Mennonite Weekly Review - February
Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Brenneman; Carper, James W.; Epp, Allen D.;
Fisher, Robert David; Friesen, Clarence E.; Friesen, Nickolai John; Friesen, Willmer J.; Gaeddert,
Karen Kaufman; Jantz, Sylvia Ruth Andres; Jantzi,
Mary Anna Beckler; Kennel, Gladys Hershey; Neufeld, Wanda Reber; Rempel,
Nellie S. Schmidt;
Ressler, Sadie R. Yoder; Roth, Marianna Mae Gerig;
Kenneth H.; Snyder, Leta M. Miller; Unrau, Arthur; Unruh, Lawrence;
Mennonite Weekly Review - February 7, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 5 - p. 9
Burkey, Barbara Faith Brenneman
Barbara Faith (Brenneman) Burkey,
80, of Albany, Ore., died of congestive heart failure on Dec. 29, 2010.
She was born April 27, 1930, to Harvey and Uarda (Hills) Brenneman in
She graduated from Hesston (Kan.) Academy in 1948 and married Willard
H. Burkey on May 1, 1949, in Albany.
She was a homemaker primarily but did some secretarial and bookkeeping
jobs through the years. Most recently she worked as the
bookkeeper for the family farm in Pasco, Wash. She and Willard retired
in Salem before moving to the Mennonite Village eight years ago.
She valued her involvement in the Mennonite local church and remained
interested in the larger Mennonite community and its missions
throughout her life. She enjoyed researching family genealogy and
cataloging pictures with family history. She loved spending time with
her immediate and extended family and staying connected in their lives.
She enjoyed making porcelain dolls with her kiln and entering them
in competitions at the exposition center in Portland.
Survivors include her husband, Willard Burkey; a daughter, Dianna
Eshleman and her husband, Leon, of Depoe Bay; two sons, Lee Burkey and
his wife, Lori, of Salem and David Burkey of Vancouver, Wash.; a
sister, Lois Miller of Middlebury, Ind.; a brother, Harley Brenneman of
Albany; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by two brothers, Earl and Roderick Brenneman;
and two sisters, Margaret Cross and Vira Lemons.
Memorial Services were held at Albany Mennonite Church.
Snyder, Leta M. Miller
Leta M. Snyder, 85, of Goshen,
Ind., died Jan. 21, 2011, at Greencroft Healthcare. She was born Aug.
6, 1925, to John E. and Lucy (Yoder) Miller in Harrisonville, Mo.
She married Donald W. Snyder on Sept. 9, 1945, in Ashley, Mich.
She was a retired elementary teacher. She was a member of College
Mennonite Church, Goshen, Phalo Book Club and College Mennonite Women’s
Survivors include her husband, Donald; three daughters, Donna Snyder
and her husband, Stephen Shank, of Goshen, JoAnne Lehman and her
husband, Andrew, of Kalamazoo, Mich., and Cathy Cameron and her
husband, Clare, of Cambridge, Ont.; two sisters, Joyce Wyse of
Columbus, Ohio, and Joan Vogt of Evanston, Ill.; three brothers, Leo J.
Miller of Orrville, Ohio (her twin brother), Jim Miller of Twin Falls,
Idaho, and Donald G. Miller of Goshen; nine grandchildren and a
She was preceded in death by a brother, Robert Miller; a sister,
Justine Nussbaum; a grandson, David Cameron; and a granddaughter, Greta
Services were held at College Mennonite Church in Goshen.
Schmidt, Kenneth H.
Kenneth H. Schmidt, 78, of
South Hutchinson, Kan., died Jan. 25, 2011, at Mennonite Manor in South
Hutchinson. He was born March 25, 1932, to Harvey Fred and Beatrice
Marguerite Smith Schmidt in Greensburg.
He was a 1950 graduate of Greensburg High School, and graduated from
Hesston College and Bethel College in North Newton.
He resided in Greensburg, Rocky Ford, Colo., and Middlebury, Ind.,
before moving to an apartment at Mennonite Manor in 2008. He was a
farmer and hospital and nursing home administrator.
On Aug. 17, 1955, he married Phyllis Eileen Egli in Manson, Iowa. She
preceded him in death on Jan. 13, 2010.
Survivors include a son, Arlin Schmidt and his wife, Stephanie, of
Baskings Ridge, N.J.; three daughters, Rita Martin and her husband,
Bryan, of Kansas City, Mo., Nancy Magliery and her husband, Mark, of
Denver, Colo., and Susan Funk and her husband, Clif, of Hutchinson; a
sister, Judi Selzer of Sharon Springs; and seven grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Phyllis; and a brother, Lee.
Graveside services were held at Journey @ Yoder Church Cemetery in
Yoder, with a memorial service afterward at South Hutchinson Mennonite
Kennel, Gladys Hershey
Gladys Hershey Kennel, 87, of Lititz, Pa., died Nov. 16, 2010.
She was born May 27, 1923, to Noah and Marie Denlinger Hershey in
She was the wife of Christian D. Kennel, with whom she celebrated 62
years of marriage on May 15. She graduated from the former Parkesburg
High School. She was a member of Parkesburg Mennonite Church, where she
was a former Sunday school teacher and was active in the church sewing
She wrote about family and faith in two columns, “Heap of Living” and
“Sunny-side Up,” for the Parkesburg Post Ledger. She also wrote
children’s stories, articles for youth and young adults, and articles
about family life for Christian Living, Gospel Herald, Youth Messenger,
Companions, Purpose, Story Friends, Story Mates and Beams of Light. She
published a children’s book series, The Ten Blue Eyes, about her first
five children and The Huge Family about her 12 children.
Survivors include her husband, Christian; 11 children, Marie Stoltzfus
of Honey Brook, Susan Watkins and her husband, Raymond, of New Castle,
Del., Ellen Kennel and her husband, Duane Shank, of Washington, D.C.,
Christian Kennel and his wife, Rose Louise Brubaker Kennel, of
Lancaster, Philip Kennel and his wife, Kathleen Freyenberger Kennel, of
Jonesboro, Ga., James Kennel and his wife, Beth Froebe Kennel, of
Parkesburg, Frederick Kennel of Hershey, Grace Zimmerman and her
husband, Craig, of Trout Run, Timothy Kennel and his wife, Kathy Hagel
Kennel, of Souderton, Elvin Kennel and his wife, Wendy Godshall Kennel,
of Parkesburg, and Phoebe Haupert and her husband, Stephen, of Trout
Run; two sisters-in-law, Alta Metzler Hershey of Honey Brook and Edith
Steffy Hershey of Ephrata; 25 grandchildren and nine
She was preceded in death by a daughter, Esther Lamartine; two
brothers, Noah and Lester Hershey; and an infant grandson, Christian
Memorial services were held at Millwood Mennonite Church in Gap. Burial
was in Millwood Mennonite Cemetery.
Fisher, Robert David
Robert David Fisher, 92, of
Goshen, Ind., died Jan. 26, 2011. He was born Nov. 25, 1918, to D.J.
and Ida (Miller) Fisher near Kalona, Iowa.
A 1937 graduate of Sharon Center High School, he enjoyed taking Bible
courses at Goshen College one winter. He married Rachel Swartzendruber
in Wellman, Iowa, on Jan. 3, 1942.
On July 16, 1942, he was drafted and sent to Henry, Ill., as a
conscientious objector. He also served at Downey, Idaho, and Ypsilanti
(Mich.) State Hospital. After receiving his discharge papers, he and
Rachel were volunteers with Mennonite Central Committee in Belgium and
Poland from 1946 to 1948, distributing food and clothing to the
needy after World War II. He then returned to the farm near Iowa
City, Iowa, for 10 years. From there they moved to Scottdale, Pa.,
where he worked at Mennonite Publishing House for 13 years. He also
worked at Mennonite Mutual Aid in Goshen and Goshen General
Hospital, where he retired in 1993.
He was a member of College Mennonite Church, Goshen. He enjoyed
hymns, classical music and opera. He was an excellent woodworker and
made many pieces of furniture and about 100 cradles. He enjoyed
needlework and donated two of his quilts to the Mennonite relief sale
and another one to the Mennonite Historical Library.
Survivors include his wife, Rachel; two daughters, Julie Profeto and
her husband, Ray, of Goshen, and Suzette Prokopin and her husband,
Lenny, of Moreno Valley, Calif.; a son, David Fisher and his wife,
Joyce, of Grottoes, Va.; two sisters, Ruth Fisher, Kalona, Iowa, and
Virginia Hershberger of Goshen; a brother, Wallace Fisher of Wellman,
Iowa; four grandsons and a step-great-granddaughter.
He was preceded in death by a son, Lowell, in 2008; four sisters, Mabel
Mininger, Emma Maust, Lois Yoder and Pauline Maust; and two brothers,
Ralph and Clifford Fisher.
His body was given to Indiana University School of Medicine.
Memorial services were held at College Mennonite Church.
Mennonite Weekly Review - February 14, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 6 - p. 13
Neufeld, Wanda Reber
Wanda Neufeld, 82, of Inman,
Kan., died Nov. 28, 2010. She was born April 19, 1928, to Lola
(Shomber) and Gilbert Reber at Sedgwick
After graduating from high school she worked at Bethel Hospital in
Newton. On Sept. 28, 1949, she married Adolf Neufeld.
She and Adolf led a full life and were always busy. She was a hard
worker, a woman of many talents. For many years she helped Adolf at
Inman Electric Co. They volunteered with Mennonite Disaster Service and
served on the committee. She enjoyed helping Mennonite Central
Committee by canning meat, making verenike, making craft items for the
annual MCC sale and items for the annual Gift Day at Pleasant View
Home, Inman. Many people were blessed with her handmade, embroidered
and sewn-by-machine gifts and many wooden toys she and Adolf made
together. In 2010 she sewed more than 100 school kit bags for MCC.
She and Adolf volunteered at Camp Mennoscah almost every summer from
1950 to 2009, helping with maintenance and working in the kitchen.
Together with friends they served meals for voluntary service young
people at Mennoscah and in Missouri for several years. Many weeks were
given to church building in Dallas, Texas, doing electrical work and
helping with other projects, and volunteering with church construction
in Colorado. Numerous trips were made to churches in Canada in the Lay
Witness Mission Project. She was a Sunday school teacher at Bethel
Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Adolf, of Inman; a daughter,
Marilyn Marshall, of Salina; a sister, Catherine Molzen and her
husband, Allen, of Wamego; a brother, Robert Reber and his wife, Iva,
of Newton; two grandsons and a great-granddaughter.
Funeral services were held at Bethel Mennonite Church, rural Inman.
Burial was in North Inman Cemetery.
Friesen, Nickolai John
Nickolai John Friesen, 97, of
Reedley, Calif., died Jan. 5, 2011. He was born Sept. 21, 1913, to
Johann Heinrich Friesen and Anna P. Willems in Alexanderkrone in the
Omsk region of central Siberia.
In 1928, in response to threats and tensions with the Soviet
government, the family left their farm and crossed the Amur
River into China. After a few months in Harbin, the family entered San
Francisco Bay and landed at Angel Island on Sept. 13, 1929. They
settled in the San Joaquin Valley. He did farm work in the vineyards
He married Helen Klippenstein, also an immigrant from Siberia, on Dec.
19, 1935, at Reedley Mennonite Brethren Church. They settled in Planada
and after three years moved to Orange Cove, where he worked for Chase
and Bailey Farms. In 1943 they moved to a farm southwest of Reedley on
the Kings River, where they lived for 34 years.
He and Helen traveled to Australia and New Zealand, Paraguay and
Brazil, Germany and the Soviet Union. In 1991 they returned to Siberia,
where he visited his home village he had left 63 years earlier.
Helen died July 26, 1997. They were married for 61 years.
He married Mary Krueger on Nov. 20, 1999. They visited his and her
relatives in Russia and Germany. In 2001 they visited Harbin, China,
where the family had waited for their trip to America, and the Amur
River location where his family had crossed into China in 1928.
Survivors include his wife, Mary; two daughters, Erma Martens and her
husband, Wilfred, of Fresno, and Verna Penner and her husband, Jim, of
Reedley; a son, Dennis Friesen of Kingsburg; a daughter-in-law,
Sharon Friesen of Reedley; 11 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Janie, in 1944; a son, Nick
Jr., in 1986; and his first wife, Helen, in 1997.
Memorial services were held at Reedley MB Church.
Ressler, Sadie R. Yoder
Sadie R. Ressler, 80, of North
Lawrence, Ohio, died Jan. 19, 2011, at the Emergency Department at
Affinity Medical Center, Massillon. She was born Oct. 3, 1930, to John
D. and Annie (Spicher) Yoder in Belleville, Pa.
She married Ellis L. Ressler on Oct. 16, 1954, at Pleasant View
Mennonite Church near North Lawrence.
She was a homemaker and devoted farmer’s wife until they retired from
farming. She was a member of Pleasant View Mennonite Church, where she
and Ellis were recently honored at a dinner celebrating 50 years of
dedicated custodial service. She was a member of the Gideons Auxiliary,
Massillon Camp, where she helped with Bible distribution. She enjoyed
gardening and quilting and made numerous quilts for family and friends
and the MCC relief sale. She volunteered at World Crafts. She had
worked in the kitchen at Brenn-Field Nursing Center, Orrville, for
Survivors include her husband of 56 years, Ellis L. Ressler; four
children, Eileen Martin of Elkhart, Ind., Julie Nussbaum and her
husband, Rex, of Navarre, Wilma Cender and her husband, Karl, of
Valparaiso, Ind., and John Ressler and his wife, Roberta, of Sandwich,
Ill.; a sister, Mattie St. John and her husband, Edwin, of Alvordton; a
brother, Louis Yoder and his wife, Naomi, of Belleville, Pa.; 10
grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Services were held at Pleasant View Mennonite Church, North Lawrence.
Burial was in the Pleasant View Church Cemetery.
Rempel, Nellie S. Schmidt
Nellie S. Rempel, 82, of
Manhattan, Kan., died Feb. 2, 2011, at Good Shepherd Hospice House due
to complications after a recent surgery. She was born May 28,
1928, to Gertrude and Isaac Schmidt in Goessel
She attended Goessel Rural High School, where she was valedictorian of
her graduating class. She received a bachelor’s degree in music
education from Bethel College and later a master’s degree from Kansas
In 1951 she married Paul L. Rempel, and they moved to Hillsboro. They
moved to Manhattan in 1962.
She was a charter member of Manhattan Mennonite Church and served the
church in many capacities, including as elder and council member. She
was a music and elementary school teacher, most recently at St. George
Elementary School. She was awarded a State of Kansas Special Education
Traineeship in 1967. She belonged to the Music Education National
Conference and the Kansas Early Childhood Education Association. In
1984 she joined the Alpha Zeta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and served
this chapter for many years. In 1989, she was selected as Master
Teacher for USD 323 (West Moreland-St. George).
Survivors include four daughters, Trudy Rempel and her husband, Richard
Schulz, of West Des Moines, Iowa, Laura Klocke and her husband,
Richard, of Lawrence, Lisa Rempel and her husband, Kevin Bertrandt, of
Phoenix, Ariz., and Audrey Hunter of Portland, Ore.; two sons, Terry
Rempel and his wife, Sara, of Manhattan, and Don Rempel of St. Louis,
Mo.; a sister, Matilda Schoeder of McPherson; and eight grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul; three sisters, Elva
Bartel, Esther Haefke and Clara Schmidt; and a brother, Jacob Schmidt.
Memorial services were held at Manhattan Mennonite Church.
Carper, James W.
James W. Carper, 85, of Dallas,
Texas, died Jan. 31, 2011, at his home, after an illness of several
months. He was born to Reuben and Eva Weber Carper in Lititz, Pa.
He graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree and from
Johns Hopkins University with a doctorate in experimental psychology.
For much of his working life he was self-employed, owning the firm CPI
Associates Inc. based in Dallas.
Survivors include two sisters, Hilda Carper of Evanston, Ill., and Jean
Carper Miller of Akron, Pa.; eight nieces and nephews; 15 great-nieces
and nephews and one great-great-nephew.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Ruth Carper Eitzen.
A memorial service will be held in Dallas at a later date.
Friesen, Clarence E.
Clarence E. Friesen, 92, of
Henderson, Neb., died Jan. 9, 2011. He was born Oct. 19, 1918, to
Bernhard and Margaretha (Epp) Friesen in rural Henderson.
He was baptized by A.W. Friesen at Bethesda Mennonite Church in 1937.
He was schooled through eighth grade at the District 37 country school.
He trusted Christ as his Savior and showed his commitment to Christ
through leading family devotions and encouraging his children to grow
and live for Christ.
He grew up with a love for his family and worked hard on the farm. He
enjoyed singing, woodworking and traveling to many countries visiting
family and friends. He enjoyed being involved in teaching Sunday school
in the preschool and men’s classes; men’s brotherhood, the Gideons and
Grace Children’s Home Board.
Two experiences shaped his life: the 51 months that he spent in
Civilian Public Service in Denison, Iowa; and his trip to Poland on a
cattle ship. In 1945, after World War II, 600 heifers were delivered to
Danzig, Poland, to supply milk for needy children.
On Oct. 6, 1946, he married Gladys Duerksen at Marion, S.D.
Survivors include his wife of 64 years, Gladys, of Henderson; six
children, Vernelle Epp and her husband, Jerry, of Henderson, Glenyce
Larsen and her husband, Robert, of Bloomington, Ind., Sylvia Rogers and
her husband, Dan, of Nampa, Idaho, Janlee Siebert and her husband,
Adrun, of Milford, Delton Friesen and his wife, Colleen, of Grand
Island, and Eileen Rahn and her husband, Gary, of Loveland, Ohio; a
sister, Pauline Friesen of Aurora; 21 grandchildren and eight
great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by four brothers, Jacob,
Adolph, Arlie and Alvin Friesen; a sister, Bertha Penner; and a
grandson, Jeremy Larsen
Memorial services were held at Bethesda Mennonite Church in Henderson.
Weekly Review - February 21, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 7 - p. 9
Lawrence Unruh, 95, of Hesston,
Kan., died Feb. 6, 2011, at Schowalter Villa. He was born March 14,
1915, to Jacob P. and Susie Unruh in Greensburg.
On April 9, 1939, he married Bertha Yoder in Wolford, N.D. She preceded
him in death on Sept. 14, 2006.
He was a farmer for many years. He was a member of Hesston Mennonite
Brethren Church, where he was a charter member.
Survivors include three sons, Jerry Unruh and his wife, Elaine, of
Hesston, Keith Unruh and his wife, Linda, of Hutchinson, and Max Unruh
of Hesston; a daughter, Ruth Vogt and her husband, Gary, of Hesston; a
brother, Cecil Unruh of Hutchinson; 12 grandchildren and 22
He was preceded in death by his wife, Bertha; four brothers,
Clarence, Otis, Vernie and Edwin Unruh; two sisters, Ethel Penner
and Annie Bontrager; and a daughter-in-law, Donna Unruh.
Funeral services were held at Hesston MB?Church. Burial was in Eastlawn
Cemetery in Hesston.
Arthur Unrau, 98, died Feb. 6,
2011, in Pryor, Okla. He was born Aug. 2, 1912, to Peter V. and Helena
(Schmidt) Unrau in Moundridge, Kan.
He was a farmer, stockman and dairyman. He and his family moved from
Kansas to the Inola, Okla., area in 1917. He attended school at
Pleasant View School.
He married Frieda M. Regier on May 25, 1940, in Inola.
He was a member of Eden Mennonite Church, where he was baptized on June
8, 1930. He loved his family and his Lord, leaving a legacy of love for
his family to cherish. As a member of Eden, he was active as a deacon,
treasurer, building committee member and enjoyed working on the yard
committee. He enjoyed helping with Mennonite Central Committee meat
canning and collecting blankets for relief. He worked with Mennonite
Disaster Service, including one week cleaning up after a tornado in
Ohio. He was a helper and a doer.
He and Frieda operated a dairy for many years, milking Holstein cows.
In addition to being a farmer and rancher, he was a school bus driver
for Longview School. He and Frieda moved from the farm in 1980 to a
home in Chouteau Hills. In 1998, due to Frieda’s declining health, they
moved to Pryor to be closer to their children.
Survivors include a son, Arlis A. Unrau and his wife, Roberta, and a
daughter, Mary Helen Hardy and her husband, Jack, all of Pryor; two
brothers, Rahlen Unrau and his wife, Margaret, of Chouteau and William
Unrau of Lincoln, Neb; a sister-in-law, Ruth Unrau of Bluffton,
Ohio; a brother-in-law, John Miller of Reedley, Calif.; five
grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Frieda, in 2002; two brothers,
Marvin and Walter Unrau; and four sisters, Ella Pankratz, Martha
Graber, Wilma Miller and Linda Unrau.
Memorial services were held at Eden Mennonite Church, Inola. Burial was
in the Eden church cemetery adjacent to the church.
Epp, Allen D.
Allen D. Epp, 83, of Dallas, Ore., died Feb. 1, 2011, in the Salem
Hospital. He was born Jan. 2, 1928, to Isaac and Helen Epp
near Henderson, Neb.
Family ties and Depression economics led to his family’s move to Luton,
Iowa, where he graduated from high school in 1946. He was baptized
while attending Lake Crystal Bible Camp near Sioux City, Iowa. He
earned a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State Teacher’s College. Graduate
work at Colorado State in Greeley preceded his move to Portland and 55
years as a teacher.
His family had moved to Mountain Lake, Minn., where he met his wife of
30 years, Gladys Fast (Pauls).
After teaching eighth-graders at Kennedy Grade School, he moved on as
an American history instructor at Roosevelt High School. He led
students on a re-tracing of the Lewis and Clark route in 1963. He
eventually visited nearly every state in the country. He wrote for and
received invitations to visit museums and historic sites across the
country. Students judged his classes among their most interesting.
When Portland Community College was launched, he jumped at the chance
to focus on Oregon history and religion in America. He served for
several years as dean of social sciences at the new Sylvania campus,
while he hosted an educational series co-produced by PCC and Oregon
Public Broadcasting, Oregon’s Colonial Heritage. He served as
president of the Aurora Historical Society, residing there for a few
years before returning to Portland until his retirement in 2006, when
he moved to Dallas. He was a longtime supporter of the Mennonite Fall
Festival in Albany.
He is survived by his son, Mark, of Dallas. He was preceded in death by
a daughter, Jean Epp, on Dec. 22, 2009.
A memorial service was held in the Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center. A
memorial service is also being planned on the campus of Portland
Community College. Burial will be in Henderson, Neb., with a view of
the Oregon Trail.
Roth, Marianna Mae Gerig
Marianna Mae Gerig Roth, 76, of
Hesston, Kan., died Jan. 21, 2011. She was born Sept. 12, 1934, to
Vernon and Mabel Gerig near Wayland, Iowa.
She grew up in the Wayland community. She married Edwin L. Roth on
Sept. 14, 1957, at Sugar Creek Mennonite Church, rural Wayland.
In 1972 they moved to Carlsbad, N.M., and she became a member of
Carlsbad Mennonite Church, where she was active in music and education.
In 2005, she moved to Schowalter Villa in Hesston and was a member
of Hesston Mennonite Church
After she graduated from Hesston College in 1954, she began a
career as a school teacher near Wayland and finished her career in
Carlsbad in 2005. She enjoyed singing, piano playing, listening to
music, flower and vegetable gardening, camping, hiking and visiting
Survivors include her husband of 53 years, Edwin Roth of Hesston,
Kansas; two sons, Tim Roth and his wife, Rose, of Bangkok, Thailand,
and Ted Roth and his wife, Doris, of Santa Fe, N.M.; a sister, Elaine
Schrock and her husband, Dan, of Goshen, Ind.; two grandchildren
and two step-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Byrdene Johnson.
Jantz, Sylvia Ruth Andres
Sylvia Ruth (Andres) Jantz, 80,
of Hesston, Kan., died Feb. 8, 2011. She was born to Peter Cornelius
Andres and Anna (Richert) Andres of Goessel.
She took delight in learning and music from a young age. These passions
drove her early journey from rural elementary school to Hesston and
Goshen (Ind.) College and ignited her lifelong mission to learn from,
teach and lead others.
She enthusiastically taught language arts for 20 years and provided
leadership ranging from Christian education, congregational music
and church conference administrative support to leading women’s
retreats. Her external vision birthed an interest in her internal
spiritual growth. She helped establish the Solitude Center at Rocky
Mountain Mennonite Camp. She got satisfaction working with her husband,
Wally, to lead marriage enrichment retreats for more than 25 years.
The arts were breath and air for her. She provided congregational
accompaniment from the age of 12, led hymns and directed choirs, and
sang in many groups — collegiate, community and ensembles.
She was a lover of life, living enthusiastically in spite of health
challenges that began in her early adult years. Her faith was strong,
and she lived out her spirituality in many ways.
She provided countless hours of loving support to her husband of 55
years, Wally, her sons and their families. She was an active
participant in Wally’s ministries and contributed hospitality to others.
Survivors include her husband, Wallace Jantz; two sons, Jeff Jantz and
his wife, Teresa, of Durango, Colo., and Tim Jantz and his wife,
Melissa, of Pennsylvania; two brothers, Eldon Andres of Peabody
and Homer Andres of Ferndale, Wash.; a sister, Della Wiebe of Colorado
Springs, Colo.; and four grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Esther Mae McDonald.
Services were held at Hesston Mennonite Church.
Weekly Review - February 28, 2011 - 89th Year, No. 8 -
Friesen, Willmer J.
Willmer J. Friesen, 91, of
North Newton, Kan., died Feb. 11, 2011, at Kidron Bethel Retirement
Village. He was born March 27, 1919, to John H. and Katie Ensz Friesen
in Dubois, Idaho.
His family moved to the Fairview area between Aberdeen and
American Falls, Idaho. He graduated from high school at American Falls
and attended one year at Bethel College in North Newton.
He was baptized in June 1934. He was an active member of First
Mennonite Church of Aberdeen and was a deacon for a number of years. He
enjoyed singing in church choirs, men’s choruses, octets and quartets.
He was an active member of The Gideons International. Later he was a
member of First Mennonite Church in Newton.
In 1942 he was drafted and served in Civilian Public Service for almost
four years. On Dec. 29, 1945, he married Ellen Wedel in Goessel. They
lived in the family home in American Falls.
In 1954, Ellen was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She spent almost
nine years in the geriatric ward in the American Falls hospital and
died May 23, 1973.
Farming was his occupation for 45 years. Many of those years included
dairy farming and raising Idaho potatoes.
On March 7, 1975, he married Laura Tieszen. They continued to live on
the family farm. They were able to travel and had a winter home in
Arizona that they enjoyed for many years. He retired from farming at
age 72, and in September 1999 they moved to Kidron Bethel.
Survivors include his wife, Laura; a son, Dale and his wife, Connie, of
Lawrence; a daughter, Margie Chartrand of Omaha, Neb.; two sisters,
Margaret Tieszen of Caldwell, Idaho, and Ruby Friesen of Mount Angel,
Ore.; a sister-in-law, Barbara Friesen of North Newton; seven
grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Ellen Wedel Friesen; four
brothers, Elmer, Waldo, Edwin and Orlando; and two sisters, Verna Huse
and Elma Linscheid.
Services were held at First Mennonite Church, Newton.
Gaeddert, Karen Kaufman
Karen Kaufman Gaeddert, 72,
died Jan. 28, 2011, after a long battle with cancer. She was born Jan.
16, 1939, to Paul D. and Linda (Goering) Kaufman.
She was baptized on June 6, 1954, and joined Eden Mennonite Church,
Moundridge. She graduated from Moundridge High School
On June 2, 1957, she married her high school sweetheart, Jim Gaeddert.
She attended Bethel College in North Newton for one year.
A member of Rainbow Mennonite Church in Kansas City, Kan., she was
committed to her faith throughout her life and instilled those
same principles in her family. While living in Newton, she and Jim
attended Bethel College Mennonite Church. She worked in the nursery,
taught Bible school and volunteered in the Community Playschool and
worked in the General Conference Mennonite Church offices in Newton.
She was active in the Cancer Crusade, was a Cub Scout den mother,
volunteered in her children’s schools, helped with the soup kitchen,
instructed in a conversational English class while in London, and
served as a court appointed special advocate for abused children in
They lived in North Newton, Overbrook, Hoisington, Newton and Walton in
Kansas. As Jim’s career evolved with Hesston/Fiat, they lived in
West Chicago, Ill., Lancaster, Pa., London, England, and St. Charles,
Ill., prior to retiring to Bella Vista, Ark. As she was diagnosed with
cancer for the third time in her life, they moved to Leawood, Kan., to
be closer to her doctors and family.
She loved sports and games, traveling, gardening and participating in
virtually anything outdoors.
Survivors include her husband, Jim; four children, Doug Gaeddert and
his wife, Lisa, of Elkhart, Ind., Greg Gaeddert and his wife, Terri, of
Leawood, Brad Gaeddert of Leawood, and Janelle Benninghoff and her
husband, Dan, of Overland Park; a brother, Gerald Kaufman of Inman; a
sister-in-law, Leda Kaufman of Moundridge; 13 grandchildren and a
She was preceded in death by brothers Gilbert, Georgie Kent
(stillborn) and Merrill Gene (stillborn)
Memorial services were held at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North
Jantzi, Mary Anna Beckler
Mary Anna Jantzi, 86, of
Plainview, Ore., died Jan. 8, 2011, while wintering in Phoenix, Ariz.
She was born March 26, 1924, to William and Anna (Roth) Beckler in
She moved to the Plainview area in 1946. She drove school bus and
taught Sunday school and vacation Bible school at her church. She moved
to Newport in 1977, where she resided until the late 1980s. She worked
in the card department for the Newport Payless Store and as an Amway
She enjoyed snow birding to Phoenix for more than 20 years. She
also enjoyed sewing, gardening, cooking for family and friends, flying,
reading her Bible and working with children. She loved giving to her
community, church and to other people. She was a lifetime member of the
She married Roland Jantzi on Dec. 1, 1946, in Nebraska.
Survivors include her husband of 64 years, Roland; four daughters,
Candyce Ann Pepin and her husband, George, Mary Jo Fitch and her
husband, John, and Anna Mae Baker and her husband, Ronald, all of
Lebanon, and Jeanie Morey and her husband, Jim, of Redding, Calif.; two
brothers, Robert Beckler of Beaver Crossing, Neb., and Charles Beckler
of Friend, Neb.; a sister, Donna Rae Stauffer of Milford; 10
grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by two brothers, Lawrence and Orie Beckler; a
sister, Edna Stauffer; and a granddaughter.
Funeral services were held at Lebanon Mennonite Church. Burial was in
the Fairview Mennonite Cemetery.
Copyright 2003 - All rights reserved
- Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, PA
Used with permission by the Archives of the Mennonite Church,
Permission granted to private family researchers to use selected
portions of these files to tell their family stories.
May not be mass-produced in any form for commercial purposes.