Mennonite Weekly Review - October, 2002

Mennonite Weekly Review
October 7, 2002
80th Year, No. 40, p. 8

Jacob E. Friesen
Jacob E. Friesen, 76, of Henderson, Neb., died Aug. 6, 2002. He was born Nov. 20, 1925, to Bernhard D. and Margaretha Epp Friesen.
He was baptized and joined Bethesda Mennonite Church on June 13, 1943, where he remained a faithful member.
On Jan. 23, 1948, he married Elsie Regier.
For the major part of their 54 years of married life they farmed. When his health no longer permitted him to farm, they moved to Henderson, where he was head custodian at Bethesda Mennonite Church for 12 years. He enjoyed working with the church pastors, office staff and other custodial staff.
He resigned his position at Bethesda when he had surgery in 1997. After recuperating from surgery, he did some part-time work and also worked several years at York College, where he enjoyed the fellowship of students and his co-workers.
In December 2001 it was discovered that he had a malignant brain tumor, and he became weaker as time went by. While he was still able to pray audibly, he prayed for his children and grandchildren and for pastors and missionaries.
Survivors include his wife, Elsie; a son, Donovan and his wife, Sherryl, of Freeman, S.D.; a daughter, Diane Harrison and her husband, Mike, of Henderson; a brother, Clarence of Henderson; two sisters, Bertha Penner of Mountain Lake, Minn., and Pauline Friesen of Henderson; and three grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, Alvin (in infancy), Adolph and Arlie Friesen.

Margaret Wiebe
Margaret Wiebe was born Oct. 13, 1919, to Bernhard and Helena Wiebe in Aberdeen, Idaho.
Her mother died when she was 9, and she and her younger sister Dorothy went to live with their Uncle Pete and Aunt Marie. After Aunt Marie's death, they lived with their father, who later married Selma Friesen.
She was baptized upon her confession of faith in Jesus Christ and became a member at Aberdeen Mennonite Church.
After graduating from high school she attended Biola in Los Angeles and then worked in a department store tea room there. Later she worked in the dietary departments of a hospital in Pasadena, Calif.
After moving to Kansas, she worked at Axtell Hospital in Newton. She moved to Kansas to be near her sister and other relatives. Many vacation trips and family celebrations were enjoyed, including a raft trip down the rapids of Hell's Canyon in Idaho when she was 65 years old.
She was a faithful member of First Mennonite Church of Newton and participated in various activities such as helping on the library and funeral committees, singing in the choir and helping with children's Sunday school. Missions were important to her, and she supported mission work with her gifts, prayers and letters.
Reading was a delight, and she also enjoyed needle work, quilting and sewing dresses for her nieces. She took great interest in her nieces and nephews and sent many cards on birthdays and other special days.
She declared herself an optimist, and this was evident in the final difficult weeks of her life. She looked forward to being at home with the Lord. She died Aug. 14, 2002, at age 82.
Survivors include her sister, Dorothy Entz and her husband, Willie, of Whitewater, Kan.; and two brothers, Henry Wiebe and his wife, Bonnie, of Rollo, Mo., and David Wiebe and his wife, Leslie, of Fairway, Kan.

Wilmer M. Eby
Wilmer M. Eby, 86, died Sept. 11, 2002, at Landis Homes in Lititz, Pa., after a long illness. He was born Feb. 5, 1916, to Anna and Elias Eby in Lititz.
He was ordained in 1938 by lot from the Lititz congregation to become the first pastor of a new congregation near Cocalico. He continued to serve the congregation when it moved to Blainsport and became Blainsport Mennonite Church. He served until his retirement in 1984. At his death he had been ordained longer than any other living Lancaster Conference pastor.
He served as a board member of Eastern Mennonite Missions from 1961 to 1967. He was the manager of Provident Bookstore in Ephrata and worked at the Provident Bookstore in Lancaster. Prior to that he farmed near Kleinfeltersville. He enjoyed singing and woodworking.
Survivors include his wife of 64 year, Arlene M. (Bomberger) Eby of Landis Homes; a son, John W. and his wife, Joyce, of Dillsburg; two daughters, Lois Hollinger and her husband, Edward, of Mount Wolf, and Beth Weber and her husband, Samuel, of Wayne; a sister, Esther Mae Long of Goshen; eight grandchildren and three great-grandsons.
He was preceded in death by an infant brother, John Henry Eby; and a sister, Janet Miller.
Funeral Services were held at Blainsport Mennonite Church.

Milton B. Friesen
Milton B. Friesen, 87, of Adams, Okla., died Aug. 31, 2002. He was born March 23, 1915, to Jacob and Elizabeth Bartel Friesen at a homestead two miles west of Adams.
On Nov. 26, 1939, he married Evelyn Anna Martens at Hooker Mennonite Brethren Church.
His high school years were at Buhler (Kan.) High School. He graduated from Panhandle A&M in Goodwell in 1939 with a bachelor's degree in industrial arts. In 1956 he received a National Science Foundation Grant to continue his education, receiving his master's degree from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater in 1957. In 1965 he received his specialist in education administration degree from Western State College in Gunnison, Colo.
His teaching career began in Adams during World War II. Later he taught at Eureka High School in Baker, the Mennonite Indian Mission School for Comanches in Indiahoma, at Balko High School and completed his teaching career at West Junior High in Liberal, Kan. During these years he also farmed.
He accepted Christ as his Savior as a child and as a teenager was baptized and joined Hooker MB Church. In his later years he became an affiliate member of the United Methodist Church in Hooker.
Music was an important part of his life. While in college he sang in the Accapella Choir and the men's Glee Club. For many years he sang in a male quartet, in duets with his wife, in solos and trios. After he retired from farming and teaching, he translated many of the German hymns. He also loved to play the guitar and mandolin.
Survivors include his wife, Evelyn; a daughter, Janice Colvin and her husband, Dwayne, of Hooker; an adopted daughter, Frances Friesen of Newton, Kan.; a sister, Elma Kliewer of Perryton, Texas; four grandsons and two great-grandsons.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, Dietrich, Jacob and Elmer; and three sisters, Elizabeth Schroeder, Sarah Schroeder and Olga Balzer.

Haidie E. Stover
Haidie E. Stover, 84, of Souderton, Pa., died unexpectedly July 20, 2002. She was born to Gustav H. and Amy E. Greaves Sudermann Enss in Newton, Kan.
She married Earl Stover on June 7, 1942.
She was educated in Kansas, Texas and Indiana and graduated in 1936 from high school in Detroit. She attended business school in Michigan, Goshen College in Indiana and the School of Oral Hygiene at the University of Pennsylvania Dental School in Philadelphia, where she graduated as valedictorian in 1942.
She served as dental hygieneist with her husband at the Mennonite General Hospital in La Plata, Aibonito, Puerto Rico, and the Ulrich Foundation community health outreach program in Puerto Rico 1944-55. Upon returning to southeastern Pennsylvania, she practiced oral hygiene with her husband in Souderton. For 23 years she also helped her husband establish and maintain a dental clinic for church members and the surrounding Spanish community at First Spanish Baptist Church of Philadelphia.
She was a member of Grace Mennonite Church of Lansdale, where she and her husband were recognized for 40 years of service to the Spanish department and the Spanish communities of North Penn, Delaware and Lehigh valleys. She taught Sunday school classes to bilingual children and often contributed as a pianist for worship services.
Survivors include her husband of 60 years, Earl; a daughter, Ruth Stover; two sons, E. Frederick and his wife, Dianne, and Gerald and his wife, Stephanie; four sisters, Amy Preckshot of Columbia, Mo., Frieda Enss and Ruth Blocksma of Jacksonville, Fla., and Vera Kemp of Sun City West, Ariz.; and a granddaughter.
She was preceded in death by a sister; and two brothers and sisters of the Sudermann family.
Funeral services were held at Grace Mennonite Church of Lansdale. Burial was in Blooming Glen Mennonite Cemetery.

Mennonite Weekly Review
October 14, 2002
80th Year, No. 41, p. 8

Gertrude Reimer
Gertrude Reimer, 96, of Beatrice, Neb., died Sept. 22, 2002, at Parkview Care Center. She was born Nov. 30, 1905, in rural Beatrice to John F. and Catharine Penner.
She married Bernhard Reimer on Sept. 26, 1929. They lived and farmed west of Beatrice until moving to Beatrice in 1976.
An active member of First Mennonite Church of rural Beatrice, she served as Sunday school teacher and member of the Mission Circle. She loved her family and prayed for each one by name regularly.
Survivors include a son, Bernhard H. and his wife, Alda, of Beatrice; two daughters, Marion Reimer of St. Paul, Minn., and Catherine Friesen and her husband, Harold, of Dunwoody, Ga.; a sister, Elizabeth Anderson of Fort Wayne, Ind.; four grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bernhard; a brother, Fred P. Penner; and a sister, Martha Dyck.
Services were held at First Mennonite Church of Beatrice. Burial was in the church cemetery.

The obituary of Daniel P. Thieszen, published Sept. 30, should have stated that he had 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Jo Regier
Jo Williamson Regier, 78, died Feb. 18, 2002, after a valiant battle against cancer and old age. She was born Jan. 1, 1924, in Hugo, Okla., to Roy R. and Oma C. Westbrook.
She graduated from Will Rogers High School in 1941. She went on to graduate from Oklahoma State University with a degree in business administration.
In 1944 she married Sam Regier and soon they began a lifetime of travel that included living in Kuwait, London, Pittsburgh and Houston. In 1983 he retired from Gulf Oil Co., and they moved back to Tulsa.
Throughout the world and her life, she was active in Chi Omega, the Episcopal Church and numerous philanthropic organizations. In Tulsa she was chair of St. Matilda's Guild, an officer of Episcopal Church Women and a bookstore volunteer and active member of St. John's Episcopal Church. She described her life as an interesting and exciting journey.
Survivors include her husband of 58 years, Sam; a son, John W. Regier of Zurich, Switzerland; and a daughter, Mary Jo Sartain and her husband, Gailard, of Tulsa.

Cleo Marie Yoder
Cleo Marie Miller Yoder, 74, of Hesston, Kan., died Sept. 29, 2002. She was born March 14, 1928, to Noah E. and Edna (Shrock) Miller near Hutchinson.
On April 14, 1950, she married Melvin Yoder in Yoder. They lived near Hutchinson until 1961, when they moved to the Hesston area. In 1975 they moved to Sharon Springs, and then back to Hesston in 1980.
She was baptized at Yoder Mennonite Church as a youth. She had a passion for the work of the Lord. She was an active member of Gideon's International since 1978. She served for three years as state president of the ladies' auxiliary of the Gideons and spoke at many Gideon camp meetings and pastor's banquets throughout Kansas. She was also a member of Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston.
She was a loving, patient and supportive homemaker, wife, mother and grandmother. She cared deeply for her family and was present and supportive in the special occasions and times of need. She prayed for each member of her family every day.
She enjoyed reading. In addition to many books, she read the Bible through each year for the past number of years. She enjoyed travel with her family and husband and visited 49 states and abroad. Her grandchildren remember special times with her in Colorado. She took great interest in her yard, garden and flowers. She enjoyed birds.
She was a great hostess and an excellent cook, whether at home or in a travel trailer. She knitted many gifts for her family. Her grandchildren remember her loving smile, quiet laughter and deep love for each of them.
She is survived by her husband of 52 years, Melvin; a son, Arlan and his wife, Ila; a daughter, Amella Purdy and her fiance, Gary Gabhart; a brother, Freddie Miller; and six grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by two daughters, Neta Faye and Diane Dell; and two sisters, Susie Miller and Erma Diener.
Funeral services were held at Whitestone Mennonite Church.

Mary Bergen Reimer
Mary Reimer, 87, of Goessel, Kan., died Sept. 23, 2002, at Newton Medical Center. She was born Sept. 30, 1914, to John and Elizabeth Goertz Bergen in Goessel.
She attended Gordon Grade School and graduated from Goessel High School in 1933.
She was baptized upon her confession of faith and accepted as a member of Goessel Mennonite Church on May 24, 1931.
On Aug. 14, 1936, she married Milton Reimer in a double wedding ceremony with Al and Susie Schmidt, her sister.
They homesteaded their farm west of Goessel in 1936 and lived there for 60 years until they moved to a Bethesda Home duplex in Goessel.
One of her hobbies was quilting. She made beautiful blankets for her family and grandchildren. She was a wonderful cook and always had cookies, apple dumplings or cake on hand, with coffee on the stove when family stopped in. She had many interests and took an active role in the lives of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She loved music and enjoyed singing.
She had several health problems over the past two years, but she faced each crisis with strength, determination and a lot of faith.
Survivors include two daughters, Luana Schrag and her husband, Sam, of Pretty Prairie, and Shirley Flaming and her husband, Ed, of Durham; a sister, Susie Schmidt, and a brother, Ben Bergen, both of Goessel; seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Milton, in November 2000; by a brother, Jake Bergen; and by two sisters, Tina Schmidt and Annie Bergen.

Mennonite Weekly Review
October 21, 2002
80th Year, No. 42, p. 16

Sara Swartzendruber
Sara Swartzendruber, 98, of Hydro, Okla., died Oct. 2, 2002, at Maple Lawn Nursing Home. She was born Jan. 7, 1904, to Moses and Lydia (Yoder) Slabaugh in Madison County, Ohio.
She grew up in the Hartville, Ohio, area and finished her formal education at Eastern Mennonite School in Harrisonburg, Va. She worked as a live-in housekeeper for families in Canton, Ohio, and Reading and Altoona, Pa.
In 1936, while serving as a childcare worker at the Mennonite Children's Home in Kansas City, Kan., she met Fred R. Swartzendruber. On Dec. 19, 1937, they were married and then moved to his farm northwest of Hydro. She was an active member of Pleasant View Mennonite Church of Hydro.
In 1946 they moved to Kansas City to help with a mission church. For two years she and her husband served as administrators of the Mennonite Children's Home, living in the home with their two young children. After that they remained in the Kansas City area and served at Argentine Mennonite Church.
She served in the Sunday school and vacation Bible school programs and as director of the weekday Bible school program. She also did volunteer work with the Red Cross and at a day care center for children with cerebral palsy.
In May 1974 they moved back to Hydro, where she continued her love of gardening, needlework, quilting, reading and church work at Pleasant View Mennonite. Besides traveling to Ohio frequently, they traveled to Alaska, Florida, California, Central America and to Malawi in Africa.
Survivors include two children, Ruth Ann Swartzendruber of Hydro and Robert and his wife, Bonnie, of Plano, Texas; two grandsons and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Fred; four brothers and five sisters.
Funeral services were held at Pleasant View Mennonite Church. Burial was in Pleasant View Mennonite Cemetery.

Lester E. Janzen
Lester E. Janzen, 79, of North Newton, Kan., died Oct. 8, 2002, at Kidron Bethel Village. He was born Nov. 12, 1922, to Peter G. and Eva (Huebert) Janzen in Henderson, Neb.
He served with the United States Army during World War II. He graduated from the Bible Institute of Los Angeles and from Goshen (Ind.) College.
He married Eileen D. Epp on March 4, 1944, in Henderson.
He was pastor of Bethel Mennonite Church in Perkasie, Pa., and at Menno Mennonite Church in Ritzville, Wash. He was the stewardship secretary for the General Conference Mennonite Church for 11 years, a fund-raiser for Mennonite Biblical Seminary and for Meadowlark for several years, an estate planner with Mennonite Foundation for 15 years, and was a board member at Kidron Bethel Retirement Village for 12 years.
He was an active member of Faith Mennonite Church of Newton for 39 years.
After his retirement, he spent a number of years scheduling the traveling museum of the Mirror of the Martyrs display for Kauffman Museum in many areas in the United States and Canada.
Survivors include his wife, Eileen; two sons, Joel and his wife, Natalie, of Denver, and Scott and his wife, Karen, of Evergreen, Colo.; three daughters, Cheri Jantzen and her husband, Dave, of Houston, Judith Janzen and her husband, Robert Nikkel, of Salem, Ore., and Faith Janzen of Overland Park; a sister, Eva Tessman of Hillsboro; his mother-in-law, Marie Epp Siebert of Henderson; and seven grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, Nick, Peter and Johnny; and a sister, Elizabeth Friesen.
Funeral services were held at Faith Mennonite Church. Burial was in Greenwood Cemetery in Newton.

Benjamin P. Martens
Benjamin P. Martens, 85, of Hesston, Kan., died Oct. 7, 2002, at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. He was born Sept. 9, 1917, to Peter and Maria (Karber) Martens on a farm four miles south of Fairview, Okla.
He grew up on the farm and completed his elementary education in a small one-room school called Green Valley District 122. He then had three years of Bible school in the Mennonite Brethren Bible School at Fairview.
He accepted Jesus as his Savior at the age of 10 and in 1934 was baptized and received into fellowship at the Mennonite Brethren church southeast of Fairview.
He married Rosey Harms on April 14, 1940, at the Mennonite Brethren church northeast of Enid.
After marriage they moved to a farm southwest of Fairview. After living near Fairview for four years, they moved to Colorado for one year, then returned to Fairview in 1945. In 1946 they moved to a farm northwest of Fairview. He farmed for 48 years, retiring in 1986. They remained in the Fairview area until moving to Kansas in September 2002 to be near their children.
He belonged to the Mennonite Brethren Church of Fairview, where he served as an usher, deacon and on the foods committee. He was also on the board of directors for Fairview Fellowship Home.
He was a loving husband for 62 years, as well as a loving father and grandfather.
Survivors include his wife, Rosey; a son, Lowell and his wife, Joyce, of Newton, Kan.; two daughters, Gaylene Seibel and her husband, Clyde, of Lawrenceville, Ga., and Gweneth Christensen and her husband, James, of Coffeyville, Kan.; a brother, Henry of Fairview; two sisters, Mary Esther Martens and Eva Neufeld, both of Fairview; eight grandchildren and a great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by three brothers.
Funeral services were held at the Mennonite Brethren Church of Fairview. Burial was in North Mennonite Brethren Cemetery of Fairview.

Mennonite Weekly Review
October 28, 2002
80th Year, No. 43, p. 11

Dan D. Bontrager
Dan D. Bontrager, 85, of Haven, Kan., died Oct. 7, 2002, at Golden Plains Healthcare Center in Hutchinson. He was born Jan. 9, 1917, to D.Y. and Susan Nissley Bontrager in Yoder.
A lifelong resident of the Haven/ Yoder area, he was a farmer, stockman and employee of Haven Township for many years.
He served in the medical services of the U.S. Army during World War II.
He married Fern M. Kaufman on Jan. 13, 1946, at Hesston.
He was a member of South Hutchinson Mennonite Church and served on the board of trustees and other committees. He also belonged to the Haven Senior Center.
Survivors include his wife, Fern; two daughters, Nancy Kay Brown and her husband, Lloyd, of McPherson, and Jane Harder and her husband, Randy, of Haven; a daughter-in-law, Jeanette Bauman of St. Regis, Mont.; six brothers, Glen of Kalamazoo, Mich., Eli of Newton, Abe of Partridge, Dave and J.D., both of Hutchinson, and Ira of Bel Vista, Ark.; two sisters, Mae Popp of Hutchinson and Lou Sauder of Bel Vista, Ark.; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son, Dan Leroy; a brother, Ray; and two sisters, Ida and Clara Yoder.
A memorial service was held at South Hutchinson Mennonite Church. Burial was in the Yoder Mennonite Church Cemetery.

Copyright 2002 - 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.
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