Archive | Obituaries


Lillian (Siebert) Detweiler, ’53

Posted on 12 May 2017 by editor

image002Lillian S. Detweiler of Bradenton, Fla., died Dec. 4, 2011.  

Born in Hamilton County, Neb., on April 13, 1931, and she moved to Florida in 1953.  She  helped to found Detweiler’s Propane Gas Company.  She was a licensed practical nurse and a charter member of Calvary Baptist Church. She was deeply devoted to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ  and her church.

She enjoyed reading, baking and traveling. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, who will be deeply missed.  

Predeceased by parents, Henry and Maria Siebert; sisters, Esther Rogers, and Winifred Siebert; survived by sons, Kenneth (Michelle) of Bradenton, Lawrence (Sue) of Huntington, Vermont, Anthony (Lisa) of Maryville, Tenn; daughters, Rebecca (Neil) Nyberg of Battle Creek, Mich., Susan (Don) Blaker of Bradenton, Fla.; brothers, Johnny, Henry, Alan, and Dennis Siebert; sisters, Tiena Sellers, Mabel Eichhorn, Marion Jensen; eighteen grandchildren; and six great-granddaughters.

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Lila Mae Kitch, ’63

Posted on 05 April 2017 by editor

lmk63Lila Mae Kitch ’63, born March 11, 1941, passed away March 30, 2017, at age 76. 

Lila was born in Arnold, Neb., to Manfred and Ildie Blixt. She graduated from Arnold High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Grace Bible Institute in 1963. On August 8, 1963, Lila married Sherman Kitch in Arnold. It was love at first sight. Lila worked for many years as a bookkeeper for Russell Stationary. They moved to Amarillo from Borger, Texas, in 2004. Lila was strong to the core. She was a wonderful wife, mother, and grandmother, and was the heart of her family. She was very involved with her church, and was very giving with her time and talents. 

Survivors include her husband, Sherman Kitch of Amarillo; a daughter, Renee Whitaker and husband James of Amarillo; two sons, Randy Kitch and wife Samantha of Kansas City, Mo., and Robbie Kitch of Ft. Worth; one sister, Lydia Blixt of Little Rock, Ark.; five brothers, Larry Blixt and wife Judy, Leroy Blixt and wife Tina, Lennie Blixt and wife Carol all of Chapman, Kansas, Leon Blixt and wife Elaine of Belton, Maryland, and Lyle Blixt and wife Janie of Branson, Mo.; nine grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

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Elmer Reimer, ’56

Posted on 28 March 2017 by editor

4169379Elmer Isaac Reimer, our much loved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, pastor, and friend, passed away peacefully in his son’s home March 19, 2017. He was born in Drake, Saskatchewan, Canada, on May 18, 1922, the third of seven sons and one daughter born to Frank and Gertrude (Boese) Reimer. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Catharina, and brothers Alfred, Harry, Arlie, and Leslie. He is survived by brothers Johnny and Albert, sister Betty, son David (Marilyn), grandchildren Kristen (Sean) Fender and son Nathan; Gregory (Amber) and children Adrianna, Bree, and Cate; and Jeffrey (Jessica) and children Charlie, Lillian, Anna, and Elanor.

He came to faith in Christ during a revival in their church in Dalmeny, Saskatchewan, and was baptized at the age of 14.

The extreme drought of the thirties forced the family to move to Steinbach, Manitoba, to find work when Elmer was a teenager. He worked in a body shop, lumber camp, and as a mechanic in a John Deere dealership.

He met Catharina (Tina) Peters at the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren church in Steinbach. They were married September 26, 1943. Their son, David, was born April 2, 1945.

Elmer felt called to the ministry and the family moved to Omaha, NE, where he enrolled at Grace Bible Institute. Within a few years, he had served as a summer pastor in Michigan and then left school to become the pastor of the EMB church in Jansen, NE. He served there for several years before returning to school in Omaha. In 1957 he moved to South Dakota to pastor the Kingsburg Community Church for several years before accepting the pastorate of the Carter Gospel Fellowship, a rural church near Winner, SD.

After 28 years at Carter, he and Tina moved to Newton in 1991, and Elmer pastored the First Mennonite Church of Burns, KS, for 12 ½ years.

Elmer was heavily involved in evangelistic meetings in churches throughout the Midwest and Canada, and in youth work primarily through Bible camps. Thousands of young people knew and loved him as ‘Uncle Elmer.’

In 2004, at the age of 82, he resigned the pastorate and took on the project of raising missionary support for the task of translating and recording into Low German the entire collection of J. Vernon McGee’s Thru the Bible radio teaching series, a five-year daily broadcast consisting of 1,297 individual half-hour programs of study from Genesis to Revelation. He became the world-wide Low German voice of the Thru the Bible series, one of more than a hundred languages into which the program has been translated and recorded. The Low German programs are currently being broadcast regularly to thousands of Low German-speaking Mennonites in Mexico, South America, Northern Germany, and Canada. He also translated the New Testament and portions of the Old Testament into Low German. His ministry impact will continue long into the future.

After completing the translation projects in 2010, he taught Sunday School at Grace Community Church until December of 2015, completing 75 years of continuous ministry. His godly spirit and faithful ministry will be greatly missed by his family and a host of people who have known and loved him.

Visitation for Elmer will be held on Friday, March 24th, 2017 in the Fireside Room at Grace Community Church, from 2:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M. The family will greet guests from 6:30 P.M.-8:00 P.M.

Burial will be held on Saturday, March 25th at 9:00 A.M. at the Burns Countryside Cemetery in Burns, Kansas.

The Memorial Service honoring Elmer will follow at 11: 00 A.M. on Saturday, at Grace Community Church.

Memorials have been established with Grace Community Church.

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Loren D. Roth, ’76

Posted on 20 March 2017 by editor



Loren D. Roth ’76, age 62, of Pettisville, Ohio, passed away in his home on Monday, February 13, 2017, after enduring nearly two years of various forms of chemotherapy.

He was born in Brussels, Belgium, on September 24, 1954, the son of Earl and Ruth (Jantzen) Roth. On August 11, 1990, he married Nancy Graber.  Loren attended Oregon State, Grace Bible College, and Lewis and Clark College, eventually ending with an MA in teaching, with a concentration of math. From 1980–1983 he taught junior high math in Oregon, and then he took a job teaching in Yemen Arab Republic. From 1986–1989 he taught in Uxbridge, England. He then moved to Archbold and worked for Sauder Woodworking in Archbold.

Loren is survived by his wife, Nancy; two sons, Phillip and Alex; his father, Earl; brother, Marc Roth; and sister, Yvonne Smith.  He was preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Roth.

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Russell G. “Russ” Jones

Posted on 02 March 2017 by editor

58b5db3f83116.imageAnother Servant Leader Called Home

Russell G. “Russ” Jones, 91, of Omaha, died February 25, 2017. He was born September 26, 1925.

Russ served at Grace University for over 35 years as a professor, registrar and librarian. After retirement, he pastored Immanuel Church in Lincoln. Russ also served as an interim pastor at many other churches in Nebraska and Iowa.

Survivors: wife of 68 years, Ruth; children, Susan (Brad) Brown, Judith (Craig) Fuller; Russell (Ellen) Jones, Jr., and Rebecca (Steven) White; grandchildren, Sarah, Emily, Nathaniel, James, Rachel, Caleb, Kathryn, Samuel and Michael; great-grandchildren, Norah, Graham, Philippa, Fletcher, Henry, Martin and Oliver. Preceded in death by parents, Alva and Alma Jones; three brothers and one sister.

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Marilyn Joyce Schrag, ’54

Posted on 02 March 2017 by editor


Marilyn Joyce Schrag ’54, died Feb. 22, 2017, at the age of 79 in Hesston, Kansas, after a long struggle with Huntington’s Disease. She was born Oct. 18, 1937, in Dodge City, the daughter of Edward and Alma Harms Enns. She was a graduate of Gridley High School and attended Grace College of the Bible. She had been a legal secretary and musician, playing the piano, organ and marimba. She was a current member of Whitestone Mennonite Church and had served in churches in Kansas, Ohio, Missouri and Texas. 

She married Elwyn LaVerne Schrag on July 28, 1956, in Hooker, Oklahoma. He survives. Other survivors include two sons, Brian (Barbara) Schrag of Dallas, Texas, and Brad (Joy) Schrag of Minneapolis, Minnesota; two daughters, Lynelle (Bob) Morris of Tucson, Arizona, and Lori (Andrés) Tapia of Highland Park, Illinois; a sister, Marge Hamm, Hooker, Oklahoma; and eight grandchildren.

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VIiolet DeBoer Hebbert, ’57

Posted on 23 February 2017 by editor

vdh57Violet Joyce “Vi” Hebbert, 77, died Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, in Liberal, Kansas. She was born Dec. 21, 1939. to Otto and Mabel (Poppen) DeBoer in Milbank, S.D. She married Dale Merrill Hebbert July 11, 1959, in Corona, S.D. He survives. She graduated from Sunshine Bible Academy in 1957 in Miller, S.D.. She later attended the Grace Bible Institute in Omahafor 2 years. She was a member of the Gospel of Grace Church in Hooker, Okla. She was self-employed as a healthcare provider.

Survivors also include children: Timothy Hebbert and wife, Suzi, Bullhead City, Ariz., Terri Saucerman and husband, Roger, Stillwater, Okla., Dean Hebbert and wife, LeAnn, Liberal, and Delton Hebbert and wife, Rachel, Stillwater, Okla.; brothers: Donald DeBoer and wife, DonnaMae, Milbank, S.D., Alan DeBoer and wife, Sharon, Pagosa Springs, Colo., and Eldon DeBoer and wife, Diane, Sioux Falls, S. D.; sister, Pearl Van Haveren and husband, Bruce, Evergreen, Colo.; nine grandchildren:  Erin (Tyler) Watson, Ezekiel Hebbert, TimiLynn (Ryan) Green, Ryan (Nicole) Saucerman, Chelsea (Sam) Saucerman, Abbey Hebbert, Savanna Hebbert, Bailey Hebbert and Hayden Hebbert; and three great-grandchildren: Taryn Watson, Tayla Watson and Nathan Saucerman.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and grandson, Matthew Wade Saucerman.

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Amy Winsinger Bergen, ’51

Posted on 23 February 2017 by editor

Amy Winsinger Bergen ’51 was born June 8, 1930, to Herman and Marie Winsinger in Pretty Prairie, Kansas. She attended Grace College of the Bible and graduated in 1951.  She then went on to attend Grace Hospital School of Nursing in Hutchinson, Kans., and graduated in 1954.  Amy left for Brazil, to be a missionary. There she met up again with Gerald Bergen and they married.  Amy faithfully served the Lord there with Brazil Gospel Fellowship Mission for over 40 years. Amy joined her Savior on February 16, 2017.

Amy is survived by her husband of 61 years Gerald, son Timothy and wife Judy of DeRidder, Louisiana. Daughter Rachel Foster of Winston Salem, N.C.  Six grandchildren Adriana (Alan) Childress, Joel (Mary Beth) Bergen, Kristian Henry, Olivia Bergen, Bre’Anna Lemos, Bryson Foster.  Five great grandchildren Emery, Hadley, Carter, Nicholas, and Olivia. 

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Linda Grove, ’67-68

Posted on 10 February 2017 by editor

image001Linda L. (Ahrens) Grove, age 68, of Conewago Township, passed away January 15, 2017, at her home. She was the wife of Ted Grove. The couple celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary on August 10, 2016.  Linda was born in York, Penn., on January 1, 1949, the son of the late Kenneth and Marie (Tolbert) Ahrens. She was a member of Grace Baptist Church of York. She was a 1966 graduate of Dover High School and attended Grace University. She accepted the Lord as her personal Savior when she was young and always tried to live her life for the Lord. She was a homemaker and a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She enjoyed caring for animals (tame and wild) and had a great love for them. Now she is happy to be in Heaven serving the Lord and taking care of His animals. As the family grew she was very active with assisting in little league and an active participant in co-ed league volleyball. Linda leaves two sons, Jim Grove, his wife, Michele (Shelly) of Dover and their son, Louie, age 13; T.J. Grove, his companion, Samantha Turner and children, Belle Grove, age 15, Chayse Grove, age 8, Sage Turner, age 8, Sadie Turner, age 2, and twins Jacks and Scarlett Grove, age 7 months. She also leaves a sister, Patsy Ryan and her husband, Stuart of Dover; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

Published in York Daily Record & York Dispatch on Jan. 18, 2017

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Elinor Katherine Goertz, ’46

Posted on 03 February 2017 by editor

83a1cc5e-798a-487a-be1b-04433402c181Elinor Katherine Goertz ’46 was born on September 24, 1925, in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada, to John and Anna Barkman. She had an older brother, Paul, and a younger sister, Verda. After a number of moves, the family settled in Henderson, Neb., where Elinor graduated from high school. She attended Grace Bible Institute, graduating with the second graduation class in 1946. She met her first husband, Charles Boehr, at Grace and they were married on June 1, 1947. Their child, Charles, was born in 1950, in Winona Lake, Indiana. Her husband, Charles, was tragically killed in a car accident shortly after the birth of Charles. Elinor subsequently moved with infant Charles to Upland, Indiana, to obtain her B.A. degree from Taylor University. At Taylor she was reacquainted with a former Grace student, Reuben Goertz, who also was attending Taylor. Elinor and Reuben were married in Henderson on January 31, 1954. A daughter, Cornelia, was born in 1955, in Haxtun, Colorado, where Elinor and Reuben were involved in planting a church. Having felt God’s call to the mission field, Elinor and Reuben, along with Charles and Cornelia, set sail for Germany in 1956. Elinor and Reuben served as missionaries with Greater Europe Mission in Germany and Canada for more than 30 years. While serving in Germany, the twins, Samuel and Susan, in 1958, in Heidelberg. After retiring in 1998, Elinor and Reuben moved to Colorado Springs to be close to family. They settled into Go Ye Village in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, in 2007. Reuben passed away on December 24, 2009. 

Elinor was a gifted teacher, musician, counselor, and inspirational speaker. She had a deep abiding faith in God. She trusted the Lord to sustain and provide no matter the situation or difficulty of the task. She was an amazing prayer warrior – someone who truly prayed without ceasing. Her home was open to everyone and there was always room for one more plate at the table. She loved to entertain making everyone who entered her home feel special. She especially delighted in cooking favorite foods for her children and grandchildren – Sunday roasts, verenika, zwieback and her heavenly strawberry jam. Her hands were always busy, knitting, sewing or cross-stitching. She delighted in knitting beautiful and creative sweaters for her grandchildren. She loved to play games and work with puzzles. She lovingly reminded her grandchildren to read their Bible. She treasured spending time with her grandchildren. She loved to gather them around her for a game of Skip bo or to work a puzzle. Their accomplishments were her pride and joy in life. In her eyes, they were perfect! Elinor was technologically savvy and kept in daily contact with those she loved on her iPhone, texting or sending selfies or photos. She was a loving, encouraging, faithful friend to a countless number of people. At the time of her death she was still in regular contact with friends in Germany. Even with the death of Reuben in 2009, she kept on serving the God she loved, encouraging others to join her in the work of the Lord. The Lord called this good and faithful servant home on January 28, 2017, in Tahlequah, OK, at the age of 91. A blessed sister, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, that can never be replaced.

Elinor is preceded in death by her mother, father, husband Charles Boehr and second husband Reuben Goertz, her brother, Dr. Paul Barkman, and her sister, Verda Prieb. Those left to carry on her legacy include her sons and daughters, Rev. Charles Goertz and wife Beverly of Denver; Connie Sturm and husband Rev. Jon Sturm of Portland, Oregon; Susan Holm and husband Rev. Jason Holm of Cologne, Germany; and Dr. Samuel Goertz and wife Andrea Goertz of Montvale, N.J. There are eleven grandchildren and five great grandchildren. She also leaves her very special friend and sister, Maryann Andres, and three sisters-in-law, Frieda Barkman, Bette Friesen and Liz Hanes, as well as many cousins and a host of friends.

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