1907 Gospel Witness Obituaries

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Week 1: Gospel Witness - Volume 3, Number 27 - October 2, 1907 - page 431

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GOCKLEY - Sister Elizabeth Gockley, widow of Bro. Henry Gockley, of Ephrata, Lancaster Co., Pa., died on Sept. 16; aged 81y. 2m. 20d. Sister Gockley was stricken with paralysis a few years ago and was helpless for some time. She, however, recovered sufficiently to be able to walk about in the room if assisted. In all this time of affliction she was cheerful and contented. She had been, for a long time, a consistent member of the Mennonite Church. Funeral services held on Sept. 19, Bish. Benj. Weaver in English and Noah H. Mack in German.

STALTER.- Lena Stalter (Nee Teuscher) was born Nov. 13, 1874, in Woodford Co., Illinois; died at her home near Meadows, Ill., Sept. 16, 1907, at the age of 32 y. 10 m. 3 d. She was united in holy matrimony Oct. 16, 1901, with John Stalter. To this union were born 2 sons and 2 daughters. She leaves a sorrowing husband, 4 children, mother, 4 brothers and many friends to mourn her early departure. Father, 4 brothers and 1 sister preceded her to the spirit world. Funeral services conducted in German by Daniel Orendorff, from Heb. 18:14, and Christian Rediger, from Rom. 6:23, and D. W. Slagel in English, from Isa. 35:10.

BOLLER.- Jacob Boller was born in Wayne Co., Ohio, Feb. 1825; died Sept. 14, 1907 of the infirmities of old age; aged 82 y. 6 m. 16 d. Early in life he united with the Amish Mennonite Church, in which faith he remained steadfast to the end. He was married to Catherine Smucker of Butler Co., Ohio, in 1850. Eight children were born to this union, of whom five are living. In 1858 they moved to Iowa where they resided until they were called to the eternal world. Bro. Boller was devoted to his church and the principles for which he stood and up to the time when his bodily weakness forbade him he never failed to attend the services of the church when possible to do so.
For the last few months, as his bodily strength seemed gradually to wane, he realized that his time was short and he lived like one calmly and patiently waiting for release from this prison house of flesh. Funeral services Sept. 15, at the East Union Church, Kalona, Iowa, by C. Warye in German and A. I. Yoder in English. Interment in Miller burying ground.

KING.-Jonas Y. King was born in Mifflin Co., Pa., near Allensville, April 18, 1858, died near Mattawana, Pa., Sept. 21, 1907; aged 49 y. 5 m. 8 d. At the age of 19 he was converted and united with the A. M. Church and remained a faithful member to the end. At the age of 29 he was married to Salome A. Harshbarger. They lived in the Kishocoquillas Valley for nine years and then moved into the Juniata Valley near Mattawana. He was an active worker in the church and took much interest in the Sunday school, and was always ready to do any work that was entrusted to him. He was highly respected in the community and his place, both in the community and in the church, is not easily filled. About three weeks before his death he was caught between a stump and a log that he was hauling and his leg so badly crushed that he died from the effects. He leaves a wife, five children, two brothers, four sisters and a host of friends to mourn his early departure, but they need not mourn as those who have no hope. In his dying hour he said, "I am going home." Funeral services were held at the A. M. meeting house on Sept. 24, conducted by Bish. Michael Yoder in German from Rev. 14:12, and Bish. John E. Kauffman in English from Num. 28:10.
A Brother.

Week 2:
The Gospel Witness - Volume 3, Number 28 - October 9, 1907 - page 447

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SHELLY.-Anna Shelly died at the Mennonite Home, Lancaster Co., Pa., Sept. 26, 1907; aged 80y. 7m. 25d.
Sister Shelly came to the Home about eight months ago and was an invalid who could not walk or help herself whatever.
Services at the Home were conducted by Daniel Lehman. Text, Psalms 103:15, 16; at the Manheim Mennonite Church by John Snavely and Jacob N. Brubacher. Text, "Prepare to meet thy God. 0 Israel." Interment in Erisman's graveyard.

GERBER.-At the Massilon State Hospital, Sister Rosa Gerber (nee Moser, eldest daughter of deacon Jacob J. Moser), wife of Bro. Levi Gerber, died from a complication of diseases. She was born Oct. 10, 1869, in Sonnenberg, Wayne Co., Ohio, died Sept. 28, 1907; aged 37y. 11m. 18d.
In her early youth she joined the Mennonie(sic) Church to which she remained faithful to the end, although of late she was denied the privilege of attending services on account of sickness, yet she many times longed to be there. The last words she was beard to speak by her attendant were:
"Oh, what a blessing!" Undoubtedly she already saw in her spirit the untold blessings of the beyond. Funeral occurred on Monday, Sept. 30, from the Sonnenberg Church. J. Nussbaum and I. J. Buchwalter officiated, assisted by D. C. Amstutz and C. N. Amstutz.

MILLER.-Lewis J. Miller, son of Bish. Joel Miller, died at his home near Grantsyule, Md., Sept. 18, 1907; aged 31y. 5m. 19d.
Bro. Lewis was a hearty young man and gave every evidence of bright prospects for a long and useful life, but he was taken down with typhoid fever, and in one short week his apparently strong constitution yielded to the dread disease, his death being hastened by a complication of lung affection.
He was delirious during the greater part of his sickness but seemed to have permonitions(sic) of his coming end. He remarked to his wife that if he took typhoid fever he did not expect to recover. He was a member of the Amish Mennonite Church. He was a fine singer and used his talents in the service. He leaves a wife and two children. Funeral services on Sept. 20, at the A. M. Church near Grantsville, Md., conducted by J. S. Miller and John Mast in German and George E. Yoder in English. Interment in adjoining cemetery.

Week 3:
The Gospel Witness - Volume 3, Number 29 - October 16, 1907 - page 463, 464

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LOUISA CATHERINE SNAVELY.-Sister Snavely was well known in the church of Northwestern Ohio and among the various mission and charitableinstitutions of the church for her liberality in giving whenever an opportunity presented itself. She was left a widow a number of years ago and had no near kin to wait on her in her declining years. Through the kindness shown her in her trying hours by her home minister, C. P. Steiner and later her son, M. S. Steiner, she in turn became one of the largest and greatest contributors to the charitable and mission interests of the Mennonite Church in America.
For two years she was more or less feeble and suffered considerable on account of rheumatism, dropsy and heart-failure. During this time she made her home with Bro. M. S. Steiner, who looked after all her accounts. Although they were keeping close watch over her day and night she was called to her reward Sept. 21, between 2 and 4 o'clock in the morning, while resting in her invalid chair. Bro. Steiner was at the time at Zelienople, Pa., when word reached him by telephone that she passed peacefully away. She had been about as usual, and had told him he could leave on her account, that she did not think that she needed any extra care, and wished him God's blessing on his trip. Bro. and Sister Steiner were somewhat prepared for the sudden change on account of the instructions of the doctor, who had told them that they may find her so some morning, but when the hour came it was rather sad and touching. She had evidently passed from natural sleep in to the sleep from which God alone can wake.
She united with the Mennonite Church soon after she had come to Allen County, Ohio, and remained a faithful member until death. She was exacting in her dealings and ever busy with her household duties. In her criticisms she was sometimes severe, but never failed to correct a mistake when she saw she might have done better.
Sister Snavely was born in Lebanon Co., Pa., Oct. 2, 1827, and died Sept. 21, 1907; aged 79y. 11m. 19d. She came to Ohio with her parents when she was three years old, and lived in Richland County until 1853, when she accompanied her second husband, Josiah Snavely, to his home in Allen County, where she spent the remaining years of her life. Her first husband, Amos Wolford, was called to his reward eighteen months after their marriage. Since Nov. 30, 1889, she lived alone, never having been blessed with a family. This seemed to give her much concern the last years of her life. Bro. and Sister Snavely were blessed with earthly possessions. This responsibility she felt resting upon her heavily as she grew older. Her constant desire was to do the most good to the greatest possible number. In this particular she proved herself to be a faithful stewardess. Hers was not "a widow's mite" but it was a widow's opportunity well improved. She gave liberally whenever a worthy object presented itself, and she did it in the true Scriptural sense, not letting the left hand know the deeds of the right. She never mentioned what she did for any charitable or mission object, unless requested to state her wishes in such matters. She had given most of her gifts to the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities (Formerly Mennonite Board of Charitable Homes) in the form of Annuities, from which she reserved a stated income, but even her income she gave again as she deemed proper. The Sanitarium at La Junta, Colorado, received $5.000 over a year ago; the Ft. Wayne Mission, over $3,200; Kansas City Mission, for payment of the building, $1,000; the Orphans' Home, West Liberty, Ohio, $1,050; the Old People's Home, Rittman, Ohio, $1,440; India Mission, as a reserve at Elk hart, Ind., $1,000; and for the education of such volunteers for mission work as have been won to the faith by missions, home or foreign; Goshen, Ind., $1,000. There yet remains with the Board something over $34,000 to be placed. $15,000 of which has in part been arranged for. During the fifteen latter years of her life she gave over $60,000 for various objects that appealed to her as being worthy of support, and to a marked degree executed her will while she was here to see that her accounts were placed as she desired. The members of the Mission Board feel grateful for the liberal contributions she has made to be placed by them. What a blessing just now to have means at hand to meet the crying needs of the workers all the way from the home land to India's plains, for more funds to meet the demands for greater efforts for good to the los(sic) on their part! It is the object to keep a large part of Sister Snavely's bequests invested in some safe and honorable object, from which the income only is to be used. The funeral was held at the Zion Church near Bluffton, Ohio, and appropriate services conducted by Moses Brenneman, John Blosser and M. S. Steiner. Zion may well mourn the loss of another of her members. Several of the aged ones, three of whom were in the nineties, have been called home within a short period of time.

LANTZ.-Infant child of Bro. Harvey and Sister Lantz on Oct. 4, 1907, died, being only a few hours old. We are again reminded that the Lord is no respecter of persons. Funeral was held at the home the same day by E. A. Bontrager. May the Lord bless the parents of the departed one.

SHOWALTER.-Marion Good Showalter, son of Bro. Samuel J. and Sister Showalter died Aug. 23, 1907; aged 2y. 2m. 19d. He was buried on the 25, at Springdale, Augusta Co., Va. Parents, two brothers and five sisters mourn, but not as those who have no hope, for their loss is his great gain. The Shepherd has taken another lamb and says to us, Come. He was heard to sing, "Oh, that will be joyful, To meet to part no more," a few days before he took sick. Funeral services by E. C. Shank and J. H. Martin. Text, Heb. 12:2.

RATZLAFF.-Sister Lena, wife of J. P. Ratzlaff, was born in Poland about 73 years ago, and came to America about the year 1886. She died in Moniteau Co., Mo., Sept. 23, 1907. She leaves an aged companion, 2 sons and 3 daughters to mourn their loss. She has for many years been a member of the Mennonite Church, and died in the hope of the Redeemer. Funeral services conducted by David Bowman were held in the Bethel. Church on Tuesday, Sept. 24, after which the remains were laid in the adjoining cemetery. May God comfort the bereaved.

BRUNK.-Pre. Martin W. Brunk died at his home near Waynesboro, Va., on Oct. 3, 1907; aged 56y. 5m. 20d. Bro. Brunk had been afflicted for some time with a complication of diseases, especially dropsy and heart-failure, which evidently was the immediate cause of his death. His last words were "0, my heart!' He served the church in the capacity of minister for a number of years. He leaves a sorrowing companion, 4 sons, 1 daughter, 3 grandchildren and many friends to mourn their loss. Funeral services were held at the Springdale Church, conducted by the brethren A. P. Heatwole and J. H.. Martin. Text, II Cor. 5:6-11. Peace to his ashes.

GINDLESPERGER.-Emma,daughter of Christian and Fannie Gindlesperger, of Johnstown, Pa., was born Sept. 1,1907; died Sept. 7, 1807; aged 7 days. Christ said, "Suffer little children to come unto me and for bid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." We believe little Emma will enjoy the presence of Jesus and the millions of little ones in heaven. Funeral services at the Stahl Mennonite Church on Sept. 8, by James Saylor from Job 5:6,7. Buried in the Samuel Livingstone family grave-yard. May a kind Heavenly Father comfort the bereaved parents.

GRAYBILL.-Anna Graybill was born Jan. 17, 1831; died Sept. 22, 1907: aged 76 y. 8 m. 5 d. She was the daughter of Bro. and Sister Fredrick Lauver of Millerstown, Pa., and on Oct. 27, 1849, she was married to John G. Graybill of Richfield, Pa. To this union were born seven children, four sons and three daughters. Three son and the husband preceded her to the spirit world. She lived in widowhood for about 35 years. She left to mourn her loss 6 sisters, 3 daughters, 1 son, 31 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Sister Graybill espoused the cause of Christ in her early life and remained a consistant(sic) member of the Mennonite Church until her death. Funeral on Sept. 27, at the Richfield Mennonite Church. Services were conducted at the house by Banks Winey and at the Church by Wm. Bergey and E. W. Graybill.

THOMAS.-Bro. Moses Thomas was born Jan. 5, 1835; died Sept. 29, 1907. at the home of his son, Levi M. Thomas, near the Thomas Church, Somerset Co., Pa., aged 72 y. 8 m. 24 d. His wife died nearly four years ago. He was the father of seven children, two of whom preceded him to the world beyond, 34 grandchildren, 20 of whom are living, and 17 great-grandchildren, 13 of whom are living. Bro. Thomas lived a moral life until Feb. 1893, when he saw the need of accepting the Savior, since which time he lived a consistent Christian life. His seat was seldom vacant in meeting. About three and a half years ago he had a cataract on his eye for which he underwent a severe operation, bearing it all with Christian patience, and soon his sight was restored, so that he could read again. In May, 1906, Bro. Thomas was again called to through a seige(sic) of affliction: a sore appeared on his toe which turned into that dreadful disease, gangrene. His pain and suffering was intense and the physician decided that in order to save his life his leg must be amputated above the knee. He said, "The Lord's will be done," and submitted to the operation. He was confined to the house all winter but we believe he spent the time profitably, for he read the Bible through twice during the time of his sickness, and was greatly interested in the Sunday school lessons, expressing himself that he has no pleasure in worldly news. During this past summer he was able to go visiting among his children and friends, also to attend church services. The Sunday before his death he was at meeting and said to some of his friends, "I thought the next time they brought me here they would leave me here, but I must go along home." The following Saturday evening when no one realized that death was so near, he was heard to make noise and Sister Thomas found him suffering with pain across the chest, but upon giving him medicine his pain was relieved. About an hour later she again heard him and going to his room found him sitting in his bed. He dropped over and passed quietly away a short time after. He was a kind father, and grandfather, a worthy member of the church and helpful in the community, but we need not mourn as those who have no hope. Buried at the Thomas M. H., where a large concourse of relatives and friends had gathered to pay the last tribute of respect. Services at the house by L. A. Blough and at the church by S. D. Yoder, S. Gindlesperger, Simon Layman, L. A. Blough and James Saylor.

Week 4:
The Gospel Witness - Volume 3, Number 30 - October 23, 1907 - page 479, 480

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SHANK.-Bro. Abram Shank died at his home in the city of Toronto, Ont., Oct. 8, 1907; aged 67 y. 3 m. 1d. He was afflicted with Bright's disease for about 7 years and confined to his bed nearly 7 months. He was anxiously waiting to be delivered from his affliction and go to his heavenly home. Funeral services were conducted at the house on Wednesday evening, Text, Heb. 9:27, and on Thursday at the Wideman Church near Markham, his former home, by Samuel Honderich, assisted by L. J. Burkholder, Text, Rom, 8:23.

WENGER.-Jacob E. Wenger was born in Lancaster Co., Pa., Feb. 17, 1837; died at his home near Burton City ,Ohio, Sept. 25, 1907; aged 70y, 7m. 8d. He was married to Elizabeth Huntsberger, Dec. 2, 1858. To this union were born five children. He united with the Mennonite Church a number of years ago, and at the time of his departure he gave bright evidence of the assurance of meeting his God in peace. He leaves a loving wife, three brothers, three sisters, three sons, two daughters, nineteen grandchildren, one great-grandchild and many other relatives and friends to mourn his departure. Buried in the Martin Cemetery on Sept. 28. Services by D. Hostetler and A. H. Brenneman. Text, "Let me die the death of the righteous." Peace to his ashes.
D. H.

BERGEY.-Ezra Bergey, son of David Bergey, New Dundee, Ontario, died Wednesday, Sept. 25, 1907; aged 24y. 7m.5d. Funeral was held Saturday, Sept. 28, from his parents' residence to the Blenheim Mennonite Church. Services were conducted by Noah Stauffer. Text. Isa. 28:29. Ezra had been teaching school at New Dundee until Apr. 1, when he had to resign on account of failing health. He went to a health resort in Muskoka, Ont., and seemed to make rapid improvement, but while there contracted a cold and left for home. Pneumonia set in and he died very unexpectedly.
He was a faithful member of the Mennonite Church for nearly three years, took an active part in church work and was superintendent of the Blenheim Sunday
By a Cousin.

STECKLEY.-Sarah Steckley, wife of Christ Steckley and daughter of Daniel and Catherine Knepfre*, was born in Wellesley, Ont., Dec. 31, 1869; died at her home near Beaver Crossing, Neb., Oct. 1, 1907; aged 37y. 10m. 1d. She was married to Christ Steckley, Aug. 18, 1894. She leaves to mourn her departure a bereaved husband, 1 son, 3 daughters, father, mother and 2 sisters. Two sons preceded her to the spirit world. In her youth she united with the Amish Mennonite Church and remained faithful to the end. Services at the house by Jacob Stauffer and at the Fairview Church by Joseph Rediger, N. E. Roth and Jos. Schlegel. Text, Rev. 20:6.
*Correction - Name is Kuepfer - Mona Mann

KAUFMANN.-Alma Kaufmann, daughter of Bro. Jacob and Sister Pheobe Ringenberg of Tiskilwa, Bureau Co., Ills., was born July 19, 1883; died of quick consumption Oct. 6. 1907; aged 24y. 2m. 17d. She was united in marriage with Bro. Edward Kaufmann Jan. 22, 1907. She leaves to mourn her early departure a beloved companion, her parents, six brothers and six sisters. She united with the A. M. Church when young in years and was faithful till death, deeply interested in the Master's work. She bore her sickness very patiently, being fully resigned to the Lord's will, often singing and praising God, and often spoke of her Sunday school class in which she was much interested. The funeral services were conducted by the brethren Joseph Burckey in German reading Psalm 16, and Samuel Garber of Tremont, Ills., in English. Text, I Sam. 20:3, "There is but a step between me and death," which the Sister had chosen. "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord."


Week 5 -
The Gospel Witness - Volume 3, Number 31 - October 30, 1907 - page 495, 496

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GARICK.-On Oct. 18, 1907, in Wayland, Iowa, of dropsy, Bro. Joseph Garick; aged 65 y. 5 in. 25 d.
Funeral services were held on the 20, at the Sugar Creek Church by S. Gerig and Peter Stuckey. Interment in the cemetery near by.
He leaves a sorrowing wife, one brother and a host of friends to mourn his departure.

KIPFER.-John Kipfer of Berne, Mich., died Oct. 15, 1907, and was buried on the 16; aged 33 y. 7 m. 17 d. He was taken sick with typhoid fever about 4 weeks ago and was removed to Badax hospital, where he died. He was a member of the Mennonite Church. He leaves to mourn their loss a wife and 8 children; a little son preceded him to the spirit world last February.
Funeral services were held Oct. 20, in the Berne M. H. by Peter Ropp in English and German and M. Zehr in German, before a large concourse of people. "There is but a step between me and death."

KEHR.-Sister Mary Kehr was born June 16, 1829; died Oct. 18, 1907; aged 78 y. 4. 2 d. Death was due to old age. After an illness of about eleven weeks she peacefully and quietly passed away. Her death was as calm and beautiful as her life.
Sister Kehr was for many years a faithful member of the Mennonite Church, and her place was seldom vacant. For the past few years she had a longing desire to depart and be with Christ. Shortly before her death she selected II Tim. 4:7,8 as a text for her funeral which was held on Oct. 20. Services were conducted by A. C. Good. A large concourse of people gathered to pay a last tribute of respect to one they love so well.

FETTER.-At her home near East Union, 0., on Oct. 8, Sophia Sours Fetter died at the advanced age of 91y. 1m. 28d. She was born in Leacock, Pa., and emigrated to Wayne Co., 0., in 1854 where she has since resided. She was married to Isaac Fetter in May of 1847. This union was blessed with seven children. Funeral serviceswere held on Oct. 10, at the Martin Church by I. J. Buchwalter and Aaron Heistand.

WELDY.-Amanda Weldy, daughter of Bro. and Sister Adam R. Hartman, was born in Elkhart Co., Ind., Sept. 28, 1873; died in her home at Wakarusa, Ind., Oct. 18, 1907; aged 84 y. 25 d. She was baptized and received as a member of the Mennonite Church in 1892, and remained a constant, faithful member until her death. She was united in marriage to Amos Weldy, Jan. 6, 1895. To this union were born a daughter and a son. She leaves husband, two children, father, mother, one sister, three brothers, and a host of relatives and friends to mourn their loss. One sister preceded her to the spirit world.
During her last sickness she was patient, submissive and resigned to the will of God. Her last words were, "I want to go Home." About 30 minutes later she passed away. The funeral services were conducted by I. W. Royer and I. P. Moore from the text, "Prepare to meet thy God."

Transcribed by Ron Garber, Kansas
Copyright 1999 - All rights reserved - Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, PA Used with permission by the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, IN Permission granted to private family researchers to use selected portions of these images to tell their family stories. May not be mass-produced in any form for commercial purposes.