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Lazarus Project

An expanded obituary project of MennObits.  Includes additional information of obituaries appearing in
The Mennonite and other newspapers.  
Source of individual obituaries given with each record.  Project managed by Thelma Martin.

2018  T to V

Thiessen, Abraham Raymond ; . . Thomas, Martha Keener ; . . Thomas, Philip A. ; . . Thompson, Rhoda May Shank ; . . Trissel, D. Lloyd ; . . Troyer, LeRoy S. ; . . Troyer, Lois E. ; . . Troyer, Marian L. Weaver ; . . Troyer, Mary "Jean" Birky ; . . Troyer, Mary J. Mast ; . . Troyer, Wayne E. ; . . van der Zwaag, Gerke Hielke ; . . Vanpelt, Viola Mae Snyder ; . .


Thiessen, Abraham Raymond, 96, of Inman, McPherson Co., KS died March 3, 2018 at Hutchinson, Reno, KS. He was born January 6, 1922 at Goessel, Marion, KS to Dietrich A. and Mary (Siemens) Thiessen. On June 28, 1942 at Inman he was married to Sara Louise Regehr, who was born June 20, 1920 and died June 15, 2004.

Surviving are children, Shirley Kroeker; Sharon Kay & Jerry Vannorsdel; Carol Jean Lightner; and Keri & Wendell Miller; 18 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren; and a sister, Augusta & Wilhem Baum.

A daughter, Sandra Louise Horton and a son-in-law, Irvin Kroeker preceded him in death.

Memorial services were held March 8, 2018 at Bethel Mennonite Church, Inman, KS with burial in North Inman Cemetary, Inman, KS.

Submitted by: Kim Pankratz, Inman, KS
Edited by: Thelma Hoover Martin


Thomas, Martha Keener, 82, of Willow Street, PA, passed away on Friday, December 28, 2018. She was the wife of Ivan H. Thomas for (61 years). She was the daughter of Clarence and Sadie (Nissley) Keener.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a son, Brian Thomas of Coudersport, PA and a daughter, Bettina Landis of Northampton, PA. Also surviving are 6 grandchildren, (3 grandsons and 3 granddaughters) and 1 great-grandson.

She was predeceased by her brothers, Harlan and Roy Keener and a sister Ruth K. Mellinger.

Martha was a member of New Danville Mennonite Church and was involved in prayer ministry and playing the piano. She was a homemaker and known for her Cockscomb plants.

A private Memorial Service will be held at the convenience of the family.

Intelligencer Journal - 1/6/2019
Lancaster, PA
Submitted by: Robert Fish


Thomas, Philip A.
May 1, 1965 - Nov. 29, 2018

GOSHEN - Philip A. Thomas, 53, died from heart failure due to cardiomegaly in Nairobi, Kenya, on Nov. 29, 2018.

Philip was born May 1, 1965, to Paul H. and Lou (Parker) Thomas in Goshen. He was preceded in death by his mother and a sister, Vickie Lynn.

Surviving is his father of Goshen; wife Ana (Ribeiro) Thomas, married Oct. 14, 2003; daughters Alicia Thomas of Goshen and Sofia Thomas of St. Paul, Minnesota; former wife and mother of his children, Charlene Mast (Randy Miller) of Goshen; and brothers Steve (Linda) Thomas and Timothy (Nitza) Thomas, both of Goshen.

Philip was also a beloved uncle of five nephews and two nieces.

Philip was active at Walnut Hill Mennonite Church. He was a graduate of Hesston College; Goshen College; University of Notre Dame, MSA in Administration; Fielding Graduate University of Massachusetts in Organizational Development, and doctoral candidate in Human and Organizational Systems; and was an iPEC, Certified Executive Coach.

He worked as a volunteer with Mennonite Central Committee in Central America where his interest in peacebuilding began. He founded D3 Associates, through which he worked across five continents in the fields of conflict transformation, leadership development, institutional capacity building, program design, monitoring and evaluation. He designed and facilitated hundreds of training programs in over 40 countries and was recognized globally for his work in democratic dialogue and multi-stakeholder engagement processes. He worked with heads of state and corporate executives as well as leaders of communities and indigenous groups; civil-society and governmental organizations, from local to international. Most recently, he worked extensively with the organization Interpeace.

Locally, Philip was an adjunct professor at Goshen College. He was involved in the City of Goshen’s Community Relations Committee, Peacemakers Academy, the Community Resilience Guild, and facilitated dialogue in area churches. He was in the process of refocusing his work on local projects and executive coaching.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20, at College Mennonite Church, where a 10 a.m. memorial service will be held Friday, Dec. 21. Pastor Jane Stoltzfus Buller, Walnut Hill Mennonite Church, will officiate.

Memorial gifts in Philip’s honor may be directed to Walnut Hill Mennonite Church, 909 N. 6th St., Goshen IN 46528 to be designated by the family at a later date toward local projects and international peacebuilding.

Yoder-Culp Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements

Elkhart Truth, Elkhart, IN
Dec. 11, 2018
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


Thompson, Rhoda May Shank, 85, of Harrisonburg, passed away Feb. 14, 2018, at Birch Gardens in Fishersville. She was born May 23, 1932, in Rockingham County to the late Samuel A. and Ada Witmer Shank.

She was also preceded in death by her sister, Roxie Yoder of Ohio, and her brother, Charles Shank of Stanardsville, Va.

She was a loving sister, wife, mother and grandmother. Rhoda was employed at Rockingham Memorial Hospital (later Sentara RMH Medical Center) in the dining room for 36 years. She was a longtime member of Chicago Avenue Mennonite Church and Harrisonburg Mennonite Church and attended Peoples Baptist Church. Her hobbies were sewing, gardening, and furniture refinishing. She and her husband both loved antique collecting and auctions.

On May 23, 1950, she married Herman L. Thompson, who survives. Also surviving are two daughters, Lois Weber of Harrisonburg and Patti Thomas of Luray, Va.; brother, Glendon Shank (Mildred) of Louisiana; sister, Ruby Sutter of Sarasota, Fla.; three grandchildren, Shannon Weber, Chera Kline (Marcus) and Preslee Thomas as well as numerous great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, at Kyger Funeral Home in Harrisonburg.

A funeral service will be conducted by the Rev. Richard Forsythe and Pastor Mark Keller at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, 2018, at Peoples Baptist Church in Penn Laird. Interment will follow in Weavers Mennonite Church Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, 1552 S. High St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801 or Peoples Baptist Church, 3523 Spotswood Trail, Penn Laird, VA 22846

Daily News Record - 2/16/2018
Harrisonburg, VA.
Submitted by: Robert Fish


Trissel, D. Lloyd, 98, of Rockingham Co., VA died May 27,2018 at Harrisbonburg, VA. He was born March 25, 1920 in Rockingham Co. to John H. and Lillie (Hess) Trissel. On November 1, 1944 he was married to Alice Virginia Blosser, who survives/is deceased.

Surviving are children, Larry, Dennis, and Greg Trissel; 14 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren.

Two sons, Ronald and David Trissel; a daughter-in-law, Catarina Trissel; grandchildren, Matthew, Kristy, and Adam Trissel; sisters, Gail, Iva, Fern and Rose Trissel; and a brother; J. Ward Trissel preceded him in death.

Lloyd was a 4-H leader for 25 years and State Treasure for the 4-H Leaders organization, active with the Fresh Air Fund, hosted many foreign exchange students and short term welfare children, State PTA Executive Board Member, local Week Day Religious Education Executive Committee and Board Member, local Farmer Home Administration Board, Regional Lung Association Board of Directors and Mental Health Board. He was a charter member of Harrisonburg Mennonite Church and HMC Council Chairman.

Memorial services were held May 31, 2018 at Virgina Mennonite Retirement Community, Strite Auditorium, and Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA with burial inWeavers Mennonite Cemetery, Harrisonburg, VA.

Submitted by: Julie Shiflet, Harrisonburg, VA
Edited by: Thelma Hoover Martin


Troyer, LeRoy S.
Nov. 23, 1937 - Dec. 2, 2018

SOUTH BEND - LeRoy S. Troyer, 81, died at 7:19 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, at his home in South Bend.

He was surrounded by 13 family members offering memories, love, prayers, and song.

Born Nov. 23, 1937, in Middlebury, of an Amish household, LeRoy was the son of Seth Troyer and Nancy (Miller) Troyer.

He has been married to the love of his life, Phyllis (Eigsti) Troyer, for more than 60 years.

Survivors include his wife and three sons, Terry (Cyndi) Troyer, Dr. Donald (Beth) Troyer, and Ronald Troyer, all of South Bend, and seven grandchildren, Kendra (Josh) Drake, Seth (Abby) Troyer, Luke (Macy) Troyer, Weston (Collette) Troyer, Will (Abby) Troyer, Wade Troyer, and Sophie Troyer; and seven great-grandchildren.

He also is survived by three siblings, Esther (Melvin) Mast, Lloyd (Loretta) Troyer and Edna Hochstetler.

LeRoy Troyer is founder and former president and Chief Executive Officer of the Troyer Group, a firm that offered architecture, engineering, urban planning, interior design, landscape architecture, construction management and integrated services.

LeRoy had a broad range of passions and a variety of talents which he effectively used to organize and provide leadership on issues concerning the living standards of people on local, regional, national and global scales. Influenced heavily by an Amish upbringing and Christian faith, he focused his architectural training on such goals as meeting the basic human need for shelter, the elimination of poverty housing, the advancement of global living standards, and increased awareness of environmental, economic and quality of life challenges.

LeRoy was especially committed to eliminating poverty housing. His work with Habitat for Humanity International and his close working relationship with former President Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have drawn national and international attention to housing needs in the United States and around the world.

A pioneer in the area of Intergenerational Living, he led the planning, design and development of Southfield Village, a neighborhood that serves as a national model for intergenerational living in South Bend. LeRoy provided professional services to clients throughout the U.S. and the world and continued his philanthropic work with organizations that promote peaceful, humanitarian support, encouragement, and education in a way that empowers individuals to make a better way and life for themselves and their families.

He was extremely passionate about his family and loved them all dearly.

He generously dedicated time serving on many organizational boards such as Bethel College, Fourth Freedom Forum, The Fuller Center for Housing, Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County, MEDA, and Nazareth Village, to name a few.

Visitation will be from 3 - 8 p.m. Friday Dec. 7 and 9 - 11 a.m. Saturday Dec. 8, at Kern Road Mennonite Church, 18211 Kern Road, South Bend, where LeRoy was a founding member and Architect of the Church itself.

The celebration services will be conducted at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, also at Kern Road Mennonite Church.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the following organizations: The Fuller Center for Housing, P.O. Box 523, Americus, GA 31709, Habitat for Humanity of St. Joseph County 402 E. South St, South Bend, IN 46601 and Hope Ministries 432 S. Lafayette Blvd, South Bend, IN 46601.

Palmer Funeral Home-Guisinger Chapel, South Bend is assisting the Troyer Family.

Elkhart Truth, Elkhart, IN
Dec. 5, 2018
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


Troyer, Lois E.
July 22, 1958 - Dec. 18, 2018

GOSHEN - Lois E. Troyer, 60, died Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, at Goshen Hospital.

She was born July 22, 1958, in Mio, Michigan, to Lloyd and Katie (Miller) Troyer.

She was preceded in death by her father.

Her mother survives, along with three siblings, Lyle (Syrena) Troyer of Fairview, Michigan, Lorna Troyer of Goshen and Lou (Ray) Caples of Middlebury; six nieces and nephews, Chad (Bridgette) Troyer, Cody Troyer and Janae Troyer, all of Fairview, Michigan, Alyssa Caples of Orlando, Florida, Boomer Caples of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Kelcie Caples of Middlebury; two great-nieces; one great-nephew; and honorary daughter, Marcy Showalter of Goshen.

A member of Benton Mennonite Church, Lois worked in Patient Financial Services at Goshen Hospital for more than 30 years.

She served on the Sonshine Daycare Board, Millersburg, and participated in the Goshen Bowling League.

She enjoyed traveling and cooking for friends and family from her extensive cookbook collection.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home, and one hour prior to the 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, funeral at Waterford Mennonite Church, 65975 S.R. 15, Goshen.

Pastors Doug Kaufman and Brenda Meyer, Benton Mennonite Church, will officiate.

Burial will take place in Clinton Union Cemetery, Goshen, at a later date.

Memorial gifts may be directed to Sonshine Day Care Ministry Inc., 125 E. Main St., Millersburg, IN 46543.

Elkhart Truth, Elkhart, IN
Dec. 20, 2018
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


Troyer, Marian L. Weaver
Jan. 2, 1938 - May 6, 2018

GOSHEN - Marian L. Troyer, 80, lost her battle to cancer May 6, 2018, at Courtyard Healthcare Center in Goshen.

She was born Jan. 2, 1938, in Newport News, Virginia, to Esther (Berkey) and Martin L. Weaver.

She is survived by her son, Phil Troyer, and her grandson, Zac Troyer of Elkhart; a sister, Carolyn W. Hertzler of Goshen; and a brother, Eugene Weaver of North Carolina.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Marian graduated from Bethany Christian High School in 1956 and graduated from Goshen College in 1960 with a BS in nursing.

She worked at a number of local hospitals and as a specialized nurse for a San Diego, California-based health care organization where she lived for a year doing home care.

One of her patients included the famous Ray Kroc, the McDonald’s franchisee.

From the late 1980s until her diagnosis, she had changed careers and was delivering RVs all over the U.S.

She had traveled to all 48 states.

Marian was a Mennonite in the Christian faith and read her Bible daily.

Her faith in God was strong.

She handed out hundreds of pamphlets from World Missionary Press while witnessing to many people in different walks of life during her travels.

Marian enjoyed playing tennis, water skiing and she also played professional violin in the South Bend and Elkhart symphonies.

According to Marian’s wishes, her body was donated to the IU Anatomical Department of Science in Indianapolis.

A memorial will be at a later date.

Elkhart Truth, Elkhart, IN
May 8, 2018
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin



Troyer, Mary "Jean" Birky
Aug. 1, 1929 - March 15, 2018

GOSHEN - Mary “Jean” Troyer, 88, of Goshen, died Thursday, March 15, 2018, at Greencroft Gables Healthcare.

She was born Aug. 1, 1929, in Hopedale, Illinois, to Levi Z. and Emma (Bechler) Birky.

At age nine the family moved to Kouts.

On June 14, 1958, she married Cephas C. Troyer at Hopewell Mennonite Church, Kouts. He preceded her in death April 21, 2012.

She is survived by a daughter, Janice (Paul) Beachy of Syracuse; a son, Nevin (Sue) Troyer of Goshen; three stepgrandchildren; seven stepgreat-grandchildren; three “adopted” grandchildren; two “adopted” great-grandchildren; a sister, Lois Kuehl of Valparaiso; and three brothers, Wendell (Marlene) Birky, Willis Birky and Merlyn (Mary Jo) Birky, all of Valparaiso.

Along with her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a sister, Iris Birky, and two brothers, Eldon Birky and Orville Birky.

Jean taught school in Iowa and Indiana for 29 years and was an active member of Clinton Frame Church, serving in many capacities including secretary, treasurer, Sunday school teacher and elder.

She also volunteered at Ten Thousand Villages and Greencroft.

She enjoyed music, gardening and nature.

Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 18 and from 9 to 9:45 a.m., prior to a 10 a.m. Monday, March 19 funeral service, all at Clinton Frame Church, 63846 C.R. 35, Goshen.

Pastor Matt Yoder will officiate.

Burial will follow in Clinton Frame Cemetery, Goshen.

Memorial gifts may be directed to Clinton Frame Scholarship or Brotherhood Fund.

Yoder-Culp Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.

Elkhart Truth, Elkhart, IN
March 17, 2018
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


Troyer, Mary J. Mast
May 24, 1941 - October 12, 2012

Mary J. Troyer, 77, of LaGrange, died at 11:07 pm on Friday, October 12, at her residence. She was born on May 24, 1941 in LaGrange to John and Fannie (Weaver) Mast. On August 16, 1962 in LaGrange she married Johnnie J. Troyer, he survives.

Survivors in addition to her husband are four sons, Perry (Esther) Troyer of LaGrange, DeWayne (special friend Marlena O'Dell) Troyer of Wolcottville, Eugene Troyer of LaGrange, Johnnie (Lori) Troyer, Jr. of Holten, MI; four daughters, Katie (LaVern)
Bontrager of Wolcottville, Esther (Alvin) Fry of Wolcottville, Ruth (Eugene) Knepp of Topeka, Mary Edna (Martin) Yoder of LaGrange; daughter-in-law, Leslie Troyer of Bronson, MI; 41 grandchildren, two step grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren; five brothers, Delbert (Anna Marie) Mast of LaGrange, Jonas (Rosie) Mast of Wagener, SC, David (Lucy) Mast of Elkhart, Levi Mast of Fort Lupton, CO, Ervin (Rose) Mast of LaGrange; three sisters, Lydia Mae Troyer of Bronson, MI, Edna (Ernest) Yoder of Shipshewana, Katie (Crist) Fry of Meadville, PA; six stepbrothers, Perry Miller of Middlebury, Melvin (Lydia) Miller of Shipshewana, Emanuel (Clara) Miller of LaGrange, Jonas (Ida) Miller of Topeka, Freeman Miller of Topeka, Christy (Carolyn) Miller of
Shipshewana; two stepsisters, Esther (Harley) Miller of Topeka, Lizzie Ann (Martin) Yoder of LaGrange; step sister-in-law, Mattie Miller of Topeka; step brother-in-law, Alvin Miller of LaGrange.

She was preceded in death by her parents; son, Joseph Troyer; stepsister, Emma Miller;
two stepbrothers, Mervin Miller and Levi Miller.

Mary was a homemaker and member of the Old Order Amish Church.

Visitation will be after 2:00 pm on Sunday, October 14, and all day Monday, October 15, at the family residence, 0820 N. 450 E. LaGrange. Funeral services will be at 9:30 am on Tuesday, October 16, also at the family’s residence. Services will be conducted by the home ministers. Burial will be in Bloomfield Hill Cemetery, LaGrange.

Miller-Stewart Funeral Home, Middlebury, IN
Oct. 14, 2018
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


Troyer, Wayne E.
Dec. 15, 1940 - Feb. 14, 2018

TOPEKA - Wayne E. Troyer, 77, of Topeka, died Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018.

He was born Dec. 15, 1940, in Goshen, to Enos and Edna (Troyer) Troyer.

He married Wilma Miller; she died Oct. 9, 1965. On June 16, 1966, he married Erma Miller, she survives.

Survivors also are sons Gary, Gerald, Dennis, Harley, and Wayne Jr; daughters Lorene Miller, Linda Faulconer, Carolyn and Mary Yoder; 57 grandchildren; 47 great-grandchildren; brothers Vernon, Ray and Gerald Troyer; and brother-in-law Levi Yoder.

He was preceded in death by his first wife; parents; sister and brother-in-law, Mary Ellen and Eli Yutzy and a sister, Pauline Yoder.

Visitation will be all day Friday, Feb. 16, at the family residence, 8465 W. 500 South, Topeka.

Funeral services will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, also at the family residence.

Burial will be in Hawpatch Cemetery, Topeka.

Miller-Stewart Funeral Home is assisting the family arrangements.

Elkhart Truth, Elkhart, IN
Feb. 16, 2018
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin


van der Zwaag, Gerke Hielke, 59, of Worthington, OH died September 7, 2018 at Columbus, Franklin Co., OH from cancer. He was born May 2, 1959 at Den Ham, the Netherlands to Eiko and Adri (d. April 1 2018) van der Zwaag. On June 20, 1987 at Columbus, OH he was married to Lavonne Gingerich, who was born October 8, 1959 and survives.

Surviving in addition to his wife are his father, two daughters, Kate van der Zwaag, and Anna van der Zwaag and two siblings, Henk, and Jelle.

His mother preceded him in death.

Memorial services were held September 15, 2018 at Columbus Mennonite Church, Columbus, OH with burial in the adjoining cemetery.

Submitted by: Gwen Reiser, Columbus, OH
Edited by: Thelma Hoover Martin


Vanpelt, Viola Mae Snyder
Jan. 24, 1931 - March 23, 2018

COLUMBIANA - Viola Mae (Snyder) Vanpelt, 87, of Columbiana, was called to her Eternal Reward Friday, March 23, 2018. She passed away at her home surrounded by her cherished family. Viola was born on January 24, 1931, the daughter of the late Amos and Catherine "Katie" (Brubaker) Snyder.

Viola accepted Christ as her Savior in her youth and was baptized upon the confession of her faith. She has been a faithful member of the Pleasant View Mennonite Church since her baptism.

She is survived by her husband Arthur W. Vanpelt whom she married on March 29, 2002; a sister Margaret Lehman of Salem; a niece Ruby (Ashby) Breneman; a nephew Melvin Lehman; two great nieces and four great-great nieces and nephews. Also surviving is the family that she acquired upon her marriage: two daughters, Rosanna (Jerry) Martin of Sheldon, WI, Reba (Lloyd Jr.) VanPelt of Columbiana, six sons, Jim (Eugenia), Dwight, Nathan (Charlotte), Lawrence (Lucy), Norman (Marilyn) all of Columbiana and Sam (Sheila) of Leetonia, 44 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, Viola was preceded in death by two sisters Hilda and Naomi Snyder, her half-brother Clayton Snyder and a great grandson.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 31, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at Mt. Joy Mennonite Church, 549 Chestnut Street Ext, Leetonia with the Pleasant View Ministry officiating. Viola's body will lie in state one hour prior to the service on Saturday morning. Burial will take place at Pleasant View Mennonite Cemetery.

The family will receive friends on Friday, March 30 from 2:00 \'96 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 \'96 8:00 p.m. at Mt. Joy Mennonite Church.

The family has entrusted Seederly-Mong & Beck Funeral Home in Columbiana, Ohio with the arrangements for their loved one.

Seederly-Mong & Beck Funeral Home, Columbiana, Ohio
Submitted by: Thelma Hoover Martin

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