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Mennonite Weekly Review - September 2009

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

  Bartel, Melvin L.;   Claassen, Irene Dyck;  Croyle, Denton E.;   Ediger, Sam;   Friesen, John E.;   Graber, Delpha Waltner;   Heinrichs, Harold C. "Harry";   Leasa, Kenneth Varden;    Liechty, Lynn Oswald;    Miller, Freeman James;   Schmucker, Leonard E.;    Schrock, Elmer Leo;   Stoltzfus, Stephen S.   Stucky, Roland D.;    Swartzendruber, Cliff  Wenger;   Zook, John Edwin. Dr. 

Mennonite Weekly Review  - September 7, 2009 - 87th Year, No. 33 - p. 13


Miller, Freeman James

Freeman James Miller, 91, of Hesston, Kan., died June 14, 2009. He was born July 16, 1917, to James J. and Emma Brobst Miller at Crystal Springs.
He graduated from Harper High School. As a young man he received Christ and joined Crystal Springs Mennonite Church. After retirement he joined Garden Community Church near Hesston.
On Aug. 19, 1937, he married Odena Yoder in Hutchinson.
Together they owned and operated Miller Mercantile Co. at Crystal Springs for more than 40 years. They added a locker and meat processing service to the business in the 1950s. Freeman also farmed and raised cattle and hogs.
In 1992, they retired to Schowalter Villa in Hesston, and Odena died suddenly on March 12, 1993. He met Evelyn Zerger Stucky, and they were married on Nov. 25, 1994.
He used his musical talents in the church as a song leader and in various quartets. Then later he was part of Evelyn’s Rag Tag Band at Memorial Home. He enjoyed playing softball in his younger years with the local team. Later in life he enjoyed attending many ball games. Fishing trips to Colorado with the family were made for many years, and the last trip included four generations fishing together. Many hours were also spent with his bird dogs hunting quail and pheasants.
Survivors include his wife, Evelyn; a daughter, Maris Schroeder and her husband, Donald, of Moundridge; a son, Edwin and his wife, Carol, of Kalona, Iowa; five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by Evelyn’s children, Lyle Stucky and his wife, Linda, of Osler, Sask., Larry Stucky and his wife, Cindy, of McPherson, Lynn Stucky and his wife, Lori, of Sanger, Texas, Denise Siemens and her husband, Allen, of McPherson, Donna Sharp and her husband, Max, of Little Rock, Ark, and Danielle Suderman and her husband, Dwight, of McPherson; Evelyn’s 15 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his siblings, Mae Miller, Beulah Zimmerman, Lela Naffziger, Ola Hooley, Norman Miller, Forrest Miller and an infant sister.
Memorial services were held at Garden Community Church.


Swartzendruber, Cliff  Wenger

Clifford Wenger Swartzendruber, 90, of Goshen, Ind., died Aug. 19, 2009, at Greencroft Healthcare Center after being ill with squamous cell carinoma, a head and throat cancer. He was born Dec. 6, 1918, to Ernest and Sarah (Wenger) Swartzendruber in Versailles, Mo.
He married Eleanor Ulrich at her parents’ home in Pomeroy, Iowa, on June 1, 1942. She preceded him in death in 2003.
He formerly worked at Beneke Motor Co. in Manson, Iowa. In 1963, he and his wife, along with another partner, established S & D Chevrolet. He also worked at Garber Birkley Implement in Pomeroy prior to his retirement.
He was a former member of Manson Mennonite Church, where he held various leadership positions. He was also active in business service clubs.
In 1990, he and his wife moved to Goshen, where he was a member of Waterford Mennonite Church and the National Wood Carvers Association. At Greencroft he was well known for his talent as a woodworker and woodcarver. His fancy folk-art cane with a wormy butternut fish-head handle won second prize in the “Art is Ageless” contest.
Survivors include a daughter, Karen Kurtz and her husband, Mark, of Goshen; a brother, Emery Swartzendruber of Rocky Ford, Colo.; a special friend, Shirley Gingerich of Goshen; and 17 nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Eleanor; three sisters, LeAnna Miller, Twila Wenger and Hazel Birkey; a brother, John Swartzendruber; and a niece, Shirley Birkey.
Services were held at Evergreen Place on the Greencroft Campus. Burial was in Violett Cemetery.


Ediger, Sam

Sam Ediger
, 90, of Hesston, Kan., died Aug. 22, 2009, at Schowalter Villa. He was born June 24, 1919, to Henry H. and Marie Schmidt Ediger in Buhler.
As a building contractor he was co-owner/operator of Ediger Brothers Construction for 20 years, then he was the owner/operator of Sam Ediger and Sons Construction. He belonged to Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church of Inman and the Men’s Brotherhood.
On Sept. 12, 1943, he married Betty Jane Regehr at McPherson County. She preceded him in death on July 9, 2001. On Feb. 2, 2002, he married Linda Ediger Guhr at Newton.
Survivors include his wife, Linda; four children, Bruce Ediger and his wife, Sherry, of Hesston, Darrell Ediger and his wife, DeeDee, of Dalton, Ohio, David Ediger and his wife, Marilyn, of Hesston, and Bette Jo Lehrman and her husband, Verney, of Newton; two stepchildren, Jim Guhr and his wife, Christy, of Joplin, Mo., and Lynett Peters and her husband, Allen, of Eminence, Mo.; two sisters, Marie Widmer of Washington, Iowa, and Amanda Bartel of Wichita; 13 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; four step-grandchildren and two step-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, Raymond, Curt and Henry Ediger; and three sisters, Linda Voth, Hilda Buller and Lavina Goering.
Funeral services were held at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church. Burial was in Hoffnungsau Cemetery.


Friesen, John E.

John E. Friesen, 89, died July 31, 2009, at the California Armenian Home in Fresno, Calif., due to complications of Parkinson’s disease.  He was born on March 16, 1920, to Cornelius B. and Suzanna Friesen in Dallas, Ore.
Raised in a Dallas Mennonite church, he felt the call to ministry at the age of 14, but he could not pursue ministerial training after high school because he was frozen to his job as a machinist when the U.S. entered World War II. When drafted he entered Civilian Public Service, where he served for two years working with fire suppression teams in Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, and preparing food in a Veterans Administration hospital in Livermore, Calif.
He married Anne Miriam Schultz on June 17, 1945.
After World War II, he pursued his education at Multnomah School of the Bible, during which time he also founded a church in Manning, Ore. He continued his studies at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kan., where he directed a choir and where he and Anne served as house parents for students; and at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, where he pastored the Los Angeles Mennonite Brethren Church. After receiving his master of divinity degree from Fuller, he served California MB churches in Dinuba, Bakersfield, Lodi and Arleta, and then spent seven years in British Columbia as pastor in Chilliwack and Dawson Creek.
As their ministry developed, he and Anne continued to be interested in God’s work throughout the world.  They led seven groups to Israel to visit biblical sites and missionaries in the area, and 18 tours to other missionary destinations and historic Christian sites. Serving as a pastor in eight churches over 45 years, he spread the good news and displayed the compassion and the mercy of our Lord.
Survivors include his wife, Anne; three children, James, Steven and Lois; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Stucky, Roland D.

Roland D. Stucky, 85, died Aug. 9, 2009, at Palm Village in Reedley, Calif. He was born on Jan. 9, 1924, to John D. and O’Tillie Schrag Stucky on a farm near Moundridge, Kan.
He graduated from Moundridge High School and Bethel College, North Newton, Kan. At Bethel he met and later married Elaine Eymann of Reedley. After graduating from medical school at the University of Kansas, he practiced medicine in Kingsburg for the next 35 years specializing in family practice and general surgery. He also participated in several medical mission trips after he retired. He and Elaine retired in Wawona in Yosemite National Park, where they lived until Elaine’s death in 2002. He returned to the Kingsburg/Reedley area, when he married Ferne Boucher, and lived there until his death.
Survivors include his wife of almost six years, Ferne Boucher Stucky; three children, Maureen Sinclair of Puyallup, Wash., Patrice Flaming of Akron, Pa., and Scott Stucky of Escondido; two brothers, Melvin and LeRoy Stucky, both of Newton, Kan.; six granddaughters and a great-granddaughter.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Elaine Eymann Stucky.


Schrock, Elmer Leo

Elmer Leo Schrock, 88, of Maquoketa, Iowa, and formerly longtime resident of Wayland, died May 6, 2009, at Crestridge Nursing Home. He was born Aug. 30, 1920, to Daniel W. and Anna (Roth) Schrock in Shelbyville, Ill.
His parents moved the family in 1940 to a farm near Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church of Kalona, and they became members of this congregation. He worked as a farm hand for local Mennonites, and because of World War II he enlisted as a peace builder in Civilian Public Service. He helped with construction of Deerfield Dam at Camp #57, Hill City, S.D. Then he worked at a dairy farm at Beaverdam, Wis., for a year, and transferred to Unit #66, the State Mental Hospital, Norristown, Pa., where he worked until being released from CPS in 1946.
He returned to the Kalona area and worked on farms, then went to Ontario, Calif., for one year. Then he served in Mennonite Voluntary Service at the Children’s Home in Kansas City, Mo., for one year.
He married Josephine K. Richard on March 12, 1953, at Sugar Creek Mennonite Church of rural Wayland.
He was a member of Sugar Creek Mennonite Church. He farmed in the Wayland community for almost 50 years.
Survivors include six sisters, Mabel McKittrick of Terre Haute, Ind., Bessie Swartzendruber of Iowa City, Bertha Miller of Mode-Shelbyville, Ill., Lillie Thomas and her husband, C.C., of Fayetteville, N.C., Esther Seville and her husband, Arthur Tidey, and Lydia Ann Kennel and her husband, Dwight, all of Monmouth, Ore.; three brothers, Ervin R. Schrock and Jacob W. Schrock, both of Kalona, and Howard V. Schrock and his wife, Willeane, of Medina, Ohio; and an aunt, Ellen Roth Clark of Wayland.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Josephine, on Nov. 1, 2001; and by five brothers, Raymond, Edwin, John, Daniel and Fred.
Services were held at Sugar Creek Mennonite Church of rural Wayland. Burial was in the church cemetery.

Mennonite Weekly Review - September 14, 2009 - 87th Year, No. 34 - p. 9


Graber, Delpha Waltner

Delpha Graber, 91, of Foley, Minn., died Aug. 28, 2009, at the Foley Nursing Center.
She was born Oct. 26, 1917, to Jacob P. and Mary J. (Miller) Waltner in Kingman, Kan. The family moved to Freeman, S.D., the next year. Upon confession of her faith, she was baptized and joined Salem Mennonite Church.
When she was 15, her father died of tuberculosis. With her mother, Mary, she and her sisters were able to work together to sustain their farm even through the Depression years. She graduated from Freeman Academy in 1934, Freeman Junior College in 1936 and earned her bachelor of arts degree from Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., in 1939. She also studied at Hartford (Conn.) Theological Seminary.
She married Ellis Graber on June 25, 1944. She was an active partner in church ministry, directing choirs, motion worship choirs and renditions of Handel’s Messiah. She was blessed with beautiful soprano voice and sang her entire life. She found great fulfillment as the activity director at Mennonite Memorial Home in Bluffton, Ohio. As a loving wife and mother, she was selfless in supporting Ellis, who was a pastor, by driving tractors, milking cows, giving chapel talks and even preaching sermons. She will be remembered for her faith, indomitable spirit and constant grace.
Survivors include a son, Eric Graber of Minneapolis; three daughters, Connie Blaylock and her husband, Dale, of Pioneer, Calif., Joan Brauen and her husband, Bill, of Foley, and Karen Sims and her husband, DJ, of Maize, Kan.; two sisters, Welma Waltner of Freeman, S.D., and Stella Schrag of Forest Grove, Ore.; a brother-in-law, LeRoy Graber of Freeman, S.D.; 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of almost 45 years, Ellis; two children, Scott Conway and Norma Jean; and a grandson, Jacob Kester.
Funeral services were held at First Presbyterian Church of Foley. A memorial service and burial were in Salem-Zion Mennonite Church, Freeman, S.D.


Irene Dyck

Irene E. Claassen, 83, of Holmesville, Neb., died Aug. 13, 2009, at Parkview Center in Beatrice. She was born March 5, 1926, to Jacob J. and Marie G. (Harder) Dyck in rural Whitewater, Kan.
She graduated from Potwin High School in 1943 and took classes for two years at Bethel College in North Newton. After college, she taught in a rural country school for five years in Kansas.
She married Ernest G. Claassen on Jan. 20, 1951, in rural Whitewater.
She was a direct care worker at Beatrice State Developmental Center for 25 years. She was a member of Beatrice Mennonite Church and Nebraskans for Peace. For many years she was the Mennonite Weekly Review congregational correspondent for Beatrice Mennonite. She enjoyed spending time with her family, gardening, canning, bird watching and playing board games.
Survivors include her husband, Ernest; two daughters, Linda Claassen Jones of Newton, Kan., and Marian Claassen of Goldendale, Wash.; a son, Richard Claassen and his wife, Ruth, of Truth Or Consequences, N.M.; two sisters, Gertrude Schmidt of North Newton, Kan., and Esther Schmidt of Wichita, Kan.; two brothers, Walter Dyck of Albuquerque, N.M., and Herbert Dyck and his wife, Alice, of Washington, Kan.; two sisters-in-law, Elfrieda Claassen of Beatrice and Wanda Dyck of Newton, Kan.; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by twin infant daughters, Rebecca and Ruth; and 10 siblings.
Memorial services were held at Beatrice Mennonite Church. Inurnment was at Mennonite Cemetery in rural Beatrice.


Croyle, Denton E.

Denton E. Croyle, 85, of Wadsworth, Ohio, died June 20, 2009, after a brief illness. He was born Nov. 8, 1923, to Lloyd S. and Emma (Stahl) Croyle in the Johnstown, Pa., area.
He graduated from Goshen (Ind.) College in 1946, then did additional studies at Pitt-Johnstown campus. In 1950 he received his doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dentistry. He began his practice in Johnstown, then did alternative service at Beatty Memorial Hospital in Westville, Ind., before locating to Wadsworth in 1955. He was chair of the Christ for Greater Johnstown committee and a member of Christian Businessmen’s Committee of Johnstown. He was program coordinator of the Gospel Fellowship broadcast in Johnstown.
He was a member of many quartets and choral groups, notably a 20-year member of the Akron Symphony Chorus and Chorale and occasions with the Blossom Festival and Cleveland Orchestra choruses, and a frequent soloist in area churches. He was a member of First Mennonite Church, Wadsworth.
He served for many years on the Ohio relief sale and beef canning projects for Mennonite Central Committee. He was a member of Mennonite Economic Development Associates and chair of the Wadsworth Area Peace Fellowship. He was a Rotary Club Paul Harris Fellow and a member of the Akron and American Dental associations. Since retirement from his profession in 1988, he was employed by Serpentini Chevrolet for 16 years.
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Mary; three sons, Philip J. Croyle and his wife, Sherri, of Boca Raton, Fla., John Marshall Croyle and his wife, Caroline, of Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire, England, and Warren L. Croyle and his wife, Janette, of Wadsworth; a daughter, Ann Louise Weldy and her husband, David, of Toledo; a sister, E. Louise Wigle of Austin, Texas; nine grandchildren; two step-grandsons and a great-grandaughter.
Memorial services were held at First Mennonite Church, Wadsworth.


Stoltzfus, Stephen S.

Stephen S. Stoltzfus, 73, died Aug. 20, 2009. He was born Nov. 16, 1935, to Aaron K. and Katie S. Stoltzfus.
He was a faithful husband, father and grandfather. He was a cabinetmaker for 40 years and spent his retirement in South Carolina as a volunteer prison chaplain for 10 years under the Carolina Chaplaincy Program. He attended New Holland (S.C.) Mennonite Church and was a member of Rockville Mennonite Church in Honey Brook, Pa., where he was a trustee for many years.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Edna Musser Stoltzfus; three children, Clair, married to Thelma Hoover, of East Earl, Pa., Carolyn, married to Michael Biggs, of Greenwood, Del., and Cheryl, married to Larry Landis, of Honey Brook, Pa.; three brothers, Ervan Stoltzfus of Lancaster, Pa., Jacob Stoltzfus of Lititz, Pa., and Aaron K. Stoltzfus Jr. of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and eight grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Suzanna Stoltzfus.
Funeral services were held at Conestoga Mennonite Church near Morgantown, Pa. Burial was in the adjoining cemetery.

Mennonite Weekly Review - September 21, 2009 - 87th Year, No. 35 - p. 9


Schmucker, Leonard E.

Leonard E. Schmucker, 86, of Louisville, Ohio, died Sept. 8, 2009.  He was born Aug. 24, 1923, to Elmer and Ada (Maurer) Schmucker in Louisville.
On Feb. 20, 1945, he married his high school sweetheart, Lucille Sommers, while he was serving in Civilian Public Service at a mental hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich. He had earlier CPS assignments at Medaryville, Ind., and Downey, Idaho.
After completing CPS, he studied at Goshen (Ind.) College and Goshen Biblical Seminary and helped with a mission church, Locust Grove, completing seminary in 1951. He was ordained to the ministry in 1952, and later that year moved to Michigan, where he was pastor of Cedar Grove Mennonite Church near Manistique. After 13 years, he and his family moved to Imlay City, Mich., to serve as pastor of Bethany Mennonite Church for nine years.
In 1975 they moved to Hesston, Kan., so he could study nursing at Hesston College. He completed the requirements for Registered Nurse and worked at Schowalter Villa for 14 years. He was a member of Hesston Mennonite Church. After several years of retirement, they moved back to their home community of Louisville and again joined Beech Mennonite Church.
He praised God through singing — in church groups, quartets and the 300-member Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus for 20 years. He enjoyed gardening, cabinet making, craft woodworking and painting.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Lucille; six children, Lillian Badrak and her husband, Michael, of Cadillac, Mich., Marvin Schmucker and his wife, Lee, of Wichita, Kan., Myrna Roiser of Rochester Hills, Mich., Carol Fite and her husband, Dave, of Quarryville, Pa., Darrel Schmucker and his wife, DeeAnn, of Sacramento, Calif., and Ron Schmucker and his wife, Lisa, of DeSoto, Kan.; and nine grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, Vernon, Elden and Loren; and a sister, Agnes Basinger.
Memorial services were held at Beech Mennonite Church, Louisville, Ohio.


Liechty, Lynn Oswald

Lynn Oswald Liechty, 85, of Berne, Ind., died Sept. 3, 2009. He was born Oct. 29, 1923, to Oswald and Lillian (Burke) Liechty in Adams County.
He graduated from Berne High School in 1941. He was employed by the family business, Liechty Brothers Plumbing and Heating in Berne, for 42 years and co-owned the business with his brother Bob for 29 years. He played a key role in the construction and expansion of Swiss Village, a Mennonite-affiliated continuing care retirement community located in Berne. At the time of his death, he was serving as the project supervisor for construction at Swiss Village, and was overseeing a large assisted living facility expansion project.
He was a lifetime member of First Mennonite Church in Berne.  He served in numerous lay leadership roles in the congregation, including terms as deacon and advisory committee member. He sang in the Mennonite Men’s Chorus. He also taught Sunday school and mid-week Bible study for many years. He was active in a variety of leadership roles within Central District Conference of the General Conference Mennonite Church, and also served on the General Board and Commission on Home Ministries Board of the GCMC. Over the years, he donated hundreds of hours to Camp Friedenswald in Cassopolis, Mich., using his vocational skills to help construct many of the buildings that are in use today.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Doris (Wulliman); four children, Karen Dubach and her husband, Rick, of Berne, John Liechty and his wife, Joy, of Goshen, Jennifer Zickafoose and her husband, Jon, of Lima, Ohio, and Lisa Liechty Steele and her husband, Todd, of Fort Wayne; two brothers, Robert of Berne and Carl of Lima, Ohio; 12 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Services were held at Swiss Village and First Mennonite Church in Berne. Burial was in M.R.E. Cemetery in Berne.


Bartel, Melvin L.

Melvin L. Bartel, 79, died Aug. 13, 2009, at Kidron Bethel Healthcare in North Newton, Kan. He was born March 12, 1930, to Albert C. and Rosina (Gaeddert) Bartel in Hillsboro.
He was a Bethel College campus kid, graduating from Newton High School in 1952. He ran the movie projector in high school. He enjoyed playing volleyball coached by his teacher, John Ravenscroft. His father was a builder at Bethel College, and he enjoyed helping with building the Bethel College Library and Goering Hall. He worked at Mennonite Press for 20 years, had lawn mowing customers, and was assistant custodian for Bethel College Mennonite Church for 13 years.
He was a lifetime member of Bethel College Mennonite Church. He ran the public address system for 42 years and witnessed more weddings and funerals than anyone else in the church. He changed the clocks for many years and also helped with installing the organ.
He was a member of the Harvey County Historical Society. He ran the clock for basketball games at the Newton Activity Center and tournaments for Western District Conference. He was well versed in railroads, cars and ocean liners.
Survivors include two sisters, Ruth Ann Giggy of Panhandle, Texas, and Thelma May Bartel of North Newton; a brother, Lewis Clark Bartel and his wife, Darlene, of Albuquerque, N.M.; two nieces; two nephews and three grandnephews.
Memorial services were held at Bethel College Mennonite Church. Inurnment was in the Bethel College Mennonite Church Columbarium.

Mennonite Weekly Review - September 28, 2009 - 87th Year, No. 36 - p. 9


Heinrichs, Harold C. "Harry"

Harold (Harry) C. Heinrichs, 83, of Wichita, Kan., died Sept. 10, 2009. He was born Dec. 13, 1925, to Cornelius and Helena (Klassen) Heinrichs near Kirk and Joes, Colo. He was a grandson of Abraham C. and Kathryn (Wiebe) Klassen of near Hillsboro.
He married Nialee (Lee) Siegel on Sept. 2, 1950, in Goodland.
He was a co-founder and active partner in Evans Construction Co. for more than 40 years. He and Lee served as deacons in their church for some time. They were charter members of the Wichita Chapter, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, and they were active in that society as officers in the local executive board and in standing committees. They were active in tracing their ancestry, especially the Heinrichs, Klassen and Wiebe families.
Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Nialee; three children, Kent Heinrichs of Wichita, Leann Strobel of Norwich and Carol Heinrichs of Tucson, Ariz.; a brother, Wesley Heinrichs of Fresno, Calif.; a sister, Kathryn Fahlgren of Prineville, Ore.; and a number of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, Arthur, Louis and Richard Heinrichs.
Funeral services were held at Southwest Presbyterian Church in Wichita. Burial was in Resthaven Mortuary and Cemetery.


Zook, John Edwin. Dr.

John Edwin Zook, 84, died Aug. 14, 2009, of a ruptured aortic aneurysm in Portland, Ore. He was born Oct. 3, 1924, in Tabor, Iowa, to Abram Eyster and Eunice Brenneman Zook, who served as missionaries in South Africa and the Belgian Congo. He grew up in those countries as well as years in Nebraska and Newton, Kan.
He completed medical school  in 1954, his internship in 1955 and his residency in surgery in 1969 in Portland. He was a board qualified surgeon, member of the American College of Surgeons and the International College of Surgeons.
He married Jeanne Pierson in 1952. They served as missionaries under the General Conference Mennonite Church and Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission in the Congo from 1955 to 1977.
He practiced surgery in Portland from 1977 until 2002, where he also generously provided care to medically needy people. He was a gifted surgeon with a great love of people.
He and Jeanne participated in the China Educational Exchange program in 1984-88 and conducted frequent surgical visits to the Mennonite hospitals in Congo. He served as a board member of Mennonite Men and as president of the PNMC Mennonite Men for many years. He was a longtime member of Peace Mennonite Church of Portland and taught Sunday school for many years. He was deeply involved in recycling in the church’s program to support a local food bank. He will be missed by all for his warm caring spirit and his ability to share a good story. The Congolese Community of Portland also recognized him as their great friend.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Jeanne Zook; three children, Rebecca Roth of Salem, Daniel John Zook of Portland and Paul Michael Zook of Austin, Texas; two sisters, Ruth McQuilkin of Portsmouth, R.I., and Mary Ellen Schultze of Puyallup, Wash.; and 11 grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at Peace Mennonite Church. Burial was in Forrester Cemetery in Estacada.


Leasa, Kenneth Varden

Kenneth Varden Leasa, 60, of Downingtown, Pa., died Aug. 4, 2009, after a one-year battle with an aggressive brain cancer. He was born Aug. 12, 1948, to William Kenneth and Betty Brackbill Leasa in West Chester.
He was raised in Frazer. He was a 1966 graduate of Great Valley High School.
He attended several universities, earning bachelor of arts and master’s degrees from California State University in Los Angeles and Berkeley in the early 1970s, and later a bachelor of science degree from West Chester University. He was gifted with an insatiable thirst for knowledge and was a lifelong student of history, political science and languages, including Spanish, Russian, German and Pennsylvania Dutch. He taught classes in Pennsylvania Dutch for the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society.
He was also interested in running and cycling for many years. He completed the Philadelphia Independence Marathon in 1983. Beginning in 1982, he began commuting to work on his bicycle 25 miles a day. In 1989 he rode his bicycle from San Diego, Calif., to Frazer on a 30-day solo bicycle trip.
He was intensely interested in genealogy and was the family historian. He was highly regarded in the fields of genealogy and local history, writing articles for publications.
He was a member of Frazer Mennonite Church. He was involved with the Foresingers and Table Singers singing groups.
He was most recently employed at Barr’s Products. Prior to that he worked for Clews & Strawbridge for 25 years.
Survivors include his wife of 40 years, Marie, who gave him extraordinary loving care during his illness; two daughters, Jen Leasa and her husband, Eibe Johanns, of Valley Bend, W.Va., and Adrienne Leasa of Spring City; a sister, Paula Warren of Frazer; and a brother, Stephen K. Leasa of Phoenixville.
Funeral services were held at Frazer Mennonite Church. Burial was in the church 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.
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