An expanded obituary project of
MennObits. Includes additional information of obituaries
The Mennonite and other newspapers. Source of individual obituaries given with each record. Project managed by Thelma Martin.
2000 I to K
Life Story of Ruth M. Koppenhaver
Ruth Moyer was born January 7, 1917 at Blooming Glen, Pennsylvania, on a farm deeded by William Penn. She was the second daughter of Norman and Ida Moyer. In addition to operating the farm, her father was a huckster who distributed eggs, chickens, butter and vegetables to customers in Philadelphia. The family, five girls: Esther, Ruth, Rachel, Miriam and Betty, and one boy, Justus, helped prepare the produce for sale. They had a small pond on the farm where they would cut ice in the winter and store it in an icehouse for refrigerating food in the summer. She loved to ice skate on the pond during the winter months. The pond was also where Ruth learned to swim, an activity she enjoyed throughout her life. Just a few weeks before her death, she was still swimming thirty-one laps, several times a week, at the Hesston Wellness Center. Her father was a deacon in the Mennonite Church for forty years and the church was important to the entire family.
Ruth entered nurse's training at Grandview Hospital, in Sellersville, Pennsylvania, and received her R. N. degree in 1937. In 1938, Paul Erb, Dean of Hesston College, invited her to come to Hesston to serve as college nurse and continue her academic studies.
Ruth and John met in Pennsylvania, but fell in love in 1939 when they were both at Hesston College. They were married on Memorial Day, 1940, by Pastor J. D. Mininger at his home in Kansas City. They had four sons: John, Denton, Ronald, and Terry.
In 1947, Ruth and John, always a team, accepted the call from the Mennonite Board of Missions to serve in Argentina. Believing that God would guide them, the whole family quickly adapted to their new home and became full participants in a culture and language they treasure to this day.
In 1959, Ruth, John, and their four sons returned to Hesston so their sons could complete their education. John taught Spanish for fourteen years at Hesston College. Ruth worked as a nurse at Bethel Deaconess Hospital in Newton.
In 1985, Ruth and John retired and moved into Showalter Villa where they continued to be active in the life of the church and the community they both love.
Ruth is survived by her husband, John, and her sons: John and Ronald. They have twelve grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Those of us who loved and were loved by Ruth Koppenhaver will miss her physical presence on this earth, but know that her gentle, encouraging spirit will live in all of us for the rest of our days.
Memorial services were held Oct. 4, 2000 at Hesston Mennonite Church, Hesston, Kansas
Transcribed and edited by: Thelma Hoover Martin
Source: Funeral program
Submitted by: Don Stutzman, Halstead, KS