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Mennonite Weekly Review - March 2008

Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.

  Burkhart, Mary Gregory;  Diener, Magdalene Wiebe;  Eby, John Martin;   Hershberger, E. Eugene;  Hershberger, Esta MillerLitwiller, Elsie Susan Egli;   Schrock, Dellis Darrel;   Schrock, Michael Lewis;   Stoltzfus, Katie L;   

Mennonite Weekly Review - March 3, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 9 - p. 13


Diener, Magdalene Wiebe

Magdalene Wiebe Diener, 94, of Goessel, Kan., died Feb. 17, 2008. She was born Oct. 11, 1913, to Gerhard and Marie Wiebe at Whitewater.

She enjoyed helping her father with the horses and the farm work. She attended Hunter Grade School, Whitewater High School and Hillsboro Bible Academy. She went to Biola University for one year and Hesston College for two years.

She was baptized at Emmaus Mennonite Church. She spent sixyears in personal evangelism and child care at the Kansas City Children’s Home, where she met Charles Diener. They were married in 1945 and served the Lord at Spring Valley Mennonite Church in Canton.

She enjoyed gardening and canning vegetables. She practiced hospitality, serving meals to friends, relatives and visiting ministers. She enjoyed humor and spending time with family and friends. She alsoloved solitude, spending time meditating on God’s Word. She carried Bible verses with her to meditate on in spare moments. Her prayers reflected her close walk with God. She taught vacation Bible school and Sunday school for many years. She appreciated the help of family and neighbors when she lived on the farm. She spent her latter years at Bethesda Home in Goessel. She spoke often of her faith and asked others if they knew the Lord. She had a thankful heart and set an example of sharing God’s love to those around her.

Survivors include her children, Ida Huebert and her husband, Rod,of Moundridge, Ruby Moore and her husband, Gary, of Newton, Daniel Diener and his wife, Christine, of Goshen, Ind., and Gladys King and her husband, David, of Morton, Ill.; eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles, in 1992.
Funeral services were held at Spring Valley Mennonite Church of rural Canton.

Mennonite Weekly Review - March 10, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 10 - p. 9


Burkhart, Mary Gregory

Mary Elizabeth Burkhart, 93, of Brutus, Mich., died Feb. 15, 2008. She was born June 7, 1914, to Elias and Susanna (Gehman) Gregory at Brutus. She married Menno Burkhart on Nov. 24, 1935.

Survivors include five children, Naomi Bontrager and her husband, Merle, of Brutus, Linda Boyer and her husband, Tom, and Nancy Behan of Petoskey, Wayne Burkhart and his wife, Donna, of Monterey, Mass., and Arnold Burkhart and his wife, Kay, of Brutus; three sisters, Beulah Ihler of Filer, Idaho, Fannie Snider of Mountain Home, Idaho, and Barbara Snider of Alanson; a brother, Bill Gregory of Pellston; 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Menno; two daughters, Ruth Hartman and Marie Burkhart; three sisters, Rhoda Kilmer, Audrey Rogers and Emma Newswanger; a brother, John Gregory; and several grandchildren.

Services were held at Maple River Mennonite Church in Brutus, where she was a lifetime member.

Mennonite Weekly Review - March 17, 2008 -86th Year, No. 11 - p. 9


Stoltzfus, Katie L.

Katie L. Stoltzfus, 93, of Gordonville, Pa., died Dec. 6, 2007. She was born July 8, 1914, to Jacob B. and Katie (Lapp) Stoltzfoos. She was the youngest and last survivor of 12 siblings.

An avid Scrabble player, she also enjoyed quilting and crocheting afghans and baby blankets. She quilted more than 80 quilts for family members since her 80th birthday. She was a member for 44 years at Ridgeview Mennonite Church of Gordonville, where she actively supported many mission outreach programs. Her family appreciated the love and support of so many friends and neighbors during her life, especially in her last days. 

Survivors include her nine sons and seven daughters, Bertha Peachey and her husband, Caleb, of Belleville; Rebecca Petersheim and her husband, Floyd, of Goodville; Sylvia Stoltzfus and her husband, Harold G., of Wooster, Ohio; Edna Lewis of New Holland; Alvin Stoltzfus and his wife, Betty, of Wellsboro; Jonas Stoltzfus and his wife, Judy, of Loysville; Fannie Stoltzfus of Lancaster; Barbara Stoltzfus of Ridgewood, N.J.; Amos Stoltzfus and his wife, Bernadette, of Lancaster; Isaiah Stoltzfus of Christiana; Elam Stoltzfus of Lancaster; John Stoltzfus and his wife, Carol, of Gordonville; Miriam Thompson and her husband, Leroy, of Lancaster; Omar Lee Stoltzfus and his wife, Sandy, of Gordonville; Harold Aden Stoltzfus, and his wife, Cathy, of Anna Maria, Fla.; and Ernest Stoltzfus of Lancaster; 47 grandchildren; 85 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

Her husband, Isaiah K. Stoltzfus, to whom she was married 55 years, preceded her in death in 1989. She was also preceded in death by a granddaughter, three great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandson.

The funeral and burial were held at Ridgeview Mennonite Church, Gordonville, Pa.

Mennonite Weekly Review - March 24, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 12 - p. 9


Schrock, Dellis Darrel

Dellis Darrel Schrock, 76, of Fargo, N.D., died Feb. 23, 2008, after a week of volunteer work with Presbyterian Disaster Service in Houma, La. He was born July 29, 1931, to Lewis and Ada Lehman Schrock at Woodriver, Neb.

When he was 5 his family moved to Iowa. He graduated from Iowa Mennonite High School. In 1951 he met Twila Stoll at Hesston (Kan.) College. They married in 1953 and went into alternative service at Evanston (Ill.) General Hospital.

He received a bachelor’s degree from Goshen (Ind.) College in 1956. In 1958 they moved to Casselton, N.D., where they raised four children and attended Casselton Mennonite Church for 28 years. He received a master’s degree in 1962 and a specialist degree in English from the University of Illinois in 1968.

He spent 37 years teaching secondary English and creative writing in Amenia and Fargo, N.D.; 22 years as chair of the English department at South High School; six years as co-director of the TriCollege Prairie Writing Project; and six years teaching rhetoric and supervising student teachers for Concordia and MSU.

He was appointed by Gov. Olson and Gov. Sinner to the North Dakota Professional Practices Commission. He served as mayor of Casselton, as president of the North Dakota Council of Teachers of English, as editor of North Dakota English and as a deacon of First Presbyterian Church. He received the Fargo Schools Recognition of Excellence Award in 1986 and the PTA Teacher of the Year Award in 1987.

He was devoted to family, church and family heritage. He was skilled in construction, with a great work ethic and a quiet spirituality.

Survivors include his wife, Twila Mae Stoll; children Michael Lewis  and his wife, Erin Geiser, Deirdre Ann Albrecht and her husband, Tom, Joan Marie Schrock-Woodward and her husband, Don, and Elizabeth Jean Slabaugh and her husband, Marvin; four siblings, Thelma Schrock, Wilma Cannon, Lila Mae Gould and Roy Schrock; and 11 grandchildren.

His son Michael died Feb. 25 while home preparing for his father’s funeral.

Services were held at First Presbyterian Church in Fargo.


Schrock, Michael Lewis

Michael Lewis Schrock, 53, of Minneapolis, Minn., died Feb. 25 as a result of an accident, while in Fargo, N.D., preparing for his father’s funeral. He was born May 25, 1954, to Dellis and Twila Stoll Schrock and grew up in Casselton, N.D.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Goshen (Ind.) College and a bachelor’s degree in architecture from North Dakota State University in Fargo.

He was a principal of LSA Design in Minneapolis. He was formerly a principal in Schrock DeVetter Associates, the architects for Twin Lakes Elementary School — the first Silver LEED certified school in Minnesota and winner of competitions for educational projects. He also worked with Cunningham Group, BRW Architects, KKE and Polak Architects in Belgium. He was an active member of AIA Minnesota, past president of AIA Minneapolis and organizer of many AIA sponsored events. He was a mentor to the young architects who worked for him, creating a positive workplace in a demanding profession.

He loved a challenge: canoeing every summer in the Boundary Waters with his sons and their friends, running, hiking and swimming more than 1,000 miles per year, rehabbing his home and managing youth soccer teams. From the neighborhood, to church, to his nieces and nephews, he was every child’s playmate. He loved to spend time with his Ethiopian family and was a bridge builder between cultures. He was a lifelong member of the Mennonite Church and had a true passion for his heritage that led him to work for peace and justice in the world. He is beloved by his family and many friends and will be missed by all.

Survivors include his wife, Erin Geiser; sons Atlee and Haven; mother Twila of Fargo; sisters Deirdre Albrecht, Joan Schrock- Woodward and Elizabeth Slabaugh.

Memorial services were held at Luther Seminary.

Mennonite Weekly Review - March 31, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 13 - p. 9


Litwiller, Elsie Susan Egli

Elsie Susan Litwiller, 96, of Kalona, Iowa, died Feb. 6, 2008, after a brief illness. She was born March 30, 1911, to C.B. and Emma (Grimm) Egli at Manson.

She married Chancy Litwiller on Aug. 11, 1937, at Manson.

She was a homemaker and farm wife, living near Washington. She was a member of East Union Mennonite Church near Kalona and actively supported the church and many mission projects up to the time of her death. She was a Sunday school teacher for many years, an avid reader and read through the Bible many times. In December 2007, she sent a handwritten letter to each of her grandchildren, nieces and nephews, urging them to remain faithful.

Survivors include her two sons, Francis Litwiller and his wife, Phyllis, of Kalona, and Keith Litwiller of Washington; a sister, Ida Egli of Kalona; six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Chancy Litwiller, in 2003; by a 9-year-old son, Cecil Litwiller, in 1957; by a daughter-in-law, Barbara Litwiller; and by 11 siblings, Amon Egli, Joe Egli, Lewis Egli, Emery Egli, Maude Swartzendruber, John Egli, Sam Egli, Lawrence Egli, Jess Egli, Rosette Egli and Stan Egli.

Funeral services were held at East Union Mennonite Church, Kalona. Burial was in the church cemetery.


Hershberger, Esta Miller

Esta (Miller) Hershberger, 85, of Bird-in-Hand, Pa., formerly of Walnut Creek, Ohio, died March 5, 2008. She was born May 24, 1922, to Jacob M. and Drusilla Keim Miller near Winesburg, Ohio.

She grew up on a farm east of Walnut Creek. She married Simon D. Hershberger in Kalispell, Mont., during his years of alternative service in Glacier National Park. They celebrated 62 years of marriage on Dec. 22.

She was a homemaker, known for her fine quilting stitches, custard pies and cinnamon rolls. Many guests enjoyed her delicious meals, and she was a caring neighbor and friend. She was a member of Walnut Creek Mennonite Church and an associate member of Stumptown Mennonite Church in Bird-in-Hand and Sunnyslope Mennonite Church in Phoenix, Ariz., where she and her husband spent 20 winters. She participated in the sewing circles of all three churches. In 1975, she and Simon served in Buckeye, Ariz., in voluntary service, and she also volunteered at Ten Thousand Villages.

A devoted mother and member of a close-knit extended family, she loved her family dearly and spent much of her life caring for them.

Survivors include her husband, Simon; two daughters Joanne Yoder and her husband, Steve, of Glendale, Ariz., and Myrna Smucker and her husband, John, of Bird-in-Hand; a brother, Joe J. Miller, and a brother-in-law, Moses A. Kaufman, both of Sugarcreek, Ohio; and six grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by an infant son, Jonas; and a sister, Mary (Miller) Kaufman.

Services were held at Walnut Creek Mennonite Church.  Burial was in Walnut Creek Mennonite Cemetery.


Eby, John Martin

John Martin Eby, 68, of Pennsville, Pa.,* died March 1, 2008, after a seven-year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He was born Dec. 8, 1939, to Martin C. and Helen Wenger Eby in Reading.

He graduated from Governor Mifflin High School in Shillington. He then obtained a bachelor’s degree from Goshen (Ind.) College and a doctorate in organic chemistry from the University of Delaware in 1965. He worked as a chemist at Mannington Mills in Salem, N.J., for 28 years, where he was a partner in various patents. Prior to that he worked at Armstrong in Lancaster for 10 years.

He was an active member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Pennsville, N.J., and loved reading his German Bible. He had a love for music and played trombone and baritone for many years in the Salem County Brass Society, the Newark Community Band and the Moonlight Brass Quintet.

He held a private and commercial pilot’s license as well as instrument and seaplane ratings. He belonged to the Salem County Aero Club and previous to that, the Chiques Aero Club in Lancaster. He loved boating and camping with his family and riding his motorcycle.

Survivors include his wife, Ella Mae (Landis); three children, William and his wife, Janet, of Lincoln University, Ann Marie Roberts and her husband, George, of Landenberg, and Robert of Flowery Branch, Ga.; a sister, Sarah Ann Ebersole of Atlanta, Ga.; three brothers, Peter of Nashville, Tenn., James of Olympia, Wash., and Michael C. of Terre Hill; and six grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his stepmother, Esta Hershey Eby.

Funeral services were held at Trinity United Methodist Church. Burial was held at Weaverland Mennonite Church Cemetery of East Earl.

*Correction from April 7, 2008: John Martin Eby, whose obituary was published in the March 31 issue, was from Pennsville, N.J. The state was listed incorrectly.


Hershberger, E. Eugene

E. Eugene Hershberger, 86, of Glendale, Ariz., died Dec. 6, 2007, at Glencroft Care Center in Glendale. He was born Jan. 2, 1921, to William J. and Manerva Hershberger in Walnut Creek, Ohio. 

On Nov. 1, 1941, he married Vida Schloneger of Louisville, Ohio.

He worked at a meat packing plant for 25 years and also was an electrician. He was in Civilian Public Service from 1942 to 1944 and later did Mennonite Disaster Service work in Guatemala and Texas.  He lived in Ohio until 1980, when he and his wife, Vida, moved to Glendale. He worked at Glencroft Retirement Community as an electrician and a resident manager for 15 years until his retirement. After retiring he volunteered at Glencroft.

He was a past member of Beech Mennonite Church in Louisville, Ohio, and a present member of Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale. He enjoyed song leading and singing in choirs and quartets.

Survivors include his wife, Vida; five children, Lowell and his wife, Elena, Bruce and his wife, Norma, and Maynard and his wife, Jean, all of Canton, Ohio, Donna Rempel and her husband, Nathan, of Glendale, and Vivian Jaberg of Norton, Ohio; 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Doran, and a sister, Oma Smucker.

Memorial services were held at Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale and at Beech Mennonite Church in Louisville, Ohio.

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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.
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