Mennonite World Review - July 2016

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

Charles, Miriam Jeanette Stalter ; . . Gering, Glenn A. ; . . Hess, Emma Burkholder ; . . Kaufman, Virgil M. ; . . Klassen, Beverly Isaak ; . . Saalbach, Eleanor Duerksen ; . .

Mennonite World Review - July 4, 2016 - 94th Year, No. 14 - p. 15


Kaufman, Virgil M.

Virgil M. Kaufman, 90, of Moundridge, Kan., died June 20, 2016. He was born July 18, 1925, to Christian H. and Lydia Flickner Kaufman.

He was a farmer. He married Vernell M. Goering on Oct. 24, 1949.

Survivors include his wife, Vernell, of Moundridge; two sons, Lynn Kaufman and his wife, Karen, of Moundridge, and Kenton Kaufman and his wife, Nancy, of Walton; two daughters, Sharon Lehman and her husband, Barry, of Newton, and Marla Gillmore and her husband, Brett, of Moundridge; three brothers, Howard Kaufman and his wife, Neva, and Delmer Kaufman and his wife, Ann, all of Moundridge, and Leland Kaufman and his wife, Joan, of Winfield; 10 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Ethel Helmer.

Burial was in the Eden Mennonite Church Cemetery. Memorial services were held at Eden Mennonite Church. Memorial donations are suggested to Camp Mennoscah or Mennonite Disaster Service.


Gering, Glenn A.

Glenn A. Gering, 94, of Maple Grove, Minn., died June 4, 2016, at Arbor Lakes Senior Living. He was born March 29, 1922, to John C. and Maria (Miller) Gering.

He lived in the Freeman, S.D., area most of his life, moving to Minnesota in March 2014 to be close to family. He married Vivian Brockmueller on Nov. 20, 1951.

He served his country in World War II in Civilian Public Service as a conscientious objector for six months in soil conservation in Downey, Idaho, then three years at Harrisburg (Pa.) State Hospital, where he became qualified and served as a licensed practical nurse. Furthering the cause of peace remained dear to his heart throughout his life.

He was an active member of Salem Mennonite Church and an avid supporter of the Freeman community, holding a variety of leadership roles. His deeply rooted faith and strong sense of integrity permeated all aspects of his life.

Printer’s ink coursed through his veins. As a youth on the farm, he helped out in his father’s mail-order print shop, Pine Hill Printery. In 1960, he and his brother Vernon purchased the Freeman Courier weekly newspaper and moved Pine Hill Printery to town. He continued managing the Freeman Courier until 1984. He owned and operated Pine Hill Printery from 1952 to 1990. He held great satisfaction in providing local jobs and in producing quality printed materials. He truly valued those who worked for him.

Music brought joy to him, and he brought joy to others through music. The Saxatones played old-time music throughout southeastern South Dakota from 1948 to 2006. Through his twilight years, he was appreciated for his musical contributions, along with his good-natured wit. His legacy continues as he has passed his love of music and his vintage saxophone collection to his grandsons.

Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Vivian; son John of Sioux Falls, S.D.; daughter Peggy Li and her husband, Jasper, of Plymouth; and two grandsons.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Mabel Graber; and two brothers, Harvey and Vernon Gering.

Memorial services were held at Salem Mennonite Church, Freeman.


Charles, Miriam Jeanette Stalter

Miriam Jeanette (Stalter) Charles, 96, of State College, Pa., died June 11, 2016, at Elmcroft of State College. A longtime resident of Goshen, Ind., she had lived in State College since February 2015. She was born Sept. 13, 1919, to James and Bertie Swartz Stalter in Elida, Ohio.

She graduated from Gomer High School in 1937 and then attended Goshen College, from which she graduated in 1941 with a degree in education. For four years she taught elementary school in West Liberty, Ohio. In 1945, after taking further course work at Ohio State University in Columbus, she returned to Goshen College as an assistant in the registrar’s office and to teach part-time in the education department.

In 1947 she married Howard H. Charles of Lititz, whom she had met during their student days at Goshen College.

They made their home together in Goshen for the next 55 years, punctuated by studies for Howard in Edinburgh, 1950-52, and Oxford, 1965-66, and assignments under Mennonite Board of Missions in Japan in 1961 and Ghana, 1973-74. While Howard taught New Testament at Goshen College and then at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, she focused on home, family and church, along with volunteer work at Goshen General Hospital, Goshen College and Mennonite Board of Congregational Ministries.

She was a member of East Goshen Mennonite Church, where for many years she served as church librarian and in various other capacities. She will be remembered as a warm, spirited, candid, loving and wise woman of faith blessed with common sense, a lively sense of humor and a gift for hospitality.

She is survived by two sons, J Robert Charles of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Thomas Kopp Charles and his spouse, Kristine Kopp, of State College; five grandchildren and three great-grandsons.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Howard, in 2002; an infant daughter, Ruth Ann, in 1957; a brother, Fred; and sisters Rowena, Anna Mary and Virginia.

Mennonite World Review - July 18, 2016 - 94th Year, No. 15 - p. 15


Saalbach, Eleanor Duerksen

Eleanor Duerksen Saalbach, 91, of Springfield Va., died June 13, 2016, after a brief illness. She was born in San Diego, Calif., and raised in Washington, D.C.

She graduated from McKinley Technical High School and received a bachelor’s degree from Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., in 1946. She returned to Washington, where she was employed by the neighborhood settlement house known as Friendship House. Next, she taught kindergarten in the District of Columbia public school system for five years at Bunker Hill School.

In 1952 she married Herman Karl Saalbach.

After June 1953, she devoted her time to her family. She was a member of the Wesleyan Singers and a musical group of recorder players. She was a charter member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Spring­field. Since 2000 she resided at Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield.

Survivors include three children, Frederick, Christine and William; seven grandchildren and a sister.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Herman, in 1993; and by a sister, Vera Mae Duerksen.

Funeral services were held at the Chapel at Greenspring Retirement Community. Burial was in Fort Lincoln Cemetery, Brentwood, Md.

Memorial funds may be given to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Springfield, Va.


Hess, Emma Burkholder

Emma Burkholder Hess, 98, died June 30, 2016, in Lancaster, Pa. She was born Dec. 14, 1917, to John Wolf Hess and Lizzie Burkholder Hess in Pea Ridge, Mo. She worked much of her career as a nurse and nursing administrator in Mennonite hospitals.

She grew up in Akron, graduated from Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg, Va., and graduated as a registered nurse from the La Junta (Colo.) Mennonite Hospital School of Nursing.

She worked at hospitals in La Junta and Denver, Colo., Mount Pleasant and Lancaster, in various hospitals in Oregon and Washington, and in a Civilian Public Service camp for conscientious objectors in California. In the early 1950s, she worked as director of nursing at the newly opened Rocky Ford Mennonite Hospital, then as director of nursing services at La Junta Mennonite Hospital from 1956 to 1974. After leaving La Junta, she worked as a nurse in Maui, Hawaii, Poudre Valley Medical Center in Fort Collins, Colo., and the Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Loveland, Colo. She spent her retirement in State College, Millersville, Lancaster, and in Hyattsville, Md.

She was active in Mennonite churches wherever she lived and held lay leadership positions. She held membership in First Mennonite Church and Emmanuel Mennonite Church in La Junta, Colo., Greeley (Colo.) Mennonite Church, University Mennonite Church in State College, Hyattsville (Md.) Mennonite Church and Community Mennonite Church in Lancaster.

The defining quality of her life was her commitment, grounded in her Christian faith, to serve and nurture others. Her zest for life, love of travel and taste for adventure made her service effective, joyful and enriching to those she served and loved.
Survivors include a sister, Sara Hess Hess; many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews and great-grand-nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by three brothers, Joseph Hess, Simon Hess and James Hess; and two sisters, Alma Hershey and Margie Hershey.

Memorial services are planned for Aug. 14, 2016, at DeBord Snyder Funeral Home, Lancaster.


Klassen, Beverly Isaak

Beverly I. Klassen, 80, of Arlington, Va., died Aug. 4, 2015. She was born Dec. 28, 1934, to C.K. and Lizzie Isaak in Dinuba, Calif.

Her family moved to Arlington in 1968. She remained in the community with her husband of 58 years, Robert L. Klassen, for the rest of her life. She was a loving friend and teacher, and will be missed by her family.

Survivors include her husband, Robert Klassen; two children, Gregory Scott Klassen and his wife, Vicki, and DeeAnn Joy Jeremiah and her husband, Jamie; and four grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by a son, Randall Scott Klassen; a brother, Wallace; and a sister, Katherine.

Memorial services were held at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, Md. Memorial funds may be given to Fourth Presbyterian Church Children’s Ministry or Arlington Traditional School Reading Challenge.

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