Mennonite World Review - June 2013

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

Bartel, Esther Jost ; . . Friesen, Bertha Anna Wall ; . . Harder, Irma Fast ; . . Mark, George A. ; . . Miller, Susan Krahn ; . . Naftalih, Elisabeth "Lisa" Mawarini ; . . Nofziger, Marjorie Ellen Gerig ; . . Yoder, Elda Schmidt ; . .

Mennonite World Review - June 10, 2013 - 91st Year, No. 12 - p. 16


Mark, George A.

George A. Mark, 82, of Goshen, Ind., died May 10, 2013. He was born Oct. 27, 1930, to Albert H. Mark and Vivian Viel Mark in Appleton, Wis.

He grew up in Naubinway, Mich. He married Arlene Martin on Dec. 17, 1955, at Goshen College.

He attended high school in Harrisonburg, Va., college in Goshen and medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago. While at Eastern Mennonite High School in Virginia, he met his future wife of 57 years, Arlene Martin.
After graduation from Northwestern Medical School, he interned at Denver (Colo.) General Hospital and then moved to a Pres­byterian mission hospital near Taos, N.M., to begin his alternative 1-W service. He completed his ser­vice at Westville State Hospital. He then completed his residency in internal medicine at Milwaukee General Hospital and began practice in Elkhart in 1963. For many years he served as medical director for Oaklawn Psychiatric Hospital. He also volunteered time as a physician for missionaries under Mennonite Board of Missions.

Traveling was his favorite hobby. He and his wife attended more than 20 elderhostels and took many cruises, including river boat trips in Europe. He enjoyed classical music and yearly Shakespeare trips to Stratford, Ont.
He was a member of Prairie Street Mennonite Church. He taught Sunday school, served as an elder and on the finance committee.

Survivors include his wife, Arlene; four children, Susan Mark Landis and her husband, Dennis Landis, of Orrville, Ohio, David G. Mark and his wife, Julie, of Grang­er, Paul R. Mark and his wife, Kim, of Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Scott J. Mark and his wife, Summer, of Muskego, Wis.; and 11 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a brother, Richard Mark.
Memorial services were held at College Mennonite Church. Burial was in Prairie Street Cemetery.


Nofziger, Marjorie Ellen Gerig

Marjorie Ellen (Gerig) Nofziger, 89, a lifelong resident of Lebanon, Ore., died April 18, 2013, at Good Samaritan hospital in Corvallis of heart-related problems. She was born Sept. 26, 1923, to Henry and Bertha (Boshart) Gerig in Albany.

She married Alfred E. Nofziger in Lebanon on Aug. 18, 1944.

They farmed north of Lebanon. After retiring, they spent two years volunteering at a Chicago-area retirement home for low-income residents. She was active in church and was baptized at Fairview Mennonite Church in Albany. She and Alfred were charter members at Lebanon Mennonite Church, and she helped begin the Pacific Northwest Mennonite Historical Society.

She served as a Sunday school teacher, church historian, vacation Bible school superintendent and Church Women United president. She was chair of the Lebanon Mennonite pastoral leadership team and Pacific Coast Conference Chris­tian education committee.

She was known for her kind heart, thoughtfulness and generosity. Her green thumb produced abundant gardens and flowers. She had a passion for genealogy and reading. She enjoyed crocheting, knitting, ceramics, oil painting, current events and traveling.

Survivors include six children, Karen Martin and her husband, Richard, of Evanston, Ill., Nadine LeFrancis and her husband, Rich­ard, of Redmond, Laurence Nof­zig­er and his wife, Christine, of Elmworth, Alta., Cheryl Berkey and her husband, Michael, of Leb­anon, Mark Nofziger and his wife, Dania, of Lebanon, and Jolene "Jodi" Rich and her husband, Dan­iel, of The Dalles; three siblings, Grace Miller of Lebanon, Paul Gerig of Sprague River and Rex Gerig of Milwaukie; caregiver Lisa Mayo of Lebanon; 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 55 years, Albert; a granddaughter, Jennifer Berkey; and four siblings, Sherman Gerig, Shirley Call, Virginia Gerig and Henry "Hank" Gerig Jr.

Services were held with burial at Knox Butte Cemetery in Albany.


Yoder, Elda Schmidt

Elda Schmidt Yoder, 86, of Newton, Kan., died May 31, 2013. She was born Aug. 26, 1926, to Nicholas and Elizabeth Schmidt at Inman.

She married Lawrence Yoder in 1950.

She worked as a nurse at Bethel Deaconess Hospital in Newton and then as a school nurse for the New­ton public school system until she retired in 1988. She was dearly loved and will be forever missed by those who knew her well.

Survivors include her husband, of 63 years, Lawrence; four children, Duane Yoder and his wife, Jill, of Harrisonburg, Va., Doug Yoder and his wife, Denise, of Law­rence, Sam Yoder and his wife, Syl­via, of Newton, and Karen Lehman and her husband, Brent, of Newton; two brothers, Nicholas and Robert Schmidt; three sisters, Helen Ediger, Irene Dunn and Jean Whittle; 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by four siblings, Victor Schmidt, Elmer Schmidt, Rosalie Schmidt and Lila Willems.

A memorial service will take place at Bethel College Mennonite Church at 4 p.m. June 16, with her son, Pastor Duane Yoder, helping officiate. Her body was donated to the LifeLegacy Foundation, a nonprofit organization that does anatomical research. Her cremains will be buried at Eastlawn Cemetery in Newton at a later date.


Naftalih, Elisabeth "Lisa" Mawarini

Elisabeth "Lisa" Mawarini Naftalih, 71, of Kudus, Central Java, Indonesia, died March 31, 2013. She was born Lie Kwie Hwa on June 30, 1941, to Lie Thiam Sioe and Tan Bian Nio in Semarang, Indonesia.

She married Charles Christano on Aug. 8, 1968, at the historic Gereja Blenduk in Semarang.

She was a homemaker and an active member of her church, Gereja Kristen Muria Indonesia - Kudus, where she initiated the development of a church bookstore and served as a strong advocate for youth involvement in church at a time when this was not an accepted practice. The Christano family received many international guests over the years, particularly during and after Charles' tenure as president of Mennonite World Conference and as members of Mennonite Your Way. She will be remembered for her warm hospitality, gentle spirit and passion for food and cooking.

Survivors include her husband, Charles; three children, Stephen Christano and his wife, Rut Ennyta Dewi, of Jakarta, Indonesia; Philip Oswald Christano and his wife, Rita Oswald Christano, of Washington, D.C., Fiona Christano and her husband, Iksan Lewono, of Reading, Mass.; a sister, Lea Adinawata and her husband, Hadiwinata Adiku­su­ma, of Semarang; and four grandchildren.

Memorial services were held in Kudus, Indonesia. Burial was in Dersalam Cemetery, Kudus, Indo­nesia.

Mennonite World Review - June 24, 2013 - 91st Year, No. 13 - p. 16


Friesen, Bertha Anna Wall

Bertha Anna Wall Friesen, 92, of Henderson, Neb., died May 12, 2013, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Lincoln. She was born Dec. 4, 1920, to Jacob W. and Aganetha C. (Epp) Wall in Henderson.

She was baptized on May 12, 1940, and received into membership at Bethesda Mennonite Church. She graduated from Henderson High School in 1939.
She married Willard Friesen on Oct. 29, 1941. They farmed near Henderson and moved into town in 1976. They enjoyed almost 71 years of married life before he preceded her in death on Oct. 12, 2012.

She was an active Bethesda church member and served as a Sunday school and vacation Bible school teacher. She enjoyed sewing, embroidering and quilting with the church mission circles. She directed the children's choir and was church secretary for 20 years. An ardent supporter of Mennonite Central Committee, she was a regular attendee and donor for the Nebraska MCC Sale. For the past 10 years she encouraged her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren to make newborn bundles at Christmas time to celebrate the birth of each great-grandchild born that year. They enjoyed delivering the bundles to the Kansas MCC office, and more than 400 newborns benefited from this expression of their love.

Her hobbies included reading, writing, sewing and quilting. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She enjoyed and supported the Henderson Heritage Park.

Survivors include her daughters, Charlene Goertzen and her husband, John, and Twila Preheim and her husband, Laurel; a son, Orie Friesen and his wife, Linda; a sister, Lena Friesen and her husband, Willis; nine grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Willard; a sister, Martha Friesen; an infant sister and an infant brother.


Harder, Irma Fast

Irma Fast Harder, 95, of Hesston, Kan., died May 27, 2013, at Schowalter Villa Health Care. She was born May 20, 1918, to Katherine Schultz Janzen Fast and John N. Fast in Mountain Lake, Minn.

She was a member of Bethel Mennonite Church. She graduated from Mountain Lake High School in 1936 and then attended the University of Minnesota, studying home economics and business. She worked for Northwestern Bell before she returned to Mountain Lake to marry Clarence W. Harder on Aug. 7, 1949.

After he died suddenly in 1962, she completed the building of a Standard Oil station, which was to be the family business. Soon after she began as the public librarian and eventually led the way for a new library building to be constructed. She was also instrumental in developing the Heritage Village Museum as a way of preserving buildings, artifacts and history for future generations.
She served her community and church in a variety of ways: historian, church librarian, quilter, gardener and good neighbor. She was known for her ready smile and gracious presence.

Survivors include her daughters, Becky Harder and her husband, Doug, of Monument, Colo., and Marlene Harder Bogard and her husband, Mike, of Newton, Kan; four grandchildren and four greatgrandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Clarence; an infant daughter, Deborah; and sisters Leone Fast and Kay Johnson.

A celebration of life service was held at the Schowalter Villa Chapel in Hesston.


Bartel, Esther Jost

Esther Jost Bartel, 89, of North Newton, Kan., died June 2, 2013, at Kidron Bethel Health Care. She was born Dec. 17, 1923, to Dan and Bena (Goertz) Jost in Hillsboro.

She grew up on the family farm outside Hillsboro. She was a graduate of Hillsboro High School and attended Tabor College. She married Wesley Bartel on Aug. 11, 1943.

They lived in Denver, Colo., while he was in Civilian Public Service. They then lived in Hoxie, before returning to the Hillsboro area in 1952. They moved to Newton in 1958.

She was active at Bethel College Mennonite Church, where she was a Sunday school teacher, children's choir director, chancel choir and bell choir participant and served on many boards and committees.

After working at Bethel Deacon­ess Hospital for three years, she was employed by Prairie View Men­tal Health Center in 1966, where she developed the medical records department and continued to work until her retirement in 1989.

Her husband, Wesley, died in 1981 after a long bout with cancer. She moved to her North Newton home in 1984. Her retirement years were filled with travel, visiting fam­ily, quilting, spending time with friends and continuing her involve­ment at Bethel College church. In 2006, she suffered a series of strokes and was a resident of Kidron Bethel facilities after that.

Survivors include four children, Marilyn Huss, and her husband, Ray, of Independence, Mo., Ralph Bartel and his wife, Mimi, of Fredericksburg, Texas, Barbara Hurley and her husband, Bob, of Wichita, and Bruce Bartel and his wife, Misty, of North Newton; a brother, Walter Jost and his wife, Mary Ann; eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Memorial services were held at Bethel College Mennonite Church. Burial was in Johannestal Cemetery.


Miller, Susan Krahn

Susan Krahn Miller, 86, of Tucson, Ariz., previously of Phoenix, died June 12, 2013, of a heart attack. She was born Sept. 23, 1926, in Grigorievka, Ukraine.

Her family immigrated to Canada when she was 2 years old. She grew up in Manitoba, where her father taught school in a one-room schoolhouse. She followed in his lead, taking over for him when he got ill and also teaching in various other places in Canada. She received a master's degree in comparative literature from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the 1960s and went on to teach German and English literature and language at Bluffton (Ohio) University, in Turkey, and at the University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia. She also taught ESL for many years at the Dhahran Academy in Saudi Arabia.

In 1959 she married James Virgil Miller. Shortly thereafter they moved to Ankara, Turkey. After many years of teaching abroad, they returned to the U.S. in 1987 and lived in Sarasota, Fla., before moving to Phoenix. After he died in 2011, she stayed at Glencroft for two years before deciding to move to Tucson to be closer to family.

She will be remembered for her keen intellect, her positive attitude and her adventurous spirit. She remained in touch with friends across the world, who remember her for her ability to bring others together. She led an active lifestyle until the end, hiking, reading, swimming and taking part in community activities. She loved life and was always ready and eager to learn new things. Her sudden passing was a shock to all of her family and friends, but she had a good quality of life until the end. She will be lovingly remembered by everyone who knew her.

Survivors include three daughters, Marjorie McKenna, Elaine Miller and Lois Miller, and their spouses; and five grandchildren.

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