Mennonite World Review - June 2016

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

Keeney, Marion Kathryn ; . . Nafziger, E. Wayne ; . . Schmidt, Susie Bergen ; . . Yoder, Allen Jr. ; . . Yoder, Steven J. ; . .
Mennonite World Review - June 6, 2016 - 94th Year, No. 12 - p. 15


Yoder, Allen Jr.

Allen Yoder Jr., 88, of Middlebury, Ind., died April 19, 2016, at Elkhart General Hospital. He was born Aug. 4, 1927, to Allen Sr. and Sophie (Ummel) Yoder in Elkhart County.

He attended Bluffton (Ohio)?College. On May 6, 1951, he married Marie J. Haney at Goshen City Church of the Brethren.

A lifetime Elkhart County area resident, he farmed from 1951 to 1966 and was honored in 1958 as Elkhart County Farmer of the Year. After two years at St. Joseph Valley Bank, in 1969 he joined a new enterprise, Jayco, where he served as president from 1985 to 1993. A founder of Deutsch Kase Haus, he also served as president there from 1975 to 2002.

He served on many boards of directors, including Faith Mission, MDC?Goldenrod, Goshen Hospital and Healthcare Foundation, Elkhart County Extension, Middlebury Community Schools, National Recreational Vehicle Industry Association and Bluffton University. He enjoyed vocal and instrumental music and lent his skills as a tenor to many groups, including the church choir, Menno Singers and Camarata Singers.

He grew up in Silver Street Mennonite Church, which he joined at a young age. He filled leadership roles there, including teaching Sunday school and leading the effort to move from the country to town, when the church became Silverwood Mennonite.
Survivors include his wife, Marie; four children, Mike Yoder and his wife, Rhonda, of Middlebury, Kent Allen Yoder and his wife, Gaye, of Middlebury, Dru Gentle and her husband, Richard, of Goshen, and Scott Yoder and his wife, Sarah, of Middlebury; a brother, Dale Yoder of Goshen; 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by six brothers and three sisters.

Memorial services were held at Silverwood Mennonite Church.


Schmidt, Susie Bergen

Susie Schmidt
, 103, of Goessel, Kan., died May 22, 2016, at Bethesda Home. She was born Feb. 5, 1913, to John H. and Elisabeth Goertz Bergen of Goessel.
She was baptized May 19, 1929, and became a member of Goessel Mennonite Church. Later her membership was transferred to Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church.

She graduated from Goessel High School in 1932. She worked at Bethesda Hospital for several years until her marriage to Adolf L. Schmidt on Aug. 14, 1936, in a double wedding ceremony with Mary, her sister, and Milton Reimer in Goessel Mennonite Church.

They began married life on a farm. Their big garden kept her busy preparing vegetables for canning. She enjoyed quilting and many other crafts — crocheting afghans, making framed pictures of pressed dried flowers, candlemaking, stitchery, embroidered pictures and more. She belonged to the Alexanderwohl Mission Society and also enjoyed the reception committee, Mennonite relief sale and Sunday night worship. They traveled to visit relatives in the U.S. and Canada.

After the children were grown, she returned to work at Bethesda Hospital and then at Bethesda Home for 24 years. After her husband’s death in 2007, she continued to live alone for several years until it became necessary to move to Bethesda Home. Her love for reading continued throughout her stay at Bethesda.

Survivors include three children, Janice Elaine Sivertson and her husband, Howard, Bob Schmidt and his wife, Sylvia, and Larry Schmidt and his wife, Anita; 11 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her spouse, Al Schmidt; a granddaughter, Elaine Marklevits; three sisters and two brothers.

Services were held at Alexanderwohl Mennonite Church.


Keeney, Marion Kathryn

Marion K. Keeney, 81, writer and social justice activist, of Newton, Kan., died Feb. 16, 2016. She was born March 31, 1934, to Kathryn Echard Keeney and William Leroy Keeney in Orient, Pa.

She earned a degree in history at Bluffton (Ohio) College in 1958 and a master’s degree in religious education at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries, Elkhart, Ind., in 1960. She met Vern Preheim at seminary. Their common beliefs in equality, women’s rights, peace and social change led to a marriage that lasted for 38 years. They spent most of their married life in Akron, Pa., and in Newton.

She and Vern served with Mennonite Central Committee, first in Algeria from 1960 to 1963 and later in Zaire from 1972 to 1974. In 1969, she authored the Overseas Service Manual, published by Herald Press, a guide to cultural adjustment for North Americans going overseas for the first time.

She wrote for Mennonite news publications, including contributing regularly to the Rejoice! daily devotional readings. In the 1960s she edited Our Family Worships. In the late 1970s she worked as a writer for MCC. Starting in 1980, she worked for the General Conference Mennonite Church news service. She began a news service for GC pastors called ACTS, Another Church Tries Something.

In the early 1960s she worked in partnership with black women in Newton to foster interracial relationships and civil rights. In the 1970s and ’80s she was active in the Mennonite church nationally in promoting women’s roles in ministry and missions.
As she grew older, dementia led to memory loss and destroyed her capabilities but not her radiant smile. For the last eight years of her life she received attentive care at Peabody Health and Rehab.

Survivors include her children, Brian Preheim and his wife, Janis, of Ephrata, Pa., Beth Preheim and her husband, Michael Sprong, of Yankton, S.D., Jay Preheim of Newton, Lorie Preheim of Washington, D.C., and Jan Preheim of Brookline, Mass.; two sisters, Joan Keeney Ritchie of Riddle, Ind., and Martha Keeney Thorpe of Hagerstown, Md.; and five grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by two sisters, Betty Keeney Hill and Eleanor Keeney Myers; and a brother, William Keeney.

Memorial services were held at Grand Central in Newton.

Mennonite World Review - June 20, 2016 - 94 th Year, No. 13 - p. 15


Yoder, Steven J.

Steven J. Yoder, 60, of Bluffton, Ohio, died June 1, 2016, at the Cleveland Clinic. He was born Oct. 29, 1955, to Henry and Lydia (Troyer) Yoder in Marysville.

On July 31, 1982, he married Janet Jantzi Yoder.

He was currently a pastor at First Mennonite Church in Bluffton. He previously served at Lombard (Ill.) Mennonite Church and Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton, Kan., serving as a pastor in the Mennonite church for 22 years. He truly enjoyed his work, and spending time with his family. He was an active member of the Bluffton Area Ministerial Association and the Bluffton Lions Club. He graduated from Jonathan Alder High School, Prairie Bible Institute, Ohio State University and Bethany Seminary.

Survivors include his wife, Janet; his mother, Lydia Yoder of Plain City; three sons, Neil Yoder and his wife, Youngju Yoon, of Bridgewater, Mass., Aaron Yoder and his wife, Mary Byram, of Lansing, Mich., and Jeff Yoder of Nashville, Tenn.; a brother, Howard Yoder of Plain City; three sisters, Marlene Yoder of Columbus, Fran Hochstedler of Delaware, Ohio, and Mary Yoder of Plain City; and two grandchildren.

Memorial services were held at First Mennonite Church, Bluffton. A private burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, Bluffton, at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Mennonite Church or Bluffton Lions Club.


Nafziger, E. Wayne

E. Wayne Nafziger, 77, of Manhattan, Kan., died April 25, 2016, at Good Shepherd Hospice House in Manhattan. He was born Aug. 14, 1938, to Orrin Nafziger and Beatrice (Slabaugh) Nafziger in Bloomington, Ill.

He studied at Goshen (Ind.) College, taught high school, earned a master's degree in economics from the University of Michigan in 1962 and entered a doctoral program in economics at the University of Illinois. In 1964 he went to Nigeria to do field work. His time in Nigeria instilled a lifelong concern with peacemaking, poverty alleviation and social justice. There he proposed to Elfrieda Toews, who was serving with Mennonite Central Committee's Teachers Abroad Program. In August 1966 they were married in Winnipeg, Man.

They moved to Manhattan, and he received his doctorate in economics in 1967. Until 2015 he taught international and comparative economics at Kansas State University. Over his 47-year career at KSU, he authored 21 books. In 1999 he was named a University Distinguished Professor.

He and Elfrieda often traveled to Africa, Asia and Europe. These included time in India (where he was a Fulbright professor), at the East West Center in Honolulu, the University of Cambridge, the International University of Japan, the Carter Center in Georgia and the United Nations University/World Institute in Finland.

He was a member of Manhattan Mennonite Church. From 1970 to 1996 he taught a class at Manhattan's First Presbyterian Church integrating Christian faith with science and contemporary thought.

Survivors include two sons, Brian Nafziger and his wife, Piedad Cartegena Delgado, and Kevin Nafziger; and a sister, Lorene Good.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Elfrieda, in 2007; and two siblings, Mary Ellen Walson and Lloyd Nafziger.

Memorial services were held at All Faiths Chapel at KSU.

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