Anabaptist World

October - December 2023

Mennonite World Review & The Mennonite merged September 2020

Bollman, Oleta Mae Miller ; . . Dick, Jane Lonette Lautt ; . . Epp, Eldon John ; . . Epp, Margaret Ruth Tieszen ; . . Epp, Margaret Ruth Tieszen ; . . Flaming, Jeanette Ediger ; . . Flisher, Jacob Henry, Jr. "Jake" ; . . Friesen, Walter S. ; . . Good, Evelyn Litwiller ; . . Haines, Elaine Miller ; . . Herr, Paul W. ; . . Janzen, Cynthia "Cindy" Wedel ; . . Loewen, Melvin Jacob ; . . Miller, Kenneth Charles ; . . Miller, Marvin J. ; . . Moser, Millard ; . . Myers, Glenn ; . . Ropp, Martha "Jo" Emerick ; . . Schmidt, Lola Fern Voth ; . . Schrack, Pearl Patricia ; . . Varner, Margaret Gingrich ; . . Wydman, Doris Swartzentruber Snyder ; . .

Anabaptist World, October 13, 2023, pages 45-47, Vol. 4, No. 13.



Schrack, Pearl Patricia
December 27, 1926 - September 13, 2023

Schrack-. Pearl Patricia, 96, beloved teacher and friend, died Sept. 13, 2023, at Dock Woods Community in Lansdale, Pa. She was born Dec. 27, 1926, in Bristol, Pa., to Fanny Russell and William Schrack. Following early years in Norristown Pa., where she attended Norristown Gospel Mission (also known as First Mennonite and presently New Life), she came to live with the Harold and Iona S. Weaver family in Collegeville at age 20. From city streets to her rigorous teaching classrooms, she integrated the grist and beauty of the world surrounding her.
She attended Norristown High School and Eastern Mennonite School in Virginia before earning her GED. She graduated from Eastern Mennonite College in 1954 and the University of Pennsylvania with a master's degree in English. She created a life rich with literary classics and international friendships. She taught high school English and literature at Christopher Dock Mennonite High School from 1954 to 1963 and at North Penn High School from 1964 to 1992, where she became a supervising instructor of K-12, initiating innovative programming and curricula. She taught the young adult class at her church home, Souderton Mennonite Church. She served on the national Mennonite Board of Education from 1981 to 1985.
In retirement, she sorted and priced books at Care and Share in Souderton until 2020. In 1987, she purchased Summer Cove, a shoreline cottage near Winter Harbor, Maine, where she hosted countless summer visitors. Family and friends relished visits "Down East" where she feted them with concerts, lectures, hikes in Acadia National Park, feasts at lobster pounds and her culinary specialty, popovers.
She is survived by seven Weaver siblings, Richard (Barbara Reifsnyder), Mary Lou (Rod Houser), James (Lori Worden), Marjorie Nafziger, Sylvia, Lucille (Steven Martin) and Stephen (Ann Newswanger). She was predeceased by her 70-year companion/colleague Janet Martin in 2023, as well as Weaver family members Harold, Iona, Harold Lee and Donald.



Friesen, Walter S.
November 14, 1931 - August 26 2023

Friesen-. Walter S., 91, died Aug. 26, 2023, in Hesston, Kan. He was born Nov. 14, 1931, near Garden City, Kan., to Henry R. and "Minnie" (Schmidt) Friesen before moving to Meade, Kan. There he chose baptism and graduated from Meade Bible Academy. He graduated from Tabor College and met Carol Heinrichs. They married Sept. 5, 1953, and parented three children. He earned a doctorate in educational psychology and later a master of divinity degree.
His career in various aspects of human development included serving as administrator/counselor at Kansas State University, Wichita State University and Bethel College, before taking a Mennonite Voluntary Service sabbatical and becoming ordained. He pastored First Mennonite Church in Denver, Eden Mennonite Church in Moundridge, Kan., Hope Mennonite Church in Fort Worth, Texas, and semiretired to interim pastorates, directing Hesston College's Pastoral Ministries Program, chaplaincy work and volunteer pastoral counseling.
Early hard times were balanced by family life rich with faith, laughter, discernment and harmony singing. Mentoring from Karl Menninger during 1-W service was formational. He cherished Anabaptist teachings of grace and reconciliation and sought to deepen his biblical understandings, apply them in daily living and empower others toward positive interactions. He delighted in words through writing, presentations, poetry, humor and conversation. He was a learner and teacher at heart. He enjoyed designing programs and his surroundings, including gardening and drawing/painting. Nature and travel gave him energy and inspiration. He toured Uzbekistan and Paraguay, and speaking engagements took him throughout the continent. He loved singing, in groups and especially with Carol.
He is survived by children Randal (Mary Helen) Friesen of Denver, Nancy Friesen (Stewart Gehring) of Chicago and Jenny (John) Fast of Goessel, Kan.; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.



Herr, Paul W.
August 5, 1924 - August 28, 2023

Herr-. Paul W. Herr, 99, of East Petersburg, Pa., died Aug. 28, 2023, at home. He was born Aug. 5, 1924, to H. Elvin and M. Elizabeth (Witmer) Herr in Lancaster, Pa. He celebrated 64 years of marriage with his late wife, Lois (Showalter) Herr. He was a graduate of West Lampeter High School and Goshen College, where he received a bachelor's degree in chemistry. He was a 1952 graduate of the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
He practiced family medicine in Quarryville, Pa., for 30 years. He opened a satellite clinic of Planned Parenthood, was an active member of Menno Housing and the Community Action Herr Program of Lancaster and served as a coroner. In 1985 he moved with his wife to Lewisburg, W.Va., to fulfill several roles at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. He was acting dean, administered family practice residencies, taught students in the family practice department and again served as coroner.
In 2003 he moved back to the Lancaster area and never stopped being of service to his community. He championed the LGBTQ community. A ham radio buff, he contributed to developing improved emergency medical communications in area hospitals. He loved trains. A lifelong Mennonite, he also embraced the Presbyterian Church while in West Virginia and the Unitarian Universalist Church while living with his daughter and family. He never stopped reading, sharing books and discussion with friends, family and colleagues.
Survivors include five children, John (Kathleen) of East Petersburg, Michael (Donita) of East Hartford, Conn., Marianne (Roger) Herr-Paul of Greencastle, Pa., Stephen (Kipley) of Richmond, Va., and Jean (George) Herr-Riser of East Petersburg; 10 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Susan Burkholder of Lititz, Pa., and Ellen (James C.) Longacre of Barto, Pa. He was predeceased by a sister, Lois Stoll; and two brothers-in-law, Paul Stoll and J.R. Burkholder. A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Nov. 18 at East Petersburg Mennonite Church.



Moser, Millard
November 20, 1933 - September 16, 2023

Moser-. Millard, 89, died Sept. 16, 2023, in Bluffton, Ind. He was the son of Edna (Lehman) and Palmer Moser and a member of First Mennonite Church in Berne, Ind., and later Emmaus Road Fellowship. He participated in alternative service with Pax from 1952 to 1955, rebuilding homes in war-ravaged Europe. After earning a business degree from Indiana University in 1957, he and wife, Janean (Sprunger) Moser, moved to Hong Kong, where he directed Mennonite Central Committee's refugee feeding program from 1960 to 1963.
While there, they adopted two daughters, Kathy (Mai Lai) and Kristy (Su Fong), and Janean gave birth to son, David. Returning from Hong Kong, Millard began working at Moser Motor Sales, taking his place as the third generation to run the business, and the couple had their fourth child, Annie. In 1973 foster son John Courtney came to live with them. He was an active member of the Berne and larger Mennonite communities, serving as a board member at the First Bank of Berne, Camp Friedenswald and Swiss Village Retirement Community.
He and Janean opened their home to countless people, including refugee families and MCC trainees. He loved spending time with family, riding his bicycle, reading theology and history, walking his dogs, traveling, sports and music, from bluegrass to opera. He had an eclectic taste and valued things that expand the heart and mind. He felt called to live in community, love and peace. His favorite Bible verse was Micah 6:8.
He is survived by his wife, Janean; five children, Kathy Schwartz, Kristy (Jon) Donnally, John Courtney, David (Ingrid) Moser; and Annie (Mark) Gray; seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.



Janzen, Cynthia "Cindy" Wedel
March 6, 1948 -August 16, 2023

Janzen-. Cynthia (Cindy), 75, died Aug. 16, 2023, at Greencroft Healthcare in Goshen, Ind., from causes related to Alzheimer's disease. She was born March 6, 1948, in Newton Kan., to Ben V. and Ruth (Schrag) Wedel, the second of four girls. She grew up on the family farm near Moundridge, Kan. After graduating from Moundridge High School, she attended Bethel College before transferring to Goshen College, where she received a bachelor's degree in nursing. As a nurse, she worked in pediatrics, home health and diabetes education. Her last job was private duty. She married David Janzen in 1970.
She was baptized upon confession of faith by Arnold Nickel at Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, and faithfully served her Lord throughout her life. She was among the founding members of Fellowship of Hope Mennonite Church in Elkhart. Her legendary sense of humor brightened the days of family, patients, church and community friends. Her musical talents in voice and flute contributed to several choirs and the church music group. Among her community service ventures were serving as a board member and volunteer at Loveway Inc. and leading an Alzheimer's support group. As a teenager, she participated in an open housing march inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. while doing a short-term volunteer stint in Chicago.
While her mental and physical capacities were stolen by Alzheimer's, her pleasant personality remained. She was a favorite among the healthcare staff as her attentive eyes and frequent smile affirmed those who cared for her. She was a gift of God that blessed her family.
She is survived by her husband, David; sons Ben of Middlebury, Ind., Steve and Tony (Denise Reesor) of Goshen; sisters Pat (Mark) Rupp, Moundridge, Pauletta (Stan) Brodhagen of Wichita Kan., and Connie (Rex) Esau of Austin, Texas; and a special cousin, Mary (Ray) Hunsberger of Goshen. Preceding her in death were her parents and a stillborn daughter, Maria Hope.



Loewen, Melvin Jacob
December 9, 1925 - September 8, 2023

Loewen-. Melvin Jacob, 97, died Sept. 8, 2023, in Goshen, Ind. He was born Dec. 9, 1925, in Steinbach, Man., to Jacob T. and Margaret (Friesen) Loewen. As a young man he accepted Jesus as his personal Savior and enjoyed a lifelong conversation with his Lord and friend. At age 18 he became foreman of a crew in the family business of moving houses and grain elevators. Prompted by his mother, who had a third-grade education, he enrolled at Goshen College in 1946. Two years later he met Elfrieda Regier, a student visiting from Wheaton College, at an ice cream party. They were engaged while Elfrieda taught high school chemistry and biology and Mel finished college. They were married in 1949.
During the next decade Mel completed a master's degree in medieval history at the University of Minnesota and taught high school. With their growing family, he and Elfrieda served in Africa under Congo Inland Mission. On their first furlough at the University of Brussels, he completed a Ph.D. in political science. In the mid-1960s, the family was held hostage for four months in Stanleyville, Congo, where Mel was dean and later president of Congo Protestant University.
The following two-and-a-half years in California were a pleasant interlude while he was academic dean at Fresno Pacific University. In 1970, he joined the World Bank, where he held a variety of positions in Cote d'Ivoire, Rwanda and Washington, D.C. After retirement in 1990, he and Elfrieda traveled extensively with the Mennonite Christian Leadership Foundation to encourage lay men and women of the emerging churches of Africa and Asia.
He is survived by his children, Barbara, Margaret, John, James and Lisa; children-in-law Nancy, Bob, Wendy and Joe; and sister Emmeline; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elfrieda; son Jacob Gerard; and brother Wilbert.



Good, Evelyn Litwiller
September 5, 1926 - September 2, 2023

Good-. Evelyn Litwiller, 96, died Sept. 2, 2023, in Geneva, Neb. She was born Sept. 5, 1926, on a farm near Hopedale, Ill., the second of nine children of Christian C. Litwiller and Emma Zehr Litwiller. She married Willard Good of Rantoul, Ill., on June 15, 1947. They were married 53 years. She graduated from Hopedale High School in 1944, attended Goshen College in 1945-46 and graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1982.
With Willard, she served with Mennonite Central Committee from 1947 to 1950 in Puerto Rico, where she assisted in the women's needlework project that became Selfhelp and now is called Ten Thousand Villages. Her work experiences included cooking for many years in Rantoul City Schools cafeterias. Later, she worked for the Department of Children and Family Services and at the University of Illinois Admissions Processing Office.
In later years, she enjoyed reading, watching Jeopardy!, keeping up with the Illini football and basketball teams and writing notes to her many friends and relatives. She was a member of First Mennonite Church of Champaign~Urbana, Ill., for 42 years, where she served in many capacities.
She is survived by a daughter, Shirley (Donald) Kempf of Shickley, Neb.; sisters LaVerne Petersen, Ruth Mark and Judith Muzzy; seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Willard; daughter Sherrill Berkey; and siblings Delora Birkey, Floyd Litwiller, Carolyn Welch, Beverly Burmeister and Linda Litwiller. A celebration of her life will be at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 6 at First Mennonite Church, Urbana.



Flisher, Jacob Henry, Jr. "Jake"
April 27, 1927 - September 22, 2023

Flisher Jr.-. Jacob Henry "Jake", 96, of Goshen, Ind., died Sept. 22, 2023. He was born April 27, 1927, in Nampa, Idaho, to Jacob and Ina (Berry) Flisher. He married Arvilla Miller on Aug. 29, 1952, in Kalona, Iowa. She preceded him in death in 1998. His education included lab technician training at St. Luke's Hospital in Nampa, Hesston College in Kansas, Northwest Nazarene College in Nampa, Goshen College and Goshen Biblical Seminary.
In 1953, Jake and Arvilla became missionaries in Central India with Mennonite Board of Missions, where they worked until 1975. His work included lab technician and administrator of Dhamtari Christian Hospital. As an ordained minister, he pastored in several village churches. In 1975 they moved to Hannibal, Mo., where he became administrator of Beth Haven Nursing Home, where he worked until retirement in 1995. In 2000 he moved to Greencroft Retirement Center, Goshen, where he lived until his death. He was a member of College Mennonite Church.
He is survived by four daughters, Mary Ina (Don) Hooley of Bluffton, Ohio, Judy (John) Ginger of Eugene, Ore., Sylvia (Dennis) Blaser of Caledonia, Ill., and Jeanette (Randy) Hunt of Millersville, Pa.; seven grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and 14 step-great-grandchildren. A graveside service will be held Oct. 20 at Pea Ridge Mennonite Cemetery, Philadelphia, Mo.

Transcribed by: John Ingold

Anabaptist World, November 3, 2023, pages 46-47, Vol. 4, No. 14.



Varner, Margaret Gingrich
June 28, 1949 - September 27, 2023

Varner-. Margaret Gingrich, 74, of McAlisterville, Pa., died Sept. 27, 2023. She was born in Evendale on June 28, 1949, the daughter of J. Lloyd and Orpha Gingrich, who are both deceased. She has six younger siblings: John (Rosie), David (Phyllis), Dale (Gladys), Barbara, Paul (Deb), and Marie (Kirk Vredevelt). In 1975, she met Roger "Tim" Varner, whom she married. He appreciated her kind, humble and gentle spirit, as well as her intelligent and benevolent ways of being generous, creative and helpful to many people. She was a wonderful mother to Josh, Jennie, Joe and Jeff, and a grandmother to eight.
She attended Lancaster Mennonite School, Millersville University and Eastern Mennonite College. She spent a summer in New York City, because education is not learned just from books. After EMC, she went to Botswana for almost four years to teach. She visited many countries, eager to learn of other cultures. She wanted to see as much as she could of God's creation and learn from all his people. In 1975, she registered at Bloomsburg University to earn her third degree, and she became a reading specialist. In 1976, she took a job at West Snyder High School but soon accepted the "headteacher" (principal) position at Juniata Mennonite School in East Salem at less than half the pay. She spent most of her career at JMS, some years without accepting any salary. She was a popular teacher.
She was also gifted at teaching Bible lessons at church. It was not unusual to see people tear up as she was able to present Bible lessons in a way they had never heard before. Margaret loved reading. She had thousands of books and donated many to JMS and others. She and Tim chaired the JMS quilt committee for 25 years and created hundreds of beautiful quilts. She liked to travel. She called herself a "go-along girl," always eager to accompany and enhance any trip or project. A celebration service was held at Bunkertown Brethren Church. Interment was at Lauvers Mennonite Church, Evendale.



Myers, Glenn
June 3, 1937 - August 3, 2023

Myers-. Glenn, 86, of Philadelphia, Miss., died Aug. 3, 2023. He was born June 3, 1937, in Doylestown, Pa., to Charles and Mary (Godshall) Myers. He graduated from Eastern Mennonite College with a B.S.Ed. and Mississippi State University with a M.S.Ed. In 1961, Glenn married Emma Bender from Greenwood, Del. In 1963, they moved to Mississippi to assist Emma's parents, Nevin and Esther Bender, in ministry among the Choctaws in the Nanih Waiya community. He served as church pastor and taught high school. During this time, the Nanih Waiya church was bombed three times. After advocating for Black students, his teaching contract for the next year was not renewed. He was hired at Philadelphia High School, though administration was reluctant to hire a teacher fired from the county school. Glenn was a gifted teacher. He taught chemistry, physics and physical science for 40 years at PHS. He was awarded Star Teacher numerous times. Around 1972, Glenn started a church plant in Pearl River. He served as pastor at Pearl River Mennonite Church until his retirement. After retiring, he continued to provide ministerial guidance to the Nanih Waiya and Pearl River churches. He provided leadership to Pine Lake Fellowship Camp in Meridian beginning in 1963, the date it was established. He served numerous years on the camp board and as summer camp staff. His favorite pastime was gardening. His garden was beautiful and produced enough for many. He was loved and respected as a pastor and teacher. He had a heart for God, people and service. People would often stop him to share a story of how he had touched their life. A Choctaw minister said, Glenn always listened to us." He is survived by his wife; three daughters, Milli (Marvin) Floyd, Sheila (Darrell) Zehr and Beth Myers; a brother, Marlin Myers; two sisters, Rhoda Yoder and Karen Moats; nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by brothers Homer Myers and Luke Myers and sister Ruth Sewell. Memorial gifts can be made to Pine Lake Fellowship Camp.



Miller, Marvin J.
October 13, 1931 - October 7, 2023

Miller-. Marvin J., 91, died Oct. 7, 2023, in Spencer, Ind. He was born Oct. 13, 1931, to Jason O. and Leona Cockley Miller and grew up in Elkhart, Ind. At age 19, he taught eight grades of school in Mountain Home, Ark., for two years, followed by serving on the music faculty at Hesston College, directing choirs there, at Goshen College and at the Goshen Biblical Seminary. He and his wife, Mary Alene Cender, worked 27 years under Mennonite Mission Network, relating to Japanese churches as tentmaker English teachers in universities in Hokkaido, Japan. Retired in 1992, he sang in various community choirs, in Bloomington Chamber Choir and in Voces Noves. In Seattle, he served as a volunteer for 10 years in a drop-in center for people off the street. He was a member of the Seattle Bach Choir. A lifetime devotee of J.S. Bach, he enjoyed chopping wood, maintaining a 40-acre forest, reading and gardening. He was a member of the Mennonite Fellowship of Bloomington. He is survived by his wife, Mary Alene; daughter Amya Miller (David Eby); son Jon (Jin Zhu Miller); three grandchildren; and a brother, David (Coleen). He was preceded in death by two sisters, Mary Alice and Velda Glick; and an infant son, Ken Hiram. A service of music celebrating his life will be held Nov. 18 at Bloomington First United Methodist Church.

Transcribed by: John Ingold

Anabaptist World, November 24, 2023, pages 50-51, Vol. 4, No. 15



Bollman, Oleta Mae Miller
July 2, 1933 - September 18, 2023

Bollman-. Oleta Mae, 90, died Sept. 18, 2023. Born July 2, 1933, in Riverside, Iowa, she was the daughter of the late Barbara C. Miller. She was a wonderful mother and a beautiful example of God's love. She married Kenneth Wade Bollman on July 1, 1951, in Nappanee, Ind. She was a member of Maplewood Mennonite Church in Fort Wayne, Ind. Involved in church life throughout her lifetime, she served in a variety of roles: writer and editor of the church newsletter; a member of committees, including a denomination-wide Mennonite women's group; Sunday school teacher and Bible school superintendent. She was the alto singer for the Burden Lifters southern gospel quartet. She ministered with this group for 16 years, singing in 13 states and Canada. The Burden Lifters made six albums.
Oleta managed the local Mennonite Central Committee thrift store, The Dove's Nest Thrift Shop, for 37 years. Living her faith through her work with MCC inspired those around her. One of her biggest joys was her family. Being a wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother brought many blessings. She often traveled to visit family and loved her yearly vacations with friends at Little Eden Camp.
She is survived by her children, Myron (Josie) Bollman, Rick (Marj) Bollman and Michele Bollman; daughter-in-law Pam Bollman; seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and six siblings. She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Kenneth, in 2017; her son, Gerry Bollman, in 2021; her mother, Barbara C.; her stepfather, Joe E. Miller; and four siblings. The funeral service was at Maplewood Mennonite Church. Memorial donations may be made to MCC.



Haines, Elaine Miller
July 2, 1942 - August 14, 2023

Haines-. Elaine Miller, 81, died Aug. 14, 2023, in Ithaca, N.Y. Born July 2, 1942, in Landour, India, she grew up in India, attending Woodstock School in Mussoorie through grade 12, and then graduated from Goshen College with a nursing degree. She loved caring for others and gave her life to service, working alongside her husband, Joe, in Israel-Palestine at the Hope School in Beit Jala and at the Nazareth Hospital. They served in the Middle East with Mennonite Central Committee and a predecessor agency of Mennonite Mission Network from 1965 to 1985. Subsequently, Joe served as pastor at Alpha (New Jersey), Ambler and Zion (Pennsylvania) Mennonite churches, and Elaine served as copastor with him at Harris Hill (New York).
She later worked to create new care guidelines for residents in nursing homes in eastern Pennsylvania. Above all, she devoted herself to her family: her husband of 59 years and their children Kris (Gill), Kim (John) and Matt (Sari). She enjoyed being "Mom" to Mohamed and Tahani. Her countless meals of curry, maqlubbi and mjeddara will always be remembered, along with her countless handwritten cards and love of butterflies. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were a source of much joy. She loved wit and humor, spinning wonderful stories of her life with a combination of Hindi, Arabic and Pennsylvania Dutch. Toward the end of her life, as she struggled with dementia, one of her favorite sayings was the Hindi word for "what to do" (kya kare), which she recited when she was at a loss for what was happening. Elaine and Joe loved music and for many years had season tickets to the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic and a variety of chamber music series. Her fiery spirit lives on in the homes she created, the lives she touched and the stories she told.
Elaine is survived by her husband, three children, seven grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and siblings Eleanor and James. Contributions may be given to Hospicare Ithaca or Mennonite Central Committee.



Epp, Eldon John
September 1, 1951 - October 29, 2023

Epp-. Eldon John, 72, of Wichita, Kan., died Oct. 29, 2023, at his home. He was born on September 1, 1951, in Hutchinson, Kan., the son of John Regier and Katharina (Ediger) Epp. He grew up on a cattle farm south of Buhler and graduated from Buhler High School in 1969. He attended Hutchinson Community College and Bethel College. After his schooling, Eldon worked on a year- round team managing Swan Lake Christian Camp near Freeman, S.D., for two and a half years. He then went to Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind., where he earned a master of divinity degree. The summer after his seminary training, he student pastored at First Mennonite Church of Christian in Moundridge.
In 1981, he started pastoring at Salina Mennonite Church and in 1988 went to Ames, Iowa, for a half-time post with the campus-related Mennonite Fellowship there. In 1993, he began two years of chaplaincy training at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, followed by three years at Manhattan Mennonite Church in Kansas. He moved to Wichita in 2007 and in 2009 began pastoring at First Mennonite Church in Ransom, Kan., until 2021. His most recent positions were chaplain for Bethesda Home in Goessel and associate pastor at Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church in Wichita. He served on the Gifts Discernment Committee for Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA and was a member of Christian Peacemaker Teams.
He is survived by a sister, Dee Graber (Gary Clingenpeel); a brother, Don (Annette) Epp; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; an infant brother, Raymond Epp; and a great-nephew. Memorial services were held at the Buhler Mennonite Church. Memorial contributions may be made to Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church.



Wydman, Doris Swartzentruber Snyder
May 22, 1922 - October 30, 2023

Wydman-. Doris Swartzentruber Snyder, 101, died Oct. 30, 2023. She was born May 22, 1922, in Petersburg, Ont., the eldest child of Amos and Edna (Litwiller) Swartzentruber. She grew up in Argentina, where her parents were missionaries with Mennonite Board of Missions. Raised bilingual, her early education was in Spanish. In 1943 she married Clifford Snyder in Kitchener, Ont., and they had two children, Margaret Anne and Clifford Arnold.
In 1947, en route to begin missionary service under MBM in Argentina, Clifford died suddenly and was buried at sea. Doris continued on to Argentina and served there for several years before returning to Indiana to complete a teaching degree at Goshen College. Education was her passion, which she combined with her organizational and leadership skills to forge a richly rewarding career as an educator. Serving as a Mennonite missionary, she taught in rural Puerto Rico for several years. She was always deeply involved with her community and church. Often she was asked to speak and share her life story.
In 2006 she married Perry Wydman (deceased in 2015), with whom she enjoyed traveling, engaging in short mission projects overseas and visiting family. In 2016 she moved to Indiana, eventually living in Elkhart, Ind., with daughter Margaret Anne and son-in-law Daniel Schipani. She became an active member at Belmont Mennonite Church. After her 100th birthday, she knitted baby items and chemo caps for the local hospital and hemmed many comforters by hand for Mennonite Central Committee relief programs.
She is survived by daughter Margaret Anne (Daniel Schipani); son Clifford Arnold Snyder; stepdaughters Bonnie Dwyer and Nancy (Jim Kresge); sister Anita Swartzentruber de Garcia; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a brother, A. Orley (Jane) Swartzentruber; stepdaughter Suzanne Geerdink; and brother-in-law Raul O. Garcia. The memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Nov. 25 at Belmont Mennonite Church.



Ropp, Martha "Jo" Emerick
November 21, 1935 - August 15, 2023

Ropp-. Martha "Jo", 87, died Aug. 15, 2023, at McLean County Nursing Home in Normal, Ill. She was born Nov. 21, 1935, on the family farm near Lima, Ohio, to Marcus E. Emerick and Laverne (Mellinger) Emerick. She graduated from Bluffton College with a bachelor's degree in elementary education. There she met Ron Ropp of Normal, and they were married on Aug. 26, 1956. Beginning her teaching career, she taught one year in Lima and two years in Bluffton while still in college. Beginning in 1959, she taught in Elkhart, Ind., for three years while Ron attended seminary. In 1962 they moved to Fresno, Calif., where she assisted Ron in a pastorate and taught in the public schools. In 1968 they moved to Claremont, Calif., where she taught for two years while Ron pursued his doctorate. In 1970, they returned to Normal, where she taught at Oakdale, Colene Hoose and Northpoint, where she was a Unit 5 Teacher of the Year in 1996-97.
Her gift for teaching was called upon by Mennonite churches as she served on conference education committees and consulted with churches in the Midwest on curriculum. She was director of Christian education at the Mennonite Church of Normal in the 1970s. She worked to plan and direct the first major church convention to be held at Illinois State University: the 1989 joint assembly of the Mennonite Church and General Conference Mennonite Church. She loved children and had a gift for working with special needs such as ADHD. It was not unusual for some of her fourth graders to invite her to their high school graduation parties. She became the historian for the Ropp family tree, collecting information on some 6,000 people. She assisted Ron in his church and healthcare ministries until 2012, when a stroke disabled her but didn't take away her witty, caring spirit.
Survivors include two sons, Martin Ropp and Jon (Julie Hochstatter) Ropp, all of Normal; a granddaughter; and a sister-in-law, Ramona Emerick. She was preceded in death by three siblings, Carlton Emerick, Roselee Kennedy and Marc Emerick.



Miller, Kenneth Charles
April 15, 1958 - October 3, 2023

Miller-. Kenneth Charles, 65, who dedicated his life to the care of others, died unexpectedly Oct. 3, 2023, on a beautiful mountain hike while vacationing with his beloved wife and dear friends in Mexico. He was born April 15, 1958, in Cleveland, Ohio, to Glen and Marilyn (Oswald) Miller. He was the oldest of four children and lived from 1961 to 1963 with his family in Haiti, where he learned to speak Haitian Creole. In 1965 the family moved to Bellefontaine, Ohio, where he lived until graduating as valedictorian from Bellefontaine High School in 1976. He graduated from Goshen College in 1980. There he met the love of his life, Doris (Boehr) Miller. They married on Nov. 29, 1980, at Bethesda Mennonite Church in Henderson, Neb. He graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1985. After finishing his residency in family medicine at Grant Medical Center in 1988, he joined Oakhill Medical Associates in West Liberty, Ohio. In 2016, he helped to facilitate the merging of Oakhill Medical Associates with Community Health and Wellness Partners of Logan County, where he served as a practicing physician and Chief Medical Officer. Ken held many leadership roles, including Medical Staff President of Mary Rutan Hospital and church chairperson of Jubilee Mennonite Church, which he helped to found. On March 30, 2023, he celebrated his retirement after serving the community for 35 years. He genuinely cared for his patients and found great meaning in his work. Ken and Doris moved to Goshen, Ind., on June 30, 2023. He is survived by his loving wife of 42 years, Doris (Boehr) Miller; daughters, Christy (Kyle) Miller Hesed, Michelle (Nick) Miller Good and Kelly (Pete) Miller Biddle; four grandchildren; parents, Glen and Marilyn Miller; and siblings, Kori (Larry) Leaman-Miller, Ed (Carolyn) Miller and Janine (Dave) Ostergren. The memorial service was held at Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship in Goshen.

Transcribed by: John Ingold


Anabaptist World, December 22, 2023, pages 50-51, Vol. 4, No. 16.



Flaming, Jeanette Ediger
November 6, 1936 - October 11, 2023

Flaming-. Jeanette Ediger, 86, died Oct. 11, 2023, at her home in Salem, Ore. She was born Nov. 6, 1936, in Porterville, Calif. She grew up on a cotton farm in Wasco, Calif. and graduated from Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kan., where she met her husband, Bruce. They settled in Dallas, Ore., where they lived for 30 years and raised four children. They later moved to Washington, D.C., and then to Salem.
Jeanette cared deeply about peace and justice for all people. She drew these values from her Christian faith and Mennonite heritage. She advocated tirelessly on behalf of vulnerable and disadvantaged people. While in Dallas, she founded the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program, served on the Mennonite Brethren Board of Education that governed Fresno Pacific College and was deeply engaged with the Dallas Mennonite Brethren Church. She later served on the board of Mennonite Central Committee, traveling extensively in Africa, Asia and Latin America to support its peacebuilding work.
In Washington, she worked at the MCC office and for her Oregon congressman. She carried this passion to Willamette University's institute for Continued Learning, where she served on the curriculum committee. She embodied values of compassion, service and an open mind in her personal relationships as well. She went to extraordinary lengths to encourage and mentor people. Her enduring joys were playing the piano and singing; tending her flower garden; walking among Pacific Northwest mountains, oceans and rivers; learning and reflection; traditional crafts and meaningful conversations. These, and Christ's life and message, were her inspiration.
She is survived by Bruce Flaming, her husband of 65 years; her children, Mark, Lynn and Lorene Flaming; Mark's family Karen Enns, Ali Flaming, Zak Flaming and Jane Christen; and her siblings, Jim Ediger and Evelyn Heinrichs. Jeanette joins her daughter, Ellie Flaming.



Dick, Jane Lonette Lautt
September 13, 1940 - October 22, 2023

Dick-. Jane Lonette (Lautt), 83, died Oct. 22, 2023. She was born Sept. 13, 1940, in Harvey, N.D., to John and Martha Lautt. She attended Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kan., majoring in elementary education. She married Mervin Dick on June 3, 1962. After graduation and marriage, Jane and Mervin moved to Keif, N.D., where Jane had a position teaching fourth grade while Mervin pastored the small church there. One year later, Kevin Dwight was born, and her teaching career was put on hold.
The family moved to Fresno, Calif., where Mervin attended Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary. The following June, daughter Kora Jean was born. Upon Mervin's seminary graduation, the family moved to Weatherford, Okla., and then Edmond, Okla., to pastor Mennonite Brethren churches. In 1972 the family relocated to New Hope, Minn., and in 1979 back to Fresno, where Mervin pastored.
She graduated from Iliff School of Theology in 1988 and was ordained into Christian ministry in 1997. During her seminary days she began working in Denver's Westside neighborhood at the Inner City Parish as senior coordinator and pastor to a small group of believers who became known as "The Bethany Group."
In 2006, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. In 2015, she and Mervin sold their home in Frederick to settle closer to daughter Kora. In 2017, Mervin was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. She grieved the loss of her life partner and companion on Thanksgiving Day 2020.
She is survived by son Kevin (Judy) Dick of Sioux Falls, S.D.; daughter Kora (Les) Flaming of Denver; six grandchildren and seven great- grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Mervin, in 2020; and a brother, Robert Lautt. A celebration of life was held Nov. 17 at First Mennonite Church of Denver.



Epp, Margaret Ruth Tieszen
April 7, 1921 - November 29, 2023

Epp-. Margaret Ruth (Tieszen), 102, died Nov. 29, 2023. She was born April 7, 1921, to Abraham V. and Jacobina (Tiahrt) Tieszen in York, Neb. She was known to her family as Ruth. She lived briefly in Henderson, Neb., before settling in the Freeman and Marion area of South Dakota. She had four younger siblings, all of whom she outlived: Norma Reimer, Paul Tieszen, Dorothy Ann Gunnels and Karl Tieszen.
She was baptized into membership at Bethesda Mennonite Church near Marion and graduated from Marion High School in 1939. Ruth earned an elementary teaching certificate from Freeman Junior College and taught in a one-room school from 1940 to 1942. World War II took her to Washington, D.C., where she worked in the Department of Commerce. Upon returning home, she was employed at a Dolton, S.D., bank and later studied at Bethel College in North Newton, Kan.
On May 22, 1948, Ruth married Carl H. Epp in her home church and transferred her membership to Bethesda Mennonite Church in Henderson. They first made a home near Lushton, Neb., and later moved to the family farm near Henderson. Ruth's partnership with Carl included short terms of service with Mennonite Central Committee in Bolivia (1976-77), the Dominican Republic (1980), Honduras (1985), Mexico (1986) and Nicaragua (1989). Ruth served with MCC as a bookkeeper, cook and visitor hostess. Through these experiences, she and Carl cultivated lifelong friendships with their coworkers and neighbors.
She is survived by a son, Mark J. Epp (Catherine Wismer) of Henderson; two daughters, Mary E. Klassen (J. Tyler) of Goshen, Ind., and Carmen J. Shelly (Andrew) of Lenexa, Kan.; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Carl preceded Ruth in death in 2009.



Schmidt, Lola Fern Voth
January 2, 1930 - September 24, 2023

Schmidt-. Lola Fern, 93, of North Newton, Kan., died Sept. 24, 2023. She was born Jan. 2, 1930, in Newton, to Leo and Sarah (Kliewer) Voth. She grew up on a farm east of Newton and attended the one-room Star School, Bethel College Academy and Whitewater High School, graduating in 1948. She was baptized at Grace Hill Mennonite Church.
She attended Bethel College, where she met Gerald Schmidt (Curly/Gerry). They wed in 1952 after Lola's graduation and in the early days of their marriage lived in Wichita, Denver and Hays before settling in Wichita. They raised three children, Greg, Barry and Andrea. Lola kept the household running, coordinated summer moves to Colorado and volunteered at church and the grade school. In 1967 the family moved to the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. The location provided big-city museums and weekends at Camp Friedenswald in Michigan. Lola worked in the high school library, played doubles tennis with Gerry and participated in church activities at First Presbyterian and later at Lombard Mennonite Church. Lola and Gerry moved to the Denver area in 1980 and purchased the Stop Smoking Center. With a flexible work schedule, they began extensive international travel and attended many Elderhostel learning tours, in addition to day trips and hikes in the mountains.
In 1991 Gerry was diagnosed with ALS. As his health declined, Lola became his primary caregiver. He died in 1997. Lola continued traveling and began volunteering at Ten Thousand Villages and enjoyed her book club and the coffee group at First Mennonite Church in Denver. Lola moved to Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton in 2008. She enjoyed activities at Bethel College, volunteering at Et Cetera Shop and Shalom Mennonite Church, babysitting and trips to visit kids and grandkids and Kauffman Museum activities.
She is survived by children Greg (Jan) Schmidt of Berne, Ind., Barry (Gretchen) Schmidt of South Jordan, Utah, and Andrea (Mark) Andres of rural Newton; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Ann Voth; and brother-in-law Clinton Schmidt. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, Arlo.

Transcribed by: John Ingold

Copyright 2003 - All rights reserved - Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, PA
Used with permission by the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, INDIANA
Permission granted to private family researchers to use selected portions of these files to tell their family stories.
May not be mass-produced in any form for commercial purposes.