Mennonite Weekly Review - November, 2010
  Bentzinger, Richard Alvin;   Buller, Lehman Ruth;   Erb, Mary Florence Zook;   Ewert, Marie Julianna Franz;   Sangree, Paul Clausen;   Schmidt, Rudolph "Rudy" Herbert;   Suderman, Eli J.;   Swartzentruber, Clayton Laban;   Toews, Frankie Reaves Kellar;   Trissel, Fern Chlora;   Trissel, Iva Marie;   Weaver-Mann, Edith Blough;   White, Neva Lois;   
No issue for Nov. 1, 2010

Mennonite Weekly Review - November 8, 2010 - 88th Year, No. 40 - pp. 13-14


Swartzentruber, Clayton Laban

Clayton Laban Swartzentruber, 82, died Aug. 12, 2010. He was born May 16, 1928, to Laban and Nanna Swartzentruber.

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University, a master of divinity degree from Goshen Biblical Seminary and a doctorate from Walden University.

He was raised in Greenwood, Del., and taught at the Mennonite school there. He was principal at Western Mennonite High School in Salem, Ore., from 1952 to 1956, and taught at Bethany Christian High School in Goshen, Ind., 1956-58.  As superintendent, he helped found Central Christian High School in Kidron, Ohio, and he served there 1958-67. He served as superintendent of Rockway Mennonite High School in Kitchener, Ont., 1967-69.

In 1969, he moved with his family to Harleysville, Pa., and worked as a guidance counselor in the Perkiomen Valley Schools. He founded the Mainland Institute, a graduate extension school of Marywood College in Scranton, Pa., and served on the pastoral team at Salford Mennonite Church in Harleysville, Pa. He later was ordained as pastor at Methacton Mennonite Church and later at Deep Run East.  He served on the Franconia Conference Leadership Commission, was an overseer in the Franconia Mennonite Conference, and served on numerous Mennonite church boards, including the board of Eastern Mennonite University. He founded the Kairos School of Spiritual Formation.

He was a churchman, educator and Christian businessman. He will be missed by many whom he befriended, many whom he nurtured and mentored, and by many whose lives he touched with his wisdom, humor and life of service.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret Louise Risser Swartzentruber; five children, Don, Jon and his wife, Jane Trent, Evon Swartzentruber Bergey and her husband, Phil, Lon and his wife, Sandy, and Ron and his wife, Maureen; a sister, Dorcas Miller; and 13 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a twin brother and sisters.


Ewert, Marie Julianna Franz

Marie Julianna Franz Ewert
, 87, of Bellevue, Wash., died Oct. 18, 2010. She was born Aug. 1, 1923, to Julius Albert and Agatha Dyck Franz near Lind.
She graduated in 1941 from Lind High School. She attended Menno Mennonite Church near Ritzville, where she was baptized in 1937.
She attended Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., for two years, then transferred to Whitworth College in Spokane, where she graduated in 1945 with a bachelor of science degree in home economics. She then taught home economics in the Odessa Public School system from 1945 to 1947.

On Aug. 31, 1947, she married Elmer Henry Ewert from Marion, S.D., at Menno Mennonite Church.  She moved to his farm near Marion, where they lived and farmed for 50 years.

After becoming a member of Bethel Mennonite Church near Marion, S.D., she served many years as a children’s Sunday school teacher and superintendent.
She taught home economics briefly at Freeman (S.D.) Junior College and Academy and later served on the Freeman Junior College board of directors. Consistent with their lifelong support of Mennonite Central Committee, she and Elmer were instrumental in establishing and supporting the MCC thrift and fair-trade retail store in Freeman, the Et Cetera Shop.

Survivors include two daughters, Brenda Kae of  Bellevue and Sheryl Marie of Sioux Falls, S.D.; four sisters, Viola Boese of Spokane, Clara Reimer of North Newton, Kan., Lucille Harms in Bellevue and Lois Bartel of North Newton, Kan.; a sister-in-law, Dorothy Franz of Lind; and a granddaughter.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer; two sisters, Marlene and Judy; and two brothers, Leonard and Henry.

Memorial services were held at Menno Mennonite Church near Ritzville. After her burial in Rose Hill Cemetery near Marion, S.D., another memorial service will be held at Salem Zion Mennonite Church near Freeman, S.D.


Erb, Mary Florence Zook

Mary Florence (Zook) Erb, 97, of Hesston, Kan., died Oct 3, 2010, at Schowalter Villa. She was born Jan. 28, 1913, to Edward and Nancy (Hershberger) Zook in Cass County, Mo.

She graduated from eighth grade at age 12 and earned her GED in 1969. In 1925 she accepted the Lord and was baptized at Sycamore Grove Mennonite Church.
She did domestic work in the Garden City, Mo., area before going to La Junta, Colo., to work in the kitchen of the Mennonite Hospital.

She also worked in Harrisonville (Mo.) Owen Hospital for seven years before moving to Wichita, Kan., in 1946. She was Dr. D.W. Hendrickson’s radiology technician 26 years.

At the age of 60, she retired from her career and married Walter Erb on Oct. 20, 1973. For a short while they lived on his dairy farm near Detroit Lakes, Minn., before moving to Hesston. They served a two-year voluntary service term at Glencroft Retirement Community in Glendale, Ariz.

She had a gift of accepting change and finding the positive in people and challenging situations. She embraced friends and family with loyal devotion. She greeted worshipers for 14 years at InterMennonite Church, now Hesston Kingdom Life Ministries, and loved to be part of MCC relief sale projects and the Schowalter Villa Days fundraisers.

Survivors include her husband, Walter Erb, of Hesston; two sons, Merlin Erb and his wife, Loretta, of Dalton, Ohio, and Dan Erb and his wife, Kamme, of Hesston; a daughter, Verla Hochstetler and her husband, Jon, of Frazee, Minn.; a sister, Luella Bitikofer of Hesston; four brothers, Allen Zook of Hesston, Alvin Zook of Garden City, Mo., Marvin Zook of Hesston and John Zook of Goshen, Ind.; 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by two infant siblings, Mabel Saloma Zook and Clarence Daniel Zook; and a sister, Erma Zimmerman.

Memorial services were held in Schowalter Villa Chapel. Burial was at Eastlawn Cemetery, Zimmerdale.


Bentzinger, Richard Alvin

Richard Alvin Bentzinger, 90, died Aug. 21, 2010, at Great River Medical Center in Burlington, Iowa. He was born May 4, 1920, to Carl M. and Edna Jane (Benjamin) Bentzinger at Donnellson.

He was a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant. As a conscientious objector, he served 1942-46 in Civilian Public Service. His alternative service projects included land conservation in Nebraska, fighting forest fires in Glacier National Park and working at a state psychiatric hospital in Virginia. From 1946 to 1948 he volunteered for relief and rehabilitation work in war-torn Italy under Mennonite Central Committee and the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. Upon returning to the U.S., he was appointed to the Methodist Church in Moulton, 1949-1955.

On Feb. 28, 1954, he married Marian Ruth Edwards at Moulton Methodist Church.

He graduated from Boston University School of Theology in 1958. He was ordained an elder in the South Iowa Conference of the Methodist Church and appointed to Altoona Methodist Church, 1958-1968; St. John’s United Methodist Church in Des Moines, 1968-1974, pastor of Newton First United Methodist Church, 1974-1988. He then retired to Donnellson and pastored the Mennonite-Presbyterian Yoked Fellowship, 1988-2005.

He was active in peace organizations, including Iowans For Peace, president of Iowa Pax, an organization to promote peace education and other antidraft and antiwar efforts. He founded, organized and directed the work of the Clergy Review Board that heard and screened more than 300 cases of conscientious objectors, with recommendations to Selective Service boards.

He was on the front lines of the civil rights movement through the Congress on Racial Equality and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. He was the featured Protestant on Religion Speaks, a 30-minute, Protestant-Catholic-Jewish panel discussion heard weekly on radio station WHO. He was vice president and past president of the Iowa State Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

He was an accomplished musician, playing the piano and organ and singing.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Ruth; four children, Rebecca Jane Bentzinger of Washington, D.C., Sarah Kathryn Clarahan and her husband, Rick, of Sergeant Bluff, John Wesley Bentzinger of Long Island, N.Y., and Philip Embury and his wife, Kari Bentzinger, of Lawrence, Kan.; two sisters, Margaret B. Gregory and Rosalie J. Bentzinger of Donnellson; and three grandchildren.


Trissel, Fern Chlora

Fern Chlora Trissel, 95, a resident of Crestwood at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, died Oct. 10, 2010, at Oak Lea Nursing Home. She was born Nov. 28, 1914, to John H. and Lillie Hess Trissel near Harrisonburg.

She graduated from Dayton High School as valedictorian of her class in 1931, graduated from junior college at Eastern Mennonite College (now university) and then received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Madison College, now James Madison University.

She retired in 1978 after teaching for 44 years in Rockingham County. She taught elementary schools in the Criders and Elktun areas, Singers Glen and Pleasant Valley. She was a member of the local, state, regional and national Retired Teachers Organizations.

She spent her entire life in the Harrisonburg area. In March 1981, she moved to Heritage Haven in the New Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, where she resided for more than 24 years. In 2005, she moved from Heritage Haven to Crestwood, where she was currently residing. She was an active volunteer in the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.

She was a member of Weavers Mennonite Church, where she taught Sunday school and Bible school for many years and was active in helping to establish and maintain the church library. She was formerly a member of several ladies missionary groups. She enjoyed traveling and traveled in most of the states, including Hawaii and Alaska. She also traveled to many foreign countries of South America, Asia, Europe and Africa.

Survivors include a brother, D. Lloyd Trissel, and his wife, Alice, of Harrisonburg.

She was preceded in death by a brother, J. Ward Trissel; and three sisters, Gail, Iva and Rose Trissel.

Memorial services were held at Strite Auditorium at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.


Trissel, Iva Marie

Iva Marie Trissel, 97, of Harrisonburg, Va., died June 13, 2010, at Oak Lea Nursing Home. She was born April 3, 1913, to John H. and Lillie Hess Trissel in Dayton.

She attended Dale Enterprise School. In earlier years she taught Sunday school and summer Bible school at Peak and Rawley Springs Mennonite churches. She was an accomplished seamstress. Her work was in great demand, and she made many wedding gowns. After her work as a seamstress, she worked many years for Park View Press. In her retirement years her greatest joy was designing and making quilts, many of which she donated to charity craft sales. She traveled over the United States, made two trips to the Holy Land and other foreign countries.

In January 1981, she was one of the first residents to move to Heritage Haven, a new independent living facility of the Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. She lived there and did volunteer work for 24 years before moving to Crestwood Assisted Living, where she lived for three years, and then the last two years at Oak Lea. She lived at VMRC longer than any other resident. She was a member of Pike Mennonite Church.

Survivors include a brother, D. Lloyd Trissel and his wife, Alice, of Harrisonburg; and a sister, Fern Trissel of Harrisonburg.

She was preceded in death by a brother,  J. Ward Trissel; and two sisters, Gail and Rose Trissel.

Memorial services were held at Strite Auditorium of Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. Burial was in Weavers Cemetery.


Schmidt, Rudolph "Rudy" Herbert

Rudolph Herbert (Rudy) Schmidt, 87, died Oct. 27, 2010, at his home in Goessel, Kan. He was born April 23, 1923, to Jacob U. and Mary G. Hiebert Schmidt in Marion County.

He was a farmer and dairyman from 1944 to 1986. He was a member of the Goessel Investment Club, Goessel Lion’s Club and the Tabor Mennonite Church.
On Jan. 2, 1944, he married Luella R. Funk at Goessel. She preceded him in death on Dec. 7, 1984. On Nov. 25, 1994, he married Nola K. Yeackley Kremer at Milford, Neb.

Service was a large part of his life, as he served on boards and committees in the Goessel community and beyond. He was active in forming the original Northview Opportunity School, later Northview Developmental Service. Other organizations included a local milk hauling co-op board and Crossroads Credit Union credit committee. He was an active member of Tabor Mennonite Church, serving on various committees. He served on the Bethesda Home and Hospital board many years, some of which he was the chair. Mennonite Central Committee was also an important organization to him. He served as chair of the Kansas MCC Sale for several years, and served four years in MCC service after Luella’s death.

Survivors include his wife, Nola; a son, Jim Schmidt and his wife, Diana, of Goessel; two daughters, Kathy Schmidt of Goessel and Mary Ulsaker and her husband, Todd, of McPherson; a stepson, Jerry Kremer and his wife, Marcy, of Seward, Neb.; a daughter-in-law, Jo-Ann Schmidt of Newton; a sister, Frieda Voth and her husband, Orie, of Goessel; a sister-in-law, Susie Schmidt of Goessel; eight grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; four great-grandchildren and seven step-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Luella; a son, Fred; a stepson, Darrel Kremer; four brothers, Walter, Adolph, Bernhard and Carl; and two sisters, Verna Flaming, and Ruth Schmidt in infancy.

Funeral services were held at Tabor Mennonite Church.


Weaver-Mann, Edith Blough

Edith (Blough) Weaver-Mann, 105, of Davidsville, Pa., died Oct. 26, 2010. She was born July 29, 1905, to John A. and Emma Jane (Gashaw) Blough near Johnstown.

She attended Ferndale High School, later graduating from Eastern Mennonite High School, Harrisonburg, Va., in 1926. She attended Millersville State Teachers College and taught in a public school in Lancaster. In 1928, she married U. Grant Weaver, who was a school teacher for most of his life.

After moving back to Johnstown, she and Grant became involved in founding of First Mennonite Church, Johnstown, where she served as primary superintendent. She also was a substitute teacher in various schools and literature secretary for the Allegheny Mennonite Conference WMSA.

She and Grant moved to Sarasota, Fla., in 1964. While there, she served as librarian at Bay Shore Mennonite Church and was a book reviewer on a weekly radio program. In 1977, she and Grant were privileged to tour the Holy Land, as well as Switzerland, Holland and Germany. Grant died in 1981.

She married William Mann in 1984. They had nine good years together in Sarasota and Elkhart, Ind. Bill died in 1993. She then moved to Laurel View Village, Davidsville, in 1999.

Survivors include a son, Herbert Weaver, and his wife, Rebecca, of Bradenton, Fla.; a daughter, Virginia Esch, and her husband, Keith, of Richmond, Ind.; two sisters, Irma Black of Arkansas and Ruth Stoltzfus of Lancaster; a brother, Merle, of Davidsville; two stepdaughters, Phyllis Weaver, and her husband, Mike, of Elkhart, Ind., and Carol of Goshen, Ind.; a stepson, Donald Mann, and his wife, Jackie, of Elkhart; nine grandchildren; and numerous great-grandchildren, step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by three brothers, two sisters and a stepson.
Memorial services were in the chapel at Laurel View Village.

Mennonite Weekly Review - November 15, 2010 - 88th Year, No. 41 - p. 9


Sangree, Paul Clausen

Paul Clausen Sangree
, 80, of Lancaster, Pa., died July 8, 2010, at Lancaster General Hospital after a brief battle with T-Cell Lymphoma. He was born April 13, 1930, to George and Louise (Clausen) Sangree in Harrisburg.

Although born into a Christian home, he became embittered after his mother died when he was 12. At age 18 he became an atheist. He attended Kutztown State College and Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York City.

He and Patricia Thomas, his first wife, lived in New York City and later moved to Philadelphia, where he established his own firm, Environmental Design Collaborative. In 1970 a devastating house fire in which they lost everything led to his conversion and reconciliation with his father and a move from Philadelphia back to Harrisburg.

He gave up his architectural practice and studied the Bible for two years. He and Patricia wanted to go into missions but were refused several times and eventually accepted an assignment with Philhaven Hospital to work in Palmyra at their half-way house. This led them to Gingrich Mennonite Church and introduction to Mennonite life. The bishop invited him to become assistant pastor at a small church in Lebanon County known as Schubert. But on the day of Paul’s ordination the senior pastor said he would resign and Paul should take charge. After serving at Schubert, he served at Peace Chapel in Harrisburg for six years.
Patricia preceded him in death on July 1, 1997.

He served as pastor at Masonville Church in Lancaster County for two years, then became a helper to Pastor Dwayne Metzler of University Christian Fellowship on the campus of Millersville University.

He married a widow, Martha Gingrich Charles, on Aug. 31, 2002. Together they served at UCF until he was called to become interim pastor at Marietta Community Chapel.

Survivors include his wife, Martha; three children, Karl, Allen and Jill; Martha’s four children, Stephen, Samuel, Eunice and Jesse; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; Martha’s nine grandchildren; his 91-year-old stepmother; sisters Carol and Georgia; half-sisters Joy and Faith and half-brother David.
Memorial services were held at Landisville Mennonite Church.


Suderman, Eli J.

Eli J. Suderman, 94, of Hillsboro, Kan., died Nov. 1, 2010, at Parkside Homes. He was born Aug. 9, 1916, to G.W. and Anna Loewen Suderman in rural Hillsboro.

He was a lifelong farmer and stockman in the Ebenfeld community. He married Edna Koop on May 25, 1942, and they enjoyed 66 years together before she died in November 2008.

He was baptized June 10, 1928, and became a lifelong member of Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren Church. He worked faithfully in various areas such as Sunday school superintendent, trustee, Sunday school teacher, song leader, member of the men’s chorus and on several building committees. The community recognized his wisdom in his terms of service on the boards of the Farmer’s Equity Union, USD 410 and Mennonite Aid Union of Kansas, serving as president/chair of each. He was also a member of the Parkside Executive Board.

He graduated from Hillsboro High School. He began advanced education at Salt City Business College, but returned home on a farm deferment during World War II. He spent a lifetime on that farm raising crops and livestock. He especially enjoyed his livestock business.

He and Edna enjoyed traveling to many places in the United States and a trip to Brazil. Favorite destinations were to see their families in Oklahoma and California. His cousins were special to him, and family reunions were always a highlight.

Survivors include four children,  Don Suderman and his wife, June, and Carla Koslowsky and her husband, Ken, all of Hillsboro, Krista Bryant and her husband, Steven, of Concordia, and Lyle (Julie) Suderman and his wife, Julie, of Olathe; a sister, Irene Seibel, of Hillsboro;   seven grandchildren and a great-grandson.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Edna; a brother, Jonas; and three sisters, Alma Jost, Anna Daisy Siemens and Bernice Karber. A son, Larry Dean, was stillborn.

Funeral services were held at Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren Church. Burial was in Eben Cemetery.

Mennonite Weekly Review - November 22, 2010 - 88th Year, No. 42 - p. 9


Buller, Lehman Ruth

Ruth Buller, 89, a resident of Greencroft in Goshen, Ind., died Sept. 1, 2010, after a slow deterioration in health. She was born July 19, 1921, to Joseph and Stella Sharp Lehman in Kenmare, N.D.

Upon her father’s death while she and her siblings were young, the family moved to Michigan to be closer to relatives. After graduating from high school, she held various jobs and traveled to the West Coast before joining Mennonite Central Committee at the end of World War II. She was sent to Europe to work in an orphanage, and it was during her service there that she met Herman Buller, who was also volunteering with MCC. They were married in 1951 at Eighth Street Mennonite Church in Goshen.

Subsequent moves took them to Illinois and to Oklahoma. In 1966 they accepted a call to be missionaries in Congo under what is now known as Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission. They served in Congo until 1988, when they retired to Goshen. They were active members at Silverwood Mennonite Church, and she also enjoyed volunteering for Goshen Community Hospital.

Survivors include her children, Marcia Glick and her husband, Allen, of Glenwood, N.M., and Royce Buller and his wife, Marian, of Bentonville, Ark.; six grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and all of her siblings: her twin brother, Reuel Lehman, David Lehman, Mary Handrich, Ethel Slabaugh, Genevieve Buckwalter and Josephine Swartzendruber.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 years, Herman, in 2005.
A memorial service will be held at Silverwood Mennonite Church at a later date.

Toews, Frankie Reaves Kellar

Frankie Kellar Toews, 90, of Lustre, Mont., died Oct. 18, 2010, in a car accident. She was born Sept. 1, 1920, to Casbie and Viola Reaves in Carterville, Mo.
She attended schools in Carterville and in North Dakota and Arkansas up to the eighth grade. She married Orville Kellar when she was 17 and moved with him to Washington. She raised two sons and worked outside the home. One of her jobs was working as an orchard field boss, supervising young people picking fruit.
At age 28 she became a Christian. She and her husband and sons listened to a radio preacher and started attending his church. Later they became charter members of Bethany Open Bible Church.

She and her husband, Orville, were married 42 years before his death in 1982. In 1988 she met and married Rudolph Toews and moved to Lustre, where she energetically embraced living on the farm, growing a garden and raising chickens.

She will be remembered for her positive attitude, frequent laughter, vitality, love of life and intense interest in all of God’s creation. She was an avid gardener and a passionate lover of animals. She was a generous giver and sincere listener. When she lived in Tacoma she was active in the jail ministry run by her church. In Lustre, she and Rudolph helped out at Beacon Bible Camp every summer for 11 years.

Survivors include her husband of almost 22 years, Rudolph Toews; sons Orville Kellar Jr. of Ashton, S.D., and Phillip Kellar of Tacoma, Wash.; nine stepchildren, Dennis Toews of Billings, Janet Berg of Seattle, Wash., Leroy Toews of Billings, Eldon Toews of Miles City, Ellen Miller of Phoenix, Ariz., Leon Toews of Meade, Kan., John Toews of Lustre, Karen Hallock of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, and Violet Vix of Sawyer, N.D.; 29 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at Lustre. Burial was in Hall Cemetery in Natural Dam, Ark.

Mennonite Weekly Review - November 29, 2010 - 88th Year, No. 43 - p. 9


White, Neva Lois

Neva Lois White, 94, died Nov. 13, 2010, at Schowalter Villa in Hesston, Kan. She was born Dec. 14, 1915, to Elmer Jay and Sadie Byler White in Highland Township, Harvey County, the sixth in a family of 11 children.

She attended Harvey County Sunnyside School and graduated from Newton High School, Hesston College, Goshen (Ind.) College and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, where she received a degree in library science.

She served as a librarian at Goshen College, St. Mary’s Hospital in Wausau, Wis., and Marquette University. She did relief work in Hong Kong after World War II through Mennonite Central Committee. In 1959, she went to Afghanistan as a library consultant for the State Department, USAID. During that time she traveled to more than 40 countries on visits or in connection with her work. She returned to the United States in 1966 to take a position at the Kansas State University library, where she served as head of cataloging until her retirement in 1983. She moved to Schowalter Villa in 2005.

She made a lifelong quest of learning and of assuring others the same privilege. She was known locally and in statewide literary circles for her writings about her life experiences and family history. She was also known for her open appreciation and loyalty to those who helped her along the way. She was a longtime member of the St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Manhattan.

Survivors include a brother, Dale White of Hesston; two sisters, Elsie White of Hesston and Erna Jantz of McPherson; 31 nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by seven siblings, Warren White, Gladys Zook, Allen White, Clement White, Mary Wenger, Calvin White and James White; a niece and two nephews.

Services were held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Newton. Burial was in Eastlawn Cemetery, rural Newton.

Copyright 2003 - All rights reserved - Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, PA
Used with permission by the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, INDIANA
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