April - June 2022
Mennonite World Review & The Mennonite merged September 2020
Anabaptist World, April 15, 2022, page 47, Vol. 3, No. 5.
Sauder, David L.
December 21, 1941 - January 20 2022
Sauder-. David L., 80, died Jan. 20,2022, at Lancaster General Hospital-Penn Medicine, from complications of COVID-19. He was born Dec. 21, 1941, to Amos and Barbara Sauder. As the son of a minister, his devotion to the church and its work began at a young age, eventually transforming into a call to serve by becoming a teacher and principal at Ephrata Mennonite School for 41 years. While both church and school offered him the opportunity to exercise his gifts in teaching, they also afforded countless ways for him to share his love for music. He sang in choirs, most recently the Heritage Chorale of Lancaster. He conducted the Ephrata Area Mennonite Chorus for 20 years, introduced hundreds of students to a strong choral tradition and trained many churches and individuals to become proficient in hymn singing. Through music he united people from all walks of life, giving glory to God.
In retirement, he indulged his love of history and genealogy, working for nine years at Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, organizing the Bookworm Frolic and other rare-book auctions. While studying at Millersville State College, he met his life partner, Joanne Marie Longenecker. They supported and encouraged each other through everything on their path. As a father and grandfather, he spent hours reading books, encouraging musical pursuits and valuing each child's unique gifts.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Joanne; three children, Christopher, Sharon (John Muhlfeld) and Matthew (Jennifer Bowman Sauder); five siblings, Daniel (Lois) Sauder, Marvin (Betty) Sauder, Marian Sauder Egli, Anna Mary Sauder and Evelyn Sauder; and five grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a sister, Grace Sauder Good; and a brother-in-law, Orville Egli. Memorial services were held at Metzler Mennonite Church, Ephrata, Pa.
Siebert, Florence T. Fast
August 28, 1929 - March 16 2022
Siebert-. Florence I. (Fast), 92, of Reedley, Calif., died March 16, 2022. She was born Aug. 28, 1929, to Mary Ethel (Schindler) and Henry A. Fast in Newton, Kan. She attended the Newton public schools and Bethel Academy for three years before graduating from Newton High School in 1947. She attended Bethel College for two years. There she met Merle M. Siebert of Henderson, Neb. They were married on May 31, 1949. In 1959, she and Merle moved to California, along with their first three children. Their fourth child was born the next year.
They attended Reedley First Mennonite Church. She was a skilled contributor to both the congregation's choir and quilting circle. She also crocheted. She made a beautiful quilt for each of her children and grandchildren. The quilting circle yearly made a quilt to be auctioned at the West Coast Mennonite Central Committee Relief Sale. For 17 years, she was the Great Western School secretary. She was devoted to her family. Family vacations ranged from high-country fishing trips in the Sierra Nevada Mountains to cross-country road trips to the Midwest to visit relatives. These were spiced with excursions to such places as the Grand Canyon, the Great Salt Lake and Dinosaur National Monument.
She was a constant presence at her children's and grandchildren's concerts, musicals, ballets, games and swim meets. Many times, this involved traveling halfway or completely across the continent. Until a few weeks before her death, she regularly visited or called her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, keeping up with their lives.
Survivors include her husband of 72 years, Merle; four children, Joleen Siebert of Reedley, Ron (Kerry Noble) Siebert of Clovis, Bradley (Kay Preheim) Siebert of Topeka, Kan., and Bruce (Michael Di Bianco) Siebert of New York, N.Y.; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her sisters, Elinor and Marjorie; and her brother, Richard.
Bertsche, Lela Evaleen "Evie"
January 19, 1939 - February 3, 2022
Bertsche-. Lela Evaleen (Evie), 83, of Goshen, Ind., died Feb. 3, 2022, at Greencroft Healthcare in Goshen. She was born Jan. 19, 1939, to Herman and Irma Countryman Bachman near Pulaski, Iowa. She was baptized at Pulaski Mennonite Church. She attended Bluffton College in Ohio as a business major, and married John David Bertsche on Sept. 6, 1958. They farmed near Graymont, Ill., for over 40 years. For 17 years, she was bookkeeper and business office manager at Meadows Mennonite Retirement Community. She served as an organist at Meadows Mennonite Church, in the leadership of Women in Mission of Central District Mennonite Conference, on the board of Camp Friedenswald and as a short-term volunteer at Friedenswald, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and Mennonite Central Committee.
After her children finished their education, she completed undergraduate degrees in psychology and women's studies in 1995 and a master's degree in psychology in 1997, both at Illinois State University. From 2001 to 2003, she and David served with Brethren Voluntary Service and Mennonite Mission Network as hosts of the World Friendship Center in Hiroshima, Japan, where they hosted 2,000 guests from 47 countries in the guesthouse, taught conversational English classes and engaged in peace activities. Returning to the U.S., they settled in Goshen near their children and joined Eighth Street Mennonite Church. She was diagnosed with dementia in 2017 and entered healthcare in 2019.
Survivors include her husband of 63 years, David; three children, John David (Wilma) of Goshen, Janeen (Barry) Bertsche Johnson of Goshen and Brian (Diane) of Mottville, Mich.; a sister, Ermaleen Etter of Mechanicsburg, Pa.; two brothers, Fred Bachman of Kalona, Iowa, and Ed (Jan) Bachman of Agency, Iowa; five grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. April 23 at Eighth Street Mennonite Church in Goshen.
Kuhns, Alma Fern Miller
May 15, 1929 - December 12, 2021
Kuhns-. Alma Fern (Miller), 92, died Dec. 12, 2021, in Conroe, Texas. She was born May 15, 1929, to Billie and Ada (Yoder) Miller in Hesston, Kan. She married Verlin V. Kuhns on Dec. 10, 1948. They lived in Shickley, Neb., Protection, Kan., and La Junta, Colo. She mainly worked at their home and had many part-time jobs. She cooked at a local elementary school, owned and managed a Bible bookstore and helped to start and co-manage the Crossroads Gift and Thrift store in La Junta. She was an active member at Emmanuel Mennonite Church in La Junta for 45 years.
Survivors include a daughter, Julie Kuhns of Conroe, Texas; a son, Bruce (Paula) Kuhns of Portland, Ore.; three siblings, B.J. Miller of Goshen, Ind., LaVera Ressler of Goshen, Ind., and Galen (Joan Carroll) Miller of Madison, W.Va.; three grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Verlin Victor Kuhns; a brother, Chester Miller and his wife, Nell; a sister-in-law, Carolyn Miller; and a brother-in-law, Don Ressler. Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m. July 22 at Beth-El Mennonite Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. Memorial gifts may be given to Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp.
Transcribed by: John Ingold
Anabaptist World, May 6, 2022, page 47, Vol. 3, No. 6.
Stutzman, Daniel Tobias "Dan"
August 25, 1981 - February 22, 2022
Stutzman-. Daniel (Dan) Tobias, 40, late of Albuquerque, N.M., died Feb. 22, 2022. He was born Aug. 25, 1981, and grew up in Mount Joy, Pa. Early in life, he discovered two extraordinary gifts that shaped his life - talents for music and logical thinking in math and computer science. With his understanding of music theory and a gift of haptic memory, he easily memorized and played classical music scores on the piano. While he delighted many with his energetic piano improvisations, he chose to pursue music as an avocation rather than as a career. His career was dedicated to computer programming. His longest stint was with Rosetta Stone, in Harrisonburg, Va., and later in Boulder, Colo. He earned a master's degree in computer science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His last employment was with VirtualQ, based in Stuttgart, Germany.
He struggled with symptoms of anxiety and depression throughout his life, and more recently with physical health challenges, including debilitating brain fog. After years of dogged pursuit of better health, he lost hope and ended his life by choice. He is survived by his parents, Ervin and Bonita Stutzman of Harrisonburg, Va.; a sister, Emma Stutzman Dawson (Matthew) of Iowa City, Iowa; a brother, Benjamin Stutzman (Andrea) of Mount Rainier, Md.; three nephews and a niece. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. June 12 at Park View Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Va. The service will be live- streamed at pvmchurch.org/danielstutzman.
Shank, Wilma E. Hollopeter
May 30, 1924 - March 31, 2022
Shank-. Wilma E. Hollopeter Shank, 97, of Goshen, Ind., died March 31, 2022, after a fall in her Greencroft apartment. She was born May 30, 1924, to Ray and Velma Spicher Hollopeter of Boneta, Ohio. After 12 years in Sharon Center schools, she graduated as valedictorian in 1942. At Goshen College, she formed close friendships with seven freshman women and one David Shank. After graduation in 1946, she taught home economics in Sharon Center for two years and married David Shank in 1948.
In 1950, Mennonite Board of Missions invited the couple to reestablish, 400 years after its decimation, an Anabaptist community in Belgium, where their team worked for 23 years. Teaching and study took them back to Goshen College and then to the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. For a decade, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, served as their base for relating to African independent Churches and establishing an AIC Documentation Center. They first retired near Amigo Centre, Sturgis, Mich., immersed in nature, then to Greencroft. Goshen College honored them with its Culture for Service award in 2010. She wished to be remembered for a life filled with conviction and the joy of exercising her gifts of homemaking, parenting and witnessing with David. A woman of deep Christian faith, she was a caring presence, avid reader, lover of diverse music, exemplar of good taste and an unflinching optimist. Whereas many guests enjoyed her gracious hospitality, her letters gave politicians a "peace" of her mind.
Survivors include four children, Rachel (Jim) Shenk of Goshen, Crissie (Tim) Buckwalter of Goshen, Stephen of Brussels, Belgium, and Mike (Carol) of Madison, Wis.; a former daughter-in-law, Jean Gerber of Singers Glen, Va.; four sisters-in-law; three of the seven college friends in her 76-year circle-letter group; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, David; and four siblings, Sheldon, Carl, Phoebe Yoder and Glenn.
Sprunger, Deborah Lynn Coffin
April 17, 1950 - March 27, 2022
Sprunger-. Deborah Lynn, 71, of Lancaster, Pa., died March 27, 2022, at Lancaster General Hospital. She was born April 17, 1950, to Clayton and Lynette Coffin in Presque Isle, Maine. She was the loving wife of Pastor JW Sprunger. She and JW attended Scottdale and Akron Mennonite churches for many years and most recently were at Parkesburg Mennonite Church, where JW is pastor. She was involved in the church, working on committees, worship leading and music. She worked as a dental assistant, oral maxillofacial surgical assistant, administrative assistant at Lancaster Mennonite High School and director of operations at Conestoga Valley Christian Community Services.
She loved gardening, art, sewing, music, playing piano, traveling and laughing with friends and family. Her passion was helping others. Survivors include her husband, JW; children Nathan, Rachel and Matthew; and daughter-in-law Amanda. Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. May 14 at Akron Mennonite Church. Memorial contributions may be made to Alpha-1 Foundation.
Eberly, Miriam "Mim"
August 23, 1936 - February 2, 2022
Eberly-. Miriam (Mim), 85, of Lancaster, Pa., died Feb. 2, 2022, as a result of a fall on ice. She was born Aug. 23, 1936, to Leroy and Grace (Sauder) Eberly in Leola, Pa. After graduating from Lancaster Mennonite High School in 1955, she attended nursing school at Lancaster General Hospital. She earned a bachelor's degree in Bible from Eastern Mennonite University and became a certified nurse midwife in Belize City. In Hyden, Ky., she trained to become a nurse practitioner.
With Eastern Mennonite Missions, she spent six years in Belize, providing care and delivering over 200 babies in Orange Walk and in San Felipe among the Maya. She conducted weekly mobile clinics in the Old Colony Mennonite communities. in 1976, she returned to the U.S. and continued working as a nurse practitioner in the Lancaster area until 2003. She was involved in Witmer Heights Mennonite Church, occasionally giving sermons. She memorized the Book of Philippians and presented it by memory.
With a heart for the underprivileged, she delivered Panera Bread to the homeless in Lancaster, helped resettle immigrants in Lancaster City, developed the Belize scholarship program for high school students and made humanitarian trips to Haiti, Moldova and Romania. She visited 80-plus countries, which led to broader understanding and friendships. She thrived on opening her home to friends and visitors, gardening, photography, growing flowers, crocheting baby blankets, reading and enjoying concerts with friends. Above all, she desired to learn and to share God's love.
She is survived by five siblings, Ruth (Don) Harnish of Ephrata, Pa., Naomi (Bob) Gochenaur of Willow Street, Pa., Mary (Bob) Matthews of Alphoretta, Ga., Robert (Nancy Yost) Eberly of Leola Pa., and Linda (Dave) Miller of Greeley, Colo.; 12 nieces and nephews; 24 great-nieces and nephews; and 15 great-great-nieces and nephews. A celebration of life was held Feb. 12 at Groffdale Mennonite Church, Leola, Pa.
Transcribed by: John Ingold
Anabaptist World, May 27, 2022, pages 46-47, Vol. 3, No. 7.
Brunk, Elmer J.
November 9, 1938 - April 2022
Brunk-. Elmer J., 83, died April 8, 2022, in Royersford, Pa., in the home where he was born and lived his whole life. He was born Nov. 9, 1938, to Paul W. and Minnie (Good) Brunk. He graduated from Christopher Dock Mennonite High School in 1957 and began taking classes at Millersville College while serving his 1-W service there. He later graduated from Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pa. Throughout his life and until his death, he was an accountant for several local businesses and the treasurer at Methacton Mennonite Church, where he was a member, for 41 years. He was an avid sports fan and reader.
He is survived by his sister, Ellen A. Moyer and husband Donald of Telford, Pa., 19 nieces and nephews, 72 great-nieces and nephews, 37 great-great-nieces and nephews and two-great-great-great-nieces. He was preceded in death by brothers Wilson and Melvin Brunk and sisters Beulah Brunk and Grace Ramer. Memorial contributions may be made to Methacton Mennonite Church, 3081 Mill Road, Norristown, PA 19403.
October 12, 1939 - April 17, 2022
Mullett-. Jim, 82, of Wellston, Ohio, died April 17, 2022. He was born Oct. 12, 1939, in Niagara County, N.Y., to Benedict B. and Fannie Mast Mullett. He grew up near Grantsville, Md., until the age of 12 and then moved with his family to Greenwood, Del. He served his country as a conscientious objector for two and a half years at the Bethesda Hospital in Cincinnati. In 1963, he and his wife, Isabel, moved to Jackson, Ohio, to pastor Hillside Chapel Church, where he served for 24 years. He was also a former employee of Willis-Sellers in Wellston, former CEO of Mullett Family Farms Inc. in Delaware and retired from the United States Postal Service with 22 years of service, having been a rural mail carrier for Wellston. He was a foster parent for seven children in the Jackson County community. He was a member of Mennonite Church USA, Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson and the Jackson Rotary Club. He enjoyed woodworking, reading, singing with a barbershop quartet, studying nature and tending his "garden of Eden."
He was preceded in death by a son, Wendell Mullett; and siblings Ernest Mullett, Mary Schrock and Verda Robertson. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Isabel Steckly Mullett; daughter Wanda (Dale) Whetsel of Jackson; son Doug (Rose) Mullett of Hilliard; nine grandchildren; sisters Ruth (David) Tennefos of Shreve, Ohio, Martha (Floyd) Brubacher of Stayner, Ont., Esther (Clarence) Hawk of Seaford, Del., Mildred (Jim) Sherman of Greenwood Del., and Miriam Boychuk of Kitchener, 0nt.; and brothers-in-law Truman Schrock and Tom Robertson, both of Greenwood, Del. A celebration of life service was held at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson. Burial was in the Fairmount Cemetery in Jackson. Memorial contributions may be given to Christ United Methodist Church Feed My Starving Children Fund, 150 Portsmouth St., Jackson, OH 45640.
March 16, 1935 - April 24, 2022
Sprunger-. Keith Sprunger, 87, of North Newton, Kan., died April 24, 2022, at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita following a winter of declining physical health. He was born March 16, 1935, in Berne, Ind., to Arley and Lillian (Mettler) Sprunger. Upon confession of faith, he was baptized as a member of First Mennonite Church of Berne. He was educated at Wheaton College in Illinois and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, earning a Ph.D. in history in 1963. In 1959, he married Aldine Mary Slagell, and they had three children, all of whom became college professors. He taught history at Bethel College in North Newton for 38 years, earning national and institutional awards for his teaching and scholarship. Thousands of students took his History of Civilization classes, featuring lively lectures illustrated from an extensive personal slide library. His travel seminars to the Soviet Union and European capitals brought history alive for many students regardless of major. He retired from full-time teaching in 2001.
A prolific scholar, he published five books and over 25 scholarly articles. His academic interests centered on English Puritans in the Netherlands, printing history, church architecture and Mennonite studies. He was active in organizations that promoted history, including the Harvey County Historical Society and Kauffman Museum. He wrote institutional histories of Bethel College and Bethel College Mennonite Church. Wanting to know his community from the inside out, he and Aldine walked every block of every street in Newton and North Newton, not once but almost three times. Exploring the roads and towns of Kansas was an annual tradition. They traveled extensively in Europe and enjoyed trips to Hong Kong and Morocco. On sabbaticals, the family lived in Amsterdam and London. Hobbies included collecting books, reading, gardening and socializing with friends.
He was predeceased by siblings Ardus Gene (Lauren) Sprunger and Hugh David (Janet) Sprunger. He is survived by Aldine, his wife of almost 63 years; three children, David (Charlotte Siemens) Sprunger of North Newton, Mary (Rachid Nouri) Sprunger of Harrisonburg, Va., and Philip (Elizabeth Yoder) Sprunger of Williamsport, Pa.; seven grandchildren and a great-grandson. The family suggests memorial gifts to Bethel College or Bethel College Mennonite Church.
Shank, Duane Allen
January 18, 1952 - April 20, 2022
Shank-. Duane Allen, 70, died April 20, 2022, under hospice care at his home in Goshen, Ind. He was born Jan. 18, 1952, in Chambersburg, Pa., to Luke J. and Anna Metzler Shank, and was raised in Lancaster, Pa. He graduated from Lancaster Mennonite High School and attended Eastern Mennonite University. Living in Washington, D.C., he was an organizer and administrator in peace, and justice movements for more than 40 years.
Shank was featured in the book The Path of Most Resistance: Stories of Mennonite Conscientious Objectors Who Did Not Cooperate With the Vietnam War Draft. Melissa Miller and Phil Shenk wrote, "Duane felt that if he was to be consistent in renouncing his own participation in war, he also had to oppose everybody's participation in war." In Shank's January 1970 letter to the Selective Service System on his 18th birthday, he wrote that conscientious objector classification would be "an acceptance of the system of conscription and the militarism for which it stands and would also be a way of effectively silencing my conscience." FBI agents arrested him at Eastern Mennonite. He was sentenced to three years probation and service at the Virginia Community Development Organization, where he was working as a community organizer.
He continued his career working against conscription, nuclear weapons, war and poverty. He coauthored Empire and the Word: Prophetic Parallels between the Exilic Experience and Central America's Crisis (1988) with Philip Wheaton. From 1995 until his retirement in 2014, he worked for the progressive faith-based organization Sojourners, including as senior policy adviser. He was a member of the Community of Christ ecumenical congregation in D.C. and Assembly Mennonite Church in Goshen, Ind. His colleagues and family remember his integrity and humility. He was a good listener and enjoyed mentoring young people, who saw in him a gentle spirit and bold faith. He is survived by his wife, Ellen Kennel; Shank daughter Celeste (Josiah Groff) Kennel-Shank; two sisters, Calliope (Deborah Fort) Shank and Debbie (Terry) Miller; and a brother, Dan (Louise) Shank. He was predeceased by his parents.
Yoder, Mary Kathryn Hartzler
June 27, 1926 - November 14, 2021
Yoder-. Mary Kathryn (Hartzler), 95, died Nov. 14, 2021, at her home in Harrisonville, Mo. She was born in rural Cass County, Mo., on June 27, 1926, the daughter of Clarence Vernon (C.V.) and Nellie Elizabeth Hartzler. In 1949 she married Lester Yoder of Garden City, Mo., who preceded her in death. She started teaching in 1943 at age 17 after just 10 weeks of college preparation. While teaching in one-room schools, she attended summer school and eventually completed her degree in elementary education. In 1973 she completed her master's degree. She taught almost 40 years. In retirement she volunteered in the library at Harrisonville Christian School for over 25 years.
Several years after retirement she relocated to Harrisonville.
Many remember eating at her table and benefitting from her hospitality. She hosted many guests from all over the U.S. and internationally. She loved people and was a busy farm wife, mother, Bible school teacher, 4-H leader, Sunday school teacher, grandma and hostess. She never quit dreaming of places she wanted to see or thinking of things she wanted to do. Her quick wit never left her, and laughter was always a part of her day. She was known for her dill pickles sold at the Mennonite Central Committee sale and made hundreds of comforters and quilts for family and friends and the MCC auction. She organized the preparation of thousands of MCC school kits.
She was a charter member of Harrisonville Mennonite Church. She is survived by her two children, Doyle (Jennette) Yoder of Garden City and Reita Yoder of Harrisonville; four grandchildren; a sister, Esther Hartzler of Harrisonville; two brothers-in-law, Marvin (Judith) Kenagy of Archie, Mo., and Maurice Smith of Goshen, Ind.; and sister-in-law Vema Buerge of Hesston, Kan. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lester, in 1986; a brother, J.T. Hartzler; a sister-in-law, Martha Hartzler; and three sisters, Ethel Hartzler, Evelyn Smith and Helen Kenagy.
Transcribed by: John Ingold
Anabaptist World, June 17, 2022, pages 44-45, Vol. 3, No.8.
Neff, Kathleen Bitikofer
August 5, 1956 - May 11, 2022
Neff-. Kathleen, 65, of North Newton, Kan., died May 11, 2022. She was born Aug. 5, 1956, to Clifford and Elizabeth (Bartel) Bitikofer of Hesston. She was baptized in 1970 at Whitestone Mennonite Church. During high school she developed an interest in world hunger issues and how our lifestyle choices affect people in developing countries. This led her to become a longtime member of Bread for the World. She took international trips to learn from and experience other cultures. She graduated from Hesston College in 1976. Taking classes at Bethel College, she met Dana Neff of Iowa. They were married Aug. 18, 1978. After completing her degree at Kansas State University, focused on international nutrition, they left for an assignment in Haiti with Mennonite Central Committee, where they served for five years. Then they worked with Haitian refugees in South Florida.
When Dana took a position with MCC Central States, they moved to North Newton. She and Dana were blessed with two children, son Darnell and daughter Sheralynn. They became members of First Mennonite Church in Newton, where she enjoyed fellowship with other mothers, helped with music, the library and children's classes. For more than 20 years she was a self-employed seamstress, sewing products for massage therapists and doctors. She enjoyed quilting with her mother, making comforters for MCC and other creative projects. She was involved in the children's school activities. She sewed costumes for their book reports, History Day competitions and dramas at church. She occasionally took Mennonite Disaster Service trips with church members. She and Sheralynn went with a First Mennonite work team to Brazil in 2006.
When her father died in 2003, she began caring for her mother, who developed dementia and needed assistance. This continued until her mother's death in 2018. Survivors include her husband of 43 years, Dana Neff; a son, Darnell Neff; two sisters, Lynette (Andy) Stoeppler and Kristine (Joe) Griffioen; and a brother, Mervin (Cathy) Bitikofer. She was preceded in death by daughter Sheralynn on July 24, 2016; and an infant brother, Eugene Ray Bitikofer.
Bomberger, Doris Allegra Good
September 13, 1931 - May 14, 2022
Bomberger-. Doris Allegra Good, 90, died May 14, 2022, at Sentara-RMH in Harrisonburg, Va. She was born Sept. 13, 1931, in Caernarvon Township, Pa., to Ella K. Shenk and Noah G. Good. She married James R. Bomberger on Aug. 25, 1956. She graduated from Lancaster Mennonite High School and Eastern Mennonite College with a bachelor's degree in home economics. She continued her studies at Pennsylvania State University, where she earned a master's degree in clothing and textiles and at Virginia Tech with an Ed.D. in home economics education in 1979. She taught at Eastern Mennonite College until the 1985 elimination of the home economics department, retiring at the rank of full professor. She and her husband taught at Cuttington College in Liberia, West Africa, 1971-73; at Sichuan Normal School in Chengdu, China, 1981-83; and at Hokusei Wakkanai Junior College in Wakkanai, Japan, 1987-88. After retiring from EMU, she became a Certified Nurse Assistant, serving at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.
In retirement, she became an artist in various media, including bargello, beadwork mosaics, alcohol ink, leather embossing, needlework and others. She was a frequent exhibitor at artistic venues. A friendly hostess, she was admired for her welcoming smile and gracious dinner parties. Her students appreciated her patience and kindness. After a severe fall in August 2021, she moved to Wenger House at VMRC for full care. She was a longtime member of Park View Mennonite Church.
She is survived by her husband; two children, E. Douglas (Teresa) Bomberger of Landisville, Pa., and Catherine B. (Kevin) Custalow of Charlottesville, Va.; three grandchildren; and a sister, Ruth E. (Fred) Denlinger of Fulks Run, Va. She was preceded in death by siblings Lois A. Stockheim and Milton S. (Ann) Good and a granddaughter. Memorial contributions may made to the VMRC Good Samaritan Fund, 1491 Virginia Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22802.
Voran, Marilyn Helmuth
December 3, 1930 - April 17, 2022
Voran-. Marilyn Helmuth, 91, of Goshen, Ind., died April 17, 2022, at her home. She was born Dec. 3, 1930, to Naomi (Oesch) and Atlee Helmuth at Aurora, Ohio. She graduated from Aurora High School in 1948 and Goshen College in 1952 with a bachelor of arts degree in home economics education. After graduation she taught at Aurora High School. On Aug. 19, 1956, she married Melvin Voran, whom she met during a summer voluntary service assignment in Gulfport, Miss. They settled in Goshen, Ind., where she taught at Bethany Christian High School for three years.
After that she enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom with their three children. Later, she worked with the Mennonite Central Committee Goshen office writing and teaching about world hunger issues. She served with the Archives of the Mennonite Church and was a member of College Mennonite Church in Goshen. She had a deep appreciation for nature and especially enjoyed bird watching and family travel to national parks and other scenic places. She also loved to create beauty through the visual arts, soul-nurturing indoor and outdoor spaces and the written word. She was sustained by her spirituality and faith. These values she generously shared with her family and friends. Many people hold fond memories of her presence in their lives through her teaching, worship planning, spiritual direction, writing, hospitality, cooking, intellect and wit.
She is survived by two daughters, Miriam (Andrew Faunce) Voran of West Lebanon, N.H., and Laurel (Dave Diller) Voran of Empire, Mich.; a son, Stephen (Gwen Grasse) Voran of Boulder, Colo.; her sister, Kathleen (John Hanson) Hartzler of Minneapolis, Minn.; brothers Harlan Helmuth of Aurora, Ohio, and Keith (Ellen Slabaugh) Helmuth of Debec, New Brunswick; and a granddaughter. She was preceded in death by her husband, Melvin. Memorial gifts can be made to Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, MCC or College Mennonite Church.
Shenk, John Burnell
June 5, 1930 - March 28, 2022
Shenk-. John Burnell, 91, of Lititz, Pa., formerly of East Petersburg, died March 28, 2022, at Landis Homes, where he and his wife, Myrtle, resided for over 14 years. Born in Penn Township, he was the son of Elam K., and Rhoda Charles Shenk and the husband of Myrtle Mann Brenneman Shenk for 65 years. He graduated from Lancaster Mennonite School in 1948 and Eastern Mennonite College in 1954. He was ordained in 1963 and served as a minister at East Petersburg Mennonite Church for 35 years. He also worked as administrator and counselor for the Sharing Programs of Lancaster Mennonite Conference for 36 years.
His interests outside of work were gardening, reading and home repair. He did everything with care, always wanting to do a task well, rarely in a hurry. He enjoyed visiting with people and always gave them his careful attention. Whether as an employee or volunteer, his greatest passion was serving Jesus and others with humility through the church and church agencies.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, Myrtle, are two sons, Carl E. (Lorna Beth Shantz) Shenk of Reinholds and Alan L. (Sharon Burkholder) Shenk of Waynesboro, Va.; a daughter, Audrey J. Shenk of Harrisonburg, Va.; three grandchildren; a brother, Charles E. Shenk of Goshen, Ind.; and two sisters, Alma J. Albrecht of Forest Grove, Ore., and Dorothy A. Shenk of Lititz. A memorial service was held at East Petersburg Mennonite Church. Burial was at the East Petersburg Mennonite Church Cemetery. Contributions may be made to the Landis Homes Caring Fund, 1001 E. Oregon Road, Lititz, PA 17543; or Mennonite Central Committee.
Friesen, Paul A.
September 10, 1923 - May 30 2022
Friesen-. Paul A. Friesen, 98, of Hesston, Kan., died May 30, 2022, at Schowalter Villa. He was born Sept. 10, 1923, to Peter Abram Friesen and Florence Cooprider Friesen in Newton. At age 3 months, he traveled with his family to Central India, where his parents served as missionaries with the Mennonite Church. Education in India was at Woodstock school in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. The family returned to the United States in 1941 prior to the entry of the U.S. into World War ll.
Once back in the U.S., he attended Hesston Academy and College, where he met Wilma Wenger of Wellman, Iowa. They were married after he graduated from Goshen College with a degree in theology. After working in church planting, he answered a call from Hesston College to develop an art program. His teaching career included work at both Bethel and Hesston colleges with a focus on three-dimensional work. He saw himself first as a pastor, and his art often embodied elements of his faith. After retirement he worked in his studio in clay, stone and wood. He finished his final work in his 98th year and continued with a creative mind till the time of his death. While his legacy includes a wealth of art, both publicly and privately held, his greatest legacy lives in the lives of his family and in the students he taught and mentored over a long and productive life.
Survivors include six children, Kelvin (Karen) Friesen of Archbold, Ohio, Janice Roth (Tom) West of Wichita, Eric (Wanda) Friesen of Cimarron, Gregg (Joanna) Friesen of Newton, Jon (Kristeen) Friesen of North Newton and Jennifer (Dennis) LeFevre of Woodland Park, Colo; 12 grandchildren and six great- grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Wilma Wenger Friesen; nine siblings; a son-in-law and two daughters-in-law. Burial will be at Eastlawn Cemetery in rural Harvey County. Services at Hesston Mennonite Church are pending.
Penner, Leonard H.
June 6, 1937 - May 17, 2022
Penner-. Leonard H., 84, of Goshen, Ind., died May 17, 2022. He was born to Henry and Eva Penner in Winkler, Man. On July 23, 1960, he married Lorena Detwiler in Westover, Md. In 1958, he committed to one year of voluntary service with Mennonite Central Committee at Junior Village in Washington, D.C. As a conscientious objector, he served from 1960 to 1963 in alternative service at Brook Lane Hospital, Hagerstown, Md. After attending Goshen College, he was employed for 22 years at Yoder Popcorn as manager, later becoming a partner.
In retirement, he volunteered with Mennonite Disaster Service. in 2007-08, he served as community coordinator for MDS in New Orleans, where he connected MDS with other city and charity organizations to help homeowners rebuild. He also joined volunteers that came to rebuild homes. He loved his family dearly. Friends and neighbors inspired him. He was an avid reader and lifelong learner. He loved telling stories of his life experiences. He was an active member of College Mennonite Church, where he was involved in handyman service projects and reentry ministry.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Lorena Penner of Goshen; three sons, Lee (Debra) Penner, Lowell (Leah Lichtenberger) Penner and Lauren (Hilary) Penner; four siblings, Edwin (Lynne) Penner, Evangeline (Ken) Watson, Kathy (John) Klassen and Bill (Anna) Penner in Manitoba; and seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a stillborn grandson, Cody Penner. Visitation will be held from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. July 8 at College Mennonite Church, where a memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. July 9. Memorial donations can be made to Mennonite Mission Network or MDS.
Transcribed by: John Ingold