Mennonite World Review - July 2012
Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Kroeker, Katherine Marie; . . Longenecker, Elmer Z.; . . Oswald, Donald; . . Roth, B. Ellis; . . Schrag, Howard Joseph; . . Yoder, Lizzie Yoder; . .
Mennonite World Review - July 9, 2012 - 90th Year, No. 18 - p. 16
Kroeker, Katherine Marie
Katherine Marie Kroeker, 88, of Shafter, Calif., died May 31, 2012. She was born Sept. 20, 1923, to Cornelius K. and Elizabeth (Duerksen) Isaak in Dinuba.
Her family farmed in the Dinuba area and attended Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church. Her life was shaped by her love for God, her family and friends. She accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior as a youth and was baptized in Reedley MB?Church. She married Vernon Kroeker of Shafter on May 25, 1942.
They were involved in several ministries at Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church, including the dining hall and "Fest" committees. She sang in the church choir for several years. She worked at Maple School in the cafeteria for more than 40 years and enjoyed the friendships of many she worked with.
Survivors include three children, Janice Ollenburger and her husband, Jaryl, Dennis Kroeker and his wife, Debbie, and Jay Kroeker and his wife, Carol; a sister, Beverly Klassen; a sister-in-law, Charlene Booth; four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A graveside service was held at Shafter Memorial Park. Memorial services were held at Shafter MB Church.
Schrag, Howard Joseph
Howard Joseph Schrag, 94, of North Newton, Kan., died May 30, 2012. He was born June 15, 1917, to Joe A. and Matilda (Schmidt) Schrag.
He went to a one-room schoolhouse for his elementary and high school education near Freeman, S.D. He was baptized upon confession of faith on Sept. 23, 1934, in Freeman. He worked on the farm to help his father and mother support younger siblings. He also worked in a custom harvest crew, where he met and married Leona Graber on Aug. 18, 1940, in Pretty Prairie, Kan.
He and Leona continued to farm near Pretty Prairie for more than 20 years. Other jobs included receiving clerk and lumber yard sales. He and Leona had an adventurous life that included voluntary service assignments in a suburb of Paris, where they worked with older youth from France, Germany and Switzerland who had severe mental challenges. Other voluntary assignments included work at the Woodlands School in British Columbia for youth with disabilities; and Glendale, Ariz., where they worked in the Glencroft Retirement Center.
Throughout all of these assignments, he worked in building and maintenance. They attended the 1967 Mennonite World Conference in Amsterdam and traveled to other European countries and the Holy Land. A mission tour also took them to Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong.
His musical gifts were appreciated for many years when he sang in the Kansas Mennonite Men's Choir and the West Coast Mennonite Men's Choir. Church activities and worship were always an important part of his life, most recently at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton.
Survivors include son Howard; daughter-in-law Judy; a grandson and two great-grandsons.
Memorial services were held at Bethel College Mennonite Church.
Longenecker, Elmer Z.
Elmer Z. Longenecker, 95, of Chambersburg, Pa., died June 18, 2012. He was born Feb. 10, 1917, to Harry and Irene Zimmerman Longenecker in Middletown.
He married Ruth Kreider on July 24, 1938. She preceded him in death in 2003.
He received his master's degree in education from Millersville University. He had been employed by the Chambersburg Area School District as an industrial arts teacher at the middle school, retiring in 1982. In 1978-79 he and his wife spent a year volunteering with Mennonite Disaster Service while on sabbatical from teaching. He and Ruth both had a keen interest in Brethren in Christ mission work among the Navajos.
Survivors include two sons, Dale K. Longenecker and his wife, Ellen, of Millersville, and Alton K. Longenecker and his wife, Lois, of Elkhart, Ind.; a daughter, Eunice Stoner and her husband, Ben, of Farmington, N.M.; nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son, Elmer F. Longenecker, in 1985; and four brothers, Alvin, Jonas, Samuel and Henry.
Memorial services were held at West Side Brethren in Christ Church, Chambersburg. Burial was at Shopes Mennonite Cemetery in Middletown.
Roth, B. Ellis
B. Ellis Roth, 78, of Des Moines, Iowa, died March 16, 2012. He was born Nov. 15, 1933, to Melvin and Hilda Hershberger Roth at Tofield, Alta.
At age 2 he moved with his family to Wellman. He married Marilyn Leichty at Wayland on Aug. 7, 1955.
They lived in Wayland until 1963, when they moved to Des Moines to help in a small church there. He was an active member there the rest of his life, serving in many positions. He meticulously cared for the church property for more than 40 years.
He worked for the Des Moines Register for 35 years. He collected books, enjoyed working outdoors, traveling, playing board games and was fascinated with steam trains. He enjoyed his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Marilyn; three children, Bryan Roth, Kevin Roth and his wife, Susan, and Carol Lovan and her husband, Keo; four siblings, Willis Roth, Betty Krabill, Delbert Roth and Curtis Roth; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Memorial services were held at Des Moines Mennonite Church.
Donald “Don” Oswald, 95, of Hopedale, Ill., and formerly of Tremont and Morton, died May 5, 2012. He was born June 14, 1916, to Peter J. and Mary Ellen Schweitzer Oswald in Goehner, Neb.
He married Bernice B. Nafziger on May 10, 1941. She preceded him death on Nov. 30, 2006.
He worked at R.G. LeTourneau from 1940 to 1947. He farmed in the Tremont area and later worked for Caterpillar Tractor Co., retiring in 1978. He served on the Mennonite Relief Sale Board for 11 years. He was a volunteer at Pekin Hospital for eight years and on Tremont Rescue 702 for several years. He was a member of First Mennonite Church in Morton.
Survivors include two sons, Donald G. Oswald and his wife, Marcelle, of Hopedale and Dean R. Oswald and his wife, Joline, of Kewanee; a daughter, Nancy E. Swartley of Quakertown, Pa.; two brothers, Kenneth Oswald of Haines City, Fla., and Joseph Oswald of Hopedale; two sisters, Lois Wilson of Minier and Arlene Halder of Huntley; seven grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Bernice; a brother, Herbert Oswald; five sisters, Ethel Roth, Gertrude Schimel, Ruth Raymer, Erma Christiansen and Bonnie Hammontree; and a son-in-law, Vernon L. Swartley.
Services were held at First Mennonite Church of Morton.
Yoder, Lizzie Yoder
Lizzie Yoder, 108, died July 6, 2012, at Shady Lawn Health Care Community in Dalton, Ohio. She was born March 4, 1904, to Julian and Valentine Yoder in Somerset County, Pa.
When she was 18 years old, the family moved from Johnstown to Allensville, Pa. There she met Elmer E. Yoder, whom she married on Jan. 1, 1927. He was ordained for ministry in 1928 at Allensville Mennonite Church. In 1944 the family moved to Elida, where he pastored Pike Mennonite Church. They moved to Dalton in 1952 to pastor Pleasant View Mennonite Church. After retiring, they also served in interim pastorates at Sonnenberg Mennonite Church in Kidron, Sycamore Grove Mennonite in Garden City, Mo., and Moorhead Mennonite in Shreve.
After he died, she continued to live in Kidron until she moved to OrrVilla Retirement Community. She mowed her own lawn and planted and maintained a garden as long as she was able. She was a great cook and hostess. Quilting was one of her favorite pastimes, and after she couldn’t quilt she pieced many quilt tops. She will be remembered at Shady Lawn as the “onion lady” and for her wit and humor.
Survivors include three children, Rhoda Hartman and her husband, Robert, of Kidron, Charles Yoder and his wife, Janet, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Sanford Yoder and his wife, Marcella, of Kidron; a daughter-in-law, Martha Yoder of Archbold; nine grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer, on Feb. 6, 1982; and by a son, Carl Yoder, in October 2010.
Funeral services were held at Pleasant View Mennonite Church, North Lawrence, Ohio.