Mennonite World Review - June 2019

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

Diener, Herman John ; . . Duerksen, Sylvia ; . . Guengerich, Allie Louella Davison ; . .

No obituaries for June 10, 2019

Mennonite World Review - June 24, 2019 - 97th Year, No. 13 - p. 15



Guengerich, Allie Louella Davison

Allie Louella Davison Guengerich, 95, of Harrisonburg, Va., died April 8, 2019. She was born Jan. 23, 1924, to Homer and Addie (Neff) Davison in Wayland, Iowa.As a child she attended Cottonwood United Brethren Church near Wayland, where she played piano and was baptized at age 13. She graduated in 1942 as salutatorian from Wayland High School, where she met her future husband, who was her favorite high school teacher. She was an active member of East Union Mennonite Church at Kalona, Iowa, and later Harrisonburg Mennonite Church.

On Feb. 27, 1943, she married L. Glen Guengerich at the Palmer House in Chicago.They made their home in the Wellman-Kalona area until 1999, when they moved to Harrisonburg. She loved to cook and entertain. She enjoyed quilt making and gave numerous quilted creations to her children and grandchildren.In 1942 she began her elementary teaching career at Stringtown near Wayland. The next year she taught at East Lincoln in the Kalona area, then taught at Kalona Elementary in 1944. She took a leave from teaching from 1945 to 1961, when she cared for their five children. In 1960 she took night classes to finish her bachelor’s degree from Iowa Wesleyan College at Mount Pleasant. While working on her degree she taught 10 years at Middleburg near Kalona. In 1971 she changed to Kalona Elementary, teaching there 18 years. She taught a total of 30 years. In 1982 she was honored as Teacher of the Year.

Her last years were spent at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Center in Harrisonburg.Survivors include two sons, Lowell (Susan) Guengerich of Harrisonburg and Galen (Beverly) Guengerich of Schwenksville, Pa.; three daughters, Elaine (Verlin) Miller of Goshen, Ind., Annette (Eugene) Ritter of Harrisonburg and Audrey (Corydon) Baylor of Richmond; a brother, Jim Davison of Washington, Iowa; a sister, Phyllis Graber of Wayland, Iowa; 12 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren.She was preceded in death by her husband, L. Glen, on Jan. 24, 2005; four brothers, Dale, Arthur, Kenneth and Dean Davison; and two sisters, Dorothy Wagner Hinkle and Erma Alliman.Memorial services were held at VMRC in Harrisonburg and East Union Mennonite Church in Kalona.


Diener, Herman John

Herman John Diener, 92, of South Hutchinson, Kan., died June 9, 2019, at Hospice House in Hutchinson. He was born July 7, 1926, to Harry A. and Amanda (Selzer) Diener in Hutchinson.He graduated from Hesston Academy in 1949, Goshen (Ind.) College in 1952, received his master’s degree from Emporia State University in 1961 and his specialist in education from Wichita State University in 1972. He taught elementary school for 11 years, three years in Harper County and eight years in Hutchinson. For 28 years, he was South Hutchinson Elementary School principal, retiring in 1991.

Family and music were an important part of his life. He enjoyed playing harmonica duets with his wife, Mary Ellen, and sang in numerous men’s and mixed quartets. For 20 years, he attended the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, Ky., and was a founding member of the 500-member Kansas Mennonite Men’s Chorus. In retirement, he enjoyed playing golf, croquet, traveling with Mary Ellen, their children and families, and volunteering in the community and his church, [email protected] Hutchinson.On Aug. 17, 1949, he married Mary Ellen Beachy at Yoder Mennonite Church.

Survivors include his wife of almost 70 years, Mary Ellen of South Hutchinson; four children, Dawn (Jim) Phares of Hudson, Iowa, Gary (Jeannie) Diener of Arvada, Colo., Dale (Anita) Diener of Hutchinson and Lance Diener of Hesston; seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.He was preceded in death by his seven brothers.Funeral services were held at [email protected] Hutchinson in South Hutchinson. Burial was in Yoder Mennonite Church Cemetery, rural Yoder. Memorials may be made to Mennonite Friendship Communities or [email protected] Hutchinson.



Duerksen, Sylvia

Sylvia Duerksen, 91, of Springfield, Va., died June 5, 2019, after a brief illness.She found her calling in life while taking art lessons at the age of 9 from a neighbor, Flossie Ruhl. She described Ruhl as a superb teacher who taught her “everything she needed to know” to succeed as an artist. She went on to study at the Corcoran School of Art and George Washington University, obtaining her undergraduate degree.She enjoyed a distinguished career as an artist at the United States Department of Agriculture, illustrating countless educational publications. Her retirement certificate sums up her career: “44 years of dedicated and outstanding service to the United States Government as an artist and designer. Her artwork has appeared in an untold number of publications that disperse information worldwide. Her many drawings of Smokey the Bear and Woodsy Owl have inspired millions of people to preserve and protect our fragile environment.”She was devoted to her family and extended family. She lived most of her life in her cherished family home in North East Washington, D.C., and cared for her parents and her sister Vera in their later years.In her retirement, she traveled the world, always with a sketchbook under her arm. In recent years she resided at Greenspring Retirement Community in Springfield, where she made new friends and continued to produce art to share with her community and family.Survivors include her niece, Christine Saalbach; nephews Fred Saalbach and William Saalbach; and great-nephews and nieces.Funeral services will be held on June 28 at The Chapel at Greenspring Retirement Community, Springfield. Burial will be private.

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