Mennonite Weekly Review - July,
Alger, John Paul; Gaeddert,
Jessie Brown; Hershberger,
Velma Hershberger; Jennings, John;
King, Clifford E.; Klopfenstein,
Wayne W.; Koch, Roy S.; Ropp, Katie Leona; Martens, Nick;
Dale M.; Welty,
Ellen Louise Wagner;
Witmer, Clifford S.;
Mennonite Weekly Review - July 5, 2010 -
88th Year, No. 24 - p. 9
Alger, John Paul
John Paul Alger, 87, of Broadway, Va., died May 25, 2010, at
Loyalton of Harrisonburg. He was born July 4, 1922, to John H. and Anna
Hostetter Alger in Broadway.
He was a farmer, dairy retailer and electrician. He taught Sunday
school in several West Virginia schoolhouses and was a Sunday school
superintendent and song leader at Zion Mennonite Church. He
served as president of Virginia Mennonite Aid Plan. He was ordained
deacon in 1960 and served several congregations in the district until
his retirement in 1990.
On Feb. 19, 1949, he married Retha Romaine Mishler. She preceded him in
death on Dec. 21, 2009.
Survivors include a son, Victor E. Alger and his wife, Judy Y. Alger,
of Broadway; a daughter, Wanda L. Alger and her husband, Scott Waples,
of Spokane, Wash.; two brothers, Robert S. Alger and his wife, Ruth, of
Dayton, and Ralph J. Alger of Dayton; three sisters, Catherine Lapp and
her husband, LeRoy, of Morgantown, W.Va., Mildred Glick and her
husband, Ike, of Alberta in Canada, and Nellie Alger of Broadway; and
He was preceded in death by his wife, Retha; a daughter, Phyllis Alger;
and a brother, Nelson Alger.
Weaver, Dale M.
Dale M. Weaver, 71, of New
Holland, Pa., died June 13, 2010, at the Mount Joy Hospice Center after
a brief battle with cancer. He was born Oct. 17, 1938, to Victor F. and
Edith M. (Martin) Weaver in New Holland.
He served his 1-W alternative service with Mennonite Central
Committee’s Pax program in Greece from 1958 to 1960. He was former
president and CEO of Victor F. Weaver Inc. in New Holland and New
Holland Custom Woodwork. His business interests included serving on the
boards of Blue Ball National Bank (now Susquehanna Bank) for 35 years
and Mennonite Economic Development Associates for many years.
His strong faith fueled a passion for the world and his community
through involvement in his local congregation, and he actively
supported Mennonite schools, missions and many other Christian
agencies. In his retirement years he directed his energies into
enhancing the local community. He was instrumental in the creation of,
and served as the founding board chair of, both the Garden Spot Village
retirement community and the New Holland Recreation Center. He was a
lifelong member of Weaverland Mennonite Church in East Earl.
Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Irene (Martin) Weaver; three
daughters, Dawn Isley and her husband, Geoff, of Grantham, Sue Weaver
of Lancaster and Tina Smigocki and her husband, Gene, of Lancaster; a
sister, Janet Newswanger and her husband, Larry, of Landisville; and
Memorial services were held at Weaverland Mennonite Church of East Earl.
Koch, Roy S.
Roy Swartz Koch, 96, of Goshen,
Ind., died June 12, 2010, at his home. He was born Sept. 6, 1913, to
Charles and Minerva (Swartz) Koch near St. Jacobs, Ont., the seventh of
He married Martha Horst on Aug. 8, 1942, and they were married for
nearly 68 years.
He was a graduate of the University of Western Ontario at Waterloo and
of Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart. He was ordained
as a pastor in 1936 at age 23 and as bishop in 1951. In addition to
pastoring congregations for more than 34 years, he was a teacher,
administrator, writer, editor and development officer.
He pastored St. Jacobs (Ont.) Mennonite Church from 1936 to 1957. From
1957 to 1970 he served at South Union Mennonite Church in West Liberty,
Ohio. He also filled the bishop’s role in Ontario and Ohio. While
pastoring in Ontario, he also taught at Ontario Mennonite Bible School
and Institute in Kitchener during the 1940s and 1950s, serving as its
principal from 1952 to 1957. He frequently traveled as a speaker,
evangelist and storyteller, wrote numerous articles for church and
secular papers, and edited the ministers’ section of the Builder and
the Mennonite Renewal Services newsletter.
He served as moderator of the Ohio and Eastern Conference in the 1960s
and moderator of the Mennonite General Conference from 1963 to 1965. He
served on the Mennonite Church’s Board of Missions, Board of Education
and Commission for Christian Education. In the early 1970s he was
Indiana-Michigan Conference minister, then served as Bethany Christian
High School’s development director. He was executive secretary of
Mennonite Renewal Services well into the 1980s.
Survivors include his wife, Martha; six children, Robert and his wife,
Linda, of Colorado Springs, Arlene Holdeman and her husband, Ken, of
Bloomington, Minn., Richard and his wife, Rhonda, of Goshen, Rodney of
Salem, Ore., Jane Oyer and her husband, Stanley, of Middlebury, and
Sheila Graber and her husband, Millard, of Goshen; 17 grandchildren and
He was preceded in death by eight siblings; another sibling, Gladys
Martin, died eight days after him; and by a grandchild, Joyce Graber.
Funeral services were held at East Goshen Mennonite Church. Burial was
in Violett Cemetery.
Review - July 12, 2010 - 88th Year, No. 25 - p. 13
Klopfenstein, Wayne W.
Wayne W. Klopfenstein, 88, of
Colorado Springs, Colo., died June 9, 2010. He was born Oct. 14, 1921,
to Mable Eicher and James G. Klopfenstein in Seward, Neb.
He married his loving wife, Miriam Fink, on Nov. 7, 1942, and they were
happily married for 67 years.
They moved to Colorado Springs in 1955. He was a restaurant owner for
55 years. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.
Survivors include his wife, Miriam; seven children, James Klopfenstein
and his wife, Marilyn, of Kentucky, Ronald Klopefenstein and his wife,
Verna, of California, Sharon Mullet and her husband, Art, of Kansas,
Linda Francis, whose husband, Greg, is deceased, Roger Klopfenstein and
his wife, Patty, Jack Klopfenstein and his wife, Dara, and Douglas
Klopfenstein of Colorado; five siblings, Dorothy Morningstar, Ted
Klopfenstein, Edith Wogomon, Keith Klopfenstein and Wilber
Klopfenstein; 20 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren and five
He was preceded in death by five siblings, Zola Rediger, Ferne Graber,
Bernice Hauder, Betty Klopfenstein and Harry Klopfenstein.
Services were held at Memorial Gardens Funeral Home Chapel.
King, Clifford E.
Clifford E. King, 85, of
Colorado Springs, Colo., died May 19, 2010. He was born June 12, 1924,
to L.O. (Levi Oliver) and Anna Mae (Erb) King near Hutchinson, Kan.
He married Mona Bebe Yoder of Crystal Springs, Kan., on June 20, 1948.
During World War II he served in Civilian Public Service at Glacier
National Park, at Kalamazoo (Mich.) State Hospital and at the Mennonite
Central Committee headquarters in Akron, Pa. He graduated from Hesston
(Kan.) College, Goshen (Ind.) College; Goshen Biblical Seminary and
Tulane (La.) University.
His vocational work included pastor at East Holbrook Mennonite Church
in Cheraw, executive director of Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp and
Frontier Boys Village in Divide, division head of El Paso County Social
Services Department, and executive director of Maple Lawn Homes,
Eureka, Ill. He served on hospital boards in Rocky Ford, Walsenburg and
La Jara. He helped launch Silver Key Senior Services and served as its
first board chair. He served as president of the Health Association of
the Pikes Peak Region. He helped create the Retired Senior Volunteer
Program in Wood-ford County, Ill. He established a child daycare center
adjacent to the retirement community of which he was executive
director, for which he received an Illinois Governor’s Award, a
Mennonite Health Association Award and international recognition from
He was a member of Beth-El Mennonite Church of Colorado Springs, where
he served three separate terms as interim pastor and was involved in
many activities, including as Mennonite Weekly Review congregational
Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Mona; five children, Venita
Birky of Colorado Springs, Shirley Gaye Metheny of Lecompton, Kan.,
Robert of Danville, Ill., Richard of Colorado Springs and James of Sao
Paulo, Brazil; a sister, Lila Mae Janzen of Harrisonburg, Va.; 15
grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Esther Mullet; and four brothers,
Sanford, Donald, Allen and Kenneth.
Memorial services were held at Beth-El Mennonite Church.
Ropp, Katie Leona
Katie Leona Ropp, 95, of
Hesston, Kan., died June 8, 2010, at Schowalter Villa Retirement
Center. She was born Jan. 5, 1915, to Moses S. Ropp and Katherine Eimen
Ropp in Pigeon, Mich.
She and her family later moved to Kalona, Iowa, where she attended
grade school. In 1933 she graduated from Kalona High School. She
attended Goshen (Ind.) College one year.
Over a number of years she worked in a general store as a clerk and
bookkeeper, at a children’s home in Kansas City, Mo., and as a
secretary at the local high school in Kalona. In 1944 she moved to
Hesston and became matron of Green Gables at Hesston College. In 1946
she became the first full-time accountant for the college and worked in
finances until 1986, when she retired and moved to the Schowalter Villa
campus. Over the years she developed many friendships with faculty and
staff at Hesston College plus many from the local community. In her 40
years at Hesston she served under five of the seven presidents and
attended six of their inaugurations. Many hours were spent reading,
writing the Ropp family history and contributing to the recording of
historical records for Hesston College and Schowalter Villa through the
She was a member of Hesston Mennonite Church. She accepted Christ as
her Savior in her youth and enjoyed attending church and its related
activities. Her friendly and joyous spirit made her special.
Survivors include four nephews, Keith Erb of Sun City, Ariz., Curtis
Miller of Pretty Prairie, Lyle Miller of Bakersfield, Calif., and
Vernon Miller of New Boston, Ill.; and three nieces, Geneva Spicher
Yoder of Hampton, Va., Carol Erb Dickhut of Sterling, Ill., and
Donnabel Spicher Hostetler of Hesston.
She was preceded in death by four sisters, Cleora Spicher, Blanche
Miller, Alta Erb and Rozetta Miller; and an infant brother, Omar Ropp.
Hershberger, Velma Hershberger
Velma Arlene (Hershberger) Hershberger,
85, of Hesston, Kan., died June 27, 2010, at Schowalter Villa. She was
born Nov. 28, 1924, to Ora J. and Bertha (Guengerich) Hershberger near
She married Herman L. Hershberger on Oct. 15, 1950, at West Union
Mennonite Church near Parnell. They farmed for several years in
Iowa. In 1956 they moved to Hesston.
She was a member of Hesston Mennonite Church and served as a Sunday
school teacher. She was a homemaker and did laundry for Hesston College
students in the late 1960s and early 1970s. She also worked in the
kitchen at Schowalter Villa. She worked at The Hesston Record for 20
years, retiring in 1990. She was editor of the South Central Conference
Messenger for 16 years. After she and Herman retired, they volunteered
at Schowalter Villa driving residents to doctor appointments. She also
helped feed residents. They were Schowalter Villa Volunteers of the
Year in 1999 and 2004.
Survivors include her husband, Herman, of Hesston; daughter Mary Lou
Hershberger of Grabill, Ind.; son Kermit Dee Hershberger and his wife,
Beth, of Hesston; daughter Vietta Krehbiel and her husband, Deve, of
Hesston; sisters Dorothy Miller of Tama, Iowa, and Doris Redding of
Parnell, Iowa; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She
is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and
She was preceded in death by a nephew, Timothy J. Redding.
Memorial services were held at Schowalter Villa Chapel in Hesston. A
private burial was at Eastlawn Cemetery in Hesston.
Nick Martens, 87, of Inman,
Kan., died June 23, 2010. He was born Feb. 5, 1923, to Henry and Lizzie
Friesen Martens. He grew up on a farm near Inman.
In his first year of grade school he contracted polio, which paralyzed
his arms and legs. With patience, therapy and many prayers, he
gradually regained strength and after three months was carried into
Lake Valley School. By fifth grade he could run and play and continued
to gain strength. He attended Inman High School.
On Aug. 30, 1947, he married Wilma Friesen at Alexanderwohl Mennonite
Church near Goessel. They established their home in Inman. After the
birth and death of twin sons, Dennis and Darrell, in 1949, they became
parents to four additional sons.
In 1945 he became a partner at Inman Electric. He helped bring
electricity to farms in McPherson County. They added plumbing,
furnaces, appliances and electronics to the business. He was pleased
that sons Orlin and Eldon continued in the business in 1992. He served
as a volunteer fireman for 10 years, on the Inman City Council, 16
years as a school board member, on the Pleasant View Home building
committee and later on the board, and then in retirement at Inman Grade
School assisting students.
He was baptized at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church on May 12, 1940, and
maintained his membership for more than 70 years. He lived his faith
quietly and was supportive of the church and its programs in many ways
including the camping program at Camp Mennoscah, doing voluntary
service by taking his family to Chicago in 1965, and assisting with the
MCC relief sale.
Survivors include his wife, Wilma; four sons, Delon and his wife,
Joretta, Orlin and his wife, Debbie, Weldon and his wife, Jenny, and
Eldon and his wife, Cindy; two sisters, Hilda Froese and Marie Regehr;
two brothers, John and Wilbur; nine grandchildren and 10
He was preceded in death by a brother, Elmer; infant twin sons, Darrell
and Dennis; and a grandson, Graham.
Mennonite Weekly Review - July 19, 2010 - 88th Year, No. 26 - p. 9
Witmer, Clifford S.
Clifford S. Witmer, 95, of
Morton, Ill., and formerly of Sterling, died June 17, 2010, at
Apostolic Christian Restmor. He was born March 26, 1915, to Samuel and
Edith (Hensler) Witmer on their farm in Morrison.
He married Grace F. Shank on March 12, 1941. She preceded him in death
on Sept. 30, 2006.
He farmed in the Dixon/Sterling area for 40 years before retiring and
moving into town. When his wife had a stroke in 2005, they moved to
Morton to be near their two daughters.
He was a lifelong member of Science Ridge Mennonite Church in Sterling.
He will be remembered for his conscientiousness, quietness, always
ready smile and twinkling eyes. He loved his Lord, his family, his farm
and his livestock, in that order. He loved gardening, woodworking and
visiting the shut-ins. He was often seen reading his Bible. He was a
wonderful brother, husband, father and grandfather and a great example
of faithfulness to his Lord and Savior.
Survivors include two daughters, Madeline Saltzman and her husband,
Kenneth, of Morton and Linda Zimmerman and her husband, Ray, of East
Peoria; three sisters, Flossie Horst of Mount Morris, Lorna Witmer of
Sterling and Alice Ebersole and her husband, Merle, of Dixon; five
grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Grace; two brothers, Harry and
Henry; and four sisters, Mary Emily Witmer in childhood, and Ethel
Ebersole, Gladys Hess and Mabel Hess.
Welty, Ellen Louise Wagner
Ellen Louise Welty, 86, died
July 4, 2010, at her home in McDonough, Ga., due to Parkinson’s
disease. She was born May 26, 1924, to Seman and Ethel Wagner of Mount
She married Russell Welty on July 31, 1943. They had celebrated almost
67 years of marriage.
In addition to being a wife of a preacher and mother to three, she
ministered as a foster parent, teacher’s aide and taught many Sunday
school classes, even until her late 70s. She loved sewing, flower
gardening, camping, traveling and was an avid bird watcher.
Survivors include her husband, Russell; two sons, Dean Welty of
Winnipeg, Man., and Timothy Welty and his wife, Ruth Ann, of McDonough;
a daughter, Jeanene Wiens and her husband, Vern, of Glenlea, Man.; a
brother, Wendell Wagner and his wife, Marjorie, of Massillon, Ohio; a
sister-in-law, Madonna Wagner of Findley, Ohio; eight
grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and a special foster daughter,
Tammy.She was preceded in death by an infant son, an infant grandchild
and a great-grandchild.
Memorial services were held at Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship and Berea
Mennonite Church in Atlanta, Ga.
John Jennings, 91, of Goshen, Ind., died June 18, 2010. He was
born Aug. 29, 1918, to Pastor William and Anna (Good) Jennings in
Knoxville, Tenn., and was the youngest of 11 children.
He attended the University of Tennessee and Goshen College. There he
met and married Polly Blosser Jennings on April 12, 1941. They
shared 63 years together.
He owned John Jennings and Associates Insurance Agency for 32 years and
was a leader in life insurance sales, becoming a member of the national
Million Dollar Round Table. He was one of the founders of Greencroft
Retirement Communities and served as chair of the board from 1962 to
Survivors include three daughters, Marilyn Berkey and her husband, Jim,
of Austin, Texas, Elaine Buerge and her husband, Steve, of Fort Scott,
Kan., and Vicki Jennings of South Bend; five grandchildren and eight
Gaeddert, Jessie Brown
Jessie Brown Gaeddert, 88, of
Lakewood, Colo., died April 24, 2010, of injuries sustained in an
automobile accident as she and her husband took relief kits for Haiti
to deliver to Mennonite Central Committee in Kansas. She was born Sept.
27, 1921, to missionary parents in China.
She attended school in China through her junior year in high school,
then had her senior year at Freeman (S.D.) Academy. She attended Bethel
College in North Newton, Kan., where she received both a bachelor’s
degree and a nursing degree.
After World War II, she went with the first director of MCC to Europe
to help bring food and supplies into Germany. She then returned to
Bethel College, working at Bethel Deaconess Hospital and acquiring
additional academic work. She became the director of the health center
on campus and taught physiology, anatomy and advanced first aid.
On Aug. 27, 1952, she married Menno Gaeddert, whom she had met at
Bethel College. They lived in Newton, Kan., for one year, then moved to
Lawrence, Kan., where she worked as a nurse at a local hospital and
taught the obstretrics course to the nurses from the Kansas University
Medical Center. They moved to Kansas City in 1957, where they helped
start Rainbow Mennonite Church. In 1959 they moved back to Newton, then
in 1962 moved to Denver, where they were active at Arvada Mennonite
She served six years on the General Conference Mennonite Church foreign
mission board. Related to this she had the opportunity to travel to
China and see her childhood home and to travel to Taiwan. She and her
husband, Menno, also took personal trips to Europe, Paraguay, Peru and
Bolivia. They served in Taiwan in 1989, where she was in charge of the
mission guest rooms and helped teach English to university students.
She was active at Arvada Mennonite Church, served on the board of
Arvada Resource for Missions and Service and volunteered at Ten
Thousand Villages and with the Gideon Auxiliary.
Survivors include her husband, Menno; a daughter, Diane Witwer and her
husband, Ray; three sons, Ken Gaeddert and his wife, Deb, Don Gaeddert
and his wife, Marie, and Dwayne Gaeddert and his wife, Patti; and
Funeral services were held at Olinger’s Mortuary.
issue on July 26, 2010
Copyright 2003 - All rights reserved
- Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, PA
Used with permission by the Archives of the Mennonite Church,
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.