Mennonite World Review - November 2012

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

Beachy, Miriam Weaver; . . Dirksen, Melvin A.; . . Erb, Walter; . . Hiebert, Elfrieda Franz; . . Kaufman, Loretta Louise Epp; . . Schmidt, Kathleen S.; . . Schrock, Mildred Frances Shenk; . . Swartzendruber, Luetta Mae Johnston; . . Troyer, Earl R; . . Vogt, Elsie Schmidt; . .

Mennonite World Review - November 12, 2012 - 90 th Year, No. 27 - p. 19


Hiebert, Elfrieda Franz

Elfrieda Franz Hiebert, 90, of Belmont, Mass., died Sept. 2, 2012. She was born Oct. 17, 1921, to Leonard J. and Helen Franz in Hillsboro, Kan.

She showed early promise as a pianist, and at age 13 she performed as church organist at church services, weddings and funerals for her Mennonite Brethren church in Hillsboro. At age 17 she received the highest award in piano at the National Music Competition in Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1938.

She received an associate in arts degree from Tabor College in 1941, followed by bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Chicago in 1945 and 1946, respectively.. From 1946 to 1947 she was copyright cataloguer at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. She received a Fulbright Scholarship for study of musicology at the University of Göttingen, Germany, 1954-55. She received a doctorate in musicology in 1970.

From 1976 to 2005 she was director of the Chamber Music Program at Mather House, Harvard University. She also taught piano to Harvard students and continued coaching chamber music sessions until 2009. She taught scores of pianists over a span of almost eight decades. She also taught music history at Wheaton College, Tufts University, Radcliffe Seminars, and was an adjunct piano instructor at Brandeis University, 1971-82.

She lectured on topics related to piano music at national and local music teachers' associations and at colleges and universities in the U.S. and abroad. She received an Alumni Merit Award from Tabor College in 1984. She was a member of the Mennonite Congregation of Boston starting in 1970.

Survivors include her husband of 69 years, Erwin Nick Hiebert of Belmont; two daughters, Catherine Hiebert Kerst of Silver Spring, Md., and Margaret Hiebert Beissinger and her husband, Mark Beissinger, of Princeton, N.J.; a son, Thomas Nels Hiebert and his wife, Lenore Voth Hiebert, of Fresno, Calif.; and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service was held at The Harvard Memorial Church in Cambridge.


Beachy, Miriam Weaver

Miriam Beachy, 91, of Goshen, Ind., died Oct. 24, 2012. She was born July 15, 1921, to Henry and Liza “Lizzie” (Markley) Weaver in Goshen.

She graduated from New Paris High School and attended Goshen College. On Aug. 29, 1942, she married John E. Beachy of Plain City, Ohio.

She was a missionary in Bihar, India, under Mennonite Board of Missions from 1948 to 1971. She helped establish an annual women's retreat in jungle camp, was involved in the pastors' training school and in the 1966-67 Bihar famine relief. From 1971 to 1985 she worked for Scottdale Mennonite Church and Provident Bookstore in Scottdale, Pa. After retiring to Sarasota, Fla., she and John co-pastored at Emmanuel Mennonite Church in Gainesville, Fla. In her interest for mission she served three terms on the board of directors of MBM and on mission commissions of Scottdale Mennonite Church, Bahia Vista Mennonite Church in Sarasota and College Mennonite Church of Goshen. She enjoyed writing, edited a conference paper, was a writer for church periodicals and mission news reporter. She was a retreat speaker and Bible study leader with particular interests in spiritual formation and the use of women's gifts in the church.

Survivors include two daughters, Cheryl Jo Paulovich and her husband, David, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Lynette Kay Bauman and her husband, Leon, of Goshen; two sons, John Allen Beachy of DeKalb, Ill., and Kenton Jay Beachy and his wife, Rhonda, of London, Ohio; 11 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, John; four sisters, Mabel Martin, Mary Risser, Anne Winters and Nora Hoffman; and two brothers, Carl and Aaron Weaver.

Memorial services were held at College Mennonite Church of Goshen.


Kaufman, Loretta Louise Epp

Loretta Louise Kaufman, 68, of Freeman, S.D., died Oct. 13, 2012, in the hospital at Sioux Falls. She was born July 6, 1944, to Roy A. and Louise (Goossen) Epp in Mountain Lake, Minn.

She graduated from Butterfield High School in 1962. She completed her bachelor's degree in nursing at Goshen (Ind.) College.

She attended First Mennonite Church in Mountain Lake and was baptized on June 5, 1960.

On June 14, 1969, she married S. Roy Kaufman at First Mennonite Church in Mountain Lake. They served in Greece under Mennonite Central Commit­tee with Inter-Church Service of the World Council of Churches in Crete and later with the MCC unit in Crete.

Returning to the U.S. in 1972, they moved to Pulaski, Iowa, and she assumed the role of a pastor's wife as Roy became pastor of Pulaski Mennonite Church. Subsequent moves came in 1986 and 1995 to Sterling, Ill., and Laird, Sask., where they served Science Ridge Mennonite Church and Tie­fengrund Rosenort Mennonite Church, respectively. The move to Freeman came in 1999 to serve at Salem Mennonite Church. They retired in 2010. She worked occasionally as a nurse in Iowa and Illinois.

She worked tirelessly for peace and justice. She was involved with Parenting for Peace and Justice. She participated in an MCC economics study tour to Mexico and Honduras and a Lakota Learning Tour to Pine Ridge. She and Roy took part in a Christian Peacemaker Team delegation to Israel-Palestine in 2008. She served on the South Dakota Peace and Justice Center board. She helped establish an MCC international gift and thrift store at Pulaski, facilitated a Ten Thousand Villages holiday sale in Sterling, and volunteered at the EtCetera Shoppe in Freeman.

Survivors include her husband, Roy; three daughters, Joanne Brigham and her husband, Steve, of Del Norte, Colo., Dora Kaufman of Minneapolis, Minn., and Susanna Kaufman and her partner, Will Evans, of Austin, Texas; three siblings, Roy G. Epp of Coon Rapids, Minn., Darlene Pegues of Batesville, Miss., and Diane Harder of Mountain Lake; and two grandchildren.

Memorial services were held at Salem-Zion Mennonite Church.


Schrock, Mildred Frances Shenk

Mildred Frances Schrock, 92, died in McMinnville, Ore., Oct. 26, 2012. She was born to Daniel and Fannie Schrag Shenk on Aug. 18, 1920, in Hubbard. In 1924 the family moved to Sheridan. She lived in the Gooseneck and Sheridan area the remainder of her life.

At the age of 12 she accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior and served him faithfully all her life. She was a lifetime member of Sheridan Mennonite Church.

She married Enos Schrock on her 20th birthday, Aug. 18, 1940, in Sheridan. Two daughters, Doris and Norma, were welcomed into their family.

She and Enos farmed in the Gooseneck area from 1942 to 1962. They owned and operated E&M Schrock Feed & Farm Supply in Sheridan from 1967 to 1978.

Her life was characterized by her love of family, friends and members of the community. She prepared delicious meals and was gifted in hospitality. She wrote many letters and sent cards to encourage others. She loved telling stories to children and wrote her family's history in the book, For His Sake. Her artistic nature was expressed in her oil paintings and in her beautiful roses and other flowers. She loved music and enjoyed singing all her life.

Survivors include her husband, Enos; daughters Doris Schrock of Sheridan and Norma Birky and her husband, Marlon, of Coaldale, Alta.; three granddaughters and five great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her brothers, Lloyd, Kenneth and Ronald Shenk.

Memorial services were held at Sheridan Mennonite Church. Burial was in the Mennonite Cemetery in Willamina.

Mennonite World Review - November 26, 2012 - 90 th Year, No. 28 - p. 19


Swartzendruber, Luetta Mae Johnston

Luetta Mae (Johnston) Swartzendruber, 83, of Glendale, Ariz., died Nov. 5, 2012. She was born May 20, 1929, in Leonard, Mo.

After living in Hesston, Kan., for 26 years, where she co-owned a daycare center, Educare, she and her husband, Joe, moved to Glendale in 1987. She is fondly remembered for her kindness, sense of humor and wonderful gift of hospitality. Her many talents included baking delicious cinnamon rolls, pies and cookies that her family and friends dearly loved.

Her commitment to Christ started early in her life and was evident to all who knew her. As a young woman, she was baptized and joined the Mennonite church, where she remained a lifelong member. Her Christian example served as a role model to her children and grandchildren as well as the many young children she mentored and taught in Sunday school.

Survivors include her loving husband of 57 years, Joe; three children, Timothy Swartzendruber of McPherson, Kan., Jennifer Shera and her husband, Jeff, and Martin Swartzendruber and his wife, Sheri, all of Glendale; and four grandchildren.

Services were held at Trinity Mennonite Church of Glendale.


Troyer, Earl R

Earl R. Troyer, 75, a lifelong resident of Pryor, Okla., died Aug. 10, 2012, in Tulsa. He was born Oct. 15, 1936, to Jerry and Sovilla (Mullet) Troyer in Pryor.

He graduated from Pryor High School in 1955. He married Lydia Coblentz on Nov. 16, 1956, in Pryor.

He was an active member of Zion Mennonite Church, where he was baptized at a young age. He served as an elder, trustee, taught Sunday school and sang in a quartet. He loved the Lord and had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

He was a dairy farmer for many years. In 1965 he started selling insurance at his office at the farm. In 1985 he moved Troyer Insurance into an office in Pryor. He served on several insurance boards and dairy association boards.

He enjoyed playing golf, traveling, RVing and buying old tractors. He had his private pilot license and flew for many years. He had an outgoing personality and liked visiting with people. Being with his children and grandchildren was important to him.

Survivors include his wife, Lydia; three sons, Donald Troyer and his wife, Karla, of Hydro, Mark Troyer and his wife, Rose, of Lititz, Pa., and Earl Wayne Troyer and his wife, Carol, of Pryor; a daughter, Linda Weaver and her husband, Ken, of Inola; two sisters-in-law, Sue Troyer of Pryor and Crystal Troyer of Wauseon, Ohio; a brother-in-law, Roy Helmuth of Goshen, Ind.; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by five sisters and three brothers.


Erb, Walter

Walter Erb, 87, died Nov. 12, 2012, at Newton (Kan.) Medical Center. He was born May 4, 1925, in Cummings County, Neb., to John K. and Lena Oswald Erb.

He was a dairy farmer near Fra­zee, Minn., for 27 years and then worked as groundskeeper at Schowalter Villa for 27 years, retiring in 2006. In 1947 he married Stella Gingerich, who died in 1972. In 1973 he married Mary Zook of Wichita, and she died in 2010.

He received his education at District 21 near Beemer, Neb., and joined Plum Creek Mennonite Church, later named Beemer Mennonite, at age 12. The family moved to Minnesota in 1943, and there he joined the Lake Region Mennonite congregation, where he married Stella Gingerich and farmed until her death in 1972. In 1973 he was reacquainted with a family friend, Mary Zook of Wichita, whom he married at Hesston Mennonite Church. He was employed by Bob Erb in Hesston before he and Mary served a two-year voluntary service assignment at Glencroft Friendship Community in Glendale, Ariz. They returned to Hesston in 1978, where he was employed at Scho­walter Villa. He was an active church member, enjoyed gospel music and participated in Kansas Mennonite Men's Chorus. He enjoyed his home recording studio, wrote poetry and studied Scripture.

Survivors include three children, Merlin Erb and his wife, Loretta, of Dalton, Ohio, Verla Hochstetler and her husband, Jon, of Frazee, Minn., and Dan Erb and his wife, Kamme, of Hesston; 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by seven siblings and their spouses.

Funeral services were held at Schowalter Villa Chapel, Hesston. Burial was in Eastlawn Cemetery, Hesston.


Vogt, Elsie Schmidt

Elsie Vogt, 82, of Oklahoma, died Oct. 29, 2012. She was born July 14, 1930, to Andrew and Anna Schmidt a farm northeast of Cordell, Okla.

She was baptized and joined Bessie Mennonite Brethren Church at age 12, and graduated from Corn Bible Academy in 1949.

She married Marvin Vogt in a double wedding with her sister Verna and Leo Harms on Nov. 8, 1949. The Vogts ran a farm in Corn, Okla., where they had three children, James, Charlene and Roy.

A member of Corn Mennonite Brethren Church, she was a member of the sewing circle for 50 years and served on many committees. While her children were in Corn Public Schools, she was a cook in the school cafeteria. After Marvin started an insurance business, she became a licensed insurance agent and retained an insurance license for the rest of her life.

She and her sister Verna both suffered the loss of a son in traffic accidents. In 1977, Roy was killed in an accident in Weatherford while he was a student at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.

Elsie was involved in starting the Et Cetera Shop in Weatherford and worked as a volunteer there from 1977 to 2007. The Vogts were also involved in Mennonite Disaster Service, and they made the verenika for the annual local relief sale for many years.

Survivors include her husband, Marvin; two children, James Vogt and his wife, Debbie, of Edmond, and Charlene Jaronek and her husband, Dan, of Cordell; six grandchidren; a brother, Milton Schmidt and his wife, Delores; brother-in-law Jim Vogt and his wife, Beth; and sister-in-law Ella Dyck.

She was preceded in death by her son Roy, brother Roland Schmidt and sister Verna Harms.

Funeral services were held at Corn Mennonite Brethren Church.


Schmidt, Kathleen S.

Kathleen “Kathy” S. Schmidt, 67, died Nov. 12, 2012, at Bethesda Home in Goessel, Kan. She was born Nov. 6, 1945, in Goessel to Rudy and Luella Funk Schmidt.

She was a member of Tabor Mennonite Church. She was one of the first students of Northview Opportunity School, which later became Northview Developmental Services, which her parents were instrumental in establishing.

To her family and friends, she came here to teach. She taught us unconditional love, steadfast faith and the joy of laughter and tears. She had her wings already, but today she is laughing with her Savior.

Survivors include her stepmother, Nola K. Schmidt of Milford, Neb.; a brother, Jim Schmidt and his wife, Diana, of Goessel; a sister, Mary Ulsaker and her husband, Todd, of McPherson; a sister-in-law, Jo-Ann Schmidt of Newton; a stepbrother, Jerry Kremer and his wife, Marci, of Seward, Neb.; and numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Fred Schmidt; and a stepbrother, Darrell Kremer.

Funeral Services were held at Tabor Mennonite Church, rural Newton.


Dirksen, Melvin A.

Melvin A. Dirksen, 81, of Denver, Colo., died at home Nov. 2, 2012. He was born April 7, 1931, in Goessell, Kan., to Adolf N. and Martha Schmidt Dirksen.

He received his early education at Emma Valley Grade School in McPherson County and in 1949 graduated from Goessel High School. He attended Bethel College in North Newton. He married Arzella Nikkel on Oct. 18, 1953, in Goessel. She survives at their home in Denver.

In 1952, he was drafted for the Korean War and served in the government alternative 1-W program as an orderly in the Denver General Hospital. Afterward, he was a driver for Stearns Dairy and a milk route salesman and held other sales positions in various industries throughout his career. At 52, he opened Pioneer Sales and Service, selling Swedish-made Pionjar gas-powered jackhammers. He continued to run his business up through the last weeks of his life, not allowing a nearly three-year struggle with multiple myeloma cancer to force retirement.

He was passionate about restoring and fixing old tractors, particularly the one he used as a boy.

His positive outlook was most recently tested with the tragic and untimely loss of 19-year-old grandson Evan on Sept. 9, 2012.

Survivors include his wife, Arzella; three children, Jim Dirksen of Gunnison, Colo., Jan Williams and her husband, Kirk, of Castle Rock, Colo., Suzanne Opp and her husband, Jeff, of Denver; six grandchildren; three siblings, Evan A. Dirksen of Goessel, Erma Gallaway of Rose Hill and Velma Frey and her husband, Vernon, of Newton; and a sister-in-law, Sherland Dirksen of San Diego.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Dennis A. Dirksen; and a grandson, Evan James Dirksen.

Funeral services were held at First Mennonite Church, Denver.


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