Mennonite World Review - December 2017
Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.

Birky, Verna M. Conrad ; . . Goering, Vernon R. ; . . Harder, Leo J. ; . . Hertzler, Mary Yoder ; . . Homan, Gerlof D. ; . . Kroeker, Edith June Peters ; . . Weaver, Katherine Rose Phenneger ; . .

Mennonite World Review - December 4, 2017 - 95th Year, No. 25 - p. 15



Weaver, Katherine Rose Phenneger

Katherine “Kitty” Rose Phenneger Weaver, 88, of Linville, Va., died Nov. 7, 2017. She was born in Chester County, Pa., to Hiram and Esther Rohrer Phenneger.

She loved family, music, sunshine, warm air and gardening. All who met her were blessed to be truly seen, no one more than a child in her presence. She graciously understood the heart in every child, and they recognized her connection to them. She demonstrated her gift through her time spent teaching and volunteering at Sunday school and day care centers. She lived the quote by Abraham Lincoln, “Teach the children, so it will not be necessary to teach the adults.”

She met no strangers. Her smile and sparkling blue eyes lit up a room as she entered. Her sweet spirit is now with the Lord and remains present with her husband, children and friends.

Survivors include her husband of 68 years, Irvin D. Weaver; eight children, Susan L. (Bernie)?Halterman, D. Paul Weaver, Phyllis M. (Alfred)?Thomas, Dale Weaver, Douglas P. (Sandra) Weaver, Marcia W. (Kevin)?Jones, Dean Mark (Andrea) Weaver and Kay W. (Robert)?Lera; and 14 grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by two children, Judy and David Weaver; six sisters and a brother.

Memorial services were held at Lindale Mennonite Church. Burial was in Lindale Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Roberta Webb Child Care Center in Harrisonburg.



Kroeker, Edith June Peters

Edith June (Peters) Kroeker, 85, of Henderson, Neb., died Nov. 15, 2017 in Henderson. She was born, with a twin sister, to Dietrich W. and Margaret (Siebert) Peters on Sept. 9, 1932.
She was baptized and became a member of Bethesda Mennonite Church in 1950.

She graduated from Henderson High School in 1950 and went on to graduate as a registered nurse from the Bethel Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in Newton, Kan., in 1954. Her entire nursing career, from 1954 to 1993, was spent at Henderson Health Care Services. She began working at the hospital and later at the medical clinic and care center.

She married Robert Kroeker in 1955.

Survivors include two daughters, Stephanie Kroeker of Beatrice and Kathryn (Kurt) Goertzen of Henderson; a son, Stephen (Jodilynn) Kroeker of Peyton, Colo.; a brother, Kenneth Peters of Omaha; three grandchildren and twin great-grandsons.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 38 years, Robert; her twin sister, Ardith Regier; and a brother, Gerald Peters.

Services were held at Bethesda Mennonite Church in Henderson.

Memorials may be sent to Henderson Community Foundation Grant Program or the Bethesda Mennonite Church Technology Fund.

Mennonite World Review - December 18, 2017 - 95th Year, No. 26 - p. 15



Hertzler, Mary Yoder

Mary Yoder Hertzler, 89, died Nov. 18, 2017, in Harmon House Nursing Center, Mount Pleasant, Pa. She was born Jan. 5, 1928, to Eugene and Esther Miller Yoder.

She graduated in 1946 from Streetsboro High School and in 1949 from Eastern Mennonite College with a diploma in Junior College Bible.

She married Daniel Hertzler on July 12, 1952. They moved to Scottdale in September 1952.

She taught Sunday school and craft classes throughout her active life. She studied and later taught rug braiding at the Scottdale YMCA. Two of her full-size braided rugs are still in use by various family members.

She had skills in marketing and worked as a store clerk from time to time, but gave first preference to the needs of her family. She served as a clerk and later a manager of the thrift section of World’s Attic in Somerset, a store selling used items with the income given to Mennonite Central Committee.

She was editor of Allegheny Mennonite Conference News from 1983 to 1991. As editor she wrote short editorials. In 2013 a selection of these was compiled into a booklet, “The Tall Man.” This was the title of the first chapter, developed in the O’Hare and Pittsburgh airports while returning from a meeting in Oregon.

She left a number of paintings and an illumination of Isaiah 40.

Late in life she once remarked, “I have no regrets.”

Survivors include her husband, Daniel; four sons, Dennis, twins Ronald and Gerald, and Daniel Mark; a sister, Martha Oswald; nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be designated for Haverim Friends of the Bible Department at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Va.



Homan, Gerlof D.

Gerlof D. Homan, 88, of Bloomington, Ill., died Nov. 17, 2017. He was born Aug. 28, 1929, to Klaas and Sietske Bierma Homan in Appingedam, the Netherlands.

He experienced the 1940-45 German occupation of the Netherlands, an episode that left an indelible impression on him. He received his secondary education in his hometown and went to the United States in 1952. He attended Bethel College, North Newton, Kan., where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1954. He received his master’s degree in 1956 and his doctorate in history in 1958 at the University of Kansas.

He married Roelie Noord on June 28, 1953, at Bethel College.

From 1958 to 1963 he taught at Central State University, Edmond, Okla., in 1963-64 at the University of Oklahoma, Norman, and from 1964 to 1968 at Kansas State College in Pittsburg. He came to Illinois State University in 1968 and worked there until retirement in 1994. From 1976 to 1980 he served as the chair of the history department at ISU. He published three books and many articles on French, Dutch and American peace history and was one of the co-founders of ISU’s peace studies program.

He served as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, the Compassion Center, McLean County Juvenile Detention Center, Victim Offender Reconciliation Program, Mennonite Disaster Service and various volunteer projects offered through the Mennonite church. He was an active member of Mennonite Church of Normal.

He was grateful for having been born in the land of Erasmus, Rembrandt, Hugo Grotius and Menno Simons, and for the many people in his native land and the U.S. who inspired, challenged and befriended him.

Survivors include his wife, Roelie; three sons, Paul (Julie) Homan of Illinois, Bob Homan of Washington, D.C., and Chris (Fabiola) Homan of Bethesda, Md.; four grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Services were held at Mennonite Church of Normal. Memorial contributions may be given to Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Disaster Service or Jubilee Partners, Comer, Ga.



Goering, Vernon R.

Vernon R. Goering, 86, of Moundridge, Kan., died Nov. 27, 2017, at Newton Medical Center. He was born April 12, 1931, to Henry A. and Lydia (Stucky) Goering at McPherson Hospital.

He graduated from Moundridge High School in 1949. He grew up in a large family including 12 children who lived to adulthood. He was baptized upon his profession of faith in Jesus Christ and received into membership of Eden Mennonite Church, where he remained a member for life.

On July 26, 1956, he married Marna Neufeld.
He and Marna settled on the family farm six miles west and two miles south of Moundridge. He was employed as a farmer growing wheat and milo while raising cattle and hogs. In addition to the Harvey County farm, he and Marna also farmed in Lane County in western Kansas. He exhibited amazing skills in building trailers and other farm equipment in his shop. After retirement, he built a number of farm toys in the basement of his home in Moundridge.
In addition to farming, he was an active member of the community. He served on the Moundridge School Board and the Mid-Kansas Credit Union board of directors. At Eden, he served as the Sunday school superintendent as well as a deacon and Sunday school teacher.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, Marna; a son, Kevin (Sheryl) Goering of Lawrence; two daughters, Jo (Darrel) Stucky of Grangeville, Idaho, and Jan (Gregg) Nattier of Kechi; two sisters, Lorita Zook and Joy Thiessen; and five grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by four brothers, Roland, Wilbert (Toby), Howard and Harley; and five sisters, Erma, Florence, Welma, Welda and Ellen.



Birky, Verna M. Conrad

Verna M. Birky, 99, of Goshen, Ind., died Oct. 25, 2017, at Greencroft Goshen Health Care. She was born May 28, 1923, to Orie and Eda (Zehr) Conrad and grew up on the family farm near Albany, Ore.

As a youth she became a follower of Christ and was baptized in Fairview Mennonite Church. She attended Hesston (Kan.) Mennonite Academy her senior year of high school. She became a registered nurse after three years of study and practice at LaJunta (Colo.) Mennonite School of Nursing, graduating in the class of 1946.

She married Luke Birky on March 2, 1947.
They volunteered for a term of service with Mennonite Central Committee and were assigned to the service program in LaPlata, Puerto Rico, where she practiced nursing. They worked there six-and-a-half years. After returning to the U.S., she continued nursing, teaching and mothering in LaJunta, Colo., Elkhart, Ind., and Albany, Ore.

In retirement, she and Luke served one year as co-directors of Goshen College’s Study Service Term program in Costa Rica. They moved to Goshen in 1993 to be near children and grandchildren.
Always energetic and filled with goodwill, she enjoyed homemaking, mothering, hosting, nursing, teaching, gardening, sewing, quilting, biking and traveling.

Survivors include her husband, Luke; five children, Karl (Ginny) Birky, Anne Birky, Kate (Tim) Birky, Rachel (Steve) Hamilton and Steve (Therese) Birky; two sisters, Lucile (Dale) Hochstetler and Lois (Ivan) Kauffman; two brothers, Mark (Nancy) Conrad and James (Mary Alice) Conrad; a brother-in-law, Lynn Brenneman; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by three brothers, Clarence Conrad, Amos Conrad and Reuben Conrad; a sister, Mary Brenneman; and a stillborn great-grandchild.

Her body was donated to Indiana University Medical Center for medical education and her ashes placed in a columbarium at Riverside Cemetery, Albany, Ore.



Harder, Leo J.

Leo J. Harder, 94, of Mountain Lake, Minn., died Dec. 9, 2017, at the Good Samaritan Village. He was born Sept. 21, 1923, to Jacob J. and Anna (Janzen) Harder on a farm southwest of Mountain Lake.

He graduated from Mountain Lake High School in 1942. He was drafted in 1944 during World War II. Because of his faith he was a conscientious objector and entered Civilian Public Service, where he worked in soil conservation in Denison, Iowa, fighting forest fires in California, and public health work in Gulfport, Miss. After his release in 1946 he returned to Mountain Lake, where he farmed for several years with his brother Jake.

While in Gulfport he met Ruth Burkhard, who was working there with Mennonite Central Committee. He and Ruth were married on Sept. 13, 1947, in Orrtanna, Pa.

They farmed northeast of Mountain Lake until Ruth was diagnosed with cancer in 1953. They then moved to town, where he collected milk for the creamery. Ruth preceded him in death in 1958. He then married Gladys E. Harder on Sept. 26, 1959, in Mountain Lake.

He worked at and managed a number of agribusinesses during his career. In retirement, he and Gladys worked several years with Mennonite Voluntary Service in Fort Collins, Colo., and at the International Guest House in Washington, D.C. He also managed the Care and Share Thrift Shop/Ten Thousand Villages in Mountain Lake for more than eight years.

Baptized in 1941, he was an active member of First Mennonite Church all of his adult life.

Survivors include his wife, Gladys; five children: Gordon (Eva Toews), Charles, Lois, Kathleen (Merin Kouay) and Mary (Wes Mark); two brothers, Lawrence and Walter; six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ruth; and five siblings, Theresa, Harry, Jacob, Anna and Albert.

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

Copyright 2003 - All rights reserved - Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, PA
Used with permission by the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, INDIANA
Permission granted to private family researchers to use selected portions of these files to tell their family stories.
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