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Mennonite Weekly Review - May 2008

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

 Duerksen,Velda Richert;   Kline, Edna Grace Hostetler;   Petri, Edith Gerda Franz;   Ramseyer, Alvin  Jr.;   Schrock, Herman M.;   Tiessen, Grace Charlotte Miller;   Wiebe, Evelyn Mae Fischer;   Wiebe, Dallas E.;   
Mennonite Weekly Review -  May 5, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 18 -  p. 9


Ramseyer, Alvin  Jr.

Alvin C. “Al” Ramseyer Jr., 87, of Smithville, Ohio, died April 16, 2008, at Smithville Western Care Center in Wooster. He was born March 9, 1921, to Alvin C. and Mary Ellen Schrock) Ramseyer in Smithville.

He married Ruth Neuenschwander on Nov. 4, 1945.

He was a 1939 graduate of Smithville High School and attended Bluffton University. He worked on the family potato and wheat farm his entire life and was a good steward of the land. He served on many boards, including People to People, First National Bank of Orrville, Bluffton University, Wayne Mutual Insurance and Ohio Potato Growers Association. He was an active member of Oak Grove Mennonite Church, where he volunteered in various capacities. He was a former member of Smithville Promoters Club and was a charter member of Smithville Ruritan Club.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Ruth; three children, Ellyne Sollenberger and her husband, Harold, of Kendallville, Ind., Janis Gingerich and her husband, Dan, of Burton, and Donald Ramseyer and his wife, Debra, of Smithville; a brother, Arden Ramseyer of Smithville; two sisters, Esther Miller of Mission, Texas, and Phyllis Miller of Goshen, Ind.; 11 grandchildren and step-grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by five sisters, Irene Musser, Edna Kaufman, Erma Johnson, Francis Gundy and Mary Kay Gerig.

Funeral services were held at Oak Grove Mennonite Church of Smithville. Burial was in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Mennonite Weekly Review  - May 12, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 19 - p. 9


Duerksen,Velda Richert

Velda Duerksen, 92, of Goessel, Kan., died April 22, 2008, at Bethesda Home. She was born Oct. 1, 1915, to Peter C. and Maria (Schroeder) Richert in Marion County.

She grew up on the family farm along Highway 15 and was privileged to spend much of her adult life there. She attended Hochfield Elementary School, Goessel High School and Bethel College. She was baptized on June 4, 1933, and became a member of Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church.

She married A. Adolph Duerksen on April 16, 1942. They enjoyed 50 years of marriage, then he preceded her in death on Nov. 2, 1992.

She was a church secretary for 18 years. She spent much of her adult life pursuing her interests in church history and German translation.

Survivors include three daughters, Lois Loeppky and her husband, Otto, of Steinbach, Man., Barbara Duerksen and her husband, Steve Goering, of Richland Center, Wis., and Julia Duerksen and her husband, Allan Smith, of San Francisco; a son, Richard Duerksen and his wife, Sheryl, of Perkasie, Pa.; a sister, Jeanette Voth of Goessel; five grandchildren and a great-grandson.

She was preceded in death by three sisters, Marna Mildred Richert in infancy, Alice Richert and Irma Duerksen; a brother, Orie Richert; and a step-granddaughter, Cathie Smith.

Memorial services were held at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church of rural Goessel. Burial was in the church cemetery.


Kline, Edna Grace Hostetler

Edna Grace Kline, 89, of Elkhart, Ind., formerly of Harper, Kan., died May 2, 2008, at Northlakes Nursing Home in Angola, Ind. She was born June 9, 1918, to Oliver and Leah (Beyler) Hostetler in Harper.

She married Elmo W. Kline on Aug. 31, 1946, in Chicago, Ill. He preceded her in death on Jan. 14, 2007.

She taught for two years in Kansas. After moving to Elkhart she was employed at Elkhart Community Schools, where she taught home economics and health, retiring from Westside Junior High School in 1977.

She was a member of First United Methodist Church in Elkhart. She was also a member of Goshen and Elkhart Antique Study Club, Retired Teachers Association, Mr. and Mrs. Club, Garden Club, and former member of the Book Club, Eastern Star, Red Cross and YMYWCA. An avid gardener, she also enjoyed sewing, collecting dolls and antiques, ceramics and painting.

Survivors include two daughters, Brenda Maurer and her husband, John, of Angola, and Valerie Williams and her husband, Jerry, of Fort Worth, Texas; a brother, Clarence B. Hostetler of White Pigeon, Mich.; and a sister, Avis King of Atlanta, Ga.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmo; three sisters, Mildred Hartzler, Opal Pan Kratz and Elda Kreider; and a brother, Don Hostetler.


Wiebe, Dallas E.

Dallas Eugene Wiebe, 78, of Cincinnati, Ohio, died May 1, 2008, of congestive heart failure. He was born Jan. 9, 1930, to John Phillip and Otillie Marie (Becker) Wiebe in Newton, Kan.

He graduated from Newton High School in June 1948. He was baptized on confession of faith June 9, 1946, at First Mennonite Church of Newton.

In 1948 he began study at Bethel College in North Newton. While there he met Virginia Margaret Schroeder of Halstead. They were married on June 24, 1951, at First Mennonite Church in Newton.

After two years in the U.S. Medical Corps, he returned to Bethel and graduated in 1954. They moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he began graduate studies at the University of Michigan. He received his master’s degree in 1955 and doctorate in 1960. He taught at the University of Wisconsin in Madison for three years and then moved to the English department at the University of Cincinnati. He taught there for 31 years, retiring in 1995.

He taught composition, American literature, modern British and American poetry, 20th-century fiction, stylistics, literary criticism and creative writing. His publications include two novels, Skyblue the Badass and Our Asian Journey. He published four books of short stories, other short stories and poems, essays, scholarly articles and translations of German poetry.

His honors include a Major Hopwood Award in Poetry in 1956, the Aga Khan Fiction Award from Paris Review in 1978, a Pushcart Prize in 1979, the Post-Corbett Award for Literature, 1984, a Rieveschl Award for Creative and Scholarly Activity, 1985, the Ohio Arts Council’s Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio, 1998, and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Ohio Arts Council, 1999. He was a founder and editor of Cincinnati Poetry Review. He was a founder of the Cincinnati Writers’ Project.

Survivors include a daughter, Ericka Kirstin Wiebe and her husband, Jeffrey Glover; a son, Garth Dylan Wiebe and his wife, BonnieJean (Phipps) Wiebe; six grandsons; three sisters and a brother.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Virginia, on April 19, 2002; two sisters and a brother.


Addition: In the obituary of Fred Swartzentruber in the April 28 issue, survivors also include a brother, Henry Swartzentruber and his wife, Salome, of Oakland, Md. He was preceded in death by siblings Lena Yoder, Claude and Owen Swartzentruber.

Mennonite Weekly Review - May 19, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 20 - p. 13


Schrock, Herman M.

Herman Monroe Schrock, 83, of Harrisonburg, Va., died April 12, 2008. He was born May 25, 1924, to Samuel E. and Katie C. Miller Schrock in Reno County, Kan.

He accepted Christ as his personal Savior at age 12. He was faithful to the church until his death, serving as Sunday school superintendent, Sunday school teacher and songleader. He enjoyed singing and was a member of the Rockingham Male Chorus for 25 years. He founded the Inner Harmony Quartet and was still singing with them at the time of his death. He was a member of Lindale Mennonite Church since 1973.

He had various occupations throughout his life, including farming, trucking, heavy equipment operator, plumber, factory worker and director of buildings and grounds at Eastern Mennonite College. He retired after 15 years of service from Sunnyside Presbyterian Retirement Community, where he was plant supervisor. He was working for Special Fleet Service at the time of his death.

On April 30, 1955, he married Katherine Blough.

Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Katherine; a son, Darrel Schrock and his wife, Evengeline, of Newport News; two daughters, Linda S. Schrock of Harrisonburg and Sonya Carrier of Dayton; three brothers, Allen Schrock of Hutchinson, Kan., Earl Schrock of Harrisonburg and Eugene Schrock of Partridge, Kan.; a sister, Doris Yoder of Midland, Mich.; and four grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Susie Ellen; a brother, Leroy Schrock; and a granddaughter, Katie Lynn Carrier.

Funeral services were held at Lindale Mennonite Church. Burial was in the church cemetery.

Mennonite Weekly Review - May 26, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 21 - p. 9


Petri, Edith Gerda Franz

Edith Gerda (Franz) Petri, native of a Mennonite community in Montau, West Prussia, and formerly of Greencroft Retirement Community in Goshen, Ind., Wood Dale, Ill., and Chicago, died May 11, 2008, at age 76.

She was born Jan. 23, 1932. She first came to the United States as an MCC exchange trainee in 1955 and stayed with the Imhoff family in Roanoke, Ill. Although she considered herself blessed to be an imported American, she lived as a stranger in this world and is now home.

She was the beloved wife of the late Hans Petri.

She was a dear sister, aunt, cousin and friend of many. She was up-to-date and in good stead with her vast array of friends. She will be   remembered as loving, generous, kind, genuine, honest and full of life. She lived out her faith. She had a gift and calling of hospitality and made everyone feel welcome. She was the mutually adoring and loving “Oma” of Hannah, Luke and Esther and the “bestest” mashed potato and cookie maker. Although she was in chronic pain, she lived each day fully and did her best to make her little corner of the world brighter for all those who were around her. She lived a life of gratitude and contentment. She loved the arts, traveling, knitting and sewing. She was always ready to help when it was within her abilities. She was a longtime active member of Lombard (Ill.) Mennonite Church and was currently a member of College Mennonite Church of Goshen, Ind.

Survivors include her children, Friedrich “Fred” Petri and his wife, Sharon Byerly, of Chicago, and Annette Anderle and her husband, Kevin, of Appleton, Wis.; and three grandchildren.

Memorial services will be held June 7 at College Mennonite Church.


Wiebe, Evelyn Mae Fischer

Evelyn Mae Wiebe, 87, died March 1, 2008. She was born Nov. 26, 1920, to Peter and Elizabeth Fischer in her parents’ home near Corn, Okla.

She grew up on a farm. She attended a small rural elementary school and graduated from Corn Bible Academy. It was there that she met Arthur, her future husband. Their romance blossomed, and three years later they were married on Aug. 24, 1941. Their wonderful and eventful marriage spanned 66 years.

She was noted for the quality of her pies, cakes and tasty meals. She always added a huge dose of love when she applied these skills in preparing meals for the family, students away at college or friends in need.

She accepted Christ as her Savior while a teenager and was baptized on the confession of her faith. It was this faith that shaped her into a loving, devoted child of God and sustained her in a lifetime of service.

She was deeply loved by many. She never sought the limelight. However, if you were to scratch the surface of much her husband was involved in as president of Pacific College (now Fresno Pacific University) and the AIMS Foundation, you would find her fingerprints.

Survivors include her husband, Arthur; daughter Ann Wiebe of Reedley, Calif.; son Richard Wiebe and his wife, Billie Jean, of Clovis, Calif.; sister Martha Heidebrecht of Bethany, Okla.; and sisters-in-law Martha Fischer of Eureka, Calif., and Lydia Reimer and her husband, Nick, of Reedley.


Tiessen, Grace Charlotte Miller

Grace Charlotte Miller Tiessen, 91, of Kalona, Iowa, died April 13, 2008. She was born Oct. 29, 1916, to Leroy and Lydia Troyer Miller one mile east of Kalona.

She moved to Arkansas with her family from 1926 to 1936, graduating from Stuttgart High School in 1933. Returning to Iowa, she was employed at Reif’s and Farmers Savings Bank. She also taught at several one-room country schools north of Kalona. She attended Iowa Teacher’s College and later Goshen (Ind.) College, where she received her bachelor of English degree in 1948. Several years later she volunteered to serve in Europe with Mennonite Central Committee, where she met Gerhard Tiessen. They were married May 22, 1954, in Winnipeg, Man.

She was a charter member of Kalona Mennonite Church, where she was active in WMSC and sang in many groups. She was congregational correspondent to Mennonite Weekly Review for many years. She taught at Iowa Mennonite School from 1961 to 1978. After retiring, she and Gerhard worked for MCC in California for two years.

Survivors include a son, John Tiessen and his wife, Elizabeth, of Elk Grove Village, Ill.; a brother, J. John J. Miller and his wife, Mabel, of Kalona; two sisters-in-law, Mary Ellen Miller of Kalona and Marichen Isaak of Bielefeld, Germany; a brother-in-law, Al Neuenschwander of Geneva, Ind.; and four grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at Kalona Mennonite Church. Burial was in Sharon Hill Cemetery of Kalona.

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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.
May not be mass-produced in any form for commercial purposes.