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Mennonite Weekly Review - February 2008

     Epp, Betty Nora SchmidtEsmonde, Susann Mae;   Hathaway, Oliver LeroyHershberger, Bernard M.;   Hess, Jared;   Mast, Wilma DonettaSiemens, Alvin;   Voth, Aldred G.;  

Mennonite Weekly Review - February 4, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 5 - p. 9


Epp, Betty Nora Schmidt

Betty Nora Schmidt Epp, 87, of Goessel, Kan., died Jan. 18, 2008. She was born June 1, 1920, to Alvin and Mary Isaak Schmidt at Dubois, Idaho. Later that year, they returned to Buhler to the family farm.

She graduated from Buhler High School as class salutatorian in 1938. She was baptized at Buhler Mennonite Church on Aug. 5, 1935.  She attended Bethel College for three years, receiving a teacher certificate. She taught one year at Thomas Grove and four years at Willis near Buhler.  She married her college sweetheart, Aaron J. Epp, on June 1, 1944, at Buhler Mennonite Church.

Their first pastorate was at Inman Mennonite Church, where she directed choirs. In 1949 they moved to Chicago so he could attend Mennonite Biblical Seminary. In 1952 he was called to First Mennonite Church in Reedley, Calif., where they spent nine years. Then they were at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church near Goessel for nine years. She took her responsibility as a pastor’s wife seriously, attended sewing circles and directed the children’s choir. This was the first time she taught adults, which became her ministry. In 1965 she was elected president of Women’s Missionary Association, serving seven years. In January 1970, she was elected as the first woman to serve on the MCC board. They served First Mennonite Church in Aberdeen, Idaho, 1970-75. Then they spent eight years working as missionaries with Old Colony Mennonites in Mexico. She designed a new three-story missionary residence and Blumenau Mennonite Church.  In 1983 they retired to Goessel to be near their children and grandchildren.

Survivors include two daughters, Patricia Schmidt and her husband, Myron, and Mary Schmidt and her husband, Jim; a sister, Rosa Mae Haugsness; a brother, Alfred Schmidt; four granddaughters and six great-grandchildren.  She was preceded in death by her husband, Aaron, 1992; and by a brother, Orlando Schmidt.

Memorial services were held at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church. Burial was in Alexanderwohl Mennonite Cemetery.


Mast, Wilma Donetta

Wilma Donetta Mast, 83, of rural Kinross, Iowa, died Jan. 14, 2008, at her daughter’s home in rural Keswick after a brief illness. She was born Feb. 22, 1924, to Samuel and Iva (Miller) Troyer in Jet, Okla.

She graduated from high school in Harper, Kan. In the early 1950s she worked at a children’s home in Kansas City.

She married Alvin Mast on Nov. 3, 1956.  She moved to rural Kinross in 1959, where she was a homemaker and baby sat for many years. She was a member of Wellman Mennonite Church.

Survivors include three children, Rita Fowler and her husband, Terry, of Keswick, Rollin Mast and his wife, Tammy, of Kinross, and Donna Mast of Littleton, Colo.; two brothers, Mervin Troyer of Hesston, Kan., and her twin Wilbur Troyer of Harper, Kan.; a sister, Maurine Zimmerman of Harper; seven grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.


Voth, Aldred G.

Alfred G. Voth, 86, of Hesston, Kan., died Oct. 6, 2007, at Schowalter Villa of Alzheimer’s disease. He was born Aug. 23, 1921, to Jacob A. and Maria (Unruh) Voth in Newton.

The family attended Tabor Mennonite Church. He graduated from Walton High School and attended one year at Bethel College before returning home to help on the farm.  On Feb. 23, 1944, he married Clara Neufeld at First Mennonite Church in Newton.  He served in World War II as a noncombatant and was sent to Japan just as the war ended. He ran a small dairy outside Walton and then moved to Newton, where he worked in lumber yards for 17 years. He joined First Mennonite Church and taught Sunday school, participated in jail ministries and served on the board of deacons. Because of his long participation in the Gideon’s, he was awarded a lifetime membership.

In 1971, he began a rehabilitative program for juvenile offenders, teaching handyman, construction skills and good work habits. For this he formed First Step Industries. In 1975, First Step was incorporated into USD 373 as part of the Alternative High School. The program had a rehabilitation success rate of 85 percent and won several state and national awards, and he received the Kansas Outstanding Vocational Special Needs Teacher of the Year in 1986. With only a year of college, he was required to work toward his college degree in order to continue teaching. In 1983 at age 62, he graduated from Bethel College. He continued to teach until his retirement, when he focused on family, fishing and camping.

Survivors include his wife, Clara Voth of Hesston; two daughters, Roberta (Birdie) Vandermolen and her husband, Tim, of Morton Grove, Ill., Mary (Cookie) Wiebe and her husband, David, of Newton; a son, John Voth and his wife, Colleen, of Derby; a brother, Harold Voth of Haven; sister-in-law Jane Voth; and five grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Gladys Reimer; and a granddaughter, Bethany Wiebe.

Memorial services were held at First Mennonite Church in Newton.


Hess, Jared

Jared Hess, 29, of Philadelphia, died Jan. 25, 2008, of complications from acute myelogenous leukemia. He was born on Jan. 27, 1978, in Cincinnati.

For a week each summer he went to music camp at Camp Friedenswald in southern Michigan, where he later joined the camp’s summer staff. He played on the Cincinnati traveling AAU basketball team, in which most of the players, including him, went on to play at the NCAA Division I level. He attended Lehigh University and captained the basketball team for three years. He was profiled in the book The Last Amateurs by John Feinstein. He majored in business information systems. At Lehigh he met Anne. They were married on Aug. 16, 2003.

In Philadelphia, he was an active member of Oxford Circle Mennonite Church and a person of living faith. He took much pleasure organizing 3-on-3 basketball tournaments as part of the church’s outreach to the community. He was a member of Philadelphia’s Singing City choir. He played Ultimate Frisbee at the club level with Donkey Bomb and was employed by Primavera.

Stricken with aggressive leukemia in May 2007, he began an online journal about the upcoming battle. Over the next eight months more than 40,000 visits were recorded.

Survivors include his wife, Anne; sons Caleb, 2, and Noah, 4 months; parents Hal Hess and Christine Schumacher of Cincinnati; and sister Alison Schumacher of Indianapolis.

A memorial service was held at Germantown Friends Meeting in Philadelphia. A second memorial service will be held Feb. 16 at Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati.

Contributions to help with his family’s immediate expenses can be sent to Oxford Circle Mennonite Church, PO Box 28340, Philadelphia, PA 19149, indicating “Hess Family” on the memo line.

Mennonite Weekly Review - February 11, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 6 - p. 9


Esmonde, Susann Mae

Susann Mae Esmonde, 70, of Lima, Ohio, died Jan. 4, 2008. She was born March 13, 1937, to Adrian and Emma Lucille Stemen Bowsher in Lima.

On Sept. 28, 1957, she married Larry Esmonde.

She retired in December 2007 from the Lima schools adult education program and from Northside Mennonite Child Care Center, where she had served as treasurer for 37 years. She was a life member of Lima Mennonite Church, where she served on various committees and taught Sunday school. Her world revolved around her husband, children, grandchildren and her extended family and numerous friends.

Survivors include her husband, Larry; a son, Michael Esmonde and his wife, Laura, of Lima; two daughters, Kelley Jones and her husband, Gary, of Lima, and Jill Donovan and her husband, Richard, of Carrsville, Va.; her mother, Emma Bowsher; three brothers, Charles Bowsher, Thomas Bowsher and David Bowsher, all of Lima; a sister, Dorothy Danner of Lima; and nine grandchildren.

Services were held at Chiles-Laman Funeral Homes’ Shawnee Chapel. Burial was in Memorial Park Cemetery.

Mennonite Weekly Review - February 18, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 7 - p. 9


Hathaway, Oliver Leroy

Oliver Leroy Hathaway, 90, formerly of rural Palmyra, Mo., died Jan. 23, 2008, at Gove County Long Term Care Facility in Quinter, Kan. He was born April 7, 1917, to William Sherman and Mary Paulina Paugh Hathaway in Marion County, Mo.

He married Esther Fenton on Feb. 11, 1945. She died Jan. 24, 1948. He married Ruby Greaser on June 11, 1950. She preceded him in death on June 2, 1996.

He attended the Four Corners School near Philadelphia, Mo., and was a farmer in that community. He later worked for an area building contractor and then formed a partnership with two of his sons in the Hathaway Construction business.

He was a member of Pea Ridge Mennonite Church and faithfully served as deacon for many years.

He enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening and traveling and had a special love for children.

Survivors include three sons, Howard and his wife, Dolores, of Souderton, Pa.; Jim and his wife, Karen, of Divide, Colo.; and Melvin and his wife, Dottie, of Elida, Ohio; two daughters, Janice Crist and her husband, Dan, of Quinter, Kan., and Dorthy Livengood and her husband, Don, of Lancaster, Pa.; eight grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his two wives; a son, Lawrence Dale; six brothers and four sisters, Leona, John, Florence, Nellie, Russell, David, W. Harold, Leslie, Mabelle and Oney.

Funeral services were held at Pea Ridge Community Church. Burial was in Pea Ridge Cemetery.


Hershberger, Bernard M.

Bernard M. Hershberger, 83, of Wellman, Iowa, died Jan. 12, 2008,

after a brief illness. He was born Sept. 20, 1924, to Paul and Nettie (Miller) Hershberger in Milford, Neb.

At the age of 11 he moved to the Wellman community with his family. He graduated from Center High School near Kalona in 1942.

He married Neva Lou Jantz on Sept. 15, 1946, in Newton, Kan. He farmed, worked for Herman’s Feed & Grain and Buckwalter Motors before retiring. He was an active member of Wellman Mennonite Church, where he held several

offices during his lifetime. He sang tenor in several gospel quartets, singing in one until he became ill. He was in Civilian Public Service from 1944 to 1946, serving in Terry, Mont., and Livermore, Calif. He was a lifetime member of Mennonite Historical Society and Archives of Iowa and Wellman Heritage Society.

Survivors include his wife, Neva Lou of Wellman; a son, Bernard J. Hershberger and his wife, Janet, of Marengo; two daughters, Gloria Hershberger of Aurora, Colo., and Rita Trimpe and her husband, Bob, of Williamsburg; two sisters, Shirley Swartzendruber of Grand Junction, Colo., and Glennis Hochstetler of Arvada, Colo.; five grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

Services were held at Wellman Mennonite Church. Burial was in Wellman Mennonite Cemetery.

Mennonite Weekly Review - February 25, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 8 - p. 9


Siemens, Alvin

Alvin Siemens, 102, of Inman, Kan., died Feb. 15, 2008, at Pleasant View Home. He was born Nov. 2, 1905, to Abraham and Elizabeth Regier Siemens in rural Buhler.

He married Marie Friesen on March 27, 1935, at Inman. She preceded him in death on April 22, 2000.

He was a farmer and worked for Hesston Corporation for 15 years. He was a past member of Hebron Mennonite Church and a present member of Buhler Mennonite Church. He had served on the Pleasant View Home board and the Little River Township board.

Survivors include three daughters, Marilyn Krehbiel of Pretty Prairie, Vernabelle Wiens Stayrook and her husband, Miller, of Goshen, Ind., and Betsy Buller and her husband, Larry, of Hutchinson; eight grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marie; five brothers, Abe R., Jacob (Jim), Leonard, Ben and Henry; four sisters, Lizzie Thiessen, Mary Thiessen, Anna Neufeldt and Katherine Gaeddert; and a son-in-law, Alvin D. Krehbiel.

Funeral services were held at Buhler Mennonite Church. Burial was in Hebron Cemetery of rural Buhler.

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Used with permission by the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, INDIANA
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