Mennonite World Review - February 2017

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


Augsburger, Fred E. ; . . Brubaker, Lois E. Byler ; . . Classen, Roy James ; . . Hochstetler, Hannah Grieser ; . . Jantz, Wallace Ray ; . . Jantzen-Kurpiel, Maureen Moore ; . . Neufeld, Russell Lee "Russ" ; . . Ross, Lula Horst Eby ; . . Wenger, Clarence Edward ; . .

Mennonite World Review - February 13, 2017 - 95th Year, No. 4 - p. 15



Brubaker, Lois E. Byler

Lois E. Brubaker, 94, of Lititz, Pa., died Jan. 18, 2017, at Landis Homes Retirement Community. She was born Oct. 19, 1922, to Jesse D. and Agnes (Gunden) Byler near Pigeon, Mich.
She was married to J. Lester Brubaker, then of Lancaster, for 70 years.

She expressed her faith in Jesus as an active participant in Mennonite congregations in the various communities in which she lived. She was widely known for her Christian hospitality and good cooking. She made many friends through hosting tourists for 20 years. She taught preschool children in Sunday school until she was 70 years old. For many years, she served on the outreach committee of the congregation and later coordinated the work of a small weekly prayer group.

Her deepest joy in life came from doing kind deeds for others. Giving flowers and vegetables from her large garden brought her pleasure. Doing things with and for children was a delight. Above all else, she loved the Lord and found joy in serving him. She gave strong support and encouragement to her husband in his 50-year career in Christian education.

Survivors include her husband, J. Lester; three children, Rose L. (Christian) Kennel, Anne (Jay) Roth and Edward D. (Lucy Yoder) Brubaker; six sisters, Naomi Swartz, Anna Mae Swartz, Grace Swartz, Daisy Yoder, Alice Souder and Arlene Gingerich; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by a son and his wife, Charles and Joyce (Longacre) Brubaker; a grandson, Christian David Kennel Jr.; a brother, Raymond Byler; and a sister, Ruth Byler.

Memorial services were held at Landis Homes, Lititz. Burial was at the Rohrerstown, Pa., Mennonite (old) cemetery. Memorial gifts may be sent to Global Disciples in Lancaster.



Neufeld, Russell Lee "Russ"

Russell Lee “Russ” Neufeld, 40, of Newton, Kan., died Jan. 21, 2017, after an 18-month fight against lymphoma. He was born Jan. 16, 1977, to Clare and Bev Neufeld in Killarney, Man.

He lived in several locations in Canada before meeting Kendra Duerksen, the love of his life, at Hesston College in 1995. They were married in 1999 and after some years in Harrisonburg, Va., settled in Newton to start a family.

He earned an associate’s degree from Hesston College and a bachelor of science degree in physics from James Madison University in Harrisonburg. He had many and varied jobs throughout his life, but his most rewarding and influential were recording engineer, web architect and network administrator with MennoMedia/Mennonite Mission Network and, most recently, IT director at Hesston College. He lived life with an open hand and had many hobbies and interests, including music (he was a member of five bands), hockey, motorcycles, Highland Games, brewing and reading. He was a student of life, learning much and passing much along to others.

He will be remembered by the many who loved him as an old soul despite his short years. He had a knack for drawing out the best in others and set an example of how to live a life directed by honesty, sharing, learning and, above all else, love. For his 40th birthday his final request was that we spread that love, for “it is the only thing in this world that endures.”

Survivors include his wife, Kendra; children Ethan Neufeld and Natalie Neufeld; parents Clare and Bev Neufeld; a brother, Ryan Neufeld; a sister, Rachel Neufeld; and two grandmothers, Eva Neufeld and Mary Siemens.

He was preceded in death by two grandfathers, John Siemens and Peter Neufeld; and a grandmother, Mary Siemens.

Memorial services were held at Hesston Mennonite Church. Memorial donations are suggested to Hesston College.



Augsburger, Fred E.

Fred E. Augsburger, 95, of Walnut Creek, Ohio, died Jan. 30, 2017, at Walnut Hills Nursing Home in Walnut Creek. He was born April 27, 1921, to Clarence and Estella (Shenk) Augsburger in Elida.

He married Carolyn King on May 26, 1946, in Elida. She preceded him in death on June 22, 2002.

He served in Civilian Public Service in Luray, Va., during World War II. He and Carolyn were dairy farmers in Wisconsin after the war. In the 1950s they followed the leading of Jesus to plant the Rockview Mennonite and Berean Fellowship churches in Youngstown. He was a member of Berlin Mennonite Church for more than 20 years and was a pastor and evangelist in more than 250 churches across the United States, Canada and Jamaica, serving in ministry for more than 70 years.

He enjoyed planting sunflowers, making maple syrup and feeding the birds and squirrels. He loved woodworking and furniture making and especially loved to build and repair clocks. He was a cultivator and tender of tomatoes, flowers and especially people. Kind-hearted and wisdom-filled, he shared his love of life and people with all he met, always showing the way to the Lord.

Survivors include five children, Ruth Ann (Owen) Burkholder of Harrisonburg, Va., Joyce Gingerich of Harrisonburg, Linda (Dennis) Gingerich of Cape Coral, Fla., Samuel (Beth) Augsburger of Nicholasville, Ky., and Brenda (Timothy) Yoder of Bird-in-Hand, Pa.; three brothers, A. Don Augsburger of Harrisonburg, Va., Myron (Esther) Augsburger of Harrisonburg, Va., and W. David (Leann) Augsburger of Clairemont, Calif.; a sister, Anna Mary (Milton) Good of Elizabethtown, Pa.; and a sister-in-law, Garneita Augsburger of Sarasota, Fla.; 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn; a brother, S. Dan Augsburger; and a son-in-law, Paul Gingerich.

Memorial services were held at Berlin Mennonite Church.



Wenger, Clarence Edward

Clarence Edward Wenger, 92, of Wayland, Iowa, died Jan. 9, 2017, at the home he was born and resided in for his entire life. He was born Oct. 10, 1924, to Ed and Elizabeth (Good) Wenger.

He married Dorothy A. Wagler on Dec. 25, 1944, in Trenton. They had just celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary.

He accepted Christ as his Savior at age 11 and was baptized at Sugar Creek Mennonite Church, later becoming a charter member at Bethel Mennonite Church. He was active in the church and served as elder, Sunday school teacher, Sunday school superintendent and cemetery sexton. He loved Jesus and reflected his love in his everyday walk.

He attended Sommers Country School in rural Wayland and then worked with his dad on the family farm. He was a dairy farmer for 45 years and also raised turkeys and bottle calves. Because of his love for puppies, he became a puppy broker after he retired from milking and did this until 2012.

He also served as director on the country school board and township trustee for many years.

He had an amazing gift of making everyone feel as though they were important and special.

Survivors include his wife, Dor­othy Wenger, of Wayland; five children, Carol (Edwin V.) Miller of Kalona, Don (Candace) Wenger of San Marcos, Calif., Jane (Gary) DeYarman of Poway, Calif., Darla (Gene) Messer of Wayland and Susan (Mark) Yutzy of Wayland; 16 grandchildren; 45 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by an infant son, Roger Lee; a granddaughter-in-law, Christy Wenger; three sisters, Minnie Roth, Frances Wyse and Margaret Richard; and a brother, Elmer Wenger.

Services were held at Bethel Mennonite Church of rural Wayland. Burial was in Bethel Mennonite Cemetery. Memorials were established for On His Path (Kids Against Hunger and local family needs) and Bethel Mennonite Church.

Mennonite World Review - February 27, 2017 - 95th Year, No. 5 - p. 15



Jantz, Wallace Ray

Wallace Ray Jantz, 90, of Hess­ton, Kan., died Dec. 29, 2016. He was born March 4, 1926, to Solomon B. and Katie (Wadel) Jantz on the Jantz ranch in Haviland.

He had a love of nature, great sensitivity to the world and others, and an intense desire to know truth and understand it. The early settings that shaped his life included the Kansas ranch of his youth, the one-room schoolhouse and, later, his beloved cars that opened up endless miles of roads. His drive to live crystallized after nearly dying in an early car accident and witnessing a serious injury to his brother Wes. He felt an early calling to Christian ministry and began a lifelong journey to explore God’s mystery and help others live fully into all God called them to be.

He graduated from Hesston and Goshen (Ind.) colleges and Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind.
He became a respected church leader. For more than 50 years he led congregations, served in broader church leadership roles and developed a wide circle of lifelong friendships. He encouraged others to “let your life speak.”

He loved music and sang in groups and solo until his final days. He had an infectious sense of humor. The natural world inspired him, and he often felt the presence of God in outdoor places.
He was married to Sylvia Andres in a rich partnership that lasted more than 50 years. They shared musical duets, led marriage enrichment events and experienced the joy of shared moments in a union of vitality.

Survivors include sons Jeff (Teresa) Jantz of Durango, Colo., and Tim (Melissa) Jantz of Lancaster, Pa.; a sister, Doris Diller of Hesston; two brothers, Dewayne and Melvin Jantz, both of Haviland; and four grandchildren.

Memorial services were held at Hesston Mennonite Church. Memorials may be designated to the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary or the Hesston College music department in care of Hesston Mennonite Church.



Hochstetler, Hannah Grieser

Hannah Grieser Hochstetler, 26, of Jackson, Miss., died Jan. 19, 2017. She was born Nov. 4, 1990, to Michael and Beth Grieser in Goshen, Ind.

She attended Bethany Christian School, where she took a special interest in art and volleyball. She went on to graduate from Goshen College with a degree in communications and a minor in Spanish. She played on Goshen’s volleyball team, where she was known by her teammates for her powerful hits, fun-loving spirit and encouraging words. While in college, she met Caleb Hochstetler, and they were married July 26, 2014.

They lived in Harrisonburg, Va., where they attended Ridgeway Mennonite Church. She had a passion for young people, and she and Caleb spent lots of time building relationships with the neighborhood children. They were youth advisers for the Ridgeway youth group. In July, they took a step of faith and moved to Jackson, where they worked as unit leaders and house parents for a Service Adventure unit (of Mennonite Mission Network) of four young adults doing voluntary service.

She had an eye for design and created and captured beauty through photography, painting and graphic design. Other hobbies included playing music, gardening and staying active through walks, runs, tennis, frisbee, and really any sport.

Those who knew her remember her beautiful smile, her easy, contagious laughter, the sparkle in her eye as she joked, and the strength and warmth of the hugs she gave so often. She was known as a person of authenticity, intentionality and simplicity. She and Caleb thought a lot about the way they lived and the testament their lives could be to the faith they held so deeply.

Survivors include her husband, Caleb; her parents, Michael and Beth Grieser of Goshen; her paternal grandparents, Willard and Marilyn Grieser of Archbold, Ohio; a maternal grandmother, Donna Smucker of Goshen; a brother, Nathan (Kate) Grieser of Lancaster, Pa.; a sister, Sarah Grieser of Goshen; and her parents-in-law, Ken and Sue Hochstetler of Goshen.

Memorial services took place at College Mennonite Church in Goshen. Memorial contributions may be made to the Goshen College Graphic Design Program; Pleasant View Inc. Support Services for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities, Broadway, Va.; Mennonite Mission Network Service Adventure and Global Impact programs, Elkhart, Ind.; and Pine Lake Fellowship Camp, Meridian, Miss.



Classen, Roy James

Roy James Classen, 71, of Walnut Hill, Fla., died Dec. 17, 2016. He was born May 26, 1945, to Willie and Elizabeth Loewen Classen in Meade, Kan.

He was a farmer. His heart was in farming from a very young age, and he thoroughly enjoyed forming relationships with those that he came to know through farming. He also enjoyed his involvements in the community and church. His love for his wife and family was evident, and he was enjoying his grandchildren and watching them grow up. Above all his love for the Lord was what guided him in his life, even through his battle with cancer. Now he has finished his race and is with his precious Savior. He was faithful and ran it well.

Survivors include his wife, Miriam Yoder Classen of Walnut Hill; a son, Kevin (Wendy) Classen of Atmore, Ala.; three daughters, Denise (Michael) Beachy of Plain City, Ohio, and Andrea (Brent) Wagler and Juanita (Terry) Miller, all of Sarasota; two brothers, Ken (Mabel) Classen of Atmore, Ala., and Steve (Treva) Classen of Walnut Hill; two sisters, Marianne Classen of Walnut Hill and Beverly Classen of Sarasota; and 11 grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by an infant brother, Kenneth Classen.
Services were held at the Mennonite Christian Fellowship. Burial was in Freemanville Community Cemetery.



Ross, Lula Horst Eby

Lula Horst Ross, 97, of Sarasota, Fla., died Feb. 15, 2017. She was born Dec. 9, 1919, to Michael and Florence Horst in Clear Spring, Md.

She married Raymond Eby on Feb. 20, 1940.

They had four children and worked their dairy farm in Hagers­town, Md. Widowed at age 32, she continued to raise her children on the farm. She would host children on her farm from urban centers through the Fresh Air Fund.

She married I. Mark Ross on June 6, 1959, and moved to Kidron, Ohio, where he pastored Sonnenberg Mennonite Church. They had two children and moved to Waynesboro, Va., where he pastored Springdale Mennonite Church. They relocated to Sarasota in 1966 to pastor Newtown Gospel Chapel. She served in the Women’s Missionary and Service Commission and taught Sunday school and Bible school.

She completed nursing school in Sarasota and was an LPN at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Plymouth Harbor and Merrill Gardens. She served on the board of directors at Sunnyside Village and did years of volunteer work for Mennonite Central Committee. She loved travel and enjoyed trips to Europe and South America, visiting children living abroad. Her strength and grace, courage and wit remained a joy to her family and others. Her faith was an encouragement to her family. She was a member of Bahia Vista Mennonite Church.

Survivors include six children, Lucille (Hank) Schiefer, Lavonne (Sherman) Amstutz, Karen (Leon) Moyer, Lynn (Betty) Eby, Conrad (Katherine) Ross and Curtis (Shannon) Ross; a brother, Nathan Horst; 25 grandchildren; 38 great-grandchildren and 18 great-great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, I. Mark Ross; a daughter, Beulah Fern Ross Clearo; and seven siblings, Amanda, Florence, Reuben, Anna, Naomi, Enos and Abram.

A memorial service is planned for April 8 at Sunnyside Village Chapel. Memorial gifts may be made to the Sunnyside Foundation (memo Health Center) in Sarasota.



Jantzen-Kurpiel, Maureen Moore

Maureen Jantzen-Kurpiel, 90, of Florida, N.Y., died Feb. 13, 2017. She was born Feb. 7, 1927, to Chester and Emilie (Holbert) Moore in Goshen, N.Y. She was a loving mother, faithful wife and registered nurse who cared deeply for all those in her care.

After graduating from Warwick High School in 1945, she attended nursing school at Englewood (N.J.) Hospital. During her training she met her future husband, Theodore “Ted” J. Jantzen of Beatrice, Neb. They were married in 1947 and settled in Florida, N.Y., where they raised their four sons in the house that he built in 1952 and in which she resided for the rest of her life.

After beginning her nursing career at Tuxedo Hospital in Tuxedo Park, she worked at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Warwick and then finished her career with private-duty nursing. She shepherded her four sons through church, scouting and school with a strong emphasis on academics, attending college and providing them with opportunities that she did not have.

In 1992 she closed a chapter of her life with the death of her mother, Emilie, and her husband of 44 years, both in the same week. In 2003 she married Chester “Chet” J. Kurpiel Sr. He was a close friend of Ted and after losing his first wife became a loving and devoted husband to her for the remaining 13 years of her life.

In recent years, she bravely battled progressive aphasia, which eventually took away her ability to communicate.

Survivors include her husband, Chet; her sons, Ronald (Marjorie Brian) Jantzen of Sherborn, Mass., Robert (Ani)?Jantzen of Radnor, Pa., Donald (Damaris) Jantzen of Hackettstown, N.J., and Daniel (Deborah)?Jantzen of Etna, N.H.; seven grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and Chet’s sons Daniel Kurpiel of Middletown and Chester J. (Maureen Daly) Kurpiel Jr. of Roslindale, Mass.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Ted; and two brothers, Bernard and Lauran Moore.

A memorial service is being planned for a later date.

Copyright 2003 - All rights reserved - Mennonite Publishing House, Scottdale, PA
Used with permission by the Archives of the Mennonite Church, Goshen, INDIANA
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