Mennonite World Review - May 2015

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

Clymer, Elaine Marie Longenecker ; . . Fast, Naomi Brubaker ; . . Lind, Ethel Marie Ebersole ; . . Neufeld, Ernest Wiens ; . . Penner, Gustav Adolph ; . . Ropp, Herman Edward ; . . Shenk, Barbara Lois Keener ; . . Yoder, Melvin Lester ; . .

Mennonite World Review - May 11, 2015 - 93rd Year, No. 10 - p. 19


Neufeld, Ernest Wiens

Ernest Wiens Neufeld, 82, of Mountain Lake, Minn., died April 13, 2015. He was born June 12, 1932, to John T. and Catherine (Wiens) Neufeld in Chicago.

He grew up in the Chicago area and graduated from Kelly High School in 1950. He loved the diversity of city life and sought out opportunities to serve others. He began preparing for the ministry by attending Bluffton (Ohio) College, graduating in 1954, and continuing at Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Chicago and Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. He served in Mennonite congregations in Summerfield, Ill., Philadelphia, Allentown, Pa., Phoenix, Freeman, S.D., Fargo, N.D., and Meridian, Miss. He served for eight years as Northern District Conference minister.

He loved his children and grandchildren and shared his love of trains, sports, radios and thrift stores. He enjoyed volunteering at Care and Share, Heritage Village, and hospice in Mountain Lake.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Lila (Penner); four children, Randy Neufeld and his wife, Susan Geil, Laurel Neufeld Weaver and her husband, Paul, Sheryl Fast and her husband, Rodney, and Rachel Neufeld-Schultze and her husband, Albrecht; a sister, Edith Michalovic and her husband, Steve; a brother-in-law, Robert Coon; and 10 grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by three sisters, Esther Kressly, Elvina Martens and Helen Coon.

Services were held at First Mennonite Church in Mountain Lake. Burial was in Mountain Lake City Cemetery.

Memorial donations can be made to AIMM - Congo Medical Fund, PO Box 744, Goshen, IN 46527. John Martens, Ernie's nephew, is involved in this project.


Lind, Ethel Marie Ebersole

Ethel Marie (Ebersole) Lind, 101, died April 24, 2015, in Showalter Villa at Hesston, Kan., the place of her birth. She was born Sept. 20, 1913, to Roy and Bessie Ebersole.

The family moved to Texas and then Elkhart, Ind., where she completed elementary and secondary school, as well as some courses at Goshen College.

She married Ivan R. Lind on June 5, 1938, before moving back to Hesston.

She and Ivan were involved in the educational, church and civic life of Hesston for many years. He taught Bible and other college courses and later became pastor of Hesston Mennonite Church during the time the church at its present site was built. They moved to Milford, Neb., in 1958, where he was the first pastor of Bellwood Mennonite Church until 1966, when they returned to Hesston.

After moving to Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisburg, Va., in 1969, Ivan died suddenly in 1970. After residence first in Goshen, Ind., then at Reba Place in Evanston, Ill., she returned to Hesston in 1985.

Mennonite World Review - May 25, 2015 - 93rd Year, No. 11 - p. 15


Shenk, Barbara Lois Keener

Barbara Lois Keener Shenk, "Safta," 87, of Lancaster, Pa., died May 6, 2015. She was born July 22, 1927, to Clayton and Martha Gish Keener in Little Britain Township.

She married her high school sweetheart, Harold Leon Shenk, on Dec. 23, 1950.

She earned a bachelor's degree in teaching and a master's degree in counseling from Millersville University. She was active in church work, serving a term of voluntary service in Kentucky and serving locally at Laurel Street, Lyndon and Bridgeport Mennonite churches. She published several books and hundreds of poems, spoke at meetings and gave tours of Lancaster City and Amish Country. She taught at New Danville, Ephrata, Gehmans, Hinkeltown, Faith and Lancaster Mennonite schools, Tidings of Peace Christian School in York, and as a guest lecturer at Suffolk University.

Her greatest desire in life was to know and serve God. To that end she read through the Bible dozens of times. She shared the love of Christ with all she met.

Survivors include eight children, Kathleen Haddad and her husband, Walter, of Harrisonburg, Va., Dan Shenk and his wife, Lori Stetter, of Newmanstown, David Shenk and his wife, Carolyn Schrock Shenk, of Goshen, Ind., Ann Wenger and her husband, Hans, of Lancaster, John Shenk and his wife, Rosy Sommers, of Plain City, Ohio, Clayton Shenk and his wife, Mary Lois Stahl, of York, Harry Shenk and his wife, Edith Yoder, of Partridge, Kan., and Sue Weaver and her husband, Mike, of Baltimore, Md.; two sisters, Betty Drescher and Marie Riehl; 42 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold; a brother, Robert Keener; and two sisters, Ann Gingerich and Ellen Eshleman.

Services were held at Midway Reception Center, Lititz, and at Lindale Mennonite Church, Linville, Va.


Fast, Naomi Brubaker

Naomi Brubaker Fast, 94, of Hesston, Kan., died May 8, 2015. She was born Jan. 16, 1921, to Jacob and Barbara Brubaker in Lancaster, Pa.

After graduating from Goshen (Ind.) College, she served as a dietitian with Civilian Public Service in California. There she met Menno Fast, and they were married on Aug. 20, 1949.

Once married, she taught home economics at Hesston College. She and Menno raised two daughters and a son in Lexington, Ky., and Lincoln, Neb. In both university towns she was actively involved in the lives of international students. They retired to the Fast family farm east of Goessel in 1981. In 2001 they relocated to Schowalter Villa in Hesston.

Survivors include her three children, Catherine Everingham and her husband, Douglas, of Wichita, Elisabeth Beels and her husband, Theodoor, of Grand Rapids, Mich., and John Fast and his wife, Jenny, of Goessel; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 58 years, Menno Fast; an infant son, Robert Lowell; a sister, Barbara Sommer; and brothers Clarence Brubaker and John Brubaker.

Memorial services were held at Schowalter Villa. Memorial gifts may be made to the Schowalter Villa Good Samaritan Fund and Mennonite Central Committee for Nepal Earthquake Relief.


Yoder, Melvin Lester

Melvin Lester Yoder, 88, of Hesston, Kan., died May 2, 2015, at Schowalter Villa. He was born Feb. 22, 1927, to Samuel J. and Mary (Schrock) Yoder near Hutchinson.

He was baptized at Yoder Mennonite Church as a youth. On April 14, 1950, he married Cleo Marie Miller at Yoder.

They lived near Hutchinson until 1961, when they moved to the Hesston area. In 1975 they moved to Sharon Springs, and then back to Hesston in 1980.

He had a passion for the work of the Lord and sharing the word of God. He was a member of The Gideons International since 1978 and was elected Kansas state president in 1986. He served for 12 years on the Kansas state cabinet and traveled abroad on behalf of Gideons. He continued as an active member of Gideons throughout his life. He was an active member at Whitestone Mennonite Church, serving as a trustee, an elder and in other positions.

He was a loving, supportive and gentle husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He cared deeply for his wife and family and was present and supportive in the special occasions and the times of need. He was a man of prayer who experienced the power of prayer.

He was a farmer and experienced joy in tilling the soil and raising crops. In addition to being a lifelong farmer, he worked for Mennonite Aid Union Insurance for 37 years, including service as the general manager of Mennonite Aid Union Insurance from 1980 to 1999.

Survivors include his son Arlan Yoder and his wife, Ila, of Hesston; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Cleo; two stillborn daughters, Neta Faye and Diane Dell; his daughter Arnella Lindsay; a brother, Ralph Yoder; sisters Wilma Yoder, Lizzie Mae Selzer, Verna Yoder and a stillborn sister.


Ropp, Herman Edward

Herman Edward Ropp, 95, of Harrisonburg, Va., died Jan. 29, 2015, at Oak Lea Nursing Home. He was born Dec. 24, 1919, to Solomon and Vesta Yoder Ropp in Riverside, Iowa.

He received a bachelor's degree in history from Goshen (Ind.) College, where he also attended the seminary for one year. He received a master's degree from the University of Iowa and taught at Iowa Mennonite School from 1952 to 1970.
He was ordained in 1954 and served as a pastor of West Union Mennonite Church in Iowa. In 1956 he served as bishop for the area churches and later was also named moderator of the Iowa-Nebraska Conference.

After moving to Harrisonburg in 1970, he served as guidance counselor at Eastern Mennonite High School, as pastor at Lynside Mennonite Church, chaplain at Virgin­ia Mennonite Retirement Community and as interim pastor at Zion Mennonite Church in Broadway. Besides his life's dedication to church work, he was an avid gardener and a friend to all with whom he came in contact.

On Aug. 11, 1949, he married Gladys Leidig.

Survivors include his wife, Gladys; two daughters, Mim Kennel and her husband, Deryl, of Harrisonburg, and Lois Kauffman and her husband, Bill White, of Bridgewater; a son, Phil Ropp and his wife, Luanne, of Broadway; eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Graveside services were held at Zion Mennonite Cemetery. A memorial service was held at VMRC Detweiler Auditorium.

Memorial gifts may be made to the VMRC?Compassion Fund.


Clymer, Elaine Marie Longenecker

Elaine Marie Clymer, 69, of Linville, Va., died April 6, 2015. She was born Aug. 6, 1945, to Henry Z. and Rachael Metzler Longenecker in Dauphin County, Pa.

On Sept. 4, 1965, she married James Clymer Jr.

She graduated from Lancaster (Pa.) Mennonite School in 1963, Goshen (Ind.) College in 1967, Western Michigan University with a master's degree in education and Fresno (Calif.) State University with an administrative credential.

She taught home economics at Bethany Christian High School, Goshen, Ind., for 13 years. She and her family moved to Fresno in 1980, where she taught parenting and directed a nursery for at-risk mothers and children in the Fresno Unified School system and was a vice-principal at Fresno Adult School, where she directed the program for adults with disabilities. She was executive director of Central California Mennonite Residential Service, a program for adults with developmental disabilities, for two years.

She held administrative roles in the churches where they attended: Belmont Mennonite Church, Elkhart, Ind.; College Community Mennonite Brethren Church, Clovis, Calif.; and Mennonite Community Church, Fresno. She taught Sunday school for teens and adults and was active in music groups.

A woman of grace and selflessness, compassion and caring, her love and acceptance of a wide variety of people endeared her to all.

Survivors include her husband, James Clymer Jr.; two children, James Clymer III of Salinas, Calif., and Lisa Renee Clymer of Fresno, Calif.; a stepmother, Nancy Frey Longenecker of Lancaster, Pa.; four sisters, Marian Burkholder and her husband, Jim, of Mechanicsburg, Pa., Carolyn Horst and her husband, Lowell, of Elizabethtown, Pa., Gloria Lehman and her husband, Galen, of Singers Glen, and Nancy Pellegrini of Exton, Pa.

Memorial services were held April 19 at Zion Mennonite Church in Broadway.


Penner, Gustav Adolph

Gustav Adolph Penner, 89, of Reedley, Calif., died April 25, 2015, after a long illness. He was born May 4, 1925, to Adolph G. and Anna S. (Janzen) Penner in Wasco.

He was a Reedley resident for 65 years and a lifelong member of First Mennonite Church of Reedley. He married Mary Joyce Gehrer in 1951. She preceded him in death in 2001. He then married Mary Lee (Bartlett) Tatum in 2002.

As a young adult he worked on the family farm and served in Civilian Public Service during World War II. He acquired a small farm just east of Reedley and continued to farm while employed for 17 years at a local winery. In 1965 he began his career as an inspector-agent with the Treasury Department BATF, where he remained until his retirement in the mid-1990s.

He was a voracious reader and an accomplished gardener. He traveled to Mexico, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Korea, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Greece and Turkey.

After Sierra View Homes Retirement Community was established in Reedley in the 1960s, he spent many hours volunteering, helping with landscaping and serving on the board of directors, working with other like-minded people. He and Mary became residents there in 2014.

Survivors include his second wife, Mary Lee; sons Herbert and his wife, Patricia, David and his wife, Carol, and Josef and his wife, Jean; daughter-in-law Jenny Penner; stepsons Dan Tatum and his wife, Virginia, and Nathan Tatum and his wife, Laurie; brothers Rupert, Elmer and Edgar; sisters Dorothy Godfrey, Grace Dueck and Edna Bosch; 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Joyce; and a son, Peter.
Memorial donations can be made to Sierra View Homes Retirement Community of Reedley.

Copyright 2003 - All rights reserved - Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, PA
Used with permission by the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, INDIANA
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