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Mennonite Weekly Review - September 2008

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

  Baer, Catherine N.  Neuhauser;   Dyck, Velma B. Goertz;  Eitzen, Allan George;   Ewert, Linda M. Heinrichs;   Goertz, Henry Arnold;   Habegger, Laveta Loganbill;   Harder, Bertha Fast;  Kraybill, Arthur S.;   Regier, Samuel;   Schmidt, Ethel Ellen;   Showalter, Edith Virginia Rhodes;   Smee, Ray L.;  Unternahrer, Noah;   Weichman, Robert Chris;   
Mennonite Weekly Review - September 1, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 32 - p. 13

Dyck, Velma B. Goertz

Velma B. (Goertz) Dyck
, 93, of Buhler, Kan., died Aug. 13, 2008. She was born June 4, 1915, to David H. and Lena (Reimer) Goertz on a farm near Gotebo, Okla.
She was baptized at Ebenezer Mennonite Church in Gotebo by Pastor Hege, who was also one of her high school teachers. She graduated from Gotebo High School.
Soon after graduation, she moved to Newton, Kan., where she worked at FW Woolworth’s and later at Bethel Deaconess Hospital. After moving to Newton, she married John W. Dyck, and they moved to the Emmaus community.
She transferred her membership to Emmaus Mennonite Church and later, when they moved back to Newton, they transferred their membership to First Mennonite Church. For the past 10 years, she lived at Sunshine Villa in Buhler.
Survivors include a daughter, Sharon Ratzloff and her husband, Don, of Buhler; a brother-in-law, Ralph Quiring of North Newton; a sister-in-law, Helen Dyck of Plains, Mo.; two granddaughters and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, John, in 1988; and by three sisters, Ella, Nora and Rosa.
Funeral services were held at the Buhler Mortuary. Burial was in Restlawn Gardens of Memory in Newton.


Ewert, Linda M. Heinrichs

Linda M. Ewert
, 86, of Hillsboro, Kan., died Aug. 14, 2008, at Parkside Homes. She was born on Aug. 4, 1922, to Jacob J. and Sara (Thiessen) Heinrichs in Hillsboro.
On Aug. 3, 1951, she married Jacob D. Ewert at Dinuba, Calif. He preceded her in death in 2000.
She was a homemaker. She was a member of Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church.
Survivors include three sons, Tom Ewert of Monrovia, Liberia, Paul Ewert of Hannibal, Mo., and Lyle Ewert of Denver, Colo.; four daughters, Norma Tippin and Sharon Jost, both of rural Hillsboro, Marlene Ewert of North Newton and Carol Owens of Wichita; four brothers, Marvin Heinrichs of Reedley, Calif., Lester Heinrichs of Visalia, Calif., James Heinrichs of Reedley, Calif., and Johnny Heinrichs of Dinuba, Calif.; three sisters, Adelia Tschiegg of Rickreall, Ore., Ruby Arduser of Laurel, Neb., and Lillian Harms of Belaire; 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Services were held at Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church. Burial was in Springfield Cemetery of rural Hillsboro.


Kraybill, Arthur S.

Arthur S. Kraybill, 88, of Sarasota, Fla., died Aug. 4, 2008. He was born March 10, 1920, to B. Lehman and Bertha Kraybill in Mount Joy, Pa.
In his early years he accepted Christ and never wavered from that commitment. In 1943 he married Rachel Shearer, and they celebrated 65 years of marriage this past February.
In his early years he was a gifted salesperson. Later he served a Civilian Public Service term at a psychiatric hospital. Then he and Rachel returned to Mount Joy. They purchased a small farm near Elizabethtown, raising asparagus as a main crop, but they also had poultry and sold eggs. In 1954 he contracted polio, which affected his walking.
They accepted a call from Eastern Mennonite Missions to serve as house parents for missionary children in Honduras and were there for several years. When they returned to the United States they settled in Florida, and he became a business manager for the Southern Mennonite Camp Association. He served on various church boards such as for Southeast Mennonite Conference and the Bahia Vista Mennonite Church council and was a Sunday school superintendent and teacher. He was a supporter of Choice Books. He also was a real estate sales person in Sarasota. During their retirement years they spent some years in Harrisonburg, Va., and Atlanta, Ga., before returning to live in Sarasota again.
Survivors include his wife, Rachel; a daughter, Donna Godfrey and her husband, John, of Atlanta; a brother, Benjamin Kraybill of Palmyra, Pa.; a sister, Rachel of Lititz, Pa.; three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service was held at Bahia Vista Mennonite Church. Burial was in Harrisonburg, Va.


Habegger, Laveta Loganbill

LaVeta Loganbill Habegger, 83, died Aug. 19, 2008, at her home in Newton, Kan. She was born Feb. 28, 1925, to Aldus and Susanna Krehbiel Loganbill near Tulsa, Okla. Her father died when she was 2. When she was 3, her mother married Albert Penner.
She married David L. Habegger on Aug. 18, 1946, in the Bethel
College Chapel in North Newton.
She was baptized and united with Bruderthal Mennonite Church of Hillsboro. Since retiring in Newton, she joined Bethel College Mennonite Church of North Newton.
She graduated from Bethel College with a bachelor’s degree in Bible, from Goshen College with a
bachelor’s degree in home economics and from Western Michigan University with a master’s degree in home economics.
She and her husband served churches in Busby and Lame Deer, Mont.; Carlock, Ill.; Allentown, Pa.; Upland, Calif.; Elkhart, Ind.; Wichita; and Champaign-Urbana, Ill., for 42 years. After retirement in 1991, they lived in Fort Wayne, Ind., and since 2003 in Newton.
In addition to being a homemaker and a teacher of children’s Sunday school classes, she taught in junior and senior high schools and at Friends University in Wichita. In
Urbana, Ill., she taught quilting through an adult education program. She made many quilts, nine of which were hand quilted for the conferences of the General Conference Mennonite Church and Mennonite Church USA; and for the Strasbourg, France, Mennonite World Conference.
Survivors include her husband, David; five children, Rachel and John Pannabecker, Nathan and Nicole Habegger, Christen and Trish Habegger, Rebecca and Roger Zehr and Peter Habegger; four siblings, the children of Aldus and Susanna Loganbill: Vera Kliewer of Dodge City and Eleanor Lehman of Fort Collins, Colo., and the children of Albert and Susanna (Krehbiel) Penner: Loretta Krehbiel of Pretty Prairie and Lorene K. Goering of Newton; 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by two siblings, children of Albert and Eliese (Riesen) Penner: Randy Penner and Hilda Jantzen.
A memorial service was held at Bethel College Mennonite Church. Burial was in the cemetery of First Mennonite Church of Christian, Moundridge.


Regier, Samuel

Samuel Regier, 86, died Aug. 2, 2008. He was born to Cornelius P. and Katharina Friesen Regier in Enid, Okla.
He graduated from Enid High School in 1940, from Oklahoma A&M in chemical engineering, and from the University of Tulsa with a master’s degree in administration and petroleum engineering. In 1944, while in the Airborne Engineers, he married his college sweetheart, Jo W. Westbrook. 
He worked for Gulf Oil Co. in Port Arthur, Texas, Tulsa, Kuwait, London, Pittsburgh and Houston. He and his family were fortunate to experience these interesting and varied cities. He started as a project engineer and then worked with administrative responsibilities for gas projects in Europe, Africa and Asia.  After retirement from Gulf Oil, he became a consultant for Chevron and other oil companies.
He was an active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, serving on the Vestry and establishing “Who Is My Neighbor.” He was a member of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew. For 15 years he was treasurer of Metropolitan Environmental Trust. He was  active in the Oklahoma State Retirees Association and was busy with the Boy Scouts and various philanthropic organizations. He continued to serve after moving to assisted living, organizing a monthly communion service.
Survivors include his son John W. Regier of Zurich, Switzerland, and daughter Mary Jo Sartain and her husband, Gailard Sartain, of Tulsa.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Jo, in 2002.


Goertz, Henry Arnold

Henry Arnold Goertz, 59, of Bristol, Ind., died of cancer on June 28, 2008. He was born July 23, 1948, to Ernest and Elma Goertz in Goessel, Kan.
He spent time in Zaire (Congo) doing voluntary service with Pax from 1968 to 1970. He attended and graduated from Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., where he met Alice Miller of Hanston, Kan. They were married Jan. 29, 1971.
After moving to northern Indiana, he attended Mennonite Biblical Seminary part time and worked in the public welfare departments of Elkhart and St. Joseph counties. He and Alice returned to Kansas in 1980, where he attended law school at the University of Kansas. He practiced law in Dodge City, Kan., from 1984 through 2003, where
they raised their family. He and Alice then returned to northern Indiana, which was in closer proximity to their adult children.
In recent years, he has enjoyed bicycling, doing volunteer work at Mennonite Mission Network, splitting wood for indoor heating, singing, exploring issues of faith and
spending time with family and friends. A highlight in his life was a return visit to Congo in December 2006. He was a member of College Mennonite Church in Goshen.
Survivors include his wife of 37 years, Alice; three sons, Jeremiah of Elkhart; Marvin and his wife, Eve, of Bourbonnais, Ill., and Isaiah of Bristol; his parents, Ernest and Elma Goertz of Goessel, Kan.; five sisters, Ruth Goertz Reiselt, Emily Goertz, Dorothy Goertz, Esther Epp and Naomi Goertz Ingram; a brother, Joel Goertz; and two granddaughters.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Goertz.
Memorial services were held at College Mennonite Church of Goshen.


Harder, Bertha Fast

Bertha Fast Harder, 94, died Aug. 23, 2008, at Bethesda Home in Goessel, Kan. She was born July 26, 1914, to Herman B. and Anna Warkentin Fast in Mountain Lake, Minn.
She married Leland Harder on Aug. 8, 1951, in Mountain Lake.
She was a graduate of Mankato (Minn.) State Teachers College in 1937, of Bethel College in North Newton in 1949 and Mennonite Biblical Seminary in 1951. She was a first-grade teacher in Minnesota public schools from 1937 to 1944. Then for two years until the end of World War II, she volunteered as a relief worker in Egypt and Italy for Mennonite Central Committee and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. After her service she traveled to many churches in the U.S. and Canada reporting about her relief work.
She served as the first Mennonite Voluntary Service director. She was the first woman elected to a major Mennonite denominational board and continued as a member of the General Conference Mennonite Church’s Commission on Education for 18 years. Together with her husband she was a member of the faculty at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind., from 1958 to 1983.
In retirement they moved to North Newton, where she became a docent at Kauffman Museum, a frequent storyteller in the community, and director of Low German programs at Bethel’s Fall Festival. She was a member of Bethel College Mennonite Church, where she taught Sunday school children for 18 years.
Survivors include her husband, Leland; two sons, John Harder and his wife, Julie, of Windsor, Ont., and Tom Harder and his wife, Lois,
of Wichita; two sisters, Wilma Fast Jungas of Mountain Lake and Marie Ruth Fast Wall of Avon, Conn.; a brother, Bob Fast of Fairmont, Minn.; and five grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Alma Fast Young.
A memorial service is being held Aug. 30 at Bethel College Mennonite Church after a family inurnment at Gnadenau Mennonite Cemetery south of Hillsboro.

Mennonite Weekly Review - September 8, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 33 - p. 9

Weichman, Robert Chris

Robert “Bob” Chris Weichman, 66, of Flanagan, Ill., died Aug. 11, 2008, at RML Specialty Hospital in Hinsdale. He was born Feb. 25, 1942, to Chris and Anna (Folkerts) Weichman in Flanagan.
He married Kathy Albrecht on April 29, 1962.
He was a member of Prairieview Mennonite Church in rural Flanagan, where he had been deacon. He was retired from Livingston Service Company, Pontiac. He dedicated his retired years to helping those less fortunate than himself by volunteering for Mennonite Disaster Service. He served as a project director for MDS more than 20 times on at least 15 different projects.
Survivors include his wife, Kathy, of Flanagan; a daughter, Jackie Iverson and her husband, Phil, of Loda; three sons, Brad Weichman and his wife, Judy, of Bloomington, Brent Weichman and his wife, Denise, of Teutopolis, and Jeff   Weichman and his wife, Marie, of Crystal Lake; two sisters, Rosetta Slagell and Rita Hemken, both of Flanagan; a brother, Rudy Weichman of Flanagan; his mother-in-law, Esther Eastman; and 11 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Richard; sister-in- law Marlene and brother-in-law Tom Knight.
Funeral services were held at Prairieview Mennonite Church of rural Flanagan. Burial was in Waldo Cemetery of rural Gridley.

Mennonite Weekly Review - September 15, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 34 - p. 9

Showalter, Edith Virginia Rhodes

Edith Virginia Rhodes Showalter, 87, died Aug. 31, 2008, at Oak Lea, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, Va., where she had been a resident since 1998. She was born Feb. 25, 1921, to Webster Clay and Sarah Mabel Showalter Rhodes near Dayton.
On April 25, 1942, she married Owen F. Showalter.
She was a homemaker and worked with her husband, Owen, on farms at Broadway, Va., Salem, Ohio, and Timberville, Va., before they moved to Broadway in 1974. She enjoyed caring for her family, cooking, quilting, hosting guests in her home, gardening and singing. While her health permitted, she was an active member of her church’s sewing circle and a volunteer with the Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale. She was a member of Trissels Mennonite Church in Broadway, VA.
Survivors include a daughter, Sharon S. Harman of Harrisonburg; seven sons, Harley R. and Myron J. of Harrisonburg; O. Franklin and Ruel J. of Broadway, Welby C. of Linville, Stuart W. of Kalamazoo, Mich., and H.D. Hollis of Ann Arbor, Mich.; three sisters, Esther Rohrer, Ida Rohrer and Norma Koogler, all of Dayton; five brothers, Eber, John and Neil of Dayton, Reuben of Harrisonburg and Luke of Ashland, Ohio; 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Owen F. Showalter, on Jan. 21, 2000; four brothers, Mark and Harry of Columbiana, Ohio, and infants Franklin and Daniel of Dayton; a granddaughter, Alicia Showalter Reynolds, in 1996; and a daughter-in-law, Martha Ann Baer Showalter, in 1998.
Funeral services were held at Trissels Mennonite Church of Broadway.


Schmidt, Ethel Ellen

Ethel Ellen Schmidt, 88, of rural Walton, Kan., died April 12, 2008, at Bethesda Home in Goessel. She was born Dec. 21, 1919, to Rudolph B. and Susie Voth Schmidt in Newton.
She graduated from Walton High School in 1937 and Bethel College in 1945 with a degree in music education. She received a master’s degree in music education from the University of Wichita in 1956.
Her teaching career of 43 years began with Marion County schools Waldeck, Sand Creek and Goessel. From there she went on to teach at Plains, Kiowa, Oakley, Mount Hope, Peabody, Arkansas Avenue and Oxford, often teaching elementary and middle school music. In Wichita she taught at Minneha, Payne and Park schools.
She served as organist and pianist at Tabor Mennonite Church, accompanist for the Walton Mennonite Church men’s chorus and choir director at Plains Methodist Church. She taught Bible and Sunday school at Tabor and was a junior high retreat leader for Western District Conference.
She was a private piano teacher, accompanist at Sand Creek School and the original director/accompanist for the Guhr Brothers Quartet. She received awards for reading, spelling, piano and a piano scholarship. Later in her teaching career she received recognition from Kansas State University for her years of teaching and a certificate of merit in Wichita public schools.
She was a loving, generous, soft-spoken and pleasant person with a beautiful smile and high soprano voice. Her nephews and niece remember her as a mentor and teacher of crafts and art, including shell craft, jewelry making, lapidary, silversmithing, sewing, counted cross stitch, embroidery, knitting and crocheting, leather tooling, Swedish weaving and rug making.
Survivors include her brother, Esley Schmidt of Agricola; and her sister, Hildred, of Walton.


Eitzen, Allan George

Allan George Eitzen, 80, of Lititz, Pa., died of cancer on Aug. 31, 2008. He was born May 25, 1928, to Agatha Warkentin Eitzen and George P. Eitzen in Mountain Lake, Minn.
After studies at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, he moved to Scottdale, Pa., to work as an illustrator for Herald Press. At the publishing company, he met a young woman, Ruth Carper, who was developing educational materials. Only a month later, she left for four years in Europe to work for Mennonite Central Committee. After her return to the United States, they married on July 12, 1954. In the meantime, he had earned a degree in illustration at Philadelphia College of Art (now University of the Arts).
They moved to a country home in Barto and had five children. He supported the family as a freelance illustrator of children’s books, magazines and textbooks, and was kept busy caring for the country property and acting as family chauffeur. When the children left home, he had more time to devote to his artistic medium of choice, printmaking. He continued working professionally as an illustrator until 2007 and as a printmaker almost to the time of his death. Google lists 147 books that carry his illustrations, often on the cover. The titles include Mennonite classics such as Henry’s Red Sea, Coals of Fire and a number of the Louise Vernon heritage fiction titles.
In addition to his artistic pursuits, he was passionate about literature, classical music and jazz, travel and, above all, his family. His sense of fun, optimism and enthusiastic spirit will be sorely missed.
Survivors include five children, Hilda, Dirk, Ann, Laura and John; and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Sept. 28 at East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church in Lancaster.

Mennonite Weekly Review - September 22, 2008 - 86th Year, No. 35 - p. 9

Unternahrer, Noah

Noah Unternahrer, 90, of Parkview Home in Wayland, Iowa, died Aug. 29, 2008, at Henry County Health Center in Mount Pleasant. He was born Feb. 5, 1918, to Christian and Anna (Rediger) Unternahrer in Wayland.
He married Barbara Elizabeth Wenger on June 21, 1942, in Wayland.
He attended Douglas Country School. He and his wife lived and farmed in the Wayland area for more than 50 years. He was a member of Sugar Creek Mennonite Church of rural Wayland, where he had served as a trustee and Sunday school teacher. He was a member of Gideon’s International and was a board member of Iowa Mennonite School of rural Kalona. He enjoyed being a farmer, volunteering, woodworking, reading, cracking and picking out nuts, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara, of Wayland; five children, Kathryn Smith and her husband, Charles, of Nappanee, Ind., Ronald Unternahrer and his wife, Ingrid, of Stroudsburg, Pa., David Unternahrer and his wife, Janis, of Wayland, Rosetta Koerner and her husband, David, of Kalona, and Esther Amstutz and her husband, Chuck, of Orrville, Ohio; a daughter-in-law, Hortensia Unternahrer of Wayland; 11 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son, Norman Unternahrer, on March 3, 2007; two brothers, Joe and Jake Unternahrer; five sisters, Hannah Roth and four others in infancy; and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at Sugar Creek Mennonite Church. Burial was in Sugar Creek Mennonite Cemetery.


Smee, Ray L.

Ray L. Smee, 87, died Aug. 21, 2008, at Hospice of the Valley in Arizona. He was born Aug. 23, 1920, to Ira L. and Myrtle (Kingsborough) Smee in Carlisle, Pa.
He was born again in 1930 and became a member of the Brethren in Christ Church in 1931. He married Sylvia Sandoe Wenger on June 20, 1942.
He was licensed to the Christian ministry in 1943 and ordained in 1944. He served as a minister for four years in Pennsylvania, for 20 years in western Oklahoma, two years in Des Moines, Iowa, one year at Palm Glen Mennonite Brethren Church in Phoenix and 13 years at Grace Mennonite Church in Phoenix.
He was a tri-vocational pastor, hanging wallpaper in the community and repairing watches at home. He spoke at many revival meetings and area-wide church assemblies. He and Sylvia enjoyed traveling, and a highlight was a world tour as they counseled and encouraged their missionaries and then reported to the home congregations. While serving in Leedy, Okla., their residence and possessions were completely destroyed by a tornado.
Survivors include four sisters, Ruth Stoner of Mechanicsburg, Pa., Edna Sewell of Union City, Ga., Beulah Fanning of St. Petersburg, Fla., and Betty Wert of Carlisle, Pa.; and a brother, Paul Smee of Tobyhanna, Pa.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Sylvia, in August 1990; and a sister, Martha.
Memorial services were held at Glencroft Chapel.

Mennonite Weekly Review - September 29, 2008 = 86th Year, No. 36 - p. 9

Baer, Catherine N.  Neuhauser

Catherine N. Baer, 85, of Goshen, Ind., died Aug. 29, 2008. She was born Jan. 15, 1923, to William and Anna Neuhauser in Pigeon, Mich.
On July 27, 1949, she married Joseph F. Baer in Pigeon.
She was a devoted wife, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was a thrifty homemaker, a Sunday school teacher, church worker, quilter, volunteer at Greencroft Inc., and College Mennonite Church and a friend to many. She was a longtime supporter of Mennonite Central Committee. She was a loving, wise, conscientious Christian. While living, she was generous, and in dying, she donated her body to medical research.
Survivors include her husband, Joe; two sons, Joseph N. Baer and his wife, Patricia, of Alden, N.Y., and David L. Baer and his wife, Patricia, of Goshen; two sisters, Irene Riegsecker and her husband, Levi, of Goshen, and Vera Kindy and her husband, Virgil, of Midland, Mich.; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a brother, John Neuhauser, and a daughter, Twila Rose Baker.
Memorial services were held at College Mennonite Church of Goshen.

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