Mennonite World Review - February 2019

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


Kreider, Lois Lydia Sommer ; . .

No obituaries in Feb.4, 2019 issue

Mennonite World Review - February 18, 2019 - 97th Year, No. 4 - p. 15



Kreider, Lois Lydia Sommer

Lois Lydia (Sommer) Kreider, 94, of North Newton, Kan., died Jan. 31, 2019. She was born Feb. 8, 1924, to Norah (Lambert) and Oscar Julius Sommer in Pekin, Ill.

She graduated valedictorian of Pekin High School in 1940 and from Bluffton (Ohio) College in 1945 with a degree in home economics.

She married Robert Kreider at Bethel Mennonite Church of Pekin on Dec. 30, 1945.

She completed a master’s degree in textiles at Columbia University in 1946, then volunteered with Mennonite Central Committee in Pennsylvania, the Netherlands and Germany. In their final year in Europe she managed the MCC guest house in Basel, Switzerland.

In 1949 they moved to Chicago, and in 1952 to Bluffton, where Robert taught at Bluffton College. She hosted college groups and visiting guests. She volunteered for Girl Scouts and for her church, First Mennonite, Bluffton. In the 1960s she began yearly sales of SelfHelp international handcrafts, now Ten Thousand Villages, from Edna Ruth Byler to provide livable wages for women. She led efforts to start a thrift/handcraft store in Bluffton; the Et Cetera Shop opened in 1974 with her as manager. In 1976, having moved to Newton, she helped open another Et Cetera Shop and managed it through 1990. She led workshops and edited a newsletter for Ten Thousand Villages stores. She traveled internationally for MCC, visiting artisans.

In retirement, she led a recycled rug weaving project at the Newton Et Cetera shop. She enjoyed music, books, gardening, travel, Scrabble, and delighted in assisting after the births of each grandchild. She was an active member of Faith Mennonite of Newton.

Survivors include five children, Esther (William) Eash, Joan Kreider, Karen (Stephen) Kreider Yoder, David (Heidi Regier) Kreider and Ruth Kreider; a brother, John Sommer; a sister-in-law, Josephine Sommer; 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert; an infant daughter, Ruth Marie; and a brother, Ted Sommer.
Services will be held at Faith Mennonite Church, Newton. Memorial gifts may be sent to MCC or Bluffton University.

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