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Mennonite Weekly Review - April 2006
   Bergen, Ben H.;    Goerzen, Sue Nikkel;   Graber, Wilbert James;   Hartline, Frank;   Kauffman, Esther;   Miller, Vernon U.;   Smucker, Roy W., Sr.;    White, Sally Jo Roeschley;  

Mennonite Weekly Review - April 3, 2006 - 84th Year, No. 14 - p. 11

Wilbert James “Jim” Graber, 89, died Feb. 14, 2006. He was born Dec. 19, 1916, to Jonathan and Louise (Miller) Graber in Turner County, S.D.
He grew up on the family farm. He attended Country School District #93 and graduated from Freeman Academy. During World War II, he spent almost four years working in Civilian Public Service camps in Nebraska as a conscientious objector. While in CPS, he was part of a traveling quartet that shared music in local churches.
He met Alice Rulla on a blind date. They were married on Nov. 4, 1945, in Sterling, Neb., in a double wedding ceremony with her sister Elva and Kenneth Damme. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in November 2005.
After he completed his CPS duty, they moved to Norway Township in 1946 and established their family farm. He enjoyed raising purebred Durocs, feeding cattle and playing first base for the North Pas at the church softball diamond. Deer hunting and pheasant hunting were favorite fall pastimes.
He was a lifelong member of Salem-Zion Mennonite Church of Freeman, where he sang in the men’s choir for more than 40 years. He served as a trustee, deacon, Sunday school superintendent and teacher. He served on the board of Mennonite Aid Society for 33 years, the Marion Coop elevator board for 18 years, NDC Home Missions Committee, Norway Township board, Turkey Ridge Watershed board and the local school board.
He was passionate about life and willing to take risks. He was deeply committed to the Mennonite church, Freeman Academy, Mennonite Central Committee and Mennonite colleges. He was gregarious, had a marvelous sense of humor and enjoyed engaging with people and activities. Sports and music were always a part of his life.
Survivors include his wife, Alice; two children, Sharon Waltner and her husband, Keith, of Parker, and Tim Graber and his wife, Carol, of Hurley; a brother, Pete Graber; and seven grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Joan Marie, who died in infancy; two brothers, Silas and Waldo; and two sisters, Elsie and Claudia.
Services were held at Salem Zion Mennonite Church. Burial was in the church cemetery.


Frank Hartline, 93, of Wooster, Ohio, died Feb. 23, 2006, at Wooster Community Hospital. He was born Dec. 30, 1912, to Edwin Stanley and Jennie (Reese) Hartline in Crandon, Wis.
They lived in a log cabin built by his father on homesteaded property in the northern woods of Wisconsin. His family lived a pioneer lifestyle, which included farming and logging. The family also had a maple syrup business. He lived on the family farm for 38 years working as a farmer and logger.
He moved to Wayne County in 1950 and met the love of his life, Alice I. Bond, in April 1953. They were married Oct. 11, 1953, in Wooster and shared their lives together for 50 years before she died on Sept. 26, 2003.
They lived on a farm south of Wooster, where they made many land improvements including the planting of 500 white pine and 250 poplar trees. He also helped with the design and construction details of their house in Wooster after moving off the farm. He worked for the Frito Lay Co. in Wooster as a corn storage operator for 22 years before retiring in 1976.
He was a beloved father and uncle who enjoyed telling stories, which included his early adventures in Wisconsin. He enjoyed reading and was an avid gardener. Along with other woodworking projects, he enjoyed carving. He was a member of Wooster Mennonite Church for 52 years.
Survivors include a daughter, Marilyn Hartline of Columbus; and a son, Myron Hartline of Phoenix, Ariz.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice; and a sister, Nora Garber.
Services were held at Wooster Mennonite Church.

Mennonite Weekly Review - April 10, 2006 - 84th Year, No. 15 - p. 16


Sue (Nikkel) Goerzen, a longtime member of Harrow (Ont.) Mennonite Church, died on Jan. 14, 2006, at age 80. She was born in 1925 in Corn, Okla.
She married Gerhard Goerzen on July 23, 1960, and the couple moved to Harrow, where they lived ever since.
Holding a bachelor’s degree in home economics from San Jose College and a master’s in home economics from Kansas State University, she taught high school in Kansas and at Tabor College in Hillsboro before she got married. After her marriage, she taught high school for seven years in the challenging environment of the inner city of Detroit before moving to the University of Windsor, Ont., where she taught for 21 years. At her retirement in 1990, she was given a University Teaching Excellence Award in recognition of her distinguished career and her outstanding contribution to education. She also sat on the Conrad Grebel University College board from 1992-99.
Her involvement in church life reached far beyond the local congregation. On several occasions she served as parliamentarian for conference sessions, and she also served on various committees throughout the 1980s and 1990s, one of which helped establish Windsor Mennonite Fellowship. In 1990, the General Boards of the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church mandated the formation of a Listening Committee for Homosexual Concerns, on which she served as co-chair. At the time, she had just completed an eight-year stint as co-chair of a General Conference committee on human sexuality that helped draft the position paper, “Human Sexuality in the Christian life.”


Ben H. Bergen, 87, of Goessel, Kan., died March 18, 2006. He was born Feb. 10, 1919, to Peter Henry Bergen and Elizabeth Goertz Bergen in Goessel.
He attended Gordon Grade School and Goessel High School. He was baptized in 1937 upon confession of faith into membership at Goessel Mennonite Church.
At age 25 he served in Civilian Public Service in Colorado Springs, working in the blacksmith shop and helping to build irrigation ditches.
In 1947, he returned to Goessel and joined his father and brother Jake in Bergen Blacksmith Shop building and repairing farm implements, sharpening plowshares and hard facing tilling tools such as cultivating shovels and sharpening discs. He was especially interested in helping his father perfect his ideas on his many inventions. The hog feeder, grain pickup guards and the creation of the vehicle lubricant for springs on cars were among these patented inventions.
After his father’s death in 1960, he and his brother continued to run the blacksmith shop. After Jake’s death in 1989, he continued to live in their home next to the blacksmith shop. His work in the blacksmith shop became less as he cared for his sister, who  was blind. He enjoyed sitting on his porch visiting with people who walked by. He loved to recall times of days gone by. He moved to the assisted living unit at Bethesda Home in February 2004.
He is survived by a sister, Susie Schmidt. He was preceded in death by three sisters, Annie Bergen, Tina Schmidt and Mary Reimer; and by a brother, Jake Bergen.
Funeral services were held at Goessel Mennonite Church. Burial was in Goessel Cemetery.

Mennonite Weekly Review -  April 17, 2006 - 84th Year, No. 16 - p. 11


Vernon U. Miller, 89, of Goshen, Ind., died March 26, 2006, at Greencroft Healthcare. He was born Feb. 13, 1917, to Uriah and Barbara (Kauffman) Miller in LaGrange County.        
On Jan. 1, 1946, he married Bertha Stauffer in Olive Mennonite Church.
He had lived in Goshen, Blountstown, Fla., and wintered in Sarasota, Fla.
He was a farmer and had owned and operated a livestock farm near Middlebury, and produced eggs, chickens and hogs.
He was a member of North Goshen Mennonite Church and a former member of Holdeman Mennonite Church, where he served as a Sunday school teacher and elder for each. He had served as the Indiana state CROP chairman and the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Con- ference treasurer. 
During World War II, he served with Civilian Public Service and worked in mental hospitals in Henry, Ill., Ypsilanti, Mich., and Macon, Neb. He also built trails in Glacier National Park in Montana.
He founded the very first Friendship Farm. He participated in Vacation with a Purpose for five years, working to build homes for the poor in Brownsville, Texas.
Survivors include his wife, Bertha; three daughters, Nancy Ketcham and her husband, Steve, of Wakarusa, Linda “Pert” Shetler of Ocean Isle, N.C., and Melodie Davis and her husband, Stuart, of Harrisonburg, Va.; a son, Terry Miller and his wife, Debbie, of Altha, Fla.; nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by seven sisters, Mary Ellen, Mabel, Susie, Erma, Elnora, Adeline and Arlene; and a brother, Truman.
A prayer service was held at Yoder-Culp Funeral Home in Goshen. A memorial service was held at North Goshen Mennonite Church. Burial was in Olive Cemetery.


Roy W. Smucker Sr., 90, of Crossville, Tenn., died Feb. 27, 2006. He was born July 12, 1915, in Smithville, Ohio, to William and Bertha Smucker.
During World War II, he served as business manager in the following Civilian Public Service camps: Wells Tannery, Pa., Galax, Va., Three Rivers, Calif., PHS, Fla., and the Akron, Pa., office.
In 1946, he began mission work for Mennonite Central Committee and was assigned to the Philippines and became director of Church World Service. There he met and married Ellen Gregorio.
In 1950, he joined the staff of Stilliman University, Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental as business manager of the printing press. After returning to the United States three years later, he joined Mennonite Publishing House in Scottdale, Pa. He was transferred to Bloomington, Ill., where he started a new Christian bookstore.
In 1963, he and his family moved to Champaign, Ill., where he started his own Christian bookstore. He retired to Fairfield Bay, Ark., in 1980 and became assistant state director for AARP. He and Ellen moved to Fairfield Glade, Tenn., in 1989, where he became state coordinator for 55 Alive and continued being active in AARP.
He was an active member of Fairfield Glade United Methodist Church and sang in the men’s chorus. He was a member of Crossville Wood Carving Club. He enjoyed wood carving.
Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Ellen; two sons, Roy Jr. of Asheville, N.C., and Robert of Atlanta, Ga.; a sister, Doris; six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren;
He was preceded in death by a brother, Orden.
Memorial services were held at Fairfield Glade United Methodist Church. Burial was in the Memorial Garden.


Esther Kauffman died Feb. 12, 2006, at Brendan House in Kalispell, Mont. She was born Feb. 13, 1920, to Glen Joseph and Cora May (Chupp) Borntrager in rural Dawson County near Bloomfield.
She was baptized upon confession of faith at Red Top Mennonite Church in 1933, and on Nov. 8, 1946, was received into membership at Mountain View Mennonite Church, Creston, where she remained a lifelong member.
She was a 1940 graduate of Dawson County High School. As a young woman she lived a year in Oregon, where she worked at various jobs, mainly as a housekeeper or maid.
On May 31, 1943, she married Paul S. Kauffman at Red Top Mennonite Church, Bloomfield. They lived in the Bloomfield area, and in Glendive, in the first years of their marriage, where she worked variously in a laundry and taught school for most of a year.
In 1946 she moved to Creston with her husband. As the mother of seven children her life was full of homemaking, and her assistance as go-getter, bookkeeper and general helper in both logging and farming were indispensable.
Her sweet Christian spirit, her depth of spirituality and her commitment to Christ were appreciated. She was a good musician. The alto section in church choral groups leaned on her accuracy, and for a number of years she enjoyed singing in the Sweet Adelines.
Survivors include her husband, Paul S. Kauffman; three sons, Daniel D. Kauffman and his wife, Debbie, Kenneth G. Kauffman and his wife, Frieda, and Stephen G. Kauffman and his wife, Ginger, all of Kalispell; three daughters, E. Elaine Kauffman of Mountain Lake, Minn., Brenda M. Younger and her husband, Steven, of Stratton, Colo., and Alice L. Arneson and her husband, Richard, of Bothell, Wash.; a brother, Mahlon Borntrager of Glendive; two sisters-in-law, Effie Borntrager of Glendive and Violetta Borntrager of Mobile, Ala.; 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by three daughters, Eileen, Arlene and Rebecca Ann; two sisters, Lillie Greiman and Lena Boese; and three brothers, Floyd Borntrager, Elmer Borntrager and Oscar Borntrager.

Mennonite Weekly Review - April 24, 2006 - 84th Year, No. 17 - p. 8


Sally Jo Roeschley White, 68, of Chevy Chase, Md., died April 6, 2006, of lobular breast cancer at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda. She was born Aug. 30, 1937, to Eli and Emma Roeschley in Graymont, Ill.
She was an active 35-year member of Hyattsville Mennonite Church, where she was the first woman elected to the position of congregational chair in 1976. She served as interim leader for the congregation when the church was without a pastor. She directed youth choirs, bell choirs and musicals, led worship services, preached and served on numerous congregational and conference committees.
She received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Goshen (Ind.) College and did graduate study in music and education at the University of Michigan and American University, Washington, D.C. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she taught music in the public school systems of Roanoke, Ill., and Iowa City, Iowa. She served in Mennonite Voluntary Service in Iowa City in the early 1960s. She moved to Ann Arbor, Mich., in 1964, where she helped start Ann Arbor Mennonite Church. She lived in Newton, Mass., from 1968-71, and then moved to Chevy Chase.
For more than 45 years she taught piano lessons in her home. She also hosted chamber concerts and recitals to encourage young musicians. She volunteered with numerous organizations, including For Love of Children Learning Center in Washington, D.C.; Montgomery County (Md.) Public Schools English for Speakers of Other Languages program; Rolling Ridge Study Retreat Center, Harper’s Ferry, W.Va.; and International Guest House, Washington, D.C.
Survivors include her husband, Donald E.; two daughters, Jane Hiebert-White and her husband, John, and Miriam de Decker and her husband, Guillaume, all of Chevy Chase; a sister, Myra Gunden of Goshen, Ind.; a brother, Burdell Roeschley of Flanagan, Ill.; and four grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Wilma Roeschley of Goshen. 
A memorial service will be held April 29 at Hyattsville Mennonite Church.

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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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