Mennonite World Review - March 2013

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

Diller, J. Robert ; . . Ewert, Lena ; . . Friesen, Elmer R. ; . . Juhnke, Janet Ann ; . .

Snyder, Christine Ann Neufeld; . .

Mennonite World Review - March 4, 2013 - 91st Year, No. 5 - p. 15


Snyder, Christine Ann Neufeld

Christine Ann (Neufeld) Snyder, 50, of Springville, Calif., died Jan. 24, 2013. She was born Aug. 16, 1962, to Walter and Frieda Neufeld in Hillsboro, Kan.

She grew up in a pastor's family in Hillsboro, Wayland, Iowa, and Moundridge, Kan., the youngest of six children. She attended Bluffton (Ohio) University and earned a bachelor's degree in art. She received her master's degree in cera­mics from Fresno State University, and after graduation had a term of Mennonite Voluntary Service in Fresno.

At Bluffton and Fresno she got to know Gregg Snyder. They were married on June 27, 1987, at Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge.

They moved to Visalia, where she was an art teacher and choir director at Tulare Union High School. She was most recently employed by the Portersville Unified School District as an elementary art teacher and coordinator. In 2002 they moved into their dream home they designed and built together in rural Springville.

She is remembered for her vibrant and cheerful personality and her strong beliefs in peace and justice. She was a loving, devoted mother and wife, dedicated teacher and precious daughter. She was a gifted musician and artist and a natural-born comic. She had a unique way of making people feel special and loved.

Survivors include her husband, Gregg Charles; three children, Coriann, Madylynn Kate and Grant Charles; her parents, Walter and Frieda Neufeld of Moundridge, Kan.; five siblings, Jean Regier and her husband, Gary, and Alan Neufeld and his wife, Kathy, all of Mound­ridge, James Neufeld and his wife, Teresa, of Greeley, Colo., Janet Neufeld of McPherson, Kan., and Jerry Neufeld and his wife, Kathy, of Caldwell, Idaho; her father-in-law, Glenn Snyder; and a sister-in-law, Jill Peterson and her husband, Paul.

Memorial services were held at Fresno Community Mennonite Church.


Juhnke, Janet Ann

Janet Ann Juhnke, 70, of Salina, Kan., died at home Jan. 23, 2013. She was born Nov. 26, 1942, to William Ernest Juhnke and Meta Goering Juhnke. She married Ted Hale at Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, on Dec. 27, 1975.

She graduated from Bethel College and earned a doctorate from the University of Kansas. From 1973 to 2005, she taught English at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina. She served as chair of the English department, chair of the faculty and, for six years, dean of faculty and vice president of the university. She was a cofounder of Salina Mennonite Church and served that congregation in many roles.

She played violin with the Salina Symphony and later sang in the Salina Chorale. She served on the Salina Community Theatre board and was president of Salina's Current Literature Book Club.

In 1982 Gov. Bill Graves named her to the Kansas Humanities Council board. For 30 years she was a member of the KHC "Talking About Literature" series, leading book discussions at public libraries across Kansas.

In 2004 Gov. Kathleen Sebelius appointed her to the Supreme Court Nominating Commission. For eight years she worked on the commission in Topeka to evaluate and recommend candidates for the Kansas Supreme and Appellate Courts. Together with her husband, she co-chaired the local RESULTS group, working in Salina and in Washington, D.C., to create the political will to end hunger and the worst aspects of poverty in America. She served on the board of the League of Women Voters and was a member of the Saline County Democratic Women's Club.

Survivors include her husband, Ted; a daughter, Elizabeth and her husband, Jon Bushman, of Omaha, Neb.; a son, Eugene Hale and his partner, Josh Milbourn, of St. Joseph, Mo.; and four grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at University United Methodist Church in Salina.


Ewert, Lena

Lena Ewert, 89, of rural Bingham Lake, Minn., died Feb. 14, 2013. She was born June 14, 1923, to David H. and Agatha (Baerg) Ewert in Mountain Lake.

She completed her high school requirements while attending Tabor Academy in Hillsboro, Kan. She studied at Swedish Hospital School of Nursing in Minneapolis, graduating in 1947.

She worked with Mennonite Central Committee as a registered nurse at St. Anthony's Hospital, Newfoundland, from 1961 to 1963. This included a few months as supervisor of the tuberculosis clinic with the International Sir Wilgred Grenfell Association. When she returned home, she worked in the Mountain Lake Hospital, then the clinic and eventually ended her nursing career in the late 1980s as a hospital nurse.

Upon confession of faith in Jesus Christ, she was baptized on Aug. 22, 1937, by her uncle, Pastor A.J. Wiebe. She was an active member of Carson Mennonite Brethren Church in Delft until it closed in 2005. She then transferred her membership to Mountain Lake Community Bible Church.

She loved gardening and being outdoors. Her floral arrangements, made with flowers from her garden, graced many tables. Her gift of precise quilting resulted in treasured gifts to loved ones and active bidders at MCC sales.

Survivors include a sister, Anna Ewert of rural Bingham Lake; two brothers, Abe Ewert and his wife, Delora, of Isanti, and Adam Ewert and his wife, Alice, of Friendswood, Texas; and a sister-in-law, Alma Ewert of Oregon.

She was preceded in death by five brothers, George, David, William, Jacob and Henry Ewert; and three sisters, Susie Schroeder, Margaret Rempel and Mary Lepp.

Funeral services were held at Community Bible Church of Mountain Lake. Burial was in Carson Mennonite Brethren Cemetery near Delft.


Friesen, Elmer R.

Elmer R. Friesen, 94, of Portland, Ore., died Feb. 20, 2013. He was born May 27, 1918, in Dubois, Idaho, the youngest of five children. When he was 5, his family moved to Reedley, Calif.

He received his undergraduate degree at Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., and worked on his master's degree in chemistry at UCLA. He was a research chemist when he married Lois Bixel, with whom he shared 56 years of marriage.

Motivated by his values and passion for peace, he decided to enter the ministry. After World War II he attended Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif., and later graduated from the Mennonite seminary in Chicago.

He served as pastor at Beatrice (Neb.) Mennonite Church, Grace Mennonite Church in Lansdale, Pa., Pretty Prairie (Kan.) Mennonite Church, Houston (Texas) Mennonite Church and Peace Mennonite Church in Portland. He served as Western District Conference minister and Pacific District Conference minister, and in later years was an interim pastor to congregations in Washington, Idaho and California. He also taught high school science and math. He retired at age 76.

Lois died in 1999. When he was in Beatrice, Neb., to speak at the church's 75th anniversary, he renewed a friendship with Hilda Schmidt, who had lost her husband of 50 years. They were married and had a loving marriage of 12 years.

He enjoyed traveling, fishing, hiking, sports, music and learning. He volunteered with many agencies. He was a devoted father and loving husband. His faith guided his life.

Survivors include his wife, Hilda; four children, Carolyn Neufeld, Ruth Holsinger, Elaine Friesen-Strang and Mark Friesen; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lois; his son David, who died at age 8 from cancer; and four siblings.

Services were held at Portland Mennonite Church.

Mennonite World Review - March 18, 2013 - 91st Year, No. 6 - p.14


Diller, J. Robert

J. Robert "Bob" Diller, 92, of Hesston, Kan., died Feb. 25, 2013, at Schowalter Villa. He was born Aug. 10, 1920, to Jacob R. and Grace D. Cooprider Diller in Hess­ton. He was president of Kropf Lumber in Hesston for more than 43 years.

On July 28, 1946, he married Marcella Bare at Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church in Harper.

He was a lifelong member of Hesston Mennonite Church and a member of the Hesston Fire Department for more than 30 years. He was on the Hesston City Council for a number of years and served with Civilian Public Service from 1942 to 1944 in Fort Collins, Colo., and Belton, Mont.

Survivors include his wife, Marcella, of Hesston; three sons, Mel Diller and his wife, Norma, of Hess­ton, Marlin Diller and his wife, Kathy, of Avondale, Ariz., and Rod Diller and his wife, Gwen, of Go­shen, Ind.; two daughters, DeAnn Diller of Wichita and Darlene Buller and her husband, Chuck, of Hesston; a brother, R. Eugene Diller and his wife, Donna, of Hess­ton; a sister-in-law, Doris Diller of Hesston; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by three brothers, John, Allen and Ivan Diller; and a sister, Lois Hersh­berger.

Memorial services were held at Hesston Mennonite Church. Burial was in Eastlawn Cemetery.

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