Mennonite World Review - August 2012

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

Hjelmstad, Kenneth Lowell; . . Johns, Galen I.; . . Maust, Elmer R.; . . Miller, J. John J.; . . Waltner, Donald Wayne; . .

Mennonite World Review - August 6, 2012


No obituaries published

Mennonite World Review - August 20, 2012 - 90 th Year, No. 21 - p. 16


Waltner, Donald Wayne

Donald Wayne Waltner, 80, of Freeman, S.D., died July 19, 2012, at Oakview Terrace Nursing Home in Freeman. He was born Jan. 12, 1932, to Anna (Tschetter) and Edward J.B. Waltner.

He attended Freeman Academy and Freeman Junior College, where he developed a love of music and participated with voice in numerous church and community musical events. He married Ruby Tieszen on April 26, 1952.

He was baptized on May 25, 1947, and was a member of Salem-Zion Mennonite Church. His lifelong vocation was farming. His hobbies included music, softball, fishing and reading.

Survivors include his wife, Ruby; three children, Joan Marie Wasser and her husband, Wally, Carol Ann Penner and her husband, David, and Lisbeth Jean Graber and her husband, Warren; a sister, Belva Unruh; and five grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Homer and Laverne Waltner; and a brother-in-law, Verney Unruh.

Funeral services were held at Salem-Zion Mennonite Church. Inurnment was in the Salem-Zion Mennonite Church Cemetery.


Miller, J. John J.

J. John J. Miller, 92, of Kalona, Iowa, died July 2, 2012. He was born July 3, 1919, to Leroy and Lydia Troyer Miller.

He married Mabel Brenneman on June 1, 1941. He was a longtime minister of East Union Mennonite Church near Kalona.

He lived most of his life in the Kalona-Wellman community except for 10 years of growing up in Arkansas. He served in Civilian Public Service in Fort Collins, Colo., and Malcolm, Neb., 1942-46. He farmed near Kalona for a number of years. In 1948, he and Mabel were part of a group who reopened the Pleasant Valley Church.

In 1953 he was selected by lot and ordained as minister at East Union Mennonite Church. After his call to ministry he enrolled in Bible studies and general courses at Hesston (Kan.) College, graduating with an associate of arts degree. During his early years of ministry he continued farming. He worked at Home Gas Co. in Wellman from 1960 to 1969. In 1969 he was ordained bish­op. He served as a mediator with churches in Iowa-Nebraska Mennonite Conference.

He retired from the ministry in 1984. He continued to enjoy visiting with people while selling advertising specialties for Newton Manufacturing Co. He continued in sales through December 2007.

Survivors include his wife, Mabel; five children, Linda Rowold of Austin, Texas, John David and his wife, Becky, of Lexington, Ky., Mar­­lin and his wife, June, of Ka­lo­na, Jim and his wife, Jody, of Minnea­polis, Minn., and Gary and his wife, Gwen, of Gary, Ind.; two sisters-in-law, Mary Ellen Miller and Elvira Brenneman; a brother-in-law, Al Neuenschwander; eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a stepmother, Lydia Beachy Miller; a brother, Ralph; two sisters, Grace Tiessen and Mabel Neuenschwander; a son-in-law, Milam Rowold; and two infant great-grandsons.

Services were held at East Union Mennonite Church. Burial was in the East Union Cemetery.


Johns, Galen I.

Galen I. Johns, 92, of Goshen, Ind., died Aug. 5, 2012. He was born Feb. 26, 1920, to Ira S. and Elizabeth (Rickert) Johns in Elkhart County.

He was a pastor, conference secretary, teacher and school principal. He also worked part time as a self-employed installer of heating, air conditioning and electricity. He was a member of College Mennonite Church of Goshen.

He married Edith Mae Hoover on May 16, 1943, at Clinton Frame Mennonite Church. She preceded him in death on Feb. 5, 2009. He then married Areta Graber Lehman on Jan. 30, 2010, in Goshen.

He attended Eastern Mennonite High School and Goshen College. He served in Civilian Public Ser­vice at Sidling Hill, Pa. He was ordained minister on Jan. 25, 1948. That year he went through the lot a second time and was selected to be the first pastor at Benton Mennonite Church. He served for one year as interim pastor at Ninth Street Mennonite Church in Saginaw, Mich. Later he was ordained bishop and served as the first pastor at Bonneyville Mennonite Church, Bristol. He taught and was principal at Clinton Christian Day School for a number of years and was pastor at Erb Street Mennonite Church in Waterloo, Ont., for six years. He served many years as secretary, and later executive secretary and conference minister, of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Con­ference, and for two years as moderator of Ontario Mennonite Conference and the inter-Mennonite conference that later became Mennonite Church Eastern Canada. Gifted in vocal music, he organized and led numerous church choirs.

Survivors include his wife, Areta; a daughter-in-law, Jeanette Johns of Mecosta, Mich.; four children, Steven Johns and his wife, Debra, of Goshen, Lois Kaufmann and her husband, Jim, of New Paris, Loren Johns and his wife, Rachel, of Go­shen, and Lindale Johns and his wife, Melanie, of Benton; 14 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a son, Joe Alan Johns, in 2003; a daughter, Rachel Nanlee, in 1954; six sisters, Vivian Schlabach, Vera Stutzman, Vesta Kauffman, Miriam Wyse, Mary Birkey and Pauline Horst; and one brother, Daniel Johns. He was the last living member of his immediate family.

Memorial services were held at College Mennonite Church.


Hjelmstad, Kenneth Lowell

Kenneth Lowell Hjelmstad, 59, of Wheat Ridge, Colo., died May 16, 2012. He was born July 11, 1952, to Harold and Doris Hjelmstad at St. Luke's Hospital in Denver.

He graduated from Wheat Ridge High School in 1970. He attended Hesston (Kan.) College and moved to Albuquerque, N.M., in 1971. He was baptized at age 14 at Glennon Heights Mennonite Church of Lakewood.

He attended both the University of New Mexico and electronics school and received his accreditation for his MCSE. He worked for the PBS station and at KUNM radio station as chief engineer. He worked at Fox TV station in Denver for five years. He married Linda Cuba in December 1978.

He enjoyed traveling, music, playing guitar and fishing. His favorite destination was Mexico, which he visited often. He enjoyed singing in the choir. He had a massive stroke on Jan. 16, 2012.

Survivors include his mother, Doris; stepdaughter Carmen Cuba and her husband, John Brown; two sisters, Shirley Hostetler and Shar­on Marner; a brother, Rick Hjemstad; and two grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a stepdaughter, Natasha.

Memorial services were held at Glennon Heights Mennonite Church. Burial was in Olinger Crown Hill Cemetery of Wheat Ridge.


Maust, Elmer R.

Elmer R. Maust, 90, of Pigeon, Mich., died Aug. 9, 2012, at Scheurer Hospital Long Term Care in Pigeon. He was born Aug. 27, 1921, to Earl and Idella (Overholt) Maust in Bay Port.

On June 9, 1943, he married Marie P. Swartzendruber at Pigeon River Mennonite Church. She preceded him in death on May 16, 1998.

He was a farmer throughout his life. He was a faithful member of Pigeon River Mennonite Church, and when asked about the blessings that fulfilled his life, he replied, “family, farming, church and music.”

Survivors include four children, Wendell L. Maust and his wife, Lois, Marge A. Maust and her husband, Sandy, Marvin D. Maust and his wife, Lori, and Faye D. Hurren; three siblings, Cora Yoder, Glenn Maust and his wife, Erma, and James Maust and his wife, Freda; an in-law, Arlene Swartzendruber; 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a son, Gale; a son-in-law, Doug Hurren; and a sister, Gertrude Dutcher.

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

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