Mennonite Weekly Review - February, 2004


Mennonite Weekly Review - February 2, 2004 - 82nd Year, No. 5 - p. 8


Grace F. Suter, 84, of Harrisonburg, Va., died Dec. 8, 2003, at Crestwood. She had lived at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community for the past three years. She was born June 27, 1919, to Stephen and Lavina Hooley Fisher in Cheraw, Colo.

She was a homemaker and a companion to the elderly in their homes for many years. She was active in Gospel Hill Mennonite Church as a Sunday school teacher of the women’s class and was involved in various other activities at the church. She was past president of the WMSC and was involved in the sewing circle of the Mennonite church. She was a member of Park View Mennonite Church.

On June 25, 1941, she married Daniel B. Suter.

Survivors include her husband, Daniel; two daughters, Janice S. Showalter of Harrisonburg and Mary Louise Tierney of Jacksonville, Fla.; two sons, David R. of Mabank, Texas, and Danny B. of Bridgewater; two sisters, Verda Byler of Lancaster, Pa., and Helen Ours of Harrisonburg; seven brothers, Ralph Fisher of Harrisonburg, Kenneth Fisher of Chester Springs, Pa., Ed Fisher of Shunk, Pa., and Harry Fisher, Alvin Fisher, Harold Fisher and Vernon Fisher, all of Lancaster, Pa.; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held at Detwiler Auditorium at Heritage Haven of VMRC. A private family burial was held at Weavers Mennonite Church Cemetery.

Mennonite Weekly Review - February 9, 2004 - 82nd Year, No. 6 - p. 12


Dorwin Carroll “D.C.” Myers, 83, of Kokomo, Ind., died Dec. 26, 2003, at Century Villa Health Care Center of Greentown from a brain tumor. He was born Jan. 9, 1920, to Paul J. and Lona (Shrock) Myers in Miami County.

On Feb. 13, 1944, he married Pauline Troyer at Howard-Miami Mennonite Church of Kokomo.

He was baptized at Howard-Miami Mennonite Church. He was a 1948 graduate of Goshen College and received his master’s degree in education from Indiana University in 1962. His college years were interrupted by Civilian Public Service from 1942 to 1946.

He was an elementary school teacher, starting his teaching career in one-room schools in Champagne County and in Shipshewana. The rest of his teaching was in Kokomo. After retiring, he became an active member of the Kokomo chapter of Habitat for Humanity, serving many years in leadership roles.

He was a lifelong member of Howard-Miami Mennonite Church. He began teaching Sunday school as a young teenager and continued until recent years. He served on the church’s library board for years and as the church’s historian and archivist. He helped write the book, The History of Howard-Miami Mennonite Church, for the church’s 150-year celebration. He helped establish the Congregational Student Aid Committee at Howard-Miami to give scholarships to youth attending Christian colleges. He was a charter member of the board of directors of Menno Benevolent Association, which was instrumental in establishing Friendship Haven of Kokomo, a retirement center.

Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Pauline Myers; daughters Vada Saffer and her husband, Keith, of Flagler, Colo., Susan Newton and her husband, Richard, of Newport, N.C., and Carolyn Williams of Kokomo; daughter-in-law Elsie Myers Horner and her husband, Donald, of Kokomo; a sister, Evonna King of Goshen; eight grandchildren; twin great-grandchildren; four step-grandchildren and 12 step-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a son, Dennis; a grandson, Darren Newton; and a brother, Paul Dale Myers.

A memorial service was held at Howard-Miami Mennonite Church. Burial was in Mast Cemetery.


Kathryn Forrester

Kathryn Jantzi Forrester, 91, of Xenia, Ohio, died Dec. 22, 2003. She was born Aug. 8, 1912, to Solomon and Anna Lehman Jantzi at New Breman, N.Y., the middle child of 11 children.

She married Charles E. Forrester on Sept. 12, 1934, in Lewis County, N.Y. He died Nov. 6, 1990.

They farmed in Lewis County until 1946, when they bought a farm in Woodville, N.Y. They helped start a church in this community, serving as Sunday school teachers and youth leaders. At age 49, she went into the practical nursing program and worked at House of the Good Samaritan in Watertown, N.Y., as an LPN.

In retirement years, she and her husband moved to Ohio and worked at Adrial School in West Liberty. They also did a year of voluntary service in Eldorado, Ark.

Survivors include two sons, Dale and his wife, Ruth, of Zephryhills, Fla., and Beryl of Gambia, West Africa; two daughters, Anna Mae Weaver and her husband, Robert, of New Holland, Pa., and Martha Loveland of Xenia, with whom she resided until her death; 15 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles; and 10 brothers and sisters.

Services were held at Croghan Mennonite Church, where she was an active member for many years.


Noah L. Zimmerman

Noah L. Zimmerman, 80, of Richfield, Pa., died Jan. 20, 2004 at Lewistown Hospital. He was born April 1, 1923, to Adam G. and Mary Elizabeth (Lauver) Zimmerman in Monroe Township, Juniata County.

In earlier years, he was a self-employed farmer and had worked as a carpenter for David Kauffman of Richfield. His interest in local history and genealogy led him to become the director of the Historical Center in Richfield since its opening in 1975. He leaves many records and articles of interest, on file at the center, because of his correspondence with many people far and wide.

He was an active member of  Lauver’s Mennonite Church of Richfield. His humble Christian testimony touched many people through his service to his church as trustee, Sunday school superintendent, Summer Bible school teacher and Bible study teacher. He was a charter member of Juniata Mennonite Historical Society and dug graves at Lauver’s Mennonite Cemetery for many years.

He had a great interest in local history and genealogy, recording many of his findings at the Historical Center and co-authoring with Spencer L. Krabill The History of the John Graybill Family in America, 1681-1981. He was also an avid collector of stamps and Indian relics.

Survivors include a sister, Sarah K. Zimmerman of Mifflintown.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Esther Zimmerman, in infancy.

Funeral services were held at Lauver’s Mennonite Church. Burial was in Lauver’s Mennonite Cemetery.


Sarah Penner

Sarah Penner, 91, died Jan. 6, 2004, at Palm Village Retirement Community in Reedley, Calif.

Survivors include two daughters, Betty Seuis and her husband, Thomas, of Castro Valley, and Shirley Wiest and her husband, Raymond, of Winnipeg, Man.; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; six sisters and two brothers.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence Penner.

Funeral services were held at  Reedley Mennonite Brethren Chapel. Burial was at Belmont Memorial Park in Fresno.

Mennonite Weekly Review - February 16, 2004 - 82nd Year, No. 7 - p. 11


John C. Bartel, 77, of Meade, Kan., died Jan. 19, 2004, at Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita. He was born May 22, 1926, to John B. and Elizabeth T. Classen Bartel in Meade.

He married Katie L. Thiessen on Aug. 30, 1952. They made their first home in Rosenort, Man., where their two children were born.

In 1960 they moved to Meade. He was employed by Home Lumber Co. and later pursued a carpentry career. He built his own house with the help of crewmates Bob and Glenn Feldman. Later he was employed by Hank Remple and then worked together with Bob Wittman until he retired. Not only was carpentry his career choice, but it became his hobby. Many family members treasure gifts he made for them.

He served as a Sunday school treasurer and a deacon for many years at Emmanuel Mennonite Church of Meade, where he was a charter member. He had a heart for missions and supported many missionaries financially and through prayer. He took an active part in short-term mission work projects at Echo Ranch Bible Camp in Juneau, Alaska.

When his wife, Katie, was placed in the local nursing home, his mission changed to faithfully supporting her until her death in September 2000.

Survivors include a son, Lawrence and his wife, Lois, of Liberty, Mo.; a daughter, Arlene Ediger and her husband, Laural, of Meade; a brother, Dick Bartel of Reedley, Calif.; three sisters, Marie Bryant of Pratt, Margaret Bartel and Sara Reimer, both of Meade; a sister-in-law, Lillie Bartel of Manitoba; and three grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Katie; and two brothers, Henry C. Bartel and George Bartel.


Harry Allen Martens, 79, of Fairview, Okla., died Jan. 24, 2004, at Fairview Fellowship Home. He was born Dec. 2, 1924, to Daniel A. and Anna Just Martens in a sod house between Balko and Boyd.

He and his family moved to the Fairview area when he was 11. He graduated from Fairview High School in 1942. He attended Mennonite Brethren Bible School for one year. He was in Civilian Public Service from fall 1943 to May 1946.

He married Viola May Kliewer on Aug. 24, 1948, in the South Mennonite Brethren Church south of Fairview, after a two-year courtship.

He grew up on a farm and as an adult became a farmer and rancher. He and Viola owned and operated a dairy for a while before he got into the manufacturing business, starting Fairview Manufacturing Service. He later helped co-found Mabar, a steel fabrication and manufacturing business mostly of agricultural products.

He became a historian and was a charter member of Major County Historical Society. He was a member of the Mennonite Brethren church, where he taught Sunday school, was on the deacon board and on several church conference boards. He was also on the Major County Excise Board. He was a charter member of the Oklahoma John Deere Two-Cylinder Club and was its president the first three years of its existence.

One of his hobbies was creating in his workshop. He loved to restore old wagons and make small things that he would give to his grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife, Viola; two sons, Mike and his wife, Ann, of Fairview, and Max of Los Angeles; two daughters, Arlene Gale and her husband, Brent, of Long Beach, Calif., and Dawnette Bell and her husband, Steve, of Fairview; three sisters, his twin sister Mary Helen Hein of Fresno, Calif., Inez Kliewer of Fairview and Alice Wiebe of Enid; and six grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Henderson.

Services were held at Fairview Mennonite Brethren Church. Burial was in North Mennonite Brethren Cemetery of Fairview.


Abram W. Diffenbach, 77, of Lancaster, Pa., died Feb. 2, 2004, at Lancaster General Hospital after a brief illness. He was born to Henry Z. and Estella Wenzel Diffenbach in East Lampeter Township.

A self-employed licensed auctioneer, he began working as an auctioneer in 1946 at age 19. He was co-owner of New Holland Sales Stables from 1973 to 1989 and president of the business from 1965 to 1989. He owned Diffenbach’s Auction Center at the time of his death. He was the auctioneer at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Junior Livestock Auction from 1965 to 1990.

He was a member of Witmer Heights Mennonite Church of Lancaster, and a former member of the Livestock Marketing Association. He was a past director of New Holland Farmers National Bank. He enjoyed collecting antiques and traveling.

He married Beulah Landis in June 1950.

Survivors include his wife, Beulah; three sons, Abram W. and his wife, Karen, of Lancaster, Alan R. and his wife, Carol, of New Holland, and David B. and his wife, Margaret, of Frankford, Del.; two daughters, Rosalee Schneck and her husband, James, of Terre Hill, and Annette Hertzler and her husband, Philip, of Pamplin, Va.; a sister, Esther Sauder of Manheim; and 15 grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Roy and Henry; and a sister, Dorothy Leaman.


Leona Miller, 93, of Hesston, Kan., died Jan. 28, 2004, at Newton Medical Center. She was born April 24, 1910, to Mahlon E. and Anna Hershberger Yoder in Kalona, Iowa.

She married Chester P. Miller on June 4, 1933.

They lived in Iowa until 1971, when they moved to Palmer Lake, Colo. In 1976 they relocated to Hesston.

She was an avid quilter and spent many hours working on various craft items that she enjoyed.

Survivors include her husband, Chester; two sons, Arlen Miller of Grove City, Ohio, and Laurel Miller of Hesston; four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held at Schowalter Villa Chapel.

Mennonite Weekly Review - Feb. 23, 2004 - 82nd Year, No. 8 - p. 8


Abe K. Friesen, 93, of Hutchinson, Kan., died Feb. 9, 2004, at Schowalter Villa in Hesston. He was born April 12, 1910, to Henry and Kathrina Friesen in Meade. He was the oldest son in a family of nine children.

He entered Civilian Public Service in October 1942. He was first stationed in Hill City, S.D., and later was transferred to Lincoln, Neb. It was there he met John Wiebe, who introduced him to his sister, Dorothy, whom he married on Aug. 22, 1945, in Beatrice, Neb. While in CPS he worked in the parts department and in the office.

He successfully ran Friesen Trucking, which he began, for nearly 30 years. He was proud to report that his company “traveled a million miles without an accident.” He retired from the trucking business in 1982.

After retirement, he was instrumental in starting several service programs. He managed the Etcetera store in Hutchinson. He helped start the Daycare Center, and he helped organize the voluntary service units.

He and Dorothy were longtime members of First Mennonite Church in Hutchinson.

Survivors include his wife, Dorothy; four daughters, Judy Williams and her husband, Tim, Karen Franz and her husband, Rod, Arlene Schmidt and her husband, Wilbur, and Jane Friesen and her husband, Kelvin; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two sisters and two brothers.

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.