Mennonite World Review - January 2017

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

Dietterich, John Lester ; . . Kauffmann, Ivan J. ; . . Lederach, Mary Kathryn Slagell ; . . Lichti, Cheryl ; . . Oswald, Paul Erb ; . . Ramseyer, Arden Daniel; . .

Mennonite World Review - January 2, 2017 - 95th Year, No. 1 - p. 15



Dietterich, John Lester

John Lester Dietterich, 83, of Ransom, Kan., died Sept. 1, 2016, at Rhode Island Suites. He was born June 17, 1933, to Lester and Ethel (Fretz) Dietterich in Telford, Pa.

His father died when he was 2 years old. His mother married Earl Rosenberger, and when he was 12 they moved to Phoenix. In 1950, he went back to Pennsylvania and graduated from Sellersville-Perkasie High School. He moved to North Newton in the fall of 1951 and attended Bethel College. He received his bachelor’s degree from Bethel and his master’s degree from Fort Hays State.
He met Virginia Mishler at Bethel, and they were married Dec. 26, 1955.

They lived in Newton while he worked as an accountant for Hesston Manufacturing. They moved to Ransom in 1959. There he taught typing, bookkeeping and Spanish at Ransom High School for 11 years while farming part time. In the early 1970s he quit teaching and devoted his time to farming and raising registered Angus cattle.

He was very involved in community and church work. Over the years he served on the Bethel College board of directors, the Ransom school board, for many years as treasurer of First Mennonite Church of Ransom, and was a member of the Ransom Lions Club for 50 years. He enjoyed working for Habitat for Humanity in Las Cruces, N.M., Hays and in Jamaica. He made many trips to help Mennonite Disaster Service in flood or tornado-stricken communities around the state.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia; a daughter, Valerie Dietterich; a sister, Joan Ryder of Phoenix; and four grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his son, Robert John.

Services were held at First Mennonite Church of Ransom.



Kauffmann, Ivan J.

Ivan J. Kauffmann, 94, of Goshen, Ind., died Dec. 24, 2016, at Greencroft Healthcare, where he had been admitted the day before. He was born Nov. 5, 1922, to John and Alma (Litwiller) Kauffmann in Minier, Ill.

On May 23, 1946, he married Lola M. Good in Hopedale, Ill.
He served as a Mennonite pastor for 50 years in Illinois and Indiana, including executive secretary of the Mennonite Church General Board, and other church assignments. He and Lola continued to do volunteer work at Brementowne Manor, Mennonite Church Archives and office work at Greencroft.

Survivors include his wife, Lola; five children, Mary (Jon) Kauffmann-Kennel of Elkhart, Ruth (Brian Roots) Kauffmann of Deerfield, Ill., Paul (Patti Borom) Kauffmann of Columbus, Ga., John (Susan Wilgus) Kauffmann of Las Vegas and James (Deb Sawatsky) Kauffmann of Oak Grove, Minn.; a daughter-in-law, Nancy Kauffmann; a sister, Miriam Kauffmann of Goshen; two brothers, Warren (Maxine) Kauffmann of Normal, Ill., and Norman (Sharon) Kauffmann of Goshen; 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by a son, Joel Kauffmann; a granddaughter, Angela Mae Kauffmann; a sister, Nadine Kauffmann; and three brothers, Weldon, Merle and Floyd Kauffmann.
Memorial services were held at College Mennonite Church. Cremation was at Yoder-Culp Crematory.

Memorial gifts may be sent to the Mennonite Church USA Executive Board or to College Mennonite Church, Goshen.

Mennonite World Review - January 16, 2017 95th Year, No. 2 - p. 15



Lederach, Mary Kathryn Slagell

Mary Kathryn (Slagell) Lederach, 92, of Lansdale, Pa., and formerly of Scottdale, died Dec. 17, 2016, at Dock Terrace. She was born to Joseph Slagell and Emma (Schantz) Slagell in Hydro, Okla. She was the loving wife of Paul M. Lederach for 62 years.
She was raised on the Great Plains of western Oklahoma on a wheat farm that had been homesteaded as part of the Cheyenne-Arapaho land run. In her childhood she experienced the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression.

She graduated from high school in Corn, Okla., and attended Eastern Mennonite College, where she graduated in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. She and her husband moved to Scottdale in 1952, where she taught school in the Southmoreland School District for 22 years. After retiring in 1988, she and her husband moved to Souderton. She was a member of Blooming Glen Mennonite Church.

She was a modern woman by virtue of her education, independence and sense of adventure. As such, she was a role model for her daughters and granddaughters and influential in her students’ lives. She loved to laugh and make people laugh.

She enjoyed birds and tending her rose garden and collected porcelain birds and antique glassware. She was an avid reader, an astute follower of current events, and traveled the world with her husband including trips to Europe, Africa, India and the Far East. She was a caring, supportive and compassionate wife, mother, grandmother, sibling, aunt and friend.

Survivors include four children, twins Judith L. (John) Styer of Framingham, Mass., and James S. (Louise) Lederach of Scottdale, Deborah L. (Randall) Gunden of Fort Myers, Fla., and Rebecca S. Lederach of Sellersville; and eight grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul; two infant siblings and a brother, Elmer Slagell; and four sisters, Ellen Yoder, Lena Cooprider, Goldie Slagell and Lorene Miller.

Memorial services were held at Dock Woods Community Chapel, Lansdale. Inurnment took place at Blooming Glen Mennonite Church Columbarium.


Oswald, Paul Erb

Paul Erb Oswald, 97, of North Newton, Kan., died Dec. 29, 2016. He was born April 9, 1919, to Jacob and Elizabeth Oswald in O’Neill, Neb.

On Oct. 5, 1941, he married Dorothy Mae Egli from Manson, Iowa, where he resided until June 2009, when he moved to North Newton and became an independent living resident of Kidron Bethel Village.

He began 42 years of association with the former Manson Implement Co. in 1943 and eventually became sole owner until his retirement in 1985. At that time he sold the business, which is now known as Calhoun County Implement.

He was elected to the Manson School Board from 1959 to 1965 and served as president for three years. He was a member of the Manson Kiwanis Club, the Meridian Singers and the board of the Iowa Association of Farm Equipment Dealers for six years.

He was a 50-plus-year member of Manson Mennonite Church. He and his wife, Dorothy, and their children were one of three families who helped start a Mennonite church in the Eastlawn Acres area of Fort Dodge, Iowa. He was named a “Friend” of Hesston College, and a “Partner” of Goshen (Ind.) College. He was elected a member of Mennonite Economic Development Associates as the Iowa representative and was also active in Mennonite Disaster Service. After retirement, he and Dorothy volunteered for three years in Tuscon, Ariz., where they served as hosts for the Mennonite Voluntary Service unit. At the time of his death, he was a member of Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton.

Survivors include five children, Jane (Vaughn) Lambert of Salina, Paula (Mac) McClave of Billings, Mont., Neil (Kathy) Oswald of Manson, Brian (Patti) Oswald of Chicago and Laurie Oswald (Alfonso) Robinson of Newton; one brother; 10 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; four step-great-grandchildren and a great-great-grandson.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy, in 1995; three brothers and three sisters.

Memorial services were held at Kidron Bethel and at Manson Mennonite Church.

Mennonite World Review - January 30, 2017 - 95th Year, No. 3 - p. 15



Ramseyer, Arden Daniel

Arden Daniel Ramseyer, 89, of Smithville, Ohio, died Jan. 10, 2017. He was born April 2, 1927, to A.C. and Mary Ramseyer.

He took up the family profession of farming after graduating from Bluffton College. A lifelong member of Oak Grove Mennonite Church, he served the church in many ways, as well as his community. His dedication to his church extended to service on the Ohio Mennonite Relief Sale Board, president of the meat canning committee, board member to Mennonite Mutual Aid and service through Mennonite Disaster Service in Haiti. He was also active within his community and profession as a farmer.

His community and church will remember him for his many years of service, but his family will remember him for the joy and love he found in his faith, family and many friends, which shone on his face with every smile and laugh.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Leila Mae (Miller) Ramseyer; two children, Dennis (Karen) Ramseyer and Diane (Dan) Schwendeman; two sisters, Esther Ramseyer Miller and Phyllis (Bill) Miller; and five grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by sisters Irene (Morris) Musser, Edna (E.G.) Kauffman, Erma (Ture) Johnson, Alvin (Ruth) Ramseyer, Francis (Donald) Gundy and Mary Kay (Virgil) Gerig.
Memorial contributions may be made to Oak Grove Mennonite Church or MCC.



Lichti, Cheryl

Cheryl Lichti, 67, of Hesston, Kan., died Jan. 18, 2017, at Schowalter Villa after a long illness. She was born June 20, 1949, to Nick and Florence Eichelberger Lichti in Davenport, Neb.

She spent childhood and adolescent years living with her family on a farm near Shickley, Neb. After graduation from Shickley High School, she attended Hesston College, then the LaJunta (Colo.) Hospital School of Nursing. Her employment years encompassed working as a certified nurse assistant in locations in Ohio, Arizona, Nebraska and Hesston, and also in a variety of other positions. Upon retirement she moved to Schowalter Villa, where she resided until her death.

Survivors include four siblings, Gerry (Treva) Lichti of Bel Aire, Janis (Gary) Glascock of Denver, Jolene (Bob) Yoder of Rutland, Vt.; and Don (Cathy) Lichti of St. Louis and Tucson, Ariz.; and numerous nieces and nephews; great nieces and nephews and a great-great- niece.

Memorial services were held at the Schowalter Villa Chapel. Memorials may be directed to the Schowalter Villa Good Samaritan Caring Fund in care of Miller-Ott Funeral Home, Hesston.

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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