Committee’s Pax alternative service program. He helped build houses in Backnang, Germany, for refugees from Holland after floods in January 1953.
He married his wife, Ardyth, on June 3, 1957.
He received a mortuary science degree from San Francisco College in 1961. He and Ardyth lived and worked at Cornwell Mortuary in Woodburn. In 1962, he honored his wife’s wish and moved back to farm with her family in Kansas. After the children were born, they moved to Hutchinson, Kan., for him to begin studies in his lifetime career as a medical records administrator, starting at Hutchinson Community Junior College in 1967 and finishing in Dominican College in Houston, Texas, in 1969.
They fell in love with Texas and made it their home until 1977, when he was offered an opportunity to be an instructor at Hutchinson Community College in the medical records program where he began his career. They lived in Hutchinson until moving to Mennonite Manor Retirement Community in 1998.
He was a lifetime member of the Mennonite church, joining and being baptized at age 8. He was a member of First Mennonite Church of Hutchinson. Throughout his life he lived his Christian walk with God through his friendships and ministry to others.
He liked to attend musical and cultural arts programs. He liked to camp and travel. Other hobbies included photography and woodworking, making wooden ball-point pens after retiring.
After Ardyth’s death in 2014, he returned to Oregon to live near his daughter and continued to make friends and witness to others.
Survivors include a daughter, Karla Nussbaum; a son, Devon Steckly; and five grandchildren.
Graveside services with family were held in Lebanon. Memorials may be made to Mennonite Central Committee or First Mennonite Church, Hutchinson, Kan.