Mennonite World Review - December 2019
Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Friesen, Lola Mae Regier Wiebe ; . . Funk, LeRoy James ; . . Hiebert, Elda Ruth ; . . Kennel, Lola Mae Stauffer ; . . Mullet, Alma Swartzentruber ; . . Schlabach, Virginia Lee Glass ; . .
Mennonite World Review - December 9, 2019 - 97th Year, No. 25 - p. 15
Schlabach, Virginia Lee Glass
Virginia Lee Glass Schlabach, 79, of East Barnard, Vt., died of ovarian cancer on Nov. 11, 2019. She was born Feb. 25, 1940, to Forrest and Esther Eby Glass in Lancaster, Pa.
She married Abner J. Schlabach on June 16, 1962.
She graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Va., with a degree in English and served as a long-term trustee on their board. She was a beloved English teacher in Pennsylvania in the 1960s and 1970s and continued her career as an editor and writer.
Before moving to Vermont in 2003, she resided in Charlottesville, Va., and Perkasie, Pa. After retirement she and Abner spent three years in voluntary service at the London Mennonite Centre in London, England.
In their 57 years of marriage, they traveled to 48 states and numerous countries. The travel journals she wrote are a prized family treasure. She was active in Delectable Mountain Quilters and enjoyed supporting her grandchildren at their school and sports events. She was the editor of the East Barnard Crier, an e-newsletter that links villagers throughout the year. She liked connecting people.
She loved strong British tea, was an accomplished doer of New York Times crossword puzzles and word games, and read widely. Family history was a passion. She and Abner created a home of hospitality, welcoming hikers, volunteers and other travelers to their home. They gave support to families who had lost young children.
She was a member of Taftsville Chapel, where she taught preschool children and participated in the East Barnard Church.
She is survived by her husband, Abner; two children, Fred (Janet North) and Sue (Ryan Newswanger); and two grandchildren, all of East Barnard; and a brother, Richard Glass of Paradise, Pa.
She was preceded in death by an infant son, Brian Spencer.
Memorial services were held at the Barnard Town Hall. Memorial donations may be made to Norris Cotton Cancer Center or Bethany Birches Camp in Plymouth, Vt.
Mullet, Alma Swartzentruber
Alma Mullet, 103, of Walnut Creek, Ohio, died Nov. 13, 2019, at Walnut Hills Nursing Home. She was born Dec. 18, 1915, to Moses J. and Katie (Miller) Swartzentruber in Holmes County.
She married Emanuel E. Mullet in 1934. He preceded her in death in 1996.
She was a remarkable person, loved by family and friends. When Holmes Limestone moved their offices from Berlin, she opened one of the first retail stores in Berlin, the Helping Hands quilt shop. Proceeds of the shop were distributed to Christian and social organizations locally and internationally. Her artistic gifts were visible in the hundreds of quilts she pieced, some of which are seen in the homes of family and the family businesses.
She enjoyed reading and playing games. She was a charter member of Light in the Valley Chapel.
Survivors include eight children, Anna Kathryn (Milo) Miller of Walnut Creek, Ruby Hostetler of Wilmot, Mary (Daniel) Miller of Walnut Creek, Lillis (Levi) Troyer of Sarasota, Fla., Willis (Victoria) Mullet of Pensacola, Fla., Sue (Robert) Miller of Middlebury, Ind., Merle (Roslyn) Mullet of Berlin and Judy Schenker of Strasburg; a son-in-law, LeRoy Yoder of Hartville; two siblings, Robert Paul Swartzentruber of Idaho and Katie Stauffer of Orrville; 36 grandchildren; 89 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Emanuel E. Mullet; a son, Adonna; a daughter, Martha Yoder; six siblings, Martha (Eli) Mast, Edna (Pete) Mast, Erma (Wilbur) Kropf, Mary (Lloyd) Gingerich, Esther (Willard) Mayer and Melvin (Wilma) Swartzentruber; and two grandsons.
Services were held at Walnut Creek Mennonite Church. A private family burial was at Light in the Valley Chapel Cemetery.
Kennel, Lola Mae Stauffer
Lola Mae Kennel, 100, of Strang, Neb., died Nov. 16, 2019. She was born Nov. 3, 1919, to Jacob and Lavina (Miller) Stauffer in Seward County near Milford.
She attended rural school near Milford for eight years. She accepted Christ in her youth and was baptized at East Fairview Mennonite Church.
During the late 1930s, she spent time working in Illinois and Iowa.
On Jan. 8, 1941, she married Lester Kennel of Strang.
During their entire married life they lived in the Strang community, where they were engaged in farming and livestock production. After her marriage to Lester, she became a member of Salem Mennonite Church near Shickley, where she remained active until entering healthcare in 2016. Her love of sewing and quilting provided many items for the Mennonite Central Committee relief sale, serving mission causes around the world. She made many afghans for the prayer shawl ministry at Salem. She was devoted to Christ and a lifelong homemaker whose passion was to provide for her family and entertain many guests.
Survivors include three children, Ronald (Judy) Kennel of Goshen, Ind., Cecil (Sharon) Kennel and Debra (Mike) Jaberg, all of Strang; five grandchildren and eight greatgrandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Lester, on July 11, 2004; and by two sisters and three brothers.
Services were held at Salem Mennonite Church, Shickley.
Funk, LeRoy James
LeRoy James Funk, 91, of Goessel, Kan., died Nov. 24, 2019, at Bethesda Home. He was born Aug. 13, 1928, in Kansas City, Mo., and adopted by Ferdinand and Agnes Funk when he was 3 months old.
His early years were in Newton. The family moved to a farm near Goessel when he was 5 years old. He was baptized May 28, 1944, at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church.
He married Alice Goerzen on March 16, 1948, at Tabor Mennonite Church, where he became a lifelong member.
He farmed and worked at the Newton flour mill. He then worked at Goessel Crossroads Co-op delivering gasoline to area farmers. He eventually discontinued farming and in 1973 began working at Goessel High School as head of maintenance. After he retired in 1993, he and Alice enjoyed many trips to Branson, Mo.
As his family grew, he cherished each son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchild and great-grandchild. From hunting and fishing with the boys, fixing or repairing things, attending school music and sports events and babysitting for grandchildren and great-grandchildren, he showed his love for his family in many ways.
In 2013 he and Alice moved into a Bethesda Home duplex in Goessel. He lived there until 2017, when he moved to Bethesda Home. After Alice’s death in July 2019 from a stroke, he started declining. He set a good example to his family of a Christian husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He always had a positive attitude, caring spirit and generous heart.
Survivors include six children, Sharon (Duane) Adrian of Goessel, Barbara (Keith) Banman of rural Canton, Denise (Elton) Nickel of Goessel, Darwin (Kimberly) Funk of rural Canton, Gayle Funk (Brian Voth) of rural Newton and Wendy (Paul) Schrag of Newton; a sister, Darlene McVey; step-siblings Ralph (Lois) Janzen, Gerald (Judy) Janzen and Mary (Augustin) Rodriguez; a sister-in-law, Thelma Goerzen; 17 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.
Services were held at Tabor Mennonite Church. Memorials may be sent to Tabor Mennonite Church and Bethesda Home.
Mennonite World Review - December 23, 2019 - 97th Year, No. 26 - p. 15
Friesen, Lola Mae Regier Wiebe
Lola Mae Regier Wiebe Friesen, 94, of North Newton, Kan., died Nov. 21, 2019, at Kidron Bethel Health Care Center. She was born Sept. 3, 1925, in Mountain Lake, Minn.
She graduated from Bethel College in North Newton with a degree in teaching home economics and taught for a year before she married Willard Wiebe, a Mennonite pastor, in 1947. While serving Menno Mennonite Church in Ritzville, Wash., they welcomed Ruth, Mark and Mary into their home. In 1956 they moved to serve First Mennonite Church in Mountain Lake, Minn., where their fourth child, Lois, joined the family. In 1964 they moved to Freeman, S.D., to serve Salem Mennonite Church. Willard died of an illness in 1967.
After Willard’s death, she and her four children moved to Hesston, Kan. She worked at Prairie View Mental Health Center in Newton until her marriage to Jacob Friesen, a Mennonite pastor, in 1972. After living in Elkhart, Ind., for several years, they moved back to Kansas and lived in North Newton, where they were closely involved with the Mennonite community and Bethel College.
Throughout her life, she involved herself in church activities, teaching Sunday school and working in church libraries. She had a concern for worldwide missions and in 1960 traveled around the world for three months with Willard to visit Mennonite overseas mission sites.
She volunteered at the Et Cetera Shop in Newton as a weaver and at the Mennonite Central Committee Resource Center. She contributed many quilts to the Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale. Her quilts are cherished by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. An avid reader, she enjoyed researching and writing family history.
Survivors include her husband, Jacob; children Ruth Tanner, Mark Wiebe, Mary Patten and Lois Koulouris; a brother, Robert Regier; stepchildren Priscilla Friesen, Jacob Friesen and Von Friesen; 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 29 at Faith Mennonite Church in Newton.
Hiebert, Elda Ruth
Elda Ruth Hiebert, 88, of Newton, Kan., died Dec. 13, 2019, at Comfort Care Home. She was born March 18, 1931, to Gustav and Mary (Buller) Hiebert in Goessel.
In her youth she lived in or near Goessel, Burns and Elbing. She recalls that as child growing up in rural Goessel and at Tabor Mennonite Church, a deep interest in missions grew in her, especially as it pertained to Africa.
She graduated from Berean Academy in 1949, Grace Bible Institute with a degree in biblical studies and a minor in missions in 1955, Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in 1958 and Bethel College in 1960 with a bachelor of science in nursing degree. Much later, between her first and second terms in Zaire, she went to Brussels, Belgium, for a six-month course in French. She then went to Tropical Medicine School followed by a year of midwifery. Through her years as an RN, further continuous education training was necessary not only to maintain her nursing license in America but also in Africa.
She worked for and with Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission in 1964 and came home to stay in 1991. AIMM was the sending board and the General Conference Mennonite Church was the supporting board. A big part of her work was a six-month course of midwifery she taught to African women. During her last term, she helped start a four-year nursing school. She acquired letters from a local doctor, her church leadership and permission from government offices to go to 13 diamond buyers in Tshikapa to solicit funding. This nursing school opened in 1989.
After returning from the mission field, she worked for Salem Nursing Home in Hillsboro until she retired in the early 2000s. Her church home has always been Zion Mennonite Church in Elbing. She moved to Newton in 2015, first to Bethel Kidron Village and then to Comfort Care Homes of Harvey County.
Services were held at Zion Mennonite Church in Elbing. Burial was in Zion Mennonite Cemetery. Memorials may be given to AIMM.