Mennonite World Review - February 2016
Obituaries are emailed to MennObits before MWR is printed. Wording may vary in printed version.
Clayton Chris Sutter, 96, of Goshen, Ind., died Jan. 7, 2016, at Greencroft Healthcare. He was born Oct. 17, 1919, to Christian Sylvester and Idella Mae (Miller) Sutter in Minier, Ill.
On Oct. 8, 1943, he married Elsie Elizabeth Eash in Springs, Pa. She preceded him in death on June 28, 2010.
During World War II he served in Civilian Public Service from November 1942 until April 1946 in camps at Sideling Hill, Pa., and Camino, Calif., and at the mental hospital in Catonsville, Md. He also volunteered as a human guinea pig in an atypical pneumonia study at Pinehurst, N.C., during that time.
He attended Goshen College. He and Elsie administered Mennonite retirement homes at Eureka, Ill., from 1946 to 1956, and Rittman, Ohio, from 1961 to 1963. Thereafter he worked for 23 years at Mennonite Mutual Aid, now Everence, retiring in 1989. While there he was instrumental in adding financial coverage for adoptions.
He was a member of East Goshen Mennonite Church, where he served several terms as elder. He was a member of the Goshen, Elkhart County and Northern Indiana historical societies, was active in Seniors for Peace and enjoyed rug weaving. He published a memoir as told to Rachel Weaver Krieder, I Am a Part of All That I Have Met.
Survivors include three daughters, Miriam Lapp and her husband, Stephen, of West Liberty, Ohio, Beth Sutter and Ruth Sutter, both of Philadelphia; a son, Sem Sutter and his partner, John Easton, of Chicago; four grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Elsie; a brother, Lawrence Sutter; and eight sisters, Fannie Litwiller, Della Litwiller, Marie Sutter, Carrie Hostetler, Bessie Oyer, Lydia Gut, Minnie Sutter and Mary Demchak.
Services were held at East Goshen Mennonite Church, where he was a member for 60 years. Burial was in Violett Cemetery, Goshen. Memorial contributions to the Peace and Justice Network of Mennonite Mission Network are welcome.
Marjorie L. (Linscheid) Isaak, 88, of Sellersville, Pa., died Nov. 15, 2015. She was born Aug. 4, 1927, to John E. and Anna (Claassen) Linscheid.
She met Arthur C. Isaak as a student at Bethel College, North Newton, Kan. They were married June 9, 1952.
She taught in three states, first in Kansas, then in Nebraska and finally for 25 years in Souderton public schools. She enjoyed teaching and cared deeply about her students, continuing as a volunteer in area schools after her retirement.
After retirement, she traveled extensively throughout the world. She became part of the Interfaith Dialogue Group, and peace issues were a lifelong concern. She volunteered as a chaplain at Grand View Hospital in West Rockhill Township. She was an active member of West Swamp Mennonite Church of Quakertown.
Survivors include two daughters, Kristin Neufeld and her husband, Tim, of Goshen, Ind., and Gretchen Isaak of Sellersville; a son, Garth Isaak and his wife, Melissa Hunt, of Bryn Mawr; and four grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Arthur; a brother, Willard Linscheid; and a sister and brother-in-law, Katherine and Clyde Weaver.
Memorial services were held at West Swamp Mennonite Church.
Clara Doreen Heese, 77, of New Holland, Pa., died Jan. 21, 2016, at Ephrata Manor. She was born to Walter and Edna (Lesser) Harder in Rosthern, Sask.
She married John D. Heese on Oct. 21, 1960.
She worked as a psychiatric nurse at the University of Saskatchewan Hospital. She was a member of Germantown Mennonite Church in Philadelphia and was currently attending New Holland Mennonite Church. She enjoyed gardening and served as coordinator for the Philadelphia Northwest Meals on Wheels for 10 years.
Survivors include her husband of 55 years, John Heese; two sons, Garrett Heese and his wife, Yvonne, of Kitchener, Ont., and Jeffrey Heese of Philadelphia; a daughter, Joylynn Keener and her husband, G. David, of East Petersburg; four grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.
Memorial services will be held at New Holland Mennonite Church.
Kaufman, Donald Ray
Donald Ray Kaufman, 93, of Manson, Iowa, died Jan. 17, 2016, at Stewart Memorial Community Hospital. He was born Jan. 27, 1922, to Samuel and Johannah (Lichte) Kaufman at Havelock.
He graduated from Manson High School in 1940 and then attended Iowa State University in the agricultural program. Upon completion of his college education, he returned home to farm with his father. He married Fern Egli on Jan. 2, 1944, at Manson, and together they farmed their entire lives in the Manson area.
He served on the board of directors of the Knierim Co-Op Elevator, as well as several committees at Manson Mennonite Church, where he was a lifelong member. He served on a committee that was instrumental in bringing a medical doctor to Manson in the late 1970s. He greatly enjoyed his family, grandchildren and friends.
Survivors include four children, Lloyd Kaufman of Des Moines, Donella Zeka and her husband, Paul, Rosie Lenz, and Dean Kaufman and his wife, Terri, all of Manson; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and sisters-in-law Myrtle Kaufman of Manson and Bernice Kaufman of Beemer, Neb.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Fern; a sister, Lou Ella; and three brothers, Victor, Eldon and Leslie.
Funeral services were held at Manson Mennonite Church. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery. Memorials may be sent to Manson Mennonite Church.
Fisher, Lloyd Jacob
Lloyd Jacob Fisher, 97, died Jan. 26, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. He was born Dec. 4, 1918, to Freeman and Nellie Fisher in West Liberty, Ohio.
On May 30, 1942, he married Evelyn Burck at Albany, Ore. Three children were born to them: James Douglas, who died in Paraguay at age 15; Darrell Jay; and Karen Janelle, who died at birth. They were married for more than 72 years.
He was an active member of Albany Mennonite Church, Akron Mennonite Church and Sunnyslope Mennonite Church. He loved God and lived his life helping others.
In Oregon he worked for Jenks White Seed, Production Credit Association, and farmed. He and his family then spent nine years in Paraguay, Nigeria and Ghana with Mennonite Central Committee, Mennonite Economic Development Associates and Indiana Board of Missions. After his return to the U.S. he served as executive secretary of Mennonite Economic Development Associates. He and Evelyn retired in June of 1981, residing at Glencroft Retirement Community, where he served on a variety of boards and committees.
He enjoyed reading, hunting and fishing, spectator sports and camping in their motor home.
Survivors include his son Darrell and his wife, Stephanie; two grandsons and two great-grandchildren, all of Oregon; a sister, Ruby Byler of Ohio; and a brother, Carl Fisher of Pennsylvania.
Memorials may be sent to Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix.
Mennonite World Review - February 29, 2016 - 94th Year, No. 5 - p. 15
Gingerich, Duane J.
Duane J. Gingerich, 73, of Jakarta, Indonesia, and Goshen, Ind., died Feb. 5, 2016. He was born in 1942 to Jonas M. and Katie Helmuth Gingerich near Kalona, Iowa.
He attended East Lincoln elementary school in southwestern Johnson County and graduated from Iowa Mennonite School in 1961. He served under the Mennonite Central Committee Pax program in Indonesia from 1965 to 1968.
He married Reti Purwaretinigsih in Indonesia in 1986.
He attended the University of Iowa for two years and graduated from Goshen College, the University of Hawaii with a master's degree and the University of Wisconsin Law School. He spent the last 15 years of his 26-year legal career in Jakarta as an international partner in the global law firm, Baker & McKenzie. After retirement he and Reti spent several months each year in their home in Goshen. In retirement he wrote extensively about his Gingerich family history. His most recent publications were The Kalona Kid Tournament, 1937-1963 and East Lincoln: One-Room School in Rural Iowa.
Survivors include his wife, Reti; seven siblings, Mose Gingerich and his wife, Mary, of Mount Eaton, Ohio, Mary Gingerich and her husband, Clifford, of Rochester, Minn., Fred Gingerich and his wife, Elsie, of Athabasca, Alta., Nelson Gingerich and his wife, Margaret, of Anchorage, Alaska, Lovina Rutt and her husband, Carl, of Goshen, Ind., Carol Bowman and her husband, Bernie, of Maryville, Tenn., and Firman Gingerich and his wife, Susan, of Tiffin, Iowa.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Jean Yoder.
Memorial services took place in Jakarta. A memorial service will be held later in Iowa.
Grasse, Anthony Meryl
Anthony Meryl Grasse, 92, died Jan. 29, 2016, in Chambersburg, Pa. He was born May 16, 1923, to Anthony Myers Grasse and Lillian (Landis) Grasse in Chalfont.
He was an accomplished physician in family practice, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology. He lived in Calico Rock, Ark., from 1952 to 2015. He retired from being a physician at the age of 88.
In 1940 he graduated from Souderton High School. He graduated from Goshen (Ind.) College in 1943. In 1947, he received a medical doctorate from Hahnemann Medical College in Philadelphia. From 1948 to 1951, he served in overseas medical work in Ethiopia and Indonesia with the Mennonite church.
After his marriage to Gladys Landis in July 1952, they moved to Calico Rock. He and Gladys, a nurse, with his brother John L. Grasse and his wife, Mary Margaret, set up a medical clinic for outpatient care in Calico Rock in 1952. He was a founding member of Calico Rock Mennonite Fellowship.
In 1956, the Izard County Hospital in Melbourne closed, leaving the county without a hospital. He decided to build the Medical Center of Calico Rock, and it opened in 1959. He and shareholders donated the hospital to the community and created a not-for-profit organization. The hospital was renamed Community Medical Center of Izard County. In 1964 to 1966, he and his wife, Gladys, lived in Nigeria with their six children to work at the Akahaba-Abiriba Joint Hospital and in rural health care.
He loved to travel and was an avid reader, gardener and farmer. He received many awards acknowledging his dedication to healthcare service and was on the Calico Rock City Council for 25 years.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Gladys; four daughters, Karen Grasse of Philadelphia, Chloe Grasse and her husband, Linford Martin, of Greencastle, Carol Grasse of Boulder, Colo., and Gwendolyn Grasse and her husband, Steve Voran, of Boulder; two sons, Joel Grasse and his wife, Susan, of Rogers, Ark., and Mark Grasse of Dallas, Texas; two brothers, Willard of Chalfont and Warren of Telford; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, John and Alvin.
Services were held at the United Methodist Church in Calico Rock. A service is being planned for June 18 at Blooming Glen Mennonite Church, the area where he grew up.
Grasse, Alvin K.
Alvin K. Grasse, 87, of Lacombe, Alta., died Sept. 23, 2015. He was born in Bucks County, Pa., to Anthony and Lillian Landis Grasse on Feb. 3, 1928.
He grew up on a farm near Chalfont, helping his parents raise poultry and produce to sell on a huckster route in Philadelphia. He later completed a bachelor's degree in agriculture education at Penn State University.
Beginning in 1950 he taught industrial arts and agriculture at Iowa Mennonite School, Kalona, Iowa. There he met Ruth Swartzendruber; they were married in 1953. He taught for 15 years and completed a master's degree from Iowa State University.
A hunting trip to British Columbia gave him the idea to move to Canada. The family moved to Edson, Alta., in 1966 with six children, and later that year a seventh was born. Jubilee Junior High School hired him as a science teacher. He taught in Edson until retirement in 1988, remembered for his enthusiasm for science and his hands-on learning style.
He enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping trips with his brothers, sons and family. He did many building, remodeling and fine woodworking projects. He and Ruth were active as youth leaders, teachers and other roles in Edson Mennonite Church.
In 2004 with the onset of Alzheimer's disease, he and Ruth sold their farm and moved to Lacombe to be nearer to family. He took walks to feed birds and participated in Gideons International and in the Evangelical Free Church. He was verbal about his faith far into his illness, telling others of the Lord's faithfulness.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Ruth; six children, Carolyn of Pennsylvania, Marilyn and her husband, Cliff, of Michigan, Susan and her husband, Craig, of Oregon, Mary Anne and her husband, Ron, of Leduc, Miriam and her husband, Ron, of Lacombe, Lowell and his wife, Heidi of Didsbury; daughter-in-law Janice Grasse of Red Deer; three brothers, Meryl, Willard and Warren, all of Pennsylvania; and 16 grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son, Dennis, in 1997; and a brother, John, in 2005.
Funeral services were held at Lacombe Evangelical Free Church.
Schultz, Edna M.
Edna M. Schultz, 90, of Henderson, Neb., died Feb. 15, 2016. She was born July 24, 1925, to David H.A. and Helena (Schmidt) Schultz near Richey, Mont.
She attended grade school in school district 113, Dawson County, Mont. Upon her confession of faith, she was baptized Oct. 15, 1939, and became a member of Bethlehem Mennonite Church, Bloomfield, Mont. She graduated from Grace Bible Institute in 1947.
After graduation, she and Maria Thieszen worked together as missionaries in Oklahoma for 15 years with the Go Ye Mission. When Maria's mother died, she and Maria lived with Maria's father in Henderson for 10 years. During that time they were involved in children's ministry, conducting after-school Bible classes, teaching vacation Bible school and helping at several different Bible camps during the summer. For 18 summers they were managers of the Storytime Bus, a 42-passenger bus that was their mobile home as they went to swimming pools and county fairs to give the Word of God to boys and girls.
They moved to the Good Samaritan Village in Hastings in 1979, where she worked in the nursing home for 22 years, 14 of those years in the dietary department and eight years in the laundry. After retirement she was involved in volunteer work in the village. In October 2014 she moved to Henderson Healthcare. While there, she enjoyed the Bible studies and other programs. She also appreciated the care of the staff at the home.
Survivors include her brother, Paul Schultz and his wife, Myrtle, of Richey, Mont., a sister-in-law, Frances Schultz of Oklahoma City, Okla., and nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by Maria Thieszen; nine brothers and a sister.
Funeral services were held at Faith Evangelical Bible Church in Henderson. Memorials may be directed to Henderson Health Care Services.
Roth, Carol B. Byler
Lydia Carolyn Byler Roth, 92, of Eugene, Ore., died Feb. 12, 2016. She was born Oct. 21, 1923, the youngest of 10 children, to John and Amanda Byler in Holmes County, Ohio.
By the time she was 4 years old, her family, The Byler Family Gospel Singers, had begun performing concerts in churches and schools. In 1930 the Byler family traveled for more than a year, giving concerts throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.
She graduated with a teaching degree from Goshen (Ind.) College in 1945 and married Roy Roth later that year in Riverdale, Md.
She taught elementary school in Tremont, Ill., and served as a pastor's wife at Pleasant Hill Mennonite Church until she and Roy moved to Hesston, Kan., in 1951, where Roy served as president of Hesston College until 1959. In addition to being a mother to five, she served as college hostess, entertaining many guests in the couple's home.
The family moved to Logsden in 1959, where Roy and she served Logsden Mennonite Church until 1970. Both also taught full time at the Siletz schools and were involved in many community musical endeavors. In 1972 they moved to Harrisonburg, Va., where she taught elementary school and often served as piano and organ accompanist at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church, where Roy served as minister of music.
They moved to Eugene in 1989 to spend their retirement years with their children. They joined Wesley United Methodist Church and sang in the choir. She also accompanied Roy's senior choirs in Florida, Arizona and Oregon. Music was a central part of her life. She continued to play the piano until just days before her death.
Survivors include four children, Veronica Roth-Finigan and her husband, Michael, of West Linn, Becky Roth Schenck and her husband, John, Jill Roth, and Luke Roth and his wife, Catherine, all of Eugene; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by a son, David, in 1965; and by her husband, Roy, in 2005.
A family memorial service will be held at Riverside Cemetery in Logsden this summer. Memorial contributions may be made to Mennonite Central Committee in Akron, Pa.
Augsburger, Martha Louise Kling
Martha Louise Kling Augsburger, 89, of Harrisonburg, Va., died Feb. 18, 2016. She was born May 12, 1926, to Willis and Barbara Stauffer Kling in Talmage, Pa.
She was a beautiful, caring wife, mother, sister and friend. She was also an exceptional teacher and an understanding pastor's wife.
She taught in elementary schools for more than 30 years in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Bridgewater, Va., influencing the lives of hundreds of children. She had a keen eye for color, design and architecture, an innate interest and gift for music and fine arts and wonderfully diverse culinary skills.
In her last three years she gained an additional family at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, the Redbud Memory Care Unit, where she was cared for with love and admiration.
Survivors include her husband, A. Don Augsburger; three children, Phyllis Anne Ressler and her husband, Everett, Patricia Louise Augsburger and her husband, Wilbur Ressler, and Don Richard Augsburger and his wife, Jane Rutt; two sisters, Ruth Alger and Beth Leaman; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by two brothers, Richard Kling and John Kling; a sister, Helen Buckwalter; and a stepmother, Anna Mellinger Kling.
Memorial services were held at Park View Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg. Inurnment will be at Bahia Vista Mennonite Church, Sarasota, Fla. Memorial gifts may be sent to Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community.