Mennonite Weekly Review - July 2011

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

Basinger, Lowell "Eugene"; . Bohn, Alden Lantz; . Harms, Esther M. Ediger; . Hochstedler, Beulah Hostetler; . Kaethler, Frieda Siemens; . . Kauffman, Norman Daniel; .Miller, James Virgil; .   Miller, Nova Jean Wertz; .Oswald, Helen Elizabeth Miller; . Reist, Robert Leo; . .Richard, Glen A.; . Voth, Helen W. Saner . Welty, Russell Ralph; .

Mennonite Weekly Review - July 4, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 24 - p. 9


Miller, Nova Jean Wertz

Nova Jean Miller, 74, of Pigeon, Mich., died May 27, 2011. She was born on July 14, 1936, to Joseph L. and Orpha V. (Stevanus) Wertz in Bay Port.
She was a 1954 graduate of Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg, Va. On Dec. 30, 1955, she married Durward H. “Butch” Miller at Pigeon River Mennonite Church. He preceded her in death on May 1, 2011, after 55 years of marriage.

She was a member of Pigeon River Mennonite Church and served on the food committee for many years. She started the Bible Memory program, listening to children’s Bible memory verses. She had a passion for quilting and enjoyed her church sewing circle. She was a tireless volunteer with the Top of the Thumb Leisure Ministries, Pigeon Meals on Wheels, Laker Athletic Boosters and the Northern Michigan Mennonite Relief Sale. She was a faithful servant to her church, family and community, and a surrogate mother to many. She and Butch were the inaugural “Friends of Youth” for the Thumb Meet of Champions, representing Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Lakers. For many years, she worked in the office of J & B Plumbing & Heating, which she and Butch owned and operated until retiring in 2001.

Survivors include three children, Margie Clement of Broadway, Va., Sheldon and Jeanie Miller of Dryden, and Darlene and David Hoffman of Augusta, Ga.; a sister, Ramona Wertz Mahler of Elkhart, Ind.; sisters-in-law Ruby Wertz of Goshen, Ind., Floris Wertz of Bay Port, Nellie Steider of Conneaut Lake, Pa., Juanita Marner of Shipshewana, Ind., and Marilyn Yoder of Wellman, Iowa; a brother-in-law, Ed Miller of Meadville, Pa.; and seven grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Butch; three brothers, Willard Wertz, R. Dale Wertz and Donald Wertz; a brother-in-law, Charles Mahler; and a sister-in-law, Louise Miller.

Funeral services were held at Pigeon River Mennonite Church. Burial was in the church cemetery.


Bohn, Alden Lantz

Alden Lantz Bohn, 79, of Goshen, Ind., died June 13, 2011. He had been ill with cancer for three months. He was born March 15, 1932, to Ernest and Nora (Lantz) Bohn in Souderton, Pa.

He moved to the Elkhart area in 1963. On June 19, 1954, he married Doris L. Roberts in Quakertown, Pa.

He worked for Elkhart Community Schools for 24 years and was their first clinical social worker. He also worked at Oaklawn Psychiatric Center for seven years. He was a member of Hively Avenue Mennonite Church and Elkhart National Association of Social Workers. He was formerly a board member at Bashor Home and Camp Friedenswald. A graduate of Bluffton (Ohio) College, he received his master’s degree from Ohio State and attended Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary.

Survivors include his wife, Doris; four children, Trish Donaldson of Burton, Ohio, Karl Bohn and his wife, Julie, of Windsor, Calif., Linda Bohn and Dave Bohn and his wife, Heather, all of Goshen; three sisters, Esther Groves of Newton, Kan., Catherine Hartman of Goshen and Eleanor Unruh of Lawrence, Kan.; two brothers, E. Stanley Bohn of Newton, Kan., and John Bohn of Goshen; and four grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Helen Klassen.

Memorial services will be held at Eighth Street Mennonite Church in Goshen.


Harms, Esther M. Ediger

Esther M. Harms, 87, of North Newton, Kan., died May 31, 2011, from complications of diabetes and high blood pressure. She was born Aug. 30, 1923, to Peter and Katie (Martens) Ediger at their farm southeast of Inman.

On Oct. 21, 1946, she married Wilmer A. Harms at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church of rural Inman.

They lived in Medora, Hillsboro, Lawrence and Kansas City, where Wilmer graduated from the Kansas University of Medicine. She always was able to find employment as a bookkeeper. They made their home in Hesston, where Wilmer began his practice as a family physician. She gladly participated in various community activities as was expected of the doctor’s wife. She never refused an opportunity to teach children’s Sunday school or vacation Bible school. In 1968, Wilmer left Hesston to begin residency training at the McGee Eye Institute in Oklahoma City. In 1972 the family moved to Halstead, where Wilmer joined the Hertzler Clinic as an ophthalmologist.

The family joined the Koerner Heights Church in Newton. She was involved teaching children’s classes, but her legacy, which gave her a deep sense of fulfillment, was that of organizing the Ladies Daytime Fellowship, where she always tried to have a quilt ready for the elderly ladies to work on. She was a skilled quilter and enjoyed sharing the art of quilting.

Survivors include her husband of more than 64 years, Wilmer; two sons, Willard Harms of Elmhurst, Ill., and Kevin Harms and his wife, Rebecca, of Wichita; a brother, Delbert Ediger and his wife, Lillian, of Inman; two sisters-in-law, Anna Ediger and LaVerna Ediger; and six grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by six sisters, Bertha, Rosella, Anna, Frieda, Edna and Elva; three brothers, Ben, Henry and Herb; and a sister-in-law, Eleanor Ediger.

Funeral services were held at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church. Burial was in Springfield Cemetery in Lehigh.


Richard, Glen A.

Glen A. Richard, 94, of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, died June 20, 2011, at SunnyBrook of Ashford Park. He was born Dec. 23, 1916, to Peter W. and Emma Graber Richard near Wayland.

On Aug. 31, 1938, he married Margaret Mae Wenger at her home north of Wayland.

He farmed for many years near Wayland. As a member of the extension committee at Sugar Creek Mennonite Church, he was instrumental in reopening the Pleasant Point Church at Oakland Mills and planting a new church in Mount Pleasant, which became Pleasant View Mennonite Church. In 1958 he was ordained and installed as pastor, where he served until 1978. He then served as interim pastor of congregations in Arthur, Ill., La Junta, Colo., and Donnellson, Trenton and Salem in Iowa, before retiring in Mount Pleasant.

His passion throughout life was evangelism. His concern for the spiritual well-being of those he knew was legendary as he ministered to the needs of people in the community and in the church. He attended courses at Goshen (Ind.) College, Eastern Mennonite University of Harrisonburg, Va., and the Billy Graham School of Evangelism.

Survivors include his wife of 72 years, Margaret; four children, Wesley Richard and his wife, Sue, of Goshen, Ind., Duane Richard and his wife, Judy, of Ocala, Fla., Gloria Graber and her husband, Gary, and Lynn Richard and his wife, Karen, all of Mount Pleasant; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Oscar Richard, and a sister, Josephine Schrock.

Funeral services were held at Pleasant View Mennonite Church in Mount Pleasant. Burial was in Forest Home Cemetery in Mount Pleasant.


Kauffman, Norman Daniel

Norman Daniel Kauffman, 87, of Kalispell, Mont., died June 6, 2011. He was born July 19, 1923, to Norman Leroy and Anna Kauffman in Creston.
At age 14 he was baptized and joined Mountain View Mennonite Church. His life of service began during World War II when he served in Civilian Public Service and spent the first 13 months working in Idaho. He then trained as a smokejumper, fighting forest fires in his home state. In 1946 he joined the crew of the USS Mount Whitney and transported horses to post-war Poland under the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Act. After his release from service, he attended Hesston (Kan.) College and Eastern Mennonite College in Harrisonburg, Va., where he graduated.

In 1950 he married Margaret Stutzman of Goshen, Ind., and lived there, serving as the first principal of Clinton Christian Day School. They spent two years in Johnstown, Pa., where he taught at Johns­town Mennonite School before moving to Kalispell, where he continued his teaching career at Evergreen School. In 1970 they moved to Glendive, where he became pastor of White Chapel Mennonite Church, where he served for 12 years. He and Margaret then moved to Harrisonburg, where he was pastor of Elkton Mennonite Church and worked on the physical plant staff at EMU.

Retirement was followed by a move back to the Flathead Valley. He enjoyed hunting, singing in the local barbershop chorus, riding his four-wheeler in the woods, and could often be found in his wood­working shop. He suffered a severe head injury as the result of a slip on the ice in 2006, and for the remaining years of his life his home was Heritage Place in Kalispell.

Survivors include his wife, Margaret; five sons, Leroy and his wife, Judy, of Clyde, N.C., Kermit of Tampa, Fla., Galen and his wife, Betty Jean, of Mountain Lake, Minn., Jerry and his wife, Mary Beth, of New Ulm, Minn., and Martin of Kalispell; three brothers, Paul, Dave and Joe; four sisters, Berniece Reimer, Lillie Weber, Rosella Eby and Gladys Reimer; three grandsons and six granddaughters.

He was preceded in death by a son, Jonathan, four brothers and three sisters.


Kaethler, Frieda Siemens

Frieda Siemens Kaethler, 85, of Filadelfia, Paraguay, died March 28, 2011. She was born April 8, 1925, to Ana Wosnjack and Nikolai Siemens in the Crimea, where her father was attending Bible school. They moved back to their home near Omsk, Siberia, where they remained until they had to flee Russia in 1929. After a few months in a refugee camp in Germany, the family relocated to Paraguay when she was 5 years old. The pioneer years were very difficult, but their father taught them that they needed to be thankful for the beans even if they were full of worms and sand. Their father began, early on, to print a newspaper, The Mennoblatt. Since all the type had to be set by hand, the children were put to work as soon as they were old enough.

She accepted Christ at the age of 10 and was baptized at the age of 15 and became a member of the Mennonite Brethren Church in Filadelfia, Fernheim Colony. At age 19, she, together with three young men, was able to attend Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kan. She had wanted to be a teacher, but her fiancé was planning to be a doctor, so she decided she could better serve with him as a nurse. She graduated from the Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in Newton, Kan., and was later able to use her gift of teaching in the Chaco where they had to prepare nurses for service. She and Wilhelm Kaethler were married on March 7, 1952. In 1953 they returned to Paraguay after an absence of nine years.

She and Wilhelm served in Friesland, Menno and Fernheim colonies as well as the leprosy station. She was instrumental in beginning a kindergarten, sewing circles, teaching English, German and typing and lecturing on health issues.

Wilhelm preceded her in death about 10 years ago. She spent her last years in a retirement center in Filadelfia.

Survivors include two children, Heinz Wilfried Kaethler and his wife, Frieda Lepp Kaethler, and Wilma Elfriede Neufeld and her husband, Alfred; four sisters; one brother; and seven grandchildren.


Oswald, Helen Elizabeth Miller

Helen Elizabeth Oswald, 87, died June 6, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. She was born Oct. 26, 1923, to Perry and Della Miller in rural Pocahontas County, Iowa.
At age 1, she moved to the family farm near Manson, Iowa, and grew up working alongside her brothers, sister and parents. She attended Calhoun County country schools through the eighth grade.

She married Alvin Oswald on Oct. 4, 1942. They made their home on the farm near Knierim, Iowa.

She worked with Alvin on the farm picking corn by hand, milking cows, walking beans, cooking and raising their children. She was active in Manson Mennonite Church and quilted and made handicrafts for mission projects. She always had a large garden and preserved the yield for the long winter months. She extended her hospitality to others through delicious meals and baked goods. Her greatest delight was when her children and grandchildren were all seated around her table.
She was an avid game player with a competitive spirit. She loved playing Aggravation and Crazy 8’s and a good game of Rook. After retirement, she and Alvin lived at Glencroft in Glendale during the winter months. She continued to be active by quilting, doing handicrafts, cooking and baking.

Her husband, Alvin, preceded her in death. In 2007 she married Vernon Miller.

Survivors include her husband, Vernon; five children, Larry Oswald and his wife, Shirley, of Kalona, Iowa, Ladella Hershberger and her husband, Marlin, of Phoenix, Donald Oswald and his wife, Bonnie, and David Oswald and his wife, Nita, all of Manson, Iowa, and Rachel Yoder and her husband, Herschel, of Kalona, Iowa; a brother, Everett of Sun City; a sister, Ethel Litwiller of Manson; 14 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; two stepchildren; two step-grandchildren; six step-great-grandchildren and five step-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Alvin; and three brothers, Lloyd, Wilbur and Robert Miller.

Mennonite Weekly Review - July 11, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 25 - p. 9


Voth, Helen W. Saner

Helen W. Voth,
92, of Goessel, Kan., died June 30, 2011, at Harry Hynes Hospice in Wichita. She was born Sept. 23, 1918, to Jonas and Kate Schrag Saner. She was a homemaker.

On March 27, 1938, she married Ernest F. Voth at Kingman Mennonite Church. He preceded her in death in 1978.

Survivors include a son, Larry Voth and his wife, Karen Sue, of Moundridge; two daughters, Darlene Stucky and her husband, LeRoy, of Wichita, and Barbara Allen of Hillsboro; a brother, Raymond of Springfield, Mo.; a sister, Joan Harder of Pocatello, Idaho; a sister-in-law, Billie Saner of Kansas City; seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest; a brother, Ralph; a sister-in-law, Betty Saner; and a brother-in-law, Will Harder.

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

Mennonite Weekly Review - July 18, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 26 - p. 13


Welty, Russell Ralph

Russell Ralph Welty, 87, died July 2, 2011, after a valiant battle with cancer, at home in McDonough, Ga. He was born Feb. 6, 1924, to Elam and Blanche Welty at Bluffton, Ohio.

He married Ellen Louise Wagner on July 31, 1943. They were married for almost 67 years. She preceded him in death on July 4, 2010.

He was a businessman in Pandora, Ohio, until he went into the ministry as a Mennonite pastor. He served churches in Fortuna, Mo., Comins, Mich., and Durham, N.C., and was director of Camp Friedenswald in Cassopolis, Mich., for two years. He and Ellen served as foster parents during their pastorate in Michigan. An active retiree, he was the chaplain at Westbury Nursing Home and Rehabilitation in McDonough for 16 years. As a member of the local AARP chapter, he served as president for several years and also taught safe driving classes in the community. He volunteered with the Citizen Panel Review for Henry County Juvenile Court, working to provide permanent homes for children. He was a member of Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship and had a ministry of visitation and encouragement in the church and community.

Survivors include two sons, Dean Welty of Winnipeg, Man., and Tim Welty and his wife, Ruth Ann, of McDonough; a daughter, Jeanene Wiens and her husband, Werner, of Glenlea, Man.; a brother, Dale Welty of West Royal Palm Beach, Fla.; a sister, Ruby Free and her husband, Dennis, of Fort Wayne, Ind.; eight grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and a special foster daughter, Tammy McKague.

Services were held at Berea Mennonite Church in Atlanta.


Reist, Robert Leo

Robert Leo Reist, 95, of Salina, Okla., died peacefully at home on July 2, 2011. He was born in 1916 to Henry and Lulu Reist in Scottdale, Pa.
He married Ruth Sieber in 1941, and they operated a dairy farm and raised four children in Jim Wells County, Texas. In 1961 he began his second career as a high school teacher of science and math.

He was baptized in 1929 and was active in the church throughout his life. He and Ruth enjoyed traveling and spent much of their retirement on the road, visiting most of the contiguous states and Alaska. To the end he remained a kind, thankful and gracious man who never complained.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth Reist; two sons, John Reist and Robert Kurt Reist; and grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a son, David Reist; his daughter, Roberta Susan Mast; and his sister Maurine Finley.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.


Basinger, Lowell "Eugene"

Lowell Eugene Basinger, 92, of Bluffton, Ohio, died July 1, 2011, at Mennonite Memorial Home, where he and his wife resided for the past four years. He was born Feb. 14, 1919, to Daniel J and Elizabeth Bixel Basinger into the Swiss Mennonite community of Bluffton and Pandora on his family farm south of Ebenezer Mennonite Church.

He attended the one-room Bucher School across from Ebenezer Mennonite Church, where he was taught by an older sister and first learned English. He graduated from Bluffton High School, Bluffton College and the University of Cincinnati, where he received a master’s degree. As a high school teacher for more than 35 years in northwestern Ohio, he taught English, Shakespeare, the Bible as literature, and German. He was an active member of First Mennonite Church, Bluffton.

He served in Civilian Public Service during World War II in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia. He met Lola Schertz, the CPS camp nurse at Grottes, Va., and married her on July 8, 1948, at the home of her parents, Rudy and Tillie Stalter Schertz, in Metamora, Ill.

Survivors include his wife, Lola; their three children, Doug (John Flickinger), Deb Stechschulte, and Jerome (Pam); five grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

He was buried at the Ebenezer cemetery.


Miller, James Virgil

James Virgil Miller, 87, died July 6, 2011, in Glendale, Ariz. He was born March 15, 1924, to Ura R. and Mae (Hostetler) Miller in Holmes County, Ohio.
He was a member of Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville, Ohio. He received his bachelor’s degree from Goshen (Ind.) College and studied at the University of Michigan, where he earned a master’s degree in English language and linguistics. During World War II, he entered Civilian Public Service in Mulberry, Fla., and traveled to Holland and Germany for volunteer work with Mennonite Central Committee. He then taught for the American Board of the Congregational Church in Tarsus and Ankara, Turkey. Through MCC connections he met Susan Krahn. They were married July 17, 1959, in Altona, Man.
Shortly thereafter they moved back to Ankara, Turkey, where they lived and worked another four years. They returned to the United States for a four-year teaching stint at Bluffton (Ohio) College. In 1970 he accepted a position at the University of Petroleum and Minerals in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, as a professor of English, where the family spent 15 years, the remainder of his teaching career. In 1985 they returned to Sarasota, Fla., where they lived until this year. In 2011 they moved to Glencroft Retirement Community in Glendale.

He wrote several books chronicling the history of prominent Mennonite families, beginning with his own roots, and culminating in his last book, Both Sides of the Ocean, which compiled information on the Amish-Mennonites who emigrated from Switzerland to North America.

He traveled worldwide and was able to get along in many languages, including German, Dutch, French, Russian, Turkish and Arabic. He loved classical music, and he sang, played piano and conducted community musical groups.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Susan; three daughters, Marjorie, Elaine and Lois; two brothers, Howard and Bill; a sister, Mary; and five grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Sept. 3, 2011, at Oak Grove Mennonite Church in Smithville.


Hochstedler, Beulah Hostetler

Beulah Hochstedler, 86, died June 1, 2011, in Kalona, Iowa. She was born May 4, 1925, to Henry A. and Ella (Miller) Hostetler in Uniontown, Ohio.
She grew up in the Hartville, Ohio, area. She spent one year in voluntary service at the Kansas City Children’s Home. On Oct. 5, 1947, she married Henry W. Hochstedler in Hartville, Ohio.

Having grown up on the farm, she developed a love for animals and raised and showed registered dogs for many years. She loved flowers and had many around the farm along with a goldfish pond. She enjoyed quilting and was a Dorcas of her time. She resided at Pleasant View Nursing Home for the last 18 months.

Survivors include her husband, Henry; five children, Vivian Baumhover and her husband, Mark, of Hills, Leonard Hochstedler and his wife, Twila, of Kalona, Merle Hochstedler and his wife, Mary, of Turkey, Bill Hochstedler and his wife, Susan, of Canada, and Dennis Hochstedler of Kalona; a sister, Lovina of West Virginia; two half-sisters, Viola of Ohio and Mary of Pennsylvania; two half-brothers, Melvin of Ohio and Henry Jr. of Canada; 12 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by a son, Myron, in 1967, and a brother, Ervin.

A celebration of life service was held at Sunnyside Mennonite Church in Kalona. Burial was in the Fairview Cemetery in rural Kalona.

There was no MWR July 25. 2011 issue published.

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