Mennonite World Review - July 2019

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

Christophel, Virginia Kay "Ginny" Swartzendruber ; . . Neufeld, Walter P. ; . . Pannell, Ethel Miriam Zeager ; . .

There are no obituaries in the July 8, 2019 issue of Mennonite World Review.

Mennonite World Review - July 22, 2019 - 97th Year, No. 15 - p. 15



Neufeld, Walter P.

Walter P. Neufeld, 91, of North Newton, Kan., died July 7, 2019, at Kidron Bethel Village. He was born Nov. 21, 1927, to Jacob B. and Katherine (Pauls) Neufeld on a farm in rural Inman.

He attended Lake Valley Grade School and graduated from Inman High School. He graduated from Bethel College and later from Mennonite Biblical Seminary. He pastored churches at Summerfield (Ill.) Mennonite Church; Brudertal Mennonite Church, Hillsboro; Wayland (Iowa) Mennonite Church; Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge; and Hanston and Ransom Mennonite churches in western Kansas. He was very involved in leadership positions in Mennonite Disaster Service and Western District Conference.

On June 2, 1951, he married Freida Braun in Henderson, Neb.
He and Frieda enjoyed their early years of marriage, city living in Chicago and the cultural adjustment of farm life while he completed his master of divinity degree at seminary.

Survivors include five children, Jean (Gary) Regier and Alan (Kathy) Neufeld, all of Moundridge, James (Terri) Neufeld of Greeley, Colo., Janet Neufeld of Oklahoma City and Jerry (Kathy) Neufeld of Caldwell, Idaho; a son-in-law, Gregg Snyder of Springville, Calif.; two brothers, Ed (Sherie) Neufeld of Olathe and Arnie (Helen) Neufeld of Inman; two sisters, Elfrieda (Marvin) Funk of Kinsley and Esther Regier of Hutchinson; 16 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Freida, on Jan. 21, 2019; and a daughter, Christine Snyder.

Graveside services were held at Eden Mennonite Cemetery, with a memorial service at Eden Mennonite Church. Memorials may be made to Mennonite Disaster Service or Christian Peacemaker Teams.



Christophel, Virginia Kay "Ginny" Swartzendruber

Virginia Kay “Ginny” (Swartzendruber) Christophel of Kalona, Iowa, died June 23, 2019. She was born Aug. 1, 1944, to Morris and Alta (Miller) Swartzendruber in Iowa City.

She graduated from Iowa Mennonite School and Eastern Mennonite University with a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

On June 24, 1967, she married Levon Christophel at Lower Deer Creek Mennonite Church.

In 1968 they went to Alvorada, Brazil, in voluntary service, where she ran a health clinic for the residents. Returning to the U.S., she completed her master’s degree in nursing at Wayne State University in Detroit. She then taught nursing at Nazareth College in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Goshen (Ind.) College. When Oaklawn Psychiatric Hospital opened in Goshen, she managed the unit for adult and dual diagnosis patients. After moving to Sarasota, Fla., she completed a master’s degreee as a geriatric nurse practitioner at the University of South Florida, Tampa.
Her career as a GNP began in Florida and continued in and around Colorado Springs, Colo., where she provided medical oversight of residents in multiple nursing homes. She especially valued advising, teaching and guiding the staff, patients and patient families in preventive health measures and comfortable end-of-life issues.

They moved to Kalona in 2012 so she could live near her family and friends. She was a member of Kalona Mennonite Church.

Survivors include her husband, Levon, of Kalona; two sons, Todd (Janet Wagner) Christophel of Lititz, Pa., and Craig (Laura) Christophel of Kalona; four siblings, Gareth (Mary) Swartzendruber of Anna Maria Island, Fla., Marlene (Elmer) Yoder of Kalona, Lorraine (John) Munk of Cary, N.C., and Lyndon (Linea) Swartzendruber of Antigo, Wis.; and four grandchildren.

A celebration of life was held at Kalona Mennonite Church. Inurnment was at Sharon Hill Cemetery in Kalona.



Pannell, Ethel Miriam Zeager

Ethel Miriam Zeager Pannell, 85, of Harlem, N.Y., died June 6, 2019, at her son’s home in Harrisonburg, Va. She was born Feb. 7, 1934, to Paul L. and Anna E. Landis Zeager in Elizabethtown, Pa.

At a young age, she felt a call from the Lord to serve as a missionary through ministry and health care. She became a Licensed Practical Nurse in 1960 and moved to New York City in 1962 to serve through Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions. She became a member of Seventh Avenue Mennonite Church, Harlem, where she served for 56 years through her leadership in outreach programs.

Dedicated to promoting quality education for children, she served as a board member for the Seventh Avenue Mennonite Head Start program. Her love of music and desire to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ was evident in her participation as a worship leader and member of the church gospel choir. Her commitment to social justice, racial reconciliation and community advocacy was foundational in her service to the church and work as a nurse at Harlem Hospital and Renaissance Clinics. In 1995 she received an associate degree in nursing from Staten Island College, becoming a Registered Nurse. She retired in 1999 after 30 years of nursing.

On Nov. 26, 1964, she married Richard Wingate Pannell, originally of Coatesville, Pa.

Survivors include her husband, Richard, of Highland Mills; her children, Anita Joy Pannell (Peter) Castle of Harlem, Melody Marie Pannell of Dayton, Va., and Richard Anthony Pannell of Harrisonburg, Va.; five brothers, J. Frank Zeager, John A. Zeager, Charles B. Zeager, P. Thomas Zeager and Harvey D. Zeager; a sister, Arlene E. Becker; and four grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by six brothers, Russell, Paul, Jim, Herbert, William and David; and four sisters, Mary Ruth Espenshade, Almeda Heisey, Anna Jeanette Kamoda and Verna Grace Nissley.

Funeral services were held at Good’s Mennonite Church, Bainbridge, Pa. Burial was in Good’s Mennonite Cemetery. A memorial service was held at Greater Hood AME Zion Church, New York.

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