Mennonite Weekly Review - February 2012

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

Gerber, Daniel Keith; . . Neff, Elizabeth Royer; . . Nickel, Ted; . . Yoder, Ellen Marie Slagell; . .

Mennonite Weekly Review - February 6, 2012 - 90th Year, No. 5 - p. 13


Nickel, Ted

Ted Nickel, 93, of Fort Wayne, Ind., died Jan. 15, 2012. He was born Aug. 1, 1918, to David and Maria Nickel in Mountain Lake, Minn.

He received his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Wheaton (Ill.) College in 1945, his master’s degree in educational administration from Emporia (Kan.) State University, and his Ph.D. in 1980 from Walden University. He taught school at Berean Academy, Elbing, Kan., and the Meade (Kan.) Academy, and was principal at Central Christian High School, Hutchinson, Kan. He was professor and chair of the department of teacher education at Fort Wayne Bible College and Summit Christian College for 25 years, retiring in 1987. After his retirement he worked as a part-time associate for D.O. McComb & Sons Foster Park Funeral Home for 15 years.

He was an active member of First Missionary Church, where he served as a deacon, adult Sunday school superintendent, director of Christian education and adult Sunday school teacher. He was a former member of Visiting Nurse Advisory Board for 10 years; a Fort Wayne Christian School Education Committee member; a former board member of Fort Wayne Christian School for nine years; and a Phi Delta Kappa member.

Survivors include his loving wife of 64 years, Rose Ann Nickel of Fort Wayne; a daughter, Janet E. Nickel of Freetown, Sierra Leone, in West Africa; a son, David B. Nickel and his wife, Rebecca, of Indianapolis; three granddaughters; a grandson and a great-grandson.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Walter Nickel.

Services were held at First Missionary Church, Fort Wayne. Burial was in Greenlawn Memorial Park, Fort Wayne, Ind.


Neff, Elizabeth Royer

Elizabeth Royer Neff, 96, of Lebanon, Pa., wife of Dr. Charles Neff, died Dec. 21, 2011. She was born on Christmas Day in 1914 to Pastor I.W. Royer and Christina Neuhauser Royer in Orrville, Ohio. There she grew up with her two sisters in the nurture of her family and the church.

She graduated from Goshen (Ind.) College and became a teacher in the public school system in her Ohio home and also in Baltimore, Md., where her husband was in medical school. Afterward they lived and worked in Harford County, Md. There her husband served as a physician in rural practice with her devoted help, and this is where their children were born. Because of family health problems, they moved to California’s warmer climate, where they provided a home for her elderly parents, and her husband entered his residency in psychiatry.

In 1972, at the call of Philhaven Hospital, they moved to the Lebanon Valley and took up residence in Cornwall. It was in this area, rich in Pennsylvania history, that she discovered her Royer lineage dating back to land purchased from William Penn’s sons in the early 1700s.

As a wife, mother and homemaker, she was devoted to everyone who walked through her door. She was a gracious hostess, delighting in children and young people and in happy gatherings around the table. She resourced young mothers’ groups, sharing her great concern and investment in the value of family and the home. In all of life, she was devoted to the Lord Jesus and was a faithful, enthusiastic member of Gingrichs Mennonite Church.
Survivors include her daughter, Christina Neff Okamoto and her husband, Jeff, in whose home she spent her last years; and a grandson, Stephen Okamoto and his wife, Cassie.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Charles Neff; two sisters, Mary Royer and Katherine Royer; and by an infant son, John Timothy Neff.
Services were held at Gingrichs Mennonite Church. A graveside service was at Gingrichs church cemetery.


Yoder, Ellen Marie Slagell

Ellen Marie (Slagell) Yoder, 93, of Weatherford, Okla., died Jan. 13, 2012, at Corn Heritage Village. She was born April 11, 1918, to Joseph and Emma (Schantz) Slagell in Thomas.

She was raised north of Hydro and attended rural Bear Creek and Swan schools and graduated from Jabbock High School in 1936. She attended Pleasant View Mennonite Church and was baptized May 3, 1931. She graduated from La Junta (Colo.) Mennonite School of Nursing in 1942, where she received her Registered Nurse diploma.

On April 21, 1946, she married Alva Yoder, and they made their home north of Hydro.

She did private duty nursing and later worked at the Thomas Hospital for about 22 years before retiring at age 72. She and Alva enjoyed visiting family in Lebanon, Bangladesh and Belize and taking family vacations in many U.S. states. At home she enjoyed cooking, reading, crocheting, embroidery and family activities. She was an active volunteer at the Mennonite Central Committee Et Cetera Shop in Weatherford.

Survivors include a son, Bob Yoder and his wife, Becky, of Hydro; two daughters, Phyllis Miller and her husband, Ralph, of Chouteau, and Karen Kendall and her husband, Terry, of Greentown, Ind.; a sister, Mary Lederach and her husband, Paul, of Lansdale, Pa.; two sisters-in-law, Fannie Stutzman and Barbara Ann Thomas; two brothers-in-law, Andy Chupp and Amos Yoder; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Alva Yoder; a brother, Elmer Slagell; and three sisters, Lena Cooprider, Goldie Slagell and Lorene Miller.

There were no obituaries in the February 13, 2012 issue

Mennonite Weekly Review - February 20, 2012 - 90th Year, No. 7 - p. 9


Gerber, Daniel Keith

Daniel Keith Gerber, 69, died suddenly Jan. 25, 2012, at his home in Chicago. He was born March 28, 1942, to Ross L. Gerber and Ruth Hertzler Gerber in Sugarcreek, Ohio.

He was a lifelong peacemaker-educator who worked internationally and domestically with the Mennonite church, Peace Corps and Voluntary Missionary Movement. He spent more than 10 years in East Africa working with a variety of programs, including Hospice Uganda. He believed he was on Earth to be a servant and valued his relationships more than anything else.

He experienced the divine in the natural environment. He plunged into Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and the Indian Ocean. He would ski into woods in January, camping in the side of a snowbank. He loved having his hands in the dirt and was the founder of the University of Chicago Woodlawn School Community Garden. He planted hundreds of trees throughout the states and countries he lived in. He would press the apples from his beloved trees into cider and reverently tap the sugar maples for their sap while he admired their crown.

He celebrated the diverse manifestations of the divine. He was a student of all religions, cultures and peoples. He spent his lifetime fascinated with the abundance that flows forth from his Creator, be it a well-cooked Indian meal, George Frideric Handel’s Water Music or watching the Minnesota Vikings.

Survivors include his spouse of more than 45 years, Janet Graber Gerber; three sons, Mark Dillon Hyun Gerber, Andrew Ross Gerber and his wife, Kara Schmidt, and Luke Suh-Il Gerber and his wife, Melissa Frawley; a daughter, Sarah Hye-Sook Przybylski; five siblings, Nancy Conrad and her husband, Mark, David Gerber and his wife, Fern, Dwight Gerber and his wife, Paula, Amy Kauffman and her husband, Thomas, and James L. Schrock and his wife, Susan; and three grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Phil Schrock.

Memorial services were held at Lombard Mennonite Church, where he was an active member.

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