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Mennonite Weekly Review - June 2008
  Bartel, Peter Samuel;  Britsch, Irene M. Wyse;  Eichelberger, Wilbert H.;   Goertzen, Orlando A.;    Horst, Ida Gladys Eshleman;    Jacobs, Merle E;   Nickel, John W.;  Nafziger, Erma Katherine Litwiller;  Weaver, Gail Elizabeth Frey Kling;   Wyse, Eldon Duane;   

Mennonite Weekly Review - June 2, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 22 - p. 9


Weaver, Gail Elizabeth Frey Kling

Gail Elizabeth Frey Kling Weaver, 85, of Lititz, Pa., died unexpectedly at Lancaster General Hospital on April 18, 2008. She was born in Chambersburg to Christian and Emma (Reitz) Frey. 

She was married to Alvin M. Weaver.

A homemaker, she was a member of Millport Mennonite Church. Known for her generous hospitality, she was involved with church planting for 38 years in south Alabama. She was also involved with Jubilee Ministries and volunteered at Landis Homes. At 18 years of age she started a diary, which she continued all of her life.

Survivors include her husband, Alvin Weaver; two sons, J. Nelson Kling and his wife, Marie, of Lancaster, and Gerald F. Kling and his wife, D.J., of Smoketown; a brother, Harold Frey; a sister, Jean Weaver; a stepsister, Ruth Hershey; and four grandchildren. Also surviving are Alvin’s children, Yvonne Weaver of Lebanon, Jesse Weaver and his wife, Darlene, of Lebanon, Deborah Weaver and her husband, Lester, of Ephrata, Beth Gingrich and her husband, Elias, of Bethel, and Judith Bohlen and her husband, Jeffrey, of Lancaster; Alvin’s 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Pastor C. Richard Kling; a daughter, Eunice Marie; a brother, James Frey; and three sisters, Verna Bauman, Elta Weaver and Esther Hoover.

Funeral services were held at Millport Mennonite Church in Leola. Burial was in Hess Mennonite Cemetery.


Jacobs, Merle E.

Merle E. Jacobs, 89, former Goshen (Ind.) College research professor of biology, of Smithville, Ohio, died April 9, 2008, at Wooster Community Hospital. He was born Nov. 30, 1918, to Paul and Trella Risch Jacobs at Johnstown, Pa.

He married Elizabeth Beyeler on June 7, 1959.

He graduated from Johnstown High School in 1935. After serving in Civilian Public Service at Jasper Pulaski Game Preserve near Medaryville, Ind., and at Howard, R.I., he graduated from Goshen College in 1948 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He received a doctorate in zoology as an Eigenmann Fellow from Indiana University in 1953, after which he did postdoctoral studies and teaching at Duke University from 1954 to 1957. He then taught at Bethany College in West Virginia, 1957-61; Eastern Mennonite College, Harrisonburg, Va., 1961-64; and Goshen College, 1964-86. During this time he also did research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health in biochemical genetics, which had implications for aging and other health-related issues.

He was an avid researcher into animal behavior. With the help of his video photography, he spent many years teaching in environmental education, both in the community and in camp settings. He had a deep concern for the conservation and wise use of our natural resources. The objective of his research for the NIH and for environmental education was to promote quality of life for all living things.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth; four sisters, Twila Armstrong and Dorothea Otto of Davidsville, Pa., Erma Wentz of Somerset, Pa., and Roma Ruth of Harleysville, Pa.; and four brothers, Dwight Jacobs of Arcadia, Fla., Arnold Jacobs of Colorado Springs, Colo., Duane Jacobs of Burlington, N.C., and Donald Jacobs of Lancaster, Pa.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Willard and Gerald Jacobs.

He was a member of Crown Hill Mennonite Church, where memorial and burial services were held.

Mennonite Weekly Review - June 9, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 23 - p. 9


Nickel, John W.

John W. Nickel, 86, of Mountain Lake, Minn., died May 29, 2008, at Good Samaritan Village. He was born Aug. 10, 1921, to William T. and Maria (Friesen) Nickel in Carson Township, Cottonwood County.

He received his education at a country school and at Mountain Lake High School. He was baptized at Bergfelder Mennonite Church on June 5, 1938, and on Jan. 13, 1946, he transferred his membership to Bethel Mennonite Church.

On Sept. 6, 1945, he married Edna Marie Schroeder at Bethel Mennonite Church.

They made their home and farmed on the Nickel family farm until moving into their new home in Mountain Lake in 1984. He continued to farm until his retirement in 1992, but he never gave up helping on the farm. He was a steward of all he had, sharing his talents with his neighbors by serving on the boards of the Federal Land Bank, the Delft Elevator and Mennonite Property Aid Association. He was active on several church boards and supported many projects in both his church and other ministries.

He began farming with horses, was one of the first in the neighborhood to own a self-propelled combine and corn dryer, built one of the first modern style confinement hog barns in the state and saw his family homestead become a Century Farm. He enjoyed fishing, sports of all kinds, bus tours, visiting family, helping his family in any way and participating in events with his children and grandchildren.

Survivors include his wife, Edna Nickel, of Mountain Lake; three children, Dorothy Nickel Friesen and her husband, Richard, of Newton, Kan., Daryl Nickel of Overbrook, Kan., and Audrey Bjerum and her husband, Michael, of Mountain Lake; a brother, David W. Nickel of Windom; a sister-in-law, Sara Nickel of Mountain Lake; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by six brothers, William, Peter, Theodore, Theodore, Jacob and Abram; and four sisters, Anna, Marie, Elizabeth and Katherine.

Services were held at Bethel Mennonite Church in Mountain Lake. Burial was in Mountain Lake Cemetery.


Horst, Ida Gladys Eshleman

Ida Gladys Horst, 94, of Hesston, Kan., died May 19, 2008, at Schowalter Villa. She was born March 29, 1914, to Adam and Cora (Grove) Eshleman in Hagerstown, Md.

She moved to Harrisonburg, Va., as a teenager and then went to York, Pa., for nurse’s training. She practiced nursing in Onego, W.Va., for two years and then did private-duty nursing until she married Clarence A. Horst on June 4, 1937, in Harrisonburg.

They lived in Maryland and Virginia before moving to Mountain Home, Ark., in 1945 to work in community development and church planting. They also served in Twin Falls, Idaho, as a pastoring couple before moving to Hesston in 1963. She was an active member of Hesston Mennonite Church. She returned to nursing school at age 54 and had a career in nursing for 15 years at Bethel Deaconess Hospital in Newton. After retiring to Schowalter Villa, she remained active in church and volunteer work. In the past three-and-a-half years, she continued her ministry to caregivers and friends who frequented her room at the Villa.

Survivors include two daughters: Ruby Sawin and her husband, Tom, of Hesston and Twila Van Rossun and her husband, Rick, of rural Newton; two sons, Donald Horst and his wife, Rachel, of rural Newton and Roy Horst of Naples, Fla.; nine grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence, on Nov. 21, 1982; by a son, Delmar Horst; and by a grandson.

Burial was in East Lawn Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at Schowalter Villa Chapel.

Mennonite Weekly Review - June 16, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 24 - p. 9


Goertzen, Orlando A.

Orlando A. Goertzen, 74, of North Newton, Kan., died May 25, 2008, at Newton Medical Center. He was born March 9, 1934, to Arnold S. and Eva (Janzen) Goertzen at Bethesda Hospital in Goessel.

On Aug. 8, 1958, he married Lois Groves at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton.

He attended Goessel High School and graduated with a degree in economics from Bethel College in North Newton.

He was baptized in 1951 and became a member of Tabor Mennonite Church in rural Newton. Then in 1959 until the present he was an active member of Bethel College Mennonite Church. During this time he served on the church council and the board of trustees.

Early in his career he worked for Mennonite Press in North Newton. He owned and operated United Printing Inc. and United Office Supplies in Newton for 26 years. During this time he was a member of the Newton Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club of Newton and served on the North Newton City Council. He served on the board of Mennonite Aid Union of Kansas and Mennonite Indemnity Inc. He was a dedicated member of Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus since it was organized. After retirement he worked as warehouse manager for Central States Mennonite Central Committee, volunteered with Habitat For Humanity, at Newton EtCetera Shop and Book ReViews.

He loved landscaping and working in his yard. His greatest enjoyment was spending time with his children and grandchildren and traveling. He enjoyed golfing and spent each Saturday morning having coffee with a group of friends.

Survivors include his wife, Lois; four daughters, Teresa Graber and her husband, Dennis, of Moundridge, Carolyn Wedel and her husband, Mark, of Salina, Cynthia Konys of Peoria, Ill., and Sandra Lonergan and her husband, Jared, of Peoria; a brother, Milton Goertzen of Goessel; three sisters, Elma Goertz of Goessel, Mathilda Neuenschwander of Berne, Ind., and Dora Unruh of Peabody; and seven grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a stepmother and a brother-in-law.

Memorial services were held at Bethel College Mennonite Church.


Wyse, Eldon Duane

Eldon Duane Wyse, 82, of Wayland, Iowa, died June 2, 2008, at Parkview Home in Wayland of cancer. He was born March 20, 1926, to Samuel and Emma Saltzman Wyse in rural Henry County.

He was baptized Nov. 17, 1938, at Sugar Creek Mennonite Church of rural Wayland, where he was a faithful member until his death. He graduated from Wayland High School in 1944 and attended winter Bible classes at Goshen (Ind.) College in 1947.

On Oct. 29, 1950, he married Paula Mae Boshart near Wayland.

His passion in support of the church was missions. One of the many ways he helped others was to work on Mennonite Disaster Service projects. He was canvass director of the WACO CROP Drive for 21 years.

He operated the Wyse family farm, raising turkeys, hogs, corn and soybeans. He enjoyed mechanics and restored nine tractors of his favorite brand, Massey Harris. He was a charter member of the Wayland Area Antique Tractor Club. He enjoyed woodworking, with many of his projects being given as gifts to family and friends. He donated some woodworking projects to the Iowa MCC Sale and to Parkview Home Benefit Sale.

He was a kind and loving husband, father and grandfather. He and Pauline enjoyed 13 winters in Phoenix, Ariz.

Survivors include his wife, Pauline, of Wayland; a son, Michael Duane Wyse and his wife, Jeanie, of Mount Pleasant; a daughter, Pamela Sue Hoylman and her husband, Myron, of Mount Pleasant; and a grandson, Nathan.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Lorena Fisher; and a brother, Marlin Wyse.

Memorial services were held at Sugar Creek Mennonite Church. According to his wishes, his body was cremated so that the money saved could be given to Mennonite Mission Network.

Mennonite Weekly Review - June 23, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 25 - p. 21


Eichelberger, Wilbert H.

Wilbert H. Eichelberger, 87, of Maple Lawn Health Center in Eureka, Ill., and formerly of Hopedale, died June 3, 2008. He was born on March 23, 1921, to Henry and Susanna Bechler Eichelberger in Boynton Township, Tazewell County, near Hopedale.

He worked on the farm helping with farm work and dairy cattle until 1950, then worked at Morton Pottery for 23 years until 1973. After this time he worked at grocery stores for several years. He was a lifetime member of Hopedale Mennonite Church. He was baptized there on Sept. 1, 1935, at the age of 14. He lived at Creekwood Apartments in Morton after he retired. While living there, he attended First Mennonite Church in Morton. He entered Maple Lawn Health Center on July 24, 1997, and remained there until his death.

Survivors include a sister, Bernice Ellen Sutter and her husband, Wayne, of Morton; a brother, Clarence Leroy Eichelberger of Gibson City; eight nieces, six nephews, and numerous great nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by four brothers, Ervin, Orville, Floyd and Lester; two sisters, Verda Mae Eichelberger Miller and Ira Eichelberger; four sisters-in-law, Clara, Dora, Mildred and Esther Eichelberger; a brother-in-law, William Paul Miller; and nephews Robert Miller and Ted Eichelberger.

Funeral services were held at Hopedale Mennonite Church. Burial was in Mennonite Cemetery in Hopedale.


Nafziger, Erma Katherine Litwiller

Erma Katherine Nafziger, 96, a resident of Hopedale Commons in Hopedale, Ill., for the past four years, died June 8, 2008, at Hopedale Hospital. She was born July 29, 1911, to Amos and Barbara Naffziger Litwiller in rural Delavan.

She married Vilas L. Nafziger on Dec. 25, 1932, in rural Hopedale.

She was an active member of Hopedale Mennonite Church. She and her husband farmed in rural Minier for many years before moving to Hopedale in 1978. She enjoyed gardening, reading and most of all, her family, and was one who had the ability to relate to people of all ages.

Survivors include three daughters, Marlene Birky and her husband, Wendell, of Valparaiso, Ind., Barbara Frantz and her husband, Ken, of St. Joseph, and Shirley Brunk and her husband, Gerald, of Harrisonburg, Va.; two sons, John Nafziger and his wife, Connie, of Gahanna, Ohio, and Keith Nafziger and his wife, Jeannie, of Bloomington; 12 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, Vilas, on March 9, 1993; and by four sisters and two brothers.

A service of committal was held at Mennonite Cemetery in Hopedale, followed by a memorial service at Hopedale Mennonite Church.


Bartel, Peter Samuel

Peter Samuel Bartel, 87, of Wichita, Kan., died May 26, 2008. He was born March 14, 1921, to Peter and Anna Schmidt Bartel in Marion County.

He grew up on a farm and attended a one-room school. He graduated with honors from Bethel College in North Newton in 1943.

As a conscientious objector to war, he joined a Relief Training Unit at Goshen (Ind.) College to prepare to serve in war-torn areas at the end of World War II as he waited to be drafted. Once drafted he was assigned to Civilian Public Service in Downey, Idaho, and helped dig irrigation ditches. Later he did CPS work in Mulberry, Fla., on a hookworm prevention program, and in California as education director in a veteran’s hospital. After World War II, he went to Germany with Mennonite Central Committee to help feed many people in the Krefeld area.

He returned to Kansas in December 1948, and MCC hired him to set up voluntary service programs in Kansas and Oklahoma. Then, after marrying Amanda, they moved to WaKeeney, where he taught math and science in the high school for two years. They then moved to Iowa City, where he earned a master’s degree at the University of Iowa. After this he taught physics at Bethel College for three years. After a year at the University of Kansas, he went back to high school teaching at Wichita West High School. In 1965 he began teaching at Wichita State University, where he taught until retiring in 1989.

He was a member of Lorraine Avenue Mennonite Church of Wichita. He was involved with children in Indian Guides, Boy Scouts and later ice hockey. His Science Foundation summer study grants took he and his family all over the country. In 1983 the city of Krefeld, Germany, invited him to accept their thanks for MCC’s relief work.

Survivors include his wife, Amanda; a son, Charles; a daughter, Deborah; three grandsons and a great-granddaughter.


Britsch, Irene M. Wyse

Irene M. Wyse Britsch, 93, of Archbold, Ohio, died May 31, 2008, at Fairlawn Haven. She was born Sept. 10, 1914, to William M. and Dinah (Roth) Wyse near Archbold.

She began work at the Archbold Ladder Factory as a teenager and later enjoyed the friendship of Olen Britsch, who worked in the office at the factory. They were married Nov. 25, 1937, at Central Mennonite Church of Archbold.

In August 1943, while Olen was in a Civilian Public Service camp at Sidling Hill, Pa., she lived with her sister Stella in Sarasota, Fla. In the fall of 1944, they moved to Malcolm, Neb., where Olen was the business manager for a CPS camp. They returned to Archbold in April 1946.

She was a homemaker. She raised their children, enjoying gardening, reading, quilting, entertaining and volunteering. She read through the Bible every year. She taught summer Bible school and Sunday school to children and adults, primarily at Bancroft Mennonite Church (now Toledo Mennonite), which she and Olen helped plant and where they attended for more than 30 years.

Her volunteer work included Fulton County Health Center, Meals on Wheels, Bancroft Mennonite Church, Zion Mennonite Church, Fulton County Cancer Society, Fairlawn Haven, Little Eden Camp and the Gideons. She generously supported Mennonite organizations.

She enjoyed travel, taking trips to Africa, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Hong Kong, Canada, Puerto Rico, the British Isles and Hawaii. Many trips were related to Olen’s involvement in Mennonite Economic Development Associates.

Survivors include a son, Calvin Britsch and his wife, Cheryl, of Archbold; a daughter, Maretta Buller and her husband, Arlin, of North Newton, Kan.; four sisters, Stella Crossgrove, Lucille Crossgrove and Marjorie Nafziger, all of Archbold, and Lodema Nafziger of Pettisville; three sisters-in-law, Lorraine Wyse, Meredith Beck and Doris Britsch, all of Archbold; and five grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Olen, in 1978; and by a brother, Wilbur Wyse.

Memorial services were held at Zion Mennonite Church of Archbold. Burial was in Pettisville Cemetery.

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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.