Mennonite Weekly Review - February 2011

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

   Burkey, Barbara Faith Brenneman;   Carper, James W.;   Epp, Allen D.;     Fisher, Robert David;   Friesen, Clarence E.;   Friesen, Nickolai John;   Friesen, Willmer J.;   Gaeddert, Karen Kaufman;   Jantz, Sylvia Ruth Andres;   Jantzi, Mary Anna Beckler;   Kennel, Gladys Hershey;   Neufeld, Wanda Reber;   Rempel, Nellie S. Schmidt;   Ressler, Sadie R. Yoder;   Roth, Marianna Mae Gerig;   Schmidt, Kenneth H.;    Snyder, Leta M. Miller;   Unrau, Arthur;      Unruh, Lawrence;   
Mennonite Weekly Review - February 7, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 5 - p. 9


Burkey, Barbara Faith Brenneman

Barbara Faith (Brenneman) Burkey, 80, of Albany, Ore., died of congestive heart failure on Dec. 29, 2010. She was born April 27, 1930, to Harvey and Uarda (Hills) Brenneman in Tofield, Alta.

She graduated from Hesston (Kan.) Academy in 1948 and married Willard H. Burkey on May 1, 1949, in Albany.

She was a homemaker primarily but did some secretarial and bookkeeping jobs through the years.  Most recently she worked as the bookkeeper for the family farm in Pasco, Wash. She and Willard retired in Salem before moving to the Mennonite Village eight years ago.

She valued her involvement in the Mennonite local church and remained interested in the larger Mennonite community and its missions throughout her life. She enjoyed researching family genealogy and cataloging pictures with family history. She loved spending time with her immediate and extended family and staying connected in their lives. She enjoyed making por­celain dolls with her kiln and entering them in competitions at the exposition center in Portland.
Survivors include her husband, Will­ard Burkey; a daughter, Dianna Eshleman and her husband, Leon, of Depoe Bay; two sons, Lee Burkey and his wife, Lori, of Salem and David Burkey of Vancouver, Wash.; a sister, Lois Miller of Middlebury, Ind.; a brother, Harley Brenneman of Albany; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Earl and Roderick Brenneman; and two sisters, Margaret Cross and Vira Lemons.
Memorial Services were held at Albany Mennonite Church.


Snyder, Leta M. Miller

Leta M. Snyder, 85, of Goshen, Ind., died Jan. 21, 2011, at Greencroft Healthcare. She was born Aug. 6, 1925, to John E. and Lucy (Yoder) Miller in Harrisonville, Mo.

She married Donald W. Snyder on Sept. 9, 1945, in Ashley, Mich.

She was a retired elementary teacher. She was a member of College Mennonite Church, Goshen, Phalo Book Club and College Mennonite Women’s Club.
Survivors include her husband, Donald; three daughters, Donna Snyder and her husband, Stephen Shank, of Goshen, JoAnne Lehman and her husband, Andrew, of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Cathy Cameron and her husband, Clare, of Cambridge, Ont.; two sisters, Joyce Wyse of Columbus, Ohio, and Joan Vogt of Evanston, Ill.; three brothers, Leo J. Miller of Orrville, Ohio (her twin brother), Jim Miller of Twin Falls, Idaho, and Donald G. Miller of Goshen; nine grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Miller; a sister, Justine Nussbaum; a grandson, David Cameron; and a granddaughter, Greta Lehman.
Services were held at College Mennonite Church in Goshen.


Schmidt, Kenneth H.

Kenneth H. Schmidt, 78, of South Hutchinson, Kan., died Jan. 25, 2011, at Mennonite Manor in South Hutchinson. He was born March 25, 1932, to Harvey Fred and Beatrice Marguerite Smith Schmidt in Greensburg.

He was a 1950 graduate of Greensburg High School, and graduated from Hesston College and Bethel College in North Newton.
He resided in Greensburg, Rocky Ford, Colo., and Middlebury, Ind., before moving to an apartment at Mennonite Manor in 2008. He was a farmer and hospital and nursing home administrator.

On Aug. 17, 1955, he married Phyllis Eileen Egli in Manson, Iowa. She preceded him in death on Jan. 13, 2010.
Survivors include a son, Arlin Schmidt and his wife, Stephanie, of Baskings Ridge, N.J.; three daughters, Rita Martin and her husband, Bryan, of Kansas City, Mo., Nancy Magliery and her husband, Mark, of Denver, Colo., and Susan Funk and her husband, Clif, of Hutchinson; a sister, Judi Selzer of Sharon Springs; and seven grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis; and a brother, Lee.

Graveside services were held at Journey @ Yoder Church Cemetery in Yoder, with a memorial service afterward at South Hutchinson Mennonite Church.


Kennel, Gladys Hershey

Gladys Hershey Kennel
, 87, of Lititz, Pa., died Nov. 16, 2010. She was born May 27, 1923, to Noah and Marie Denlinger Hershey in Parkesburg.

She was the wife of Christian D. Kennel, with whom she celebrated 62 years of marriage on May 15. She graduated from the former Parkesburg High School. She was a member of Parkesburg Mennonite Church, where she was a former Sunday school teacher and was active in the church sewing circle.

She wrote about family and faith in two columns, “Heap of Living” and “Sunny-side Up,” for the Parkesburg Post Ledger. She also wrote children’s stories, articles for youth and young adults, and articles about family life for Christian Living, Gospel Herald, Youth Messenger, Companions, Purpose, Story Friends, Story Mates and Beams of Light. She published a children’s book series, The Ten Blue Eyes, about her first five children and The Huge Family about her 12 children.

Survivors include her husband, Christian; 11 children, Marie Stoltzfus of Honey Brook, Susan Watkins and her husband, Raymond, of New Castle, Del., Ellen Kennel and her husband, Duane Shank, of Washington, D.C., Christian Kennel and his wife, Rose Louise Brubaker Kennel, of Lancaster, Philip Kennel and his wife, Kathleen Freyenberger Kennel, of Jonesboro, Ga., James Kennel and his wife, Beth Froebe Kennel, of Parkesburg, Frederick Kennel of Hershey, Grace Zimmerman and her husband, Craig, of Trout Run, Timothy Kennel and his wife, Kathy Hagel Kennel, of Souderton, Elvin Kennel and his wife, Wendy Godshall Kennel, of Parkesburg, and Phoebe Haupert and her husband, Stephen, of Trout Run; two sisters-in-law, Alta Metzler Hershey of Honey Brook and Edith Steffy Hershey of Ephrata; 25 grand­children and nine great-grandchildren
She was preceded in death by a daughter, Esther Lamartine; two brothers, Noah and Lester Hershey; and an infant grandson, Christian David Kennel.

Memorial services were held at Millwood Mennonite Church in Gap. Burial was in Millwood Mennonite Cemetery.


Fisher, Robert David

Robert David Fisher, 92, of Goshen, Ind., died Jan. 26, 2011. He was born Nov. 25, 1918, to D.J. and Ida (Miller) Fisher near Kalona, Iowa.
A 1937 graduate of Sharon Center High School, he enjoyed taking Bible courses at Goshen College one winter. He married Rachel Swartzendruber in Wellman, Iowa, on Jan. 3, 1942.

On July 16, 1942, he was drafted and sent to Henry, Ill., as a conscientious objector. He also served at Downey, Idaho, and Ypsilanti (Mich.) State Hospital. After receiving his discharge papers, he and Rachel were volunteers with Mennonite Central Committee in Belgium and Poland from 1946 to 1948, distributing food and clothing to the need­y after World War II. He then returned to the farm near Iowa City, Iowa, for 10 years. From there they moved to Scottdale, Pa., where he worked at Mennonite Publishing House for 13 years. He also worked at Mennonite Mutual Aid in Gosh­en and Goshen General Hospital, where he retired in 1993.
He was a member of College Men­nonite Church, Goshen. He enjoyed hymns, classical music and opera. He was an excellent woodworker and made many pieces of furniture and about 100 cradles. He enjoyed needlework and donated two of his quilts to the Mennonite relief sale and another one to the Mennonite Historical Library.

Survivors include his wife, Rachel; two daughters, Julie Profeto and her husband, Ray, of Goshen, and Suzette Prokopin and her husband, Lenny, of Moreno Valley, Calif.; a son, David Fisher and his wife, Joyce, of Grottoes, Va.; two sisters, Ruth Fisher, Kalona, Iowa, and Virginia Hershberger of Goshen; a brother, Wallace Fisher of Wellman, Iowa; four grandsons and a step-great-granddaughter.

He was preceded in death by a son, Lowell, in 2008; four sisters, Mabel Mininger, Emma Maust, Lois Yoder and Pauline Maust; and two brothers, Ralph and Clifford Fisher.

His body was given to Indiana University School of Medicine. Mem­orial services were held at College Mennonite Church.

Mennonite Weekly Review - February 14, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 6 - p. 13


Neufeld, Wanda Reber

Wanda Neufeld, 82, of Inman, Kan., died Nov. 28, 2010. She was born April 19, 1928, to Lola (Shom­ber) and Gilbert Reber at Sedgwick
After graduating from high school she worked at Bethel Hospital in Newton. On Sept. 28, 1949, she married Adolf Neufeld.

She and Adolf led a full life and were always busy. She was a hard worker, a woman of many talents. For many years she helped Adolf at Inman Electric Co. They volunteered with Mennonite Disaster Service and served on the committee. She enjoyed helping Mennonite Central Committee by canning meat, making verenike, making craft items for the annual MCC sale and items for the annual Gift Day at Pleasant View Home, Inman. Many people were blessed with her handmade, embroidered and sewn-by-machine gifts and many wooden toys she and Adolf made together. In 2010 she sewed more than 100 school kit bags for MCC.
She and Adolf volunteered at Camp Mennoscah almost every summer from 1950 to 2009, helping with maintenance and working in the kitchen. Together with friends they served meals for voluntary service young people at Mennoscah and in Missouri for several years. Many weeks were given to church building in Dallas, Texas, doing electrical work and helping with other projects, and volunteering with church construction in Colorado. Numerous trips were made to churches in Canada in the Lay Witness Mission Project. She was a Sunday school teacher at Bethel Mennonite Church.

Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Adolf, of Inman; a daughter, Marilyn Marshall, of Salina; a sister, Catherine Molzen and her husband, Allen, of Wamego; a brother, Robert Reber and his wife, Iva, of Newton; two grandsons and a great-granddaughter.

Funeral services were held at Bethel Mennonite Church, rural Inman. Burial was in North Inman Cemetery.


Friesen, Nickolai John

Nickolai John Friesen, 97, of Reedley, Calif., died Jan. 5, 2011. He was born Sept. 21, 1913, to Johann Heinrich Friesen and Anna P. Willems in Alexanderkrone in the Omsk region of central Siberia.

In 1928, in response to threats and tensions with the Soviet gov­ern­ment, the family left their farm and crossed the Amur River into China. After a few months in Harbin, the family entered San Francisco Bay and landed at Angel Island on Sept. 13, 1929. They settled in the San Joaquin Valley. He did farm work in the vineyards and orchards.

He married Helen Klippenstein, also an immigrant from Siberia, on Dec. 19, 1935, at Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church. They settled in Planada and after three years moved to Orange Cove, where he worked for Chase and Bailey Farms. In 1943 they moved to a farm southwest of Reedley on the Kings River, where they lived for 34 years.

He and Helen traveled to Australia and New Zealand, Paraguay and Brazil, Germany and the Soviet Union. In 1991 they returned to Siberia, where he visited his home village he had left 63 years earlier.

Helen died July 26, 1997. They were married for 61 years.

He married Mary Krueger on Nov. 20, 1999. They visited his and her relatives in Russia and Germany. In 2001 they visited Harbin, China, where the family had waited for their trip to America, and the Amur River location where his family had crossed into China in 1928.

Survivors include his wife, Mary; two daughters, Erma Martens and her husband, Wilfred, of Fresno, and Verna Penner and her husband, Jim, of Reedley; a son, Dennis Fries­en of Kingsburg; a daughter-in-law, Sharon Friesen of Reedley; 11 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Janie, in 1944; a son, Nick Jr., in 1986; and his first wife, Helen, in 1997.

Memorial services were held at Reedley MB Church.


Ressler, Sadie R. Yoder

Sadie R. Ressler, 80, of North Lawrence, Ohio, died Jan. 19, 2011, at the Emergency Department at Affinity Medical Center, Massillon. She was born Oct. 3, 1930, to John D. and Annie (Spicher) Yoder in Belleville, Pa.

She married Ellis L. Ressler on Oct. 16, 1954, at Pleasant View Mennonite Church near North Lawrence.

She was a homemaker and devoted farmer’s wife until they retired from farming. She was a member of Pleasant View Mennonite Church, where she and Ellis were recently honored at a dinner celebrating 50 years of dedicated custodial service. She was a member of the Gideons Auxiliary, Massillon Camp, where she helped with Bible distribution. She enjoyed gardening and quilting and made numerous quilts for family and friends and the MCC relief sale. She volunteered at World Crafts. She had worked in the kitchen at Brenn-Field Nursing Center, Orrville, for eight years.

Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Ellis L. Ressler; four children, Eileen Martin of Elkhart, Ind., Julie Nussbaum and her husband, Rex, of Navarre, Wilma Cender and her husband, Karl, of Valparaiso, Ind., and John Ressler and his wife, Roberta, of Sandwich, Ill.; a sister, Mattie St. John and her husband, Edwin, of Alvordton; a brother, Louis Yoder and his wife, Naomi, of Belleville, Pa.; 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Services were held at Pleasant View Mennonite Church, North Lawrence. Burial was in the Pleasant View Church Cemetery.


Rempel, Nellie S. Schmidt

Nellie S. Rempel, 82, of Manhattan, Kan., died Feb. 2, 2011, at Good Shepherd Hospice House due to complications after a recent sur­gery. She was born May 28, 1928, to Ger­trude and Isaac Schmidt in Goessel
She attended Goessel Rural High School, where she was valedictorian of her graduating class. She received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Bethel College and later a master’s degree from Kansas State University.

In 1951 she married Paul L. Rempel, and they moved to Hillsboro. They moved to Manhattan in 1962.

She was a charter member of Manhattan Mennonite Church and served the church in many capacities, including as elder and council member. She was a music and elementary school teacher, most recently at St. George Elementary School. She was awarded a State of Kansas Special Education Traineeship in 1967. She belonged to the Music Education National Conference and the Kansas Early Childhood Education Association. In 1984 she joined the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and served this chapter for many years. In 1989, she was selected as Master Teacher for USD 323 (West Moreland-St. George).

Survivors include four daughters, Trudy Rempel and her husband, Richard Schulz, of West Des Moines, Iowa, Laura Klocke and her husband, Richard, of Lawrence, Lisa Rempel and her husband, Kevin Bertrandt, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Audrey Hunter of Portland, Ore.; two sons, Terry Rempel and his wife, Sara, of Manhattan, and Don Rempel of St. Louis, Mo.; a sister, Matilda Schoeder of McPherson; and eight grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul; three sisters, Elva Bartel, Esther Haefke and Clara Schmidt; and a brother, Jacob Schmidt.

Memorial services were held at Manhattan Mennonite Church.


Carper, James W.

James W. Carper, 85, of Dallas, Texas, died Jan. 31, 2011, at his home, after an illness of several months. He was born to Reuben and Eva Weber Carper in Lititz, Pa.

He graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree and from Johns Hopkins University with a doctorate in experimental psychology. For much of his working life he was self-employed, owning the firm CPI Associates Inc. based in Dallas.

Survivors include two sisters, Hilda Carper of Evanston, Ill., and Jean Carper Miller of Akron, Pa.; eight nieces and nephews; 15 great-nieces and nephews and one great-great-nephew.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Ruth Carper Eitzen.

A memorial service will be held in Dallas at a later date.


Friesen, Clarence E.

Clarence E. Friesen, 92, of Henderson, Neb., died Jan. 9, 2011. He was born Oct. 19, 1918, to Bernhard and Margaretha (Epp) Friesen in rural Henderson.
He was baptized by A.W. Friesen at Bethesda Mennonite Church in 1937. He was schooled through eighth grade at the District 37 country school. He trusted Christ as his Savior and showed his commitment to Christ through leading family devotions and encouraging his children to grow and live for Christ.

He grew up with a love for his family and worked hard on the farm. He enjoyed singing, woodworking and traveling to many countries visiting family and friends. He enjoyed being involved in teaching Sunday school in the preschool and men’s classes; men’s brotherhood, the Gideons and Grace Children’s Home Board.
Two experiences shaped his life: the 51 months that he spent in Civilian Public Service in Denison, Iowa; and his trip to Poland on a cattle ship. In 1945, after World War II, 600 heifers were delivered to Danzig, Poland, to supply milk for needy children.

On Oct. 6, 1946, he married Gladys Duerksen at Marion, S.D.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Gladys, of Henderson; six children, Vernelle Epp and her husband, Jerry, of Henderson, Glenyce Larsen and her husband, Robert, of Bloomington, Ind., Sylvia Rogers and her husband, Dan, of Nampa, Idaho, Janlee Siebert and her husband, Adrun, of Milford, Delton Friesen and his wife, Colleen, of Grand Island, and Eileen Rahn and her husband, Gary, of Loveland, Ohio; a sister, Pauline Friesen of Aurora; 21 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by four brothers, Jacob, Adolph, Arlie and Alvin Fries­en; a sister, Bertha Penner; and a grandson, Jeremy Larsen
Memorial services were held at Bethesda Mennonite Church in Henderson.

Mennonite Weekly Review - February 21, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 7 - p. 9


Unruh, Lawrence

Lawrence Unruh, 95, of Hesston, Kan., died Feb. 6, 2011, at Schowalter Villa. He was born March 14, 1915, to Jacob P. and Susie Unruh in Greensburg.
On April 9, 1939, he married Bertha Yoder in Wolford, N.D. She preceded him in death on Sept. 14, 2006.

He was a farmer for many years. He was a member of Hesston Mennonite Brethren Church, where he was a charter member.

Survivors include three sons, Jerry Unruh and his wife, Elaine, of Hesston, Keith Unruh and his wife, Linda, of Hutchinson, and Max Unruh of Hesston; a daughter, Ruth Vogt and her husband, Gary, of Hesston; a brother, Cecil Unruh of Hutchinson; 12 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Bertha; four brothers, Clar­ence, Otis, Vernie and Edwin Unruh; two sisters, Ethel Penner and Annie Bontrager; and a daughter-in-law, Donna Unruh.

Funeral services were held at Hesston MB?Church. Burial was in Eastlawn Cemetery in Hesston.


Unrau, Arthur

Arthur Unrau, 98, died Feb. 6, 2011, in Pryor, Okla. He was born Aug. 2, 1912, to Peter V. and Helena (Schmidt) Unrau in Moundridge, Kan.
He was a farmer, stockman and dairyman. He and his family moved from Kansas to the Inola, Okla., area in 1917. He attended school at Pleasant View School.
He married Frieda M. Regier on May 25, 1940, in Inola.

He was a member of Eden Mennonite Church, where he was baptized on June 8, 1930. He loved his family and his Lord, leaving a legacy of love for his family to cherish. As a member of Eden, he was active as a deacon, treasurer, building committee member and enjoyed working on the yard committee. He enjoyed helping with Mennonite Central Committee meat canning and collecting blankets for relief. He worked with Mennonite Disaster Service, including one week cleaning up after a tornado in Ohio. He was a helper and a doer.

He and Frieda operated a dairy for many years, milking Holstein cows. In addition to being a farmer and rancher, he was a school bus driver for Longview School. He and Frieda moved from the farm in 1980 to a home in Chouteau Hills. In 1998, due to Frieda’s declining health, they moved to Pryor to be closer to their children.

Survivors include a son, Arlis A. Unrau and his wife, Roberta, and a daughter, Mary Helen Hardy and her husband, Jack, all of Pryor; two brothers, Rahlen Unrau and his wife, Margaret, of Chouteau and William Unrau of Lincoln, Neb; a sister-in-law, Ruth Unrau of Bluff­ton, Ohio; a brother-in-law, John Miller of Reedley, Calif.; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Frieda, in 2002; two brothers, Marvin and Walter Unrau; and four sisters, Ella Pankratz, Martha Gra­­ber, Wilma Miller and Linda Unrau.

Memorial services were held at Eden Mennonite Church, Inola. Burial was in the Eden church cemetery adjacent to the church.


Epp, Allen D.

Allen D. Epp, 83, of Dallas, Ore., died Feb. 1, 2011, in the Salem Hos­­pital. He was born Jan. 2, 1928, to Isaac and Helen Epp near Henderson, Neb.
Family ties and Depression economics led to his family’s move to Luton, Iowa, where he graduated from high school in 1946. He was baptized while attending Lake Crystal Bible Camp near Sioux City, Iowa. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State Teacher’s College. Graduate work at Colorado State in Greeley preceded his move to Portland and 55 years as a teacher.

His family had moved to Mountain Lake, Minn., where he met his wife of 30 years, Gladys Fast (Pauls).

After teaching eighth-graders at Kennedy Grade School, he moved on as an American history instructor at Roosevelt High School. He led students on a re-tracing of the Lewis and Clark route in 1963. He eventually visited nearly every state in the country. He wrote for and received invitations to visit museums and historic sites across the country. Students judged his classes among their most interesting.

When Portland Community College was launched, he jumped at the chance to focus on Oregon history and religion in Amer­ica. He served for several years as dean of social sciences at the new Sylvania campus, while he hosted an educational series co-produced by PCC and Oregon Public Broadcasting, Oregon’s Colonial Heri­tage. He served as president of the Aurora Historical Society, residing there for a few years before returning to Portland until his retirement in 2006, when he moved to Dallas. He was a longtime supporter of the Mennonite Fall Festival in Albany.

He is survived by his son, Mark, of Dallas. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Jean Epp, on Dec. 22, 2009.

A memorial service was held in the Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center. A memorial service is also being planned on the campus of Portland Community College. Burial will be in Henderson, Neb., with a view of the Oregon Trail.


Roth, Marianna Mae Gerig

Marianna Mae Gerig Roth, 76, of Hesston, Kan., died Jan. 21, 2011. She was born Sept. 12, 1934, to Vernon and Mabel Gerig near Wayland, Iowa.
She grew up in the Wayland community. She married Edwin L. Roth on Sept. 14, 1957, at Sugar Creek Mennonite Church, rural Wayland.

In 1972 they moved to Carlsbad, N.M., and she became a member of Carlsbad Mennonite Church, where she was active in music and education. In 2005, she moved to Scho­walter Villa in Hesston and was a member of Hesston Mennonite Church
After she graduated from Hess­ton College in 1954, she began a career as a school teacher near Wayland and finished her career in Carlsbad in 2005. She enjoyed singing, piano playing, listening to music, flower and vegetable gardening, camping, hiking and visiting with friends.

Survivors include her husband of 53 years, Edwin Roth of Hesston, Kansas; two sons, Tim Roth and his wife, Rose, of Bangkok, Thailand, and Ted Roth and his wife, Doris, of Santa Fe, N.M.; a sister, Elaine Schrock and her husband, Dan, of Goshen, Ind.; two grandchildren  and two step-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by a sister, Byrdene Johnson.


Jantz, Sylvia Ruth Andres

Sylvia Ruth (Andres) Jantz, 80, of Hesston, Kan., died Feb. 8, 2011. She was born to Peter Cornelius Andres and Anna (Richert) Andres of Goessel.
She took delight in learning and music from a young age. These passions drove her early journey from rural elementary school to Hesston and Goshen (Ind.) College and ignited her lifelong mission to learn from, teach and lead others.

She enthusiastically taught language arts for 20 years and provided leadership ranging from Chris­tian education, congregational music and church conference administrative support to leading wo­men’s retreats. Her external vision birthed an interest in her internal spiritual growth. She helped establish the Solitude Center at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp. She got satisfaction working with her husband, Wally, to lead marriage enrichment retreats for more than 25 years.
The arts were breath and air for her. She provided congregational accompaniment from the age of 12, led hymns and directed choirs, and sang in many groups — collegiate, community and ensembles.

She was a lover of life, living enthusiastically in spite of health challenges that began in her early adult years. Her faith was strong, and she lived out her spirituality in many ways.

She provided countless hours of loving support to her husband of 55 years, Wally, her sons and their families. She was an active participant in Wally’s ministries and contributed hospitality to others.

Survivors include her husband, Wallace Jantz; two sons, Jeff Jantz and his wife, Teresa, of Durango, Colo., and Tim Jantz and his wife, Melissa, of Pennsylvania; two bro­thers, Eldon Andres of Peabody and Homer Andres of Ferndale, Wash.; a sister, Della Wiebe of Colorado Springs, Colo.; and four grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Esther Mae McDonald.

Services were held at Hesston Mennonite Church.

Mennonite Weekly Review - February 28, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 8 -
p. 9


Friesen, Willmer J.

Willmer J. Friesen, 91, of North Newton, Kan., died Feb. 11, 2011, at Kidron Bethel Retirement Village. He was born March 27, 1919, to John H. and Katie Ensz Friesen in Dubois, Idaho.

His family moved to the Fairview area between Aber­deen and American Falls, Idaho. He graduated from high school at American Falls and attended one year at Bethel College in North Newton.

He was baptized in June 1934. He was an active member of First Mennonite Church of Aberdeen and was a deacon for a number of years. He enjoyed singing in church choirs, men’s choruses, octets and quartets. He was an active member of The Gideons International. Later he was a member of First Mennonite Church in Newton.

In 1942 he was drafted and served in Civilian Public Service for almost four years. On Dec. 29, 1945, he married Ellen Wedel in Goessel. They lived in the family home in American Falls.

In 1954, Ellen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She spent almost nine years in the geriatric ward in the American Falls hospital and died May 23, 1973.
Farming was his occupation for 45 years. Many of those years included dairy farming and raising Idaho potatoes.

On March 7, 1975, he married Laura Tieszen. They continued to live on the family farm. They were able to travel and had a winter home in Arizona that they enjoyed for many years. He retired from farming at age 72, and in September 1999 they moved to Kidron Bethel.

Survivors include his wife, Laura; a son, Dale and his wife, Connie, of Lawrence; a daughter, Margie Chartrand of Omaha, Neb.; two sisters, Margaret Tieszen of Caldwell, Idaho, and Ruby Friesen of Mount Angel, Ore.; a sister-in-law, Barbara Friesen of North Newton; seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ellen Wedel Friesen; four brothers, Elmer, Waldo, Edwin and Orlando; and two sisters, Verna Huse and Elma Linscheid.

Services were held at First Mennonite Church, Newton.


Gaeddert, Karen Kaufman

Karen Kaufman Gaeddert, 72, died Jan. 28, 2011, after a long battle with cancer. She was born Jan. 16, 1939, to Paul D. and Linda (Goering) Kaufman.
She was baptized on June 6, 1954, and joined Eden Mennonite Church, Mound­ridge. She graduated from Moundridge High School
On June 2, 1957, she married her high school sweetheart, Jim Gaeddert. She attended Bethel College in North Newton for one year.

A member of Rainbow Mennonite Church in Kansas City, Kan., she was committed to her faith through­out her life and instilled those same principles in her family. While living in Newton, she and Jim attended Bethel College Mennonite Church. She worked in the nursery, taught Bible school and volunteered in the Community Playschool and worked in the General Conference Mennonite Church offices in Newton.

She was active in the Cancer Crusade, was a Cub Scout den mo­ther, volunteered in her children’s schools, helped with the soup kitchen, instructed in a conversational English class while in London, and served as a court appointed special advocate for abused children in Chicago.
They lived in North Newton, Overbrook, Hoisington, Newton and Walton in Kansas. As Jim’s career e­volved with Hesston/Fiat, they lived in West Chicago, Ill., Lancaster, Pa., London, England, and St. Charles, Ill., prior to retiring to Bella Vista, Ark. As she was diagnosed with cancer for the third time in her life, they moved to Leawood, Kan., to be closer to her doctors and family.

She loved sports and games, traveling, gardening and participating in virtually anything outdoors.

Survivors include her husband, Jim; four children, Doug Gaeddert and his wife, Lisa, of Elkhart, Ind., Greg Gaeddert and his wife, Terri, of Leawood, Brad Gaeddert of Leawood, and Janelle Benninghoff and her husband, Dan, of Overland Park; a brother, Gerald Kaufman of Inman; a sister-in-law, Leda Kaufman of Moundridge; 13 grandchildren and a great-grandson.

She was preceded in death by brothers Gilbert, Georgie Kent (still­born) and Merrill Gene (stillborn)
Memorial services were held at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton.


Jantzi, Mary Anna Beckler

Mary Anna Jantzi, 86, of Plainview, Ore., died Jan. 8, 2011, while wintering in Phoenix, Ariz. She was born March 26, 1924, to William and Anna (Roth) Beckler in Milford, Neb.

She moved to the Plainview area in 1946. She drove school bus and taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school at her church. She moved to Newport in 1977, where she resided until the late 1980s. She worked in the card department for the Newport Payless Store and as an Amway salesperson.

She enjoyed snow birding to Phoe­nix for more than 20 years. She also enjoyed sewing, gardening, cooking for family and friends, flying, reading her Bible and working with children. She loved giving to her community, church and to other people. She was a lifetime member of the Mennonite church.

She married Roland Jantzi on Dec. 1, 1946, in Nebraska.

Survivors include her husband of 64 years, Roland; four daughters, Candyce Ann Pepin and her husband, George, Mary Jo Fitch and her husband, John, and Anna Mae Baker and her husband, Ronald, all of Lebanon, and Jeanie Morey and her husband, Jim, of Redding, Calif.; two brothers, Robert Beckler of Beaver Crossing, Neb., and Charles Beckler of Friend, Neb.; a sister, Donna Rae Stauffer of Milford; 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Lawrence and Orie Beckler; a sister, Edna Stauffer; and a granddaughter.

Funeral services were held at Lebanon Mennonite Church. Burial was in the Fairview Mennonite Cemetery.

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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