Beiler, ---Maggie S., daughter of the late Christian J. and Barbara (Keener) Beiler, was born in Lancaster Co., Pa., Feb. 19, 1893; passed away after a lingering illness, Feb. 11, 1953; aged 59 y. 11 m. 23 d. She had been at the Welsh Mt. Samaritan Home for a number of years. Surviving are one brother (George W., Intercourse, Pa.), one sister (Barbara S.-Mrs. Samuel Z. Smoker, Gap, Pa.), and a number of nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held at the Weavertown church, of which she was a member, Feb. 14, conducted by Calvin Kennel and Elam Kauffman. Interment was made in the Beiler Cemetery, Ronks, Pa.
Driver, --- Alice Rebecca, daughter of Preacher Joseph and Susanna (Shank) Weaver, was born Feb. 10, 1877, near Oronogo, Mo. On Feb. 7, 1900, she was united in marriage with John R. Driver, who preceded her in death in 1926. She and her husband established their home on a farm near Versailles. She peacefully passed to her eternal reward on Feb. 22, 1953, at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Leroy Gingerich, at the age of 76 y. 12 d., after an illness of about six months. Surviving are her 2 daughters (Viola-Mrs. Carl Hilty, and Mary Alice-Mrs. Leroy Gingerich), 5 grandchildren, and a number of other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by 4 daughters (Ada, Fanny, Margaret, Pearl, and Ruth), 8 brothers, (John, Dave-the D. S. Weaver who originally gave money to start the quarter investment fund for children's missionary projects, Benjamin, Jerry, Will, Charley, Jesse, and Jonas), 2 sisters (Nellie and Mrs. Mary Cockley), and 2 half sisters (Mrs. Betty Hotchkiess and Mrs. Sue Smith). Early in life she accepted Christ as her personal Saviour and united with the Mennonite Church where she continued faithful to the end. During the 53 years of her residence in Morgan Co., Mo., she was a member of the Mt. Zion Mennonite Church, Versailles, Mo. Because of her kind and cheerful disposition she readily made many friends who keenly feel the sorrow of her passing. Funeral services were held at the Mt. Zion Church, Feb. 24, with Amos Gingerich officiating, assisted by E. A. Albrecht, J. R. Shank, and J. P. Brubaker. Interment was made in the adjoining cemetery.
Graber, ---Amanda, daughter of the late Samuel and Catherine (Graber) Becher, was born near Louisville, Ohio, Aug. 27, 1878; died at her home near Canton, Ohio, March 6, 1953; aged 74 y. 6 m. 10 d. On June 6, 1905, she was united in marriage to Christian Graber, who preceded her in death in 1946. She was a kind and devoted mother and her generous heart was for her many friends. At the age of 16 she accepted Christ as her personal Saviour, was baptized and received into the fellowship of the Beech Mennonite Church, in which continued faithfully until the end. She was a regular attendant at church services when health permitted. Besides her parents and husband, one brother (Samuel), and 2 sisters (Catherine and Mrs. Mary Kropf) preceded her in death. She leaves to mourn her departure, one daughter (Ruth-Mrs. Roy Miller), 5 grandchildren, one brother (Amos, Canton, Ohio), one sister (Mrs. John Krabill, Louisville, Ohio), and many other relatives and friends. Funeral services were conducted from the Spiker Funeral Home, Canton, Ohio, in charge of O. N. Johns, assisted by Ray Bair and C. I. Graber. Interment was made in the church cemetery.
Leu, --- Samuel, son of Jacob and Mary Leu, was born in Archbold, Ohio, Oct. 27, 1876; passed away at the Wesley Hospital, Wichita, Kans., March 6, 1953; aged 76 y. 4 m. 10 d. He came to Kansas with his parents when he was three years old. The Leu's were pioneer cattle ranchers in Greenwood County and Sam spent most of his early years on the range with early day cattlemen. When he was 26 years of age he entered the hardware business at Lamont, Kans. On Dec. 3, 1902, he was united in marriage to Anna Zaerr. They moved to Madison, Kans., where he operated a hardware store and in 1910 the family moved to Harper where he entered the hardware and implement business. Since 1937 he and his son, Ralph, have operated the Leu Hardware Store, formerly known as the Campbell Hardware. He greeted his friends daily in the store until his recent illness of a few months ago. Upon his early life were indelibly stamped influences of a Christian home, and these deeply rooted elements have been revealed in Christian attitudes and faith throughout his entire life. When the family came to Harper they became members of the Crystal Springs Mennonite Church, where he remained faithful until his death. He is survived by his wife, 2 sons (Ralph, Harper, Kans., and Clarence, Belle Plaine, Kans.), 5 grandchildren, one sister (Mrs. Lucy Moser, Lamont, Kans.), and one brother (Eli, Zenda, Kans.). Funeral services were held March 8, at the Crystal Springs Church, in charge of D. Lowell Nissley, with interment in the church cemetery.
Roggy, --- Lydia, daughter of Fredric and Katie (Habecker) Wenger, was born in Woodford Co., Ill., Nov. 25, 1883; passed away unexpectedly at her home in Meadows, Ill., March 15, 1953; aged 69 y. 3 m. 20 d. She was united in marriage to Alvin Roggy on Oct. 4, 1905. Surviving are her husband, 2 foster sons (Earl Stalter, Middlebury, Ind. And John Stalter, Elkhart, Ind.), 7 foster grandchildren, and 5 brothers (Fred, Selden, Kans.; Joe, Omaha, Nebr.; Levi and Alvin, Oberlin, Kans.; and John, Los Angeles, Calif.). Her parents and one sister preceded her in death. She confessed Christ as her personal Saviour early in life, united with the Mennonite Church, and remained a faithful member through life. Funeral services were held at the Waldo Mennonite Church in charge of J. D. Hartzler, assisted by E. J. Stalter and S. J. Miller, with burial in the Waldo Cemetery.
Schindler, --- Rosina, daughter of Christian and Elizabeth (Bergy) Hofer, was born Aug. 29, 1862; departed this life Feb. 19, 1953; aged 90 y. 5 m. 21 d. On Aug. 23, 1887, she was united in marriage to Christian Schindler of Signau, Switzerland. In her youth she was confirmed in the Lutheran Church. In 1891 she came to America with her small son John and joined her husband who had come over previously. They settled at Hartford, Kans., and soon became affiliated with the Mennonite Church. In 1911 they moved to Crystal Springs and transferred their membership to the church there, remaining faithful to the end. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1934, also 2 daughters in infancy, and one grandson. Those who mourn her departure are 6 children (John A., and Jacob L., Harper, Kans.; Mary R., Anthony, Kans.; Bertha-Mrs. Fred Troyer, Crystal Springs, Kans.; Samuel L., Harper, Kans.; and Matilda-Mrs. Dwight Troyer, Slaton, Texas), 10 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, one sister (Elizabeth, Thun, Switzerland), and a number of nieces, nephews, and friends. Funeral services were held at the Crystal Springs Mennonite Church, Feb. 21, in charge of Alva Swartzendruber and D. Lowell Nissley, with interment in the church cemetery.
Schrock, ---Joseph C., son of Andrew and Katherine (Kramer) Schrock, was born in Woodford Co., Ill., Aug. 31, 1870; passed away very suddenly at his home south of Flanagan, Ill, March 23, 1953; aged 82 y. 6 m. 13 d. On Feb. 7, 1893, he was united in marriage to Elizabeth Eigsti, who survives with 3 sons (Elmer, Gridley, Ill.; Emery, Morton, Ill.; and Vernon, Reddick, Ill.), one daughter (Mrs. Mollie Albrecht, Flanagan, Ill.), 17 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, one sister (Mollie, Eureka, Ill.), and many other relatives and friends. One sons (Jesse) and one daughter (Naomi) preceded him in death. After his marriage they lived on a farm in Woodford County for one year when they moved to the south of Flanagan where he spent the remainder of his life. As a young man he confessed Christ as his personal Saviour, united with the Mennonite Church, and for the past 59 years, was a faithful member of the Waldo congregation, always being present in services when it was possible. Funeral services were held at the Waldo Mennonite Church, in charge of J. D. Hartzler, assisted by E. J. Stalter, with burial in the Waldo Cemetery.
Shue, --- Anna Mary (Shank), was born in Chambersburg, Pa., June 14, 1860; died at Mummasburg, Pa., March 10, 1953, at the home of her son; aged 92 y. 9 m. 5 d. She accepted Christ early in life and was a member of the Mennonite Church since then. Her husband (Samuel A. Shue) and 2 sons (Mahlon and Phillip) preceded her in death. Surviving are one son (Monroe G., Mummasburg, Pa.), 12 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. Funeral services were conducted at Bender's Funeral Home, Gettysburg, Pa., March 23, by Glen Musselman and Paul Huddle. Burial was in the Mummasburg Cemetery.
Slabach, --- Uriah, son of John and Elizabeth (Schrock) Slabach, son of John and Elizabeth (Schrock) Slabach, was born at Goshen, Ind., Nov. 18, 1875; passed away at the McPherson Kans., Hospital, March 11, 1953; aged 78 y. 3 m. 24 d. He accompanied his parents to McPherson County in 1879 and resided in the Windom community until his death. On Dec. 22, 1895, he was united in marriage to Lizzie Kauffman. He was an active member of the West Liberty Mennonite Church from his youth. He was engaged in farming all his life but for two years he had been in failing health. Surviving are his wife, 6 children (Alma Lingle, McPherson, Kans.; Dewey, Windom, Kans.; Eva Schlitzbaum, Conway, Kans.; Grace Perkins and Ina McDonald, both of McPherson, Kans.; and Leo, Windom, Kans.), 33 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, 2 sisters (Saloma Hostetler, Harper, Kans.; and Jemima Zimmerman, Conway, Kans.), and 2 brothers (Menno, Conway, Kans.; and John Neal, Kans.). Funeral services were held at the West Liberty Church, March 15, in charge of M. M. Troyer and J. G. Hartzler, with interment in the church cemetery.
Transcriber's note: "Slabach" is the spelling used for this obituary. But the spelling should be "Slabaugh." Also the name can be spelled "Schlabach."
Yutzi, --- Solomon R., son of Samuel and Barbara (Roth) Yutzi, was born in South Easthope, Ont., Sept. 9, 1873; died at his home in Albany, Oreg., March 6, 1953; aged 79y. 5 m. 27 d. In his youth he accepted Christ and united with the Mennonite Church, remaining faithful until death. On Nov. 12, 1903, he was united in marriage to Mattie Ropp and in 1907 they moved to Albany, Oreg., where they farmed until the year 1943. He was faithful in attending church services but since his lingering illness he expressed his readiness to go when the Lord called. He was preceded in death by his wife in 1946, also one sister (Katie), and 5 brothers (Christian, Joseph, Samuel, Jacob, and John). Surviving are one daughter (Fannie, at home), one adopted son (William, Albany, Oreg.), one adopted daughter (Alice Lindburge, San Francisco, Calif.), 11 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, one brother (Daniel, Milverton, Ont.), one sister (Mary-Mrs. Enos Schultz, Milverton, Ont.), and a number of other relatives and friends. Funeral services were held March 10, at the Fairview Mennonite Church, Albany, Oreg., in charge of N. M. Birky, assisted by Henry Gerig. Interment was made in the Riverside Cemetery.
Transcribed by Marcia Bickel, Kansas.
Barb, ---Homer William, son of James Barb, was born near Jerome, Va., Jan.20, 1892; died at his home near Mathias, W. Va., Dec. 23, 1952; aged 60 y. 10 m. 24 d. He lived an active life until about 8 years ago when rheumatic fever severely impaired his health. He was married to Betie Dellinger, who survives. Also surviving are 10 children (William, James, Mary, Vertie, Hosea, Homer, Vergie, Amos, living in near-by communities of Virginia and West Virginia, and Albert and Edna at home); his father and a number of brothers and sisters. From his youth he was a member of the Mennonite Church. Funeral services were held Dec. 25, from the Stony Creek Brethren Church, Bird Haven, Va., in charge of Lewis P. Showalter.
Burck, --Melvin Comador, was born near Woodburn, Oreg., Oct. 27, 1893, the son of Frank and Lovina (Miller) Burck; departed this life Dec. 18, 1952; aged 59 y. 1 m. 22 d. On March 25, 1952, he was injured in a logging accident and on Sept. 15, he underwent an operation for a brain tumor, from which he never recovered. On Oct. 1, 1916, he was married to Grace Kauffman. Since 1917 he has lived near Hubbard and Canby, Oreg. He was a member of the Calvary Mennonite Church. He leaves his wife, one son (Wallace, at home), one adopted daughter (Lola-Mrs. Clayton Welty, Portland, Oreg., 4 grandchildren, his mother, one brother, Harley, Albany, Oreg.), and 3 sisters (Rachel-Mrs. Dan Hershberger and Florence-Mrs. Oliver King, Hubbard, Oreg.; and Velma-Mrs. Paul Roth, Canby Oreg.) Funeral services were held at the Ringo Funeral Home, Woodburn, Oreg., in charge of Edward Kenagy and Wilbur Regier, with interment in the Zion Cemetery, Hubbard, Oreg.
Lebold, -- Betty Kae, daughter of Lloyd and Edith Lebold, was born in Stratford General Hospital, Feb. 13; died Feb. 20, 1953; aged 7 days. Surviving are her parents, 2 sisters (Carol and Shiela), 3 brothers (Gary, Brian, and Keith), 2 grandfathers, and one grandmother. Funeral services were held at the home, Feb. 22, with burial in the East Zorra, Ont., Amish Mennonite Church.
Nafziger, -- Christian M., was born in Merzig, Saar Beken, Germany, Feb. 24, 1861; passed away at his home near Lowville, N. Y., Feb. 8, 1953; aged 81 y. 11 m. 15 d. As a youth of 21 he fled from his homeland to escape compulsory military training arriving in the United States on June 28,1883. On Oct. 28, 1886, he was married to Anna Moser, who preceded him in death in 1933. An infant son and daughter also preceded him. Surviving are 2 sons (Joseph and Menno, Lowville, N. Y.), 7 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and one foster daughter (Anna-Mrs. John Roggie, Croghan, N. Y.). He enjoyed good health most of his life and passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. He united with the Amish Mennonite Church in his youth and remained faithful until death. On Feb. 8, 1895, he was ordained to the ministry and one year later he was ordained to the office of bishop, in which place he served for over fifty years as a true servant of the Lord. Funeral services were held, Feb.11, in charge of Elias Zehr, Nevin Bender, and Lloyd Boshart, with interment in the adjoining cemetery.
Wagler, --- Catherine, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Brenneman, was born in South Easthope Township, Nov. 19, 1866; passed away in St. Mary's Hospital, Kitchener, Ont., Jan. 31, 1953; aged 86 y. 2 m. 12 d. She was married to Moses Wagler on Nov. 17, 1895. Surviving besides her husband are 3 sons (Samuel B. and John Shakespeare, Ont.; and David, Tavistock, Ont.), one daughter (Nancy-Mrs. Enos Zehr, Bright, Ont.), 3 half brothers (Jacob, Wellesley, Ont.; Dan, Tavistock, Ont; and Moses, Shakespeare, Ont.), one half sister (Leah-Mrs. Joseph Schlegal, Shakespeare, Ont.), 15 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. She was a faithful member of the East Zorra Amish Mennonite Church. Funeral services were held at the East Zorra Church, Feb. 3, in charge of Henry Yantzi and Ben B. King.
Transcribed by Marcia Bickel, Kansas.
Baker, --- Alice, oldest of six children born to Abraham and Sarah (Nold) Newcomer, was born in Wadsworth Township, Ohio, Dec. 14, 1867, and lived her entire life in this vicinity; passed away at her home in Wadsworth, Ohio, March 30, 1953; aged 85 y. 3 m. 16 d. On Dec. 25, 1889, she was united in marriage to Benjamin H. Baker. Early in her married life she and her husband gave their hearts to the Lord and united with the Bethel Mennonite Church, Wadsworth, Ohio, where they continued faithful until the Lord called them home. She is survived by one daughter (Martha N.-Mrs. Earl Kreider, Wadsworth, Ohio; one foster granddaughter, and 2 brothers (L.M., Upper Sandusky, Ohio; and Warren O., Wadsworth, Ohio). Funeral services were held at the Bethel Church April 1 in charge of J. Robert Kreider and S. D. Rohrer, with burial in the Lower Mennonite Cemetery.
Birky, --- Veronica, daughter of Joseph K. and Mary (Bender) Yantzi, was born at Tavistock, Ont., April 14, 1882; died at the Lebanon Community Hospital, Jan. 30, 1953; aged 70 y. 9 m. 16 d. She accepted Christ in her youth and became a member of the Mennonite Church, remaining faithful until death. She was united in marriage to Amos Z. Birky, on Dec. 10, 1916. Surviving are her husband, one stepdaughter, 7 stepgrandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, one brother, 2 half brothers, and many other relatives and friends. Funeral services were held at the Fairview Mennonite Church, Albany, Oreg., with burial in the Lebanon Cemetery.
Book, -- Janie Lynn, infant daughter of Leland and Dorothy (Saltzman) Book, was born Feb. 27, 1953, and passed away Feb. 28. Graveside services were held at the Science Ridge Cemetery, Sterling, Ill., in charge of Robert Keller.
Culp, -- Moses, son of Henry and Susannah Culp, was born in Elkhart Co., Ind., July 16, 1870. He married Rosetta Culp, in 1892. He was converted several years ago and united with the Mennonite Church. He had not too many years to serve his Master, but the few were years of joy in the Lord and he had a ringing testimony. He had been in failing health for some time and died of a heart ailment on March 26, 1953; aged 82 y. 8 m. 10 d. He leaves to mourn his departure, 2 daughters (Hazel-Mrs. Ellis Martin and Amanda-Mrs. Elmer Shafer), 3 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, and one brother (David, Goshen, Ind.). One daughter (Ada) preceded him in death. Funeral services were in charge of C. A. Shank, Simon Gingerich and D. A. Yoder at the Yellow Creek Mennonite Church, Goshen, Ind.
Frey, --- Ammon L., son of Levi and Barbara (Mishler) Frey, was born in Holmes Co., Ohio, April 13, 1869; passed away at his home in Lagrange, Ind., March 11, 1953; aged 83 y. 10 m. 28 d. He was from a family of 13 children, all of whom have preceded him in death except one brother (Alvin, Shipshewana, Ind.). He was united in marriage to Fannie Yoder on June 14, 1904. Two sons and 4 daughters were born to this union (Fred, Kalona, Iowa; Martha-Mrs. Francis Goodremont, Lagrange, Ind.; Nora-Mrs. Raphael Yoder, Topeka, Ind.; Oscar, who preceded him in death; Alice-Mrs. Kenneth Hummel, and Dorothy-Mrs. Wayne Hill, both of Lagrange, Ind.). Also left to mourn his passing are 11 grandchildren and a number of other relatives and friends. He was a farmer all his life until about 10 years ago when he suffered a heart attack. He was a member of the Shore Mennonite Church, where funeral services were in charge of Percy J. Miller.
Heister, --- Blanche E., having been in failing health for 12 years, died in the Lewistown Hospital, March 16, 1953. She was born at Mattawana, Pa., Dec. 30, 1876, a daughter of the late Joseph B. and Emma J. (Kauffman) Renninger. Her husband (John W. Heister) preceded her in death last April. Surviving are 2 sons (Ralph D., Narberth, Pa., and Jesse W., at home), one sister (Mrs. Grace Ziliers, Huntingdon, Pa.), and 2 grandchildren. She was a member of the Pine Glen Church of the Brethren but often worshiped in the Mattawana Mennonite Church. Many of our visiting brethren had been entertained in their home. Funeral services were conducted in the Booth Funeral Home, McVeytown, Pa., by Aaron Mast, assisted by Ross Metzler, Henry Esbensen, and J. Richard Gottshall. Interment was made in the Pleasant View Cemetery.
Hooley, -- Donald Jay, oldest child of Alvin Jay and Elsie Pearl (Zook) Hooley, was born at Hubbard, Oreg., July 9, 1922; left this life in Frankfurt, Germany, March 16, 1953; aged 30 y. 8 m. 7 d. At the age of three he developed asthma as a result of whooping cough. This restricted his physical activity and became of his ill health he had to drop out of public high school. Because of his deep desire for an education he later attended Multnomah College night school where he finished high school and did some postgraduate work in bookkeeping, which fitted him for service in MCC relief overseas. He had hardly begun his second term of service when he was called by the Master to leave it while recovering from an operation. He was baptized in early youth and united with the Zion Mennonite Church where he remained faithful through life. Left to mourn his departure are his parents, 2 sisters (Bernice-Mrs. Earl Kennel, Albany, Oreg.; and Faye-Mrs. Cecil Byers, Silverton, Oreg.), 2 brothers (Lloyd, Hubbard, Oreg.; Ray, Corvallis, Oreg.), an a number of other relatives and friends. Memorial services were held at Frankfurt on March 20 and then the body was flown to Oregon for burial.
Hunsberger, --- Moses, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Abraham Hunsberger, was born in Wilmot Township, Nov. 20, 1870; after a brief illness passed away at his home near Bridgeport, Ont.; aged 82 y. 3 m. 14 d. His first wife (Mary Horst) preceded him in death in 1932. He was married to Mary Lebold, who survives. Also surviving are 2 sons (Leonard and Mahlon), 2 daughters (Mary Alice and Anna Mae), 2 brothers (Noah and Abraham), 2 sisters (Mary Ann and Elmina-Mrs. Jacob Brubacher). He was converted during a series of meetings held by J. S. Coffman at the Manheim Church and united with the Mennonite Church. He was an active worker in the church serving as superintendent and teacher in the Sunday school held at Bridgeport years ago and also at Erb Street Church, Waterloo. He was a member of the Mennonite Aid Union for many years and served as a former president. Funeral services were held at the Erb Street Mennonite Church by Joel Swartzendruber and J. B. Martin.
Kline, -- Ida L., daughter of Lorezo and Elizabeth Nye, was born in Crawford Co., Ohio, Aug. 18, 1864; died in the Hicksville Hospital, March 12, 1953; aged 88 y. 6 m. 25 d. Her husband (Aaron Kline) and two sons preceded her in death. She was baptized on Sept. 28, 1952. Funeral services were held at the Lost Creek Mennonite Church, March 14, in charge of Walter Stuckey and Ralph Yoder, with burial in the Six Corner Cemetery.
Lehman, -- Stella, daughter of the late Gideon and Salina Sharp, was born at Garden City, Mo., Oct. 27, 1893; passed away at Goshen, Ind., March 24, 1953; aged 59 y. 4 m. 28 d. She was baptized and became a member of the Mennonite Church at the age of 14 years, remaining a loyal and faithful member. She was graduated from the La Junta Mennonite School of Nursing in 1918, a member of the first class. On Oct. 27, 1929, she was married to Joseph L. Lehman, who preceded her in death in 1928. To this union were born 7 children, all of whom survive (Reuel, Goshen, Ind.; Ruth-Mrs. Herman Buller, Bloomington, Ill.; Mary-Mrs. Willard Handrich, Grand Marais, Mich.; Genevieve-Mrs. Ralph Buckwalter, Kushiro, Japan; David, Indianapolis, Ind.; Ethel, Goshen, Ind.; and Josephine-Mrs. Emery Swartzendruber, Philadelphia, Pa.). Also surviving are 6 grandchildren, one brother (Elmer, Fairview, Mich.), and 3 sisters (Lina-Mrs. Chauncey Zook, Fairview, Mich.; Sadie-Mrs. Menno Detweiler, Westover, Md.; and Nettie-Mrs. L. A. Kauffman, Glendive, Mont.). Funeral services were held in the Goshen College Union Auditorium in charge of Russell Krabill, J. C. Wenger, and Paul Mininger, with interment in the Violet Cemetery.
Leichty, --- Sarah, daughter of the late Christian and Anna (Swartz) Neuhouser, was born May 10, 1876, near Grabill, Ind.; passed away from pneumonia following an operation at the Lutheran Hospital, Ft. Wayne, Ind., March 13, 1953; aged 76 y. 10 m. 3 d. On Sept. 19, 1895, she was united in marriage to John Leichty. Surviving are her husband, who had been bedfast for over a year, 8 daughters (Allie-Mrs. Nelson Short, Archbold, Ohio; Mrs. Anna Bauman, Grabill, Ind.; Mary-Mrs. Laurel Martin, Greentown, Ind.; Bertha-Mrs. Clyde Miller, Grabill, Ind.; Elnora-Mrs. Gilbert Bailey, Ft. Wayne, Ind., Velma-Mrs. Wilbur Hostetler, Goshen, Ind.; Violet-Mrs. Lester Perry, Ft. Wayne, Ind.; and Lucille-Mrs. Dale King, Stryker, Ohio), 7 sons (Amos, Noah, Herman, and Raymond, Ft. Wayne, Ind.; John, Wakarusa, Ind.; Albert, Middebury, Ind.; and Paul, Auburn, Ind.) 38 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, 3 sisters (Mrs. Anna Schlatter and Mrs. Katie Lederman, Leo, Ind.; and Mrs. Leah Smead, Grabill, Ind.), and many other relatives and friends. One daughter preceded her in death. In her young years she accepted Christ as her Saviour and was baptized. She was a charter member of the Mennonite Church at Leo, Ind. She lived true to her convictions, faithful and consistent with her belief and very seldom missed church services, if health permitted her to attend. Funeral services were held March 16, at the Leo Mennonite Church in charge of S. J. Miller, assisted by Ben Graber and Joe Neuhouser, with burial in the Leo Cemetery.
Lind, --- Salome, daughter of L. J. and Anna Johnston, was born near Cherry Box, Mo., Oct. 13, 1906; entered into rest March 28, 1953; aged 46 y. 5 m. 15 d. She is survived by her husband, Marcus Lind, 2 sons (Loren Jay and Gerald Lee), one daughter (Mary Ellen), her mother, 3 brothers (Uriah, Leonard, Mo.; Noah, Bonner's Ferry, Idaho; and John, Hesston, Kans.), and 3 sisters (Lydia Littleton, Novelty, Mo., Alma Harder, Leonard, Mo.; and Orpha Yoder, McPherson, Kans.) At the time of her marriage in 1933, she moved with her husband to Oregon, locating on a farm near Albany. In 1930 they were called to mission work in Portland, where she gave 6 years in full-time service. She then moved to Bellevue, and later Salem, where her husband taught in Western Mennonite School the last 8 years. She accepted Christ as the age of 13 and became a loyal member of the Mennonite Church and a faithful assistant to her husband. Funeral services were held in the Western Mennonite School auditorium March 31, with H. A. Wolfer officiating. Burial was made in the Willamette Memorial Park.
Mast, --Calvin, son of Fred and Lydia Mast, was born April 8, 1877; died March 5, 1953; aged 75 y. 10 m. 27 d. In his youth he accepted Christ as his Saviour and was baptized, becoming a member of the Martin Creek Mennonite Church, from which faith he never wavered. On May 27, 1906, he was married to Etta V. Miller, who died in 1926. Surviving are 2 sons (Ray and Glen, Millerburg, Ohio), one daughter (Retha-Mrs. Mark Beechy, Wooster, Ohio), 12 grandchildren, one great-grandchild, 3 sisters (Mrs. H. N. Troyer, Oyster Point, Va.; Mrs. J. D. Nafziger, Crystal Springs, Kans.; and Mrs. D. M. Smucker, Harrisonburg, Va.), and one aunt (Mrs. Katie Chupp, Milford, Ind.). Preceding him in death were one infant son, 3 brothers, and one sister. On May15, 1910, he was ordained to preach the Gospel and was the pastor of the Martins Creek Church for about 40 years. He will be greatly missed in the home and the community, but especially in the church. Funeral services were held at the church, March 8, by D. D. Miller and S. W. Sommer.
Miller, --- Gladys (Metzler), was born at Mankato, Kans., Oct. 17, 1890; passed away in Gulfport, Miss., March 16, 1953; aged 62 y. 5 m. Her many years were spent in Kansas and she taught school before coming to La Junta in 1909. On April 11, 1909, she was married to Edward E. Miller. Soon after their marriage she was received into fellowship with the La Junta Mennonite Church where she was active in Sunday-school and sewing circle work. In 1935 they moved to Manitou Springs where she transferred her membership and remained a faithful member of the church until the time of her death. Her husband preceded her in 1948. Surviving are 3 daughters (Margaret-Mrs. Magnar Hyelmstad, La Junta, Colo.; Mrs. Dorothy Nelson, Goshen, Ind.; and Mary Ellen-Mrs. O. G. Stucky, Colorado Springs, Colo.), 9 grandchildren, 4 sisters (Mrs. Margaret Jorgensen, Los Angeles, Calif; Belle, Bernice, and Mrs. E. M. Kirkpatrick, all of Wichita, Kans.), and 2 brothers (Elmer, Latham, Kans., and Herman, Portland, Oreg.). Funeral services were held at the La Junta Mennonite Church, March 20, by Jess Kauffman and E. E. Showalter, with burial in the Fairview Cemetery. Memorial services were conducted on March 22 at her home church in Colorado Springs.
Miller, -- The infant daughter of Frank and Margaret (Lapp) Miller, Mercer, Pa., was stillborn on March 19, 1953. Surviving besides the parents, are 2 brothers (Kenneth Lloyd and Larry Lee), one grandfather, and one grandmother. Interment was made in the Maple Grove Cemetery, New Wilmington, Pa., with graveside services conducted by E. J. Zook.
Plank, -- Lydia, daughter of Jonathan and Catherine Smucker, was born near Orrville, Ohio, July 13, 1864; departed this life March 27, 1863, following a long illness; aged 88 y. 8 m. 14 d. On Dec. 24, 1885, she was united in marriage to Levi Frank Plank, who preceded her in death in 1945. She is survived by her daughter (Isa-Mrs. Harry Rich, Orrville, Ohio), and many other relatives and friends. She was the last of a family of six children. In her youth she confessed Christ as Master and Lord and united with the Oak Grove Mennonite Church, Smithville, Ohio. As long as she was able she maintained an active interest in the work of the church. Her quiet, friendly, spirit will always be an inspiration to those who had the privilege of knowing her. Funeral services were held at the Frey and Gresser Funeral Home, March 30, with V. M Gerig officiating. Interment was made in the Oak Grove Cemetery.
Rodgers, --- Sarah K., daughter of Eli H. and Esther (Koppes) Fretz, was born in Steamtown, Ohio, Medina County, July 5, 1868; passed away at the home of her daughter Cora, Newton, Kans., March 19, 1953; aged 84 y. 8 m. 14 d. At the age of twelve she came to Kansas with her parents and lived in this community the rest of her life with the exception of a few years spent in Oklahoma. At 22 years of age she was baptized and became a member of the Pennsylvania Mennonite Church. On Aug. 5, 1885, she was married Henry H. Rodgers, who preceded her in death in 1939. Surviving are 5 daughters and 4 sons: Mrs. Cora Hartman, Mrs. Rosa Patterson, Charles, and Leonard, all of Newton, Kans.; Fred, Jewell, Kans.; John, Racine, Wisc.; Mrs. Flossie Hendricks and Mrs. Frances Wood of Emporia, Kans.), 33 grandchildren, and 33 great-grandchildren, besides other relatives and friends. Three children preceded her in death. She regarded church attendance and worship as a privilege and sacred duty as long as health permitted. "Grandma" or "Aunt Sarah" as she was affectionately called, was known for her piety and strong religious convictions. Funeral services were held at the Pennsylvania Church, march 22, with Earl Buckwalter officiating, assisted by O. O. Hershberger, with interment in the adjoining cemetery.
Roth, -- Alma F., daughter of Noah J. and Fannie (King) Yoder, was born near Shipshewana, Ind., Aug. 27, 1893. On Feb. 9, 1918, she was united in marriage to John Roth. She passed away in her sleep on March 25, 1953, from a heart attack; aged 59 y. 6 m. 29 d. Surviving are her husband, 4 daughters (Florence-Mrs. Ben Gerig, Morton, Ill.; Ruth, Elkhart, Ind.; Alta-mares. Erwin Mellinger, Hagerstown, Md.; and Barbara at Goshen College), one grandchild, 2 brothers (Elmer D., and Ora C., Shipshewana, Ind.), and one sister (Carrie B., Elkhart, Ind.). Her parents and 2 sisters preceded her in death. In her youth she accepted Christ and united with the Forks Mennonite Church, Shipshewana, Ind. She was an active Christian worker throughout her life and a faithful member of the Morton, Ill., Mennonite Church. She had a deep concern for the spiritual welfare of others. Funeral services were held at the Morton Church, March 28, with Roy Bucher, Levi Hartzler, and Roy Roth officiating. Interment was made in the Pleasant Grove Mennonite Cemetery, Tremont, Ill.
Sauder, -- Glenn Robert, son of H. Richard and Ruth K. (Denlinger) Sauder, , was born in Manor Township, Oct. 9, 1945; was called home March 13, 1953; aged 7 y. 5 m. 4 d. Death was caused by a crushed chest when a tractor overturned. His cheery smile and pleasant disposition will be missed by all who knew him. He was a member of the Millersville Sunday School and a second-grade pupil in Manor Mennonite School. He is survived by 2 brothers (H. Richard Jr., and Donald Lee) and one sister (Carol Jean). Funeral services were held at the home in charge of J. Herbert Fisher, with burial in the Millersville Mennonite Cemetery.
Stayton, --Mrs. Annie, died Nov. 5, 1952, at the age of 81 y. 9 m. 3 d. She was a member of the East Bethel Mennonite Mission only 10 days. She gave a bright testimony that these were the happiest days she had spent in all of her eighty years. Funeral services were conducted at the East Bethel Mission, Lofton, Va., in charge of John D. Martin, assisted by J.R. Driver.
Stere, --- Leah, daughter of the late Joel Erb and Barbara Lichty, was born March 3, 1880; died Feb. 13, 1953; aged 72 y. 11 m. 10 d. On Jan. 26, 1899, she was married to John Stere. This marriage was blessed with 8 sons and 5 daughters (Joseph, Joel, Ezra, Ervin, and Daniel of East Zorra, Ont.; Aaron and Lloyd of Tavistock, Ont.; John, Nithburg, Ont.; Barbara Mrs. Ezra Gascho, Tavistock, Ont.; Lena-Mrs. Ezra Bast, South Easthope, Ont.; Malinda-Mrs. Arthur Roth, Wilmot, Ont.; Marian-Mrs. Calvin Gerber, Blandford, Ont.; and Lauretta-Mrs. Murray Fleming, Wilmot, Ont.). Also surviving are 3 brothers (Menno, Wellesley, Ont.; Christian, Sepastopol, Ont.; and Noah, Mannheim, Ont.), one sister (Mrs. Albert Kennel, Petersburg, Ont.), 46 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by 4 sisters and 2 brothers. Funeral services were held at the East Zorra Church, in charge of Moses H. Roth and Henry Yantzi, with burial in the adjoining cemetery.
Wenger, --- Isaac H., son of David and Susanna (Horst) Wenger, was born in Martindale, Pa., Aug. 12, 1876; departed this life Feb. 12, 1953; aged 76 y. 6 m. He had been suffering from a heart condition for some months and died upon arrival at his place of employment, the Daniel Weaver Harness Shop, Blue Ball, Pa. On Feb. 7, 1897, he was united in marriage to Emma Steffy, who preceded him in death in 1946. Surviving are 5 children 9Jennie-Mrs. Michael N. Wenger, Lititz, Pa.; Cora-Mrs. Irvin Reist, Martindale, Pa.; Charles, Ephrata, Pa.; Irene-Mrs. Ray Andes, Lincoln, Pa.; and Ruth-Mrs. Paul Weber, Narvon, Pa.), 36 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, 4 sisters (Lizzie-Mrs. Abram Martin, and Sue-Mrs. Rudy Herr, both of New Holland, Pa.; Barbara-Mrs. Gabriel Groff, Stevens, Pa.; and Sarah-Mrs. Phares Mohler, Leacock, Pa.), and one brother (Moses, Ephrata, Pa.). Three daughters and one son preceded him in death. He was a member of the Martindale Mennonite Church for many years. Funeral services were held at the church in charge of Alvin Martin and David N. Weaver with burial in the church cemetery.
Whitmer, --- Harrison F., son of Abraham and Francelia (Delawder) Whitmer, was born near Mathias, W. Va., June 10, 1881; died Feb. 22, 1953; aged 71 y. 8 m. 12 d. By nature he was a man of a quiet and retiring disposition. In the mature years of his life he united with the Mennonite Church, in which faith he died. He leaves 4 brothers and sisters (Charles, Barbara Jenkins, and Mary Jane Wendel, Maurertown, Va.; and Alice Wilt, New Market, Va.). Funeral services were held, Feb. 25, from the Cove Chapel in charge of Linden M. Wenger, with interment in the Delawder Cemetery.
Transcribed by Marcia Bickel, Kansas.
Ellsworth, --- Rebecca Anna, was born in Tama, Iowa, Aug. 10, 1870; passed away at Hutchinson, Kans., Feb. 10, 1953; aged 82 y. 6 m. She was the widow of Alonzo Ellsworth and a resident of the Hutchinson community for 53 years. At the time of her death she was a member of the Hutchinson Mission. She had been bedfast for the last number of years. Surviving are 4 daughters (Mrs. Elva Sand, Lakewood, Calif.; Mrs. Ada Mathews, Sacramento, Calif.; Mrs. Alice Griffith, Seminole, Okla.; and Mrs. Clara Bishop, Hutchinson, Kans.), one son (George, Hutchinson, Kans.), 2 sisters (Mrs. Adie Edwards, Hutchinson, Kans.; and Mrs. Mertie Holland, paramount, Calif.), one brother (George T. Morland, Haven, Kans.), 23 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held at the Johnson and Sons Funeral Home, Hutchinson, Kans., with Sanford E. King officiating. Burial was made in the Priest Cemetery, Haven, Kans.
Gelnett, ---Mary Elizabeth (Otto), was born near Grantsville, Md., Nov. 26, 1872; died at her home on March 13, 1953; aged 80 y. 3 m. 17 d. On Oct. 10, 1892, she was married to Harry Gelnett of Rockton, Pa., a minister of the Springs Mennonite Church. Surviving are 2 daughters (Elva-Mrs. Edwin Kolb and Twila, both of Springs, Pa.), 6 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Her husband preceded her in death. In her early youth she remained a faithful member till death. She was also a very active member of the sewing circle. Funeral services were held in the Springs Mennonite Church, March 15, in charge of Roy Otto and Walter Otto, with burial in the Springs Cemetery.
Gockley, --- Earl Landis, son of John M. and Amanda (Landis) Gockley, was born in Lancaster County, Pa., Aug. 24, 1917; passed away Feb. 25, 1953; aged 35 y. 6 m. 1 d. A t the age of 14 he accepted Christ as his Saviour and was baptized at the Columbia Mennonite Mission. On March 24, 1940, he was united in marriage to Olive Sturgis. In 1941 he took his membership to the Lititz Mennonite Church where he was a faithful member until death. About a year ago his health began failing and last December his legs became completely helpless, which specialists pronounced Hodgkin's disease. Two day s before his passing he partook of the sacred emblems in full consciousness and expressed his submission to the Lord's will. He is survived by his wife and 2 children (Earl Landis, Jr., and Joanne Naomi), and the following brothers and sisters (Mary-Mrs. Charles Alberts, Bareville, Pa.; Clarence, Elizabethtown, Pa.; Harry L., and Samuel M., both of Lititz, Pa.; Naomi-Mrs. Harold Glick, Lampeter, Pa.; and Richard E., Elizabethtown, Pa.). He was preceded in death by one sister (Ruth Amanda). Funeral services were held at the Lititz, Pa., Mennonite Church in charge of C. J. Helmich, with burial in the church cemetery.
Hostetler, --- Earl P., youngest son of Paul J. and Esther (Miller) Hostetler, was born Jan. 8, 1893; passed away Feb. 24, 1953, as the result of a heart attack; aged 60 y. 1 m. 16 d. Most of his life was spent on the farm where he was born, west of Emma, Ind.,, until five years ago when he retired from the work on the farm and moved to the village. Early in life he accepted Christ as his Saviour and united with the Emma Mennonite Church. On Oct. 12, 1912, he was united in marriage to Bertha Elizabeth Smith, who survives him. Also surviving are 5 children (Kenneth, Elkhart, Ind.; Leland, Shipshewana, Ind.; Walter, Emma, Ind.; Evelyn-Mrs. Franklin Kauffman, Goshen, Ind.; and Wayne, Indianapolis, Ind.), 8 grandchildren, and one brother (Almon P., Middlebury, Ind.). His genial ways gained for him a vast host of friends and he was always willing to lend a helping hand and give generously of his means to those in need. Funeral services were held at the Emma Mennonite Church, Topeka, Ind., Feb. 27, with Amos O. Hostetler, Oscar Hostetler, and Menno Yoder officiating. Burial was made in the Yoder Cemetery.
Nofziger, -- Emma, daughter of the late Peter and Sophia Goldsmith, was born in Basel, Switzerland, Jan. 31, 1882; died at the Memorial Hospital, Wauseon, Ohio, March 22, 1953; aged 71 y. 1 m. 22 d. When 8 years of age she came with her father to America and spent the remainder of her life in the vicinity of Archbold, Ohio. She was of a family of sixteen children, 3 having preceded her in death. On Dec. 10, 1903, she was united in marriage to Peter Roth and together they shared the joys and sorrows of life until 1925 when her husband was called home to be with the Lord. It was in the early years of their married life when she accepted Christ as her personal Saviour and was received as a member of the Central Mennonite Church, remaining a faithful member till God called her home. This union was blessed with 7 children (Alfred, Todd, Wilbur, Glen, Harvey, Velma-Mrs. Ivan Weber, all from the vicinity of Archbold, Ohio). On Nov. 14, 1929, she was united in marriage to Jacob Nofziger. Having shared the blessing of life together for eight years, this union was broken by death in 1937. Remaining to mourn her departure are 7 children, 16 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, 8 brothers and 4 sisters (Louise-Mrs. Mott Hill, Sophia-Mrs. Joe Rashley, John, Jacob, Ernest, Harry, Peter, Arminda-Mrs. Emil Waldfogel, Jesse, Sam, Edward, and Almeda-Mrs. Alva Weber), and a large number of other relatives and friends. She was able to do her own work until two days before her death when she suffered a heart attack and contracted pneumonia. Funeral services held at the Central Church by Walter Stuckey and Roy Sauder.
Shantz, --- Lydia, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Amos Snyder, passed away at the Kitchener-Waterloo Hospital after a brief illness, March 22, 1953, in her seventy-fourth year. On Feb. 11, 1911, she was united in marriage to Joseph Shantz, who preceded her in death 11 years ago. Surviving are 2 sons (Vernon and Wayne, Petersburg, Ont.), 2 daughters (Louise-Mrs. David Jantzi, Kitchener, Ont.; and Alice-Mrs. David Cressman, New Hamburg, Ont.), and 6 grandchildren. She was converted in her youth and united with the Mennonite Church to which faith she was loyal until her death, seldom being absent from church services. She was keenly interested in the work of the church, having been a Sunday-school teacher for many years and an active member of the local sewing circle at the time of her departure from this world. Funeral services were conducted, March 25, at the Geiger Mennonite Church, by C. C. Cressman and M. H. Roth. The body was laid to rest in the adjoining cemetery.
Wagner, -- Laura, daughter of Joseph and Emily (Tripplet) Schertz, was born near Eureka, Ill., Aug. 21, 1885; passed away at the home of her daughter, March 14, 1953; aged 67 y. 6 m. 24 d. On March 11, 1909, she was united in marriage to Emanuel Wagner, who preceded her in death in 1938. Surviving are one daughter (Mrs. Nellie Helmuth, Eureka, Ill.), 2 grandchildren, and many other relatives and friends. One brother (Henry) and one sister (Katherine Steider) preceded her in death. She accepted Christ as her Saviour in her youth uniting with the Metamora Mennonite Church and later transferred to the Roanoke Mennonite Church. She and her husband lived on the Wagner home farm where they were engaged in farming until they moved to Eureka in the year 1919. After her husband's passing she made her home with the William Helmuth family. She was a faithful attendant of Sunday school and church services and was present at the last Sunday services preceding her death. Funeral services were in charge of Ezra B. Yordy with burial in the Roanoke Cemetery.
Yoder, --- Cornelius S., son of Samuel and Mary (Stull) Yoder, was born near Foraker, Ind., June 11, 1870. He had not been so well for the past six months and passed away on March 8, 1953; aged 82 y. 8 m. 27 d. He we converted in early years and was a member of the Salem Mennonite Church, at the time of his death. On Jan. 17, 1893, he married Anna Weldy, who preceded him in death in 1921. One son (Elmer), and an infant daughter also preceded him. On Sept. 9, 1923, he married Ella Rohrer, who survives. Also surviving are a brother (Noah, Antigo, Wis.), 2 sons (Noah, Wakarusa, Ind., and Harold, South Bend, Ind.), 11 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and many other relatives and friends. Funeral services were held at the North Main Street Church, Nappanee, Ind., conducted by Manford Freed, Homer North, and D. A. Yoder, with burial in the South Union Cemetery.
Yoder, ---- Emma, wife of Harvey E. Yoder, died at the Goshen, Ind., Hospital, March 25, 1953, where she was taken a few days before; aged 74 y. 3 m. 24 d. She was born Dec. 1, 1878, in Lagrange County. Last September 14 she and her husband celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. She united with the Mennonite Church in her youth and was a faithful member all her life, always concerned for the spiritual welfare of her family, the community and the church. Surviving are her husband, 3 children (Alma-Mrs. M. D. Nusbaum, Dunlap, Ind.; Lawrence, International Falls, Minn.; and Orrin, Goshen, Ind.), 7 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, one brother (U. J. Troyer, Shipshewana, Ind.), 2 sisters (Martha-Mrs. Rollin Norris, and Edith-Mrs. LaMar Cripe, Elkhart, Ind.), besides a number of other relatives and friends. Funeral services were held at the Middlebury Mennonite Church, March 29, by Ira Johns and Harold A. Yoder. Interment was mode in the Forest Grove Cemetery.
Yoder, --- Rudy A., son of Andrew and Sarah (Hershberger) Yoder, was born in Stark County, Ind., April 27, 1870; peacefully fell asleep in Jesus at his home near Archbold, Ohio, April 6, 1953; aged 82 y. 11 m. 9 d. He was united in marriage with Fannie Nafziger on Nov. 16, 1893. This union was blessed with 5 daughters (Mrs. Alma Leichty, Grabill, Ind.; Sarah-Mrs. Ira Rupp, Wauseon, Ohio; Mrs. Orpha Miller, Canton, Ohio; Ilva, at home; and Dorothy-deceased), and 4 sons (Roy and Oscar, Wauseon, Ohio, Raymond, Archbold, Ohio; and Wilbur, Midland, Mich.). Also surviving are one brother (Andrew, Harrisburg, Oreg.), 2 half sisters (Malinda-Mrs. Will Hershberger and Mrs. Ada Yoder, both of Goshen, Ind.), one half brother (Samuel Mishler, Nashville, Tenn.), 31 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren. His companion preceded him in death in 1923. Two brothers and one sister also preceded him in death. In his early life he accepted Christ as his personal Saviour and united with the Mennonite Church near Topeka, Ind. Later moving to Archbold, Ohio, he transferred his membership to the Central Mennonite Church, of which he was a member until death. His place was not vacant in the house of the Lord when health permitted. Funeral services were held at the Central Church by D. L. Sommers and Roy Sauder.
Zook, -- Stephen M., was born March 16, 1872. He was the son of David and Elizabeth (Hooley) Zook and together with his two brothers (Thomas and Reuben) and 2 sisters (Mary and Nellie) lived near Belleville, Pa., until he reached young manhood. He came to Logan County, Ohio, where he was employed and lived in the home of Noah Yoder for 57 years. In youth he became a member of the Amish Mennonite Church. On March 25, 1953, he passed away; aged 81 y. 9 d. He was preceded in death by his 2 brothers and by a sister (Fanny) who died in infancy. Always jovial and kind, he will be sadly missed in the home here he lived so long. Funeral services were held at the home on March 27 by Stanley Shenk, with interment in the Yoder Cemetery, West Liberty, Ohio.
Transcribed by Marcia Bickel, Kansas.
---------- Article --------------
Gospel Herald, April 28, 1953, pages 389, 390.
Hartzler.- The death of Bro. J. S. Hartzler
brings to a close the life and service of one of the leaders of
our church who influenced many people over a greater span of years
than perhaps any other Mennonite of the past century. Beginning
his service in the church in his early life and reaching almost
a century, his faithful life and unique contribution has stood
as a bridge between the yesteryears and the today of the Mennonite
Church. Having attained the age of 95 years, 7 months, and 24
days, he was one of our oldest brethren in the ministry, both
in years in the ministry and in length of life.
Bro. Hartzler was born on August 8, 1857, in a humble Christian home of the Amish Mennonite Church near Topeka, Ind. According to Bro. Hartzler's testimony, his father was a rigid disciplinarian in the home. This, along with the Christian tone of the home, undoubtedly contributed toward the development of a life which the Lord was later able to use in so many ways and over so many years of active Christian service.
On February 5, 1880, he was married to Fannie Stutzman, who passed away in 1929. His only child, Vernon, passed away in his early twenties in 1907. On July 14, 1930, Bro. Hartzler was married to Cathrine Christophel Bower, who remains to mourn his departure.
Bro. Hartzler was ordained to the ministry on April 18, 1881, to serve in the Maple Grove congregation at Topeka, Ind. Though he was quite young he felt the hand of the Lord upon him and responded to the call of God. This was the beginning of a life of service for the Lord in the Mennonite Church which took him into wide and varied fields of labor. Twice he was asked to submit to examination for the office of bishop, but he always declared that the Lord did not call him to this office. One such occasion was during his extended visit to our mission in India. A communication was sent to him informing him that he was in the lot and requesting his advice concerning the time when an ordination should be held. His answer was that he would not be chosen anyway, and they may proceed with the ordination in his absence. A book was placed for him in his absence, but another brother was chosen.
During the years of his youth he became interested in teaching school; so he prepared himself for this profession. He began teaching in his home community and this experience along with his deep spiritual interest prepared him for the years of service he gave in the teaching work in the Elkhart Institute and later Goshen College. In the early years of the Elkhart Institute he helped to construct the pattern and purposes of education in the Mennonite Church. Many struggles were encountered those early days when most of the people were opposed to higher education and it became very difficult to win the support of many church leaders. Today our young people are reaping the blessings which were won by some of these early pioneers. Bro. Hartzler served not only in teaching but in the administration of Elkhart Institute and the early days of Goshen College. He was possibly one of the chief figures responsible for moving the school from Elkhart to Goshen.
During the days of the Elkhart Institute and the publishing work in Elkhart the foreign missionary interests also awakened Mennonite Church leaders. Bro. Hartzler was one of the key men in the church who were instrumental in beginning our foreign mission work, which has in these fifty-five years reached to many countries around the world. According to minutes which were recorded by a local evangelizing board, the interest in India which began with the famine of the late 1890's kept growing until in 1898 a meeting was held in the Elkhart Church which continued throughout most of the night, in which people wrestled before God until He led them to launch our first foreign mission work. Both in this meeting and in what followed Bro. Hartzler became one of the leading figures. He was one of the brethren who were appointed to examine prospective missionaries who were to be sent out under the Mennonite Evangelizing and Benevolent Board, the forerunner of the Mennonite Board of Missions and Charities. It is also worthy of mention that in his classes at Goshen College he was instrumental in sowing some of the seeds for the first interest in our mission in Argentina.
During World War I when the church was caught unprepared to face such a total war situation, Bro. Hartzler was one of the brethren selected to give guidance and encouragement to those who were called up for military service and to interpret the position of the church to government and military leaders. Many of the experiences in these early days of pioneering have been preserved in his book, Mennonites in the World War.
Early in June of 1923, at the age of 65, he was prevailed upon to become pastor of the Prairie Street congregation. It took considerable persuading on the part of those responsible before he was ready to accept this task; partly, no doubt, because of his age, but mainly because he was so aware of the continual tensions which had existed in the congregation for many years. It seemed evident to him that it would be only by the grace of God that a church split would be averted. The Lord finally spoke to Bro. Hartzler and his companion through serious illness, in which both of them were confined to their beds for some time. God used him in a marvelous way during those early days of tension and covered them with His grace and tender mercies; so much so that today there is a working together among the brotherhood such as had hardly been experienced in those early days.
The writer's personal experiences with Bro. Hartzler date back to the time I arrived in Elkhart, about a year after he became pastor of the congregation. My first relations with him were as my Sunday-school teacher, and then in 1933 I became associated with him in the ministry.
It is evident that the forty years of broad experiences in the work of the church prepared him for the difficult task at Elkhart. The Lord used him to mend the breaches, to heal the wounds, and to strengthen the marred tissues of personality and prejudice. He was courageous, mellow, understanding, and patient in his dealings with those who had become frustrated through the years. Through his encouragement and missionary vision two mission outposts were opened during the years he was pastor 1923 to 1940. These two outposts are now fully organized congregations and another outpost has since been added. A number of young people have also left this congregation throughout the years to enter Christian service in foreign lands and in home missions and relief.
An incident involving myself and making a lasting impression upon me occurred while I was in his Sunday-school class along about 1925, which will indicate something of his influence upon young people. I noticed the Sunday school superintendent approaching to ask me to teach a class, something I had never done before. When Bro. Hartzler noticed that I was preparing my defense, he gave me a push, saying, "Go ahead!" Suffice it to say I responded. There was nothing else to do, and I have been going ever since. The influence of his teaching, however, made a much greater impression upon my life than the push which brought me before that first class of boys.
Bro. Hartzler was a great stickler for punctuality. He frequently urged people to be in the service "On, before time." While I was visiting him just before he was taken to the Home for the Aged at Rittman, Ohio, his mind was not always clear. But while we talked of some of the concerns of the church, he again mentioned his personal regret and what he called the inexcusableness of people habitually coming late to the church services.
One of the great inspirations of all my the years of my relations with Bro. Hartzler and one I shall cherish all my days is the harmony which characterized our relationship. As I look back over the years of our working together in the ministry in the Prairie Street congregation, I still marvel at the patience he must have had and the way he always tried to help me in the work. We worked together for a little more than six years following my ordination, and then he retired as pastor of the congregation. Some time previous to his retirement he was discussing with me his plan to retire and in the course of his conversation he remarked. "When I retire, I retire." This, I am frank to say, is precisely what he did. For a number of years following his retirement, as we would counsel concerning the work of the congregation, he was always ready to give his best counsel, then would conclude with, "Now, I think that is what I would do, if it were me. It you want to take some of this counsel, or all of it or none of it, that is perfectly alright. I am not the pastor, you are; and whatever you think is best will be perfectly alright with me." Also he fully supported me in every decision I would make, undergirding the decisions to the utmost of his ability. Would to God that more of our older brethren could find the grace of retirement, to make room for younger men of God to go forward in the Lord's work without being forced into the pattern of their predecessor.
Although Bro. Hartzler retired from his pastoral responsibilities in the early part of 1940, he continued to accept regular preaching appointments for a few years longer. The last sermon he preached in his home congregation was August 10, 1947, just two days after his ninetieth birthday. The last number of sermons were all evangelistic and clearly demonstrated that he still had a clear vision of the task the Lord has laid on His church. The last sermon was based on Phil. 1:23: "I am in a strait betwixt two." He began this sermon by telling of the difficulty of growing old, saying that we become a stranger in our own community. Some of the difficulties in this area, he pointed out, are seeing our comrades leave us, many times unsaved; seeing the trend worldward when God wants people for His own service and not for the world. He called attention to the fact that the only person a Christian should follow is Jesus Christ. Christians are to be leaders, not followers. In calling attention to his interest in the congregation he said, "I am tied close to this congregation, and am willing to stay in spite of loneliness and do all I can." He encouraged people to do real studying of the Bible. He warned that men past middle age seldom accept Christ. Finally he urged the congregation to study more about heaven, and concluded the sermon with a touch in appeal for people to be ready to meet the Lord, saying, Oh, if I could pick up this whole audience and take them with me there .... Oh, who I would not want to be there?"
After his ninetieth birthday he began to show signs of gradually weakening, first in body and then in his memory. Although this weakening was continuous, it was very gradual until after his ninety-second birthday. Sometimes it became quite difficult to hold a good conversation with him. In spite of this condition he was a regular attendant in the church services, even when he had to be brought in with a wheel chair. Finally on November 10, 1951, Bro. and Sister Hartzler were moved to the Home for the Aged, where he could be given the care he needed.
His passing, on April 1, 1953, brings to a close another very significant contribution to the history of the Mennonite Church. May the Lord raise up other faithful servants who are ready to take up the task which this saint lays down. "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from then labours; and their works do follow them."
Bro. Hartzler's body was returned to Elkhart for burial. Funeral services were held in the Prairie Street Church on April 4. The service was under the direction of the pastor, and the sermon was preached by D. A. Yoder, using as his text the words, "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10). Two other brethren who shared in the service were Lester Mann from the Pleasant View congregation and J. J. Hostetler of Peoria, Ill. Both were former members of the Prairie Street congregation while Bro. Hartzler was pastor. By J. E. Gingrich, Elkhart, Ind.
Transcribed by: John Ingold, Indiana