Archive | Obituaries

Charlene Burkholder, ’65

Posted on 05 November 2014 by vunruh

Charlene Marie (Classen) Burkholder was born Aug 2, 1944. She died Oct 22, 2014. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Jared Burkholder of Hesston, KS; children: Brad Burkholder (Sally) of Hesston, KS; Tiffany Smith (Michael) of Omaha, NE; Jonathan Burkholder (Jeanna) of Seattle, WA; Candice Bradford (Jeff) of Phoenix, AZ; and nine grandchildren, Cassidy and Carson Burkholder, Thaddaeus, Elias, and Matthias Smith, Graham and Elliott Burkholder, Tyson and Taylor Bradford.

She is also survived by a sister, Yvonne Fenimore (Terry) of Urbandale, IA; sister-in-law, Dori Classen of Holdrege, NE; and many nieces and nephews.

Charlene was preceded in death by her parents, Curt & Lena Classen; her step-mother, Mary Classen; and her brother, Jerry Classen.

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Marilyn Amstutz

Marilyn Amstutz, ’09

Posted on 05 November 2014 by vunruh

Marilyn Florence (Horne) Amstutz was born February 5, 1957 to Olive and Gordon Horne in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. After graduating from Simcoe Composite School, she moved to the United States for college. It wasn’t New York City or Los Angeles that lured her away from her homeland, but the small city of Cedarville, Ohio where she felt called to attend Cedarville University. She graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 1978 and moved back to Simcoe to teach grades 5-6 at Bethel Baptist Academy.

During this time, she became reacquainted with a friend from Cedarville, Kent Amstutz. They began dating long-distance and married in 1981, and again she moved to the states—this time to Des Moines, Iowa where Kent was in medical school. While in Des Moines, Marilyn taught Middle School English at Grandview Park Baptist School.

Kent had joined the Air Force before entering medical school, so upon his graduation they were sent to Biloxi, Mississippi for his residency. In 1983, their first child was born, Jenee Christina. 1986 brought another move—Omaha, NE—and another baby, Melissa Lynn. Shortly after, they moved to Papillion, NE, and with the Air Force being the Air Force, they moved shortly after that to Puyallup, WA.

Marilyn was able to home school the girls during their time in Washington and they all enjoyed the beautiful forests, mountains, and ocean as their classroom. Kent’s liver disease unfortunately progressed while in Washington, and while they were set to make their next move to England, instead they returned to Nebraska in order for Kent to receive care at UNMC, which housed one of the best transplant teams in the country. After Kent’s liver transplant, Marilyn and her family settled into life in Nebraska. She became a substitute teacher for Papillion-La Vista Schools until 2002.

Marilyn was gifted in many ways. She played the flute, piano, and sang; which she was able to do all over the world through her trips to Brazil (1978) all ten provinces in Canada (1980), and Australia (1977 and 2008). She delighted in serving and participating in ministry at Christ Community Church, where she wrote curriculum, taught bible studies, sponsored youth trips, and was a student leader trainer in the youth group.

Marilyn always valued education. She loved learning and she loved to teach others. She went back to school and graduated from Grace University with her Master of Arts in Biblical Studies in 2009. In 2008, she became the Dean of Women at Grace University and continued until 2013. She cultivated many long, lasting relationships with her students.

In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, she was a beloved Grammie to her grandchildren, Sam and Lucia. She was a friend to anyone who came into contact with her and she cared for all living things. Her battle with cancer was fought courageously, passionately, and with a smile until the very end.

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Martha Baerg

Martha (Classen) Baerg, ’51

Posted on 05 November 2014 by vunruh

Martha (Classen) Baerg was born on February 3, 1926 to Abe L. and Agnes (Bartel) Classen in Meade, KS. She was the oldest of 9 children. She passed into the arms of her loving Heavenly Father on September 10, 2014 at the Good Samaritan Village in Mountain Lake, MN at the age of 88.

She attended McNulty School in Meade County for her elementary education.  Martha and sister Ann both graduated from Meade Bible Academy in 1948. This was the first graduating class of MBA. Martha graduated from Grace University with her BA degree in 1951. In 1985 she earned her Master’s Degree in Human Resources and Leadership from Azusa Pacific in California.

Martha accepted the Lord as her personal savior at age 16. She was later baptized, upon the confession of her faith, by Rev. Orlando Wiebe on August 6, 1944 and joined the EMB church at Meade, KA. She transferred her membership to the Cornerstone Bible Church in Mountain Lake on April 27, 1997.

Martha’s heart was for missions and to serve others which was indicated by her spending 5 summers working for the Go Ye Mission in the Ozarks. She also served and additional year at InFaith Mission in South Dakota. She answered her call to missions and went to Japan to assist in pioneer church planting. She faithfully served in Japan from 1951-1996 as a career missionary with SEND Int’l.  Along with her sister Ann, she assisted in planting 7 churches.

On May 5, 1989 she married Henry Baerg at the Christian Academy Chapel in Higashi Kurume, Japan. They served together as missionaries with SEND Int’l for 7 1/2 years and were married for 24 years. Upon retirement, they made their home in Mountain Lake and opened their doors to many friends and students from Japan who were traveling through. Martha volunteered with hospice, at Good Samaritan Village, Elizabeth House, and was active leading Bible Study, teaching Sunday school, and attending prayer meetings.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Henry in 2013; and sisters- Lisbeth (stillborn), and Esther Ratzlaff. Martha is survived by 4 sisters- Ann Classen, Lone Tree in Meade, KS, Alma Regier of Meade, KS, Arlene (D Junior) Stoesz of Mountain Lake, and Leona (Harold) Buller of Hillsdale, OK; 2 brothers- John (Rose) Classen of Topeka, KA, and Menno (Susanna) Classen of Aurora, NE; and many nieces, nephews, and Baerg extended family.

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Dan Dalke

Dan U. Dalke, ’53

Posted on 10 October 2014 by vunruh

Former Bluffton pastor, Rev. Dan U. Dalke, 93, died in his home in Inman, Kansas on Sept. 29, 2014. He was born June 27, 1921 in Inman to John and Sara Dalke. He married Edna Franz on Jan. 22, 1943 and together they had seven children.

After graduating from Grace Bible Institute, Omaha, Neb. in 1951, he was ordained to the ministry and for 63 years conducted numerous pastoral assignments including seven years as pastor of the Swiss Church in Whitewater, Kan. and 18 years as senior pastor of Ebenezer Mennonite Church in Bluffton, Kan. The last 12 years he served as chaplain for Pleasant View Retirement Home where he resided.

Seventy-one years of marriage and many travels took Dan and his wife, Edna, to 48 of the 50 states and 46 countries of the world. He also conducted several tours of the Holy Land.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Edna, of 71 years; a daughter, Marilyn; a son Warren; and a great-grandson, Bradley.

He is survived by daughters Cheryl Epp of Colorado, Arline Clark (Larry) of Ohio, Vonda McEachern of Colorado; daughter-in-law, Brenda Dalke of Washington; sons Dale Dalke (Diane) of Washington and Verle Dalke (Linda) of Oregon; son-in-law, Laverne Busenitz of Kansas; 22 grandchildren and 48 great grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct., 18, at the Grace Bible Church in McPherson, Kan.

Memorial gifts may be donated to the Pleasant View Home in care of Buhler Mortuary, 120 North Main, Buhler, Kan. 67522

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Lenita J. Vetter, ’51

Posted on 24 September 2014 by vunruh

Honoring Miss Lenita Vetter, born October 10, 1924 in Perryville, MO to Clarence William and Mina (Jacobs) Vetter and ushered into the presence of her Lord at Flagstaff Medical Center on August 1, 2014. She had one sister, the late Marie Vetter. She was preceded in death by her sister in Christ and fellow-missionary, Mary Nemire.

She graduated from Holton High School in 1942, Holton, KS. She attended Capitol City Commercial College and then graduated from Grace Bible Institute, Omaha, NE in 1951. Lenita became a missionary and devoted her life as a Bible teacher to the many children, teens & adults throughout northern Arizona, including Window Rock Mission, Indian Bible Church, Flagstaff Mission to the Navajos & ANAM.

She was a spiritual mother and grandmother to those she ministered to for 63 years. She will be truly missed by those whose lives she touched.

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Raymond Becker

Raymond Becker, ’52

Posted on 11 September 2014 by vunruh

Raymond Jay Becker was born northwest of Dolton, SD on June 10, 1934 to parents Joseph J. Becker and Esther Unruh. He enjoyed a very happy childhood and youth on the farm as the third of six children before going to Grace College of the Bible for a semester after his Marion High School graduation.

Although making many life-long friends, he chose to work on the farm for a year while his brother Harold went to 1W service. During that time, he met Frances whom he married on April 24, 1954 and together they moved to Waukegan, IL to finish his two years obligation to our country in lieu of military service at the Downey Veteran’s Hospital. They returned to the farm near Freeman, SD in 1956 where he farmed through many seasons for 43 years, concluding with a farm auction sale in 2000.

Raymond carried on a legacy that his ancestors began of being a lifetime member at the EMB Country Church. He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior during a tent revival on May 25, 1943 at the age of 10. Raymond became a member of Gideons International in 1976 and was very active in spreading the Gospel through Bible distributions and personal testimony

Ray and Frances were “parents” to many foster children beginning in 1967. Of the approximately 20 different children, his most favorite was Jody, a Native American baby who spent many nights cuddled by a secure “dad” as he sang “Trust and Obey” to get her through her alcohol withdrawal.

In December of 2012 he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He was an inspiration to all and shared continually that the Bible had promised him heaven because of his relationship with Jesus Christ. Instead of “dying with cancer”, he chose to live life abundantly as promised in the Bible.

He valued his precious family, loving each and every one. He leaves behind his precious wife, Frances (having just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in April, 2014); four daughters: Coleen (Bill) Black of Omaha, Neb. and their 3 children; Brenda (Tim) Harder of Eldorado, Kan. and their 5 children; Debra (Steve) Friesen and their 4 children and Claudette (Trace) Frahm of Walnut, Iowa and their 2 sons, Ryan (Claris) and 2 children and Derek.

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Maria Mary Penner

Maria Mary Penner, ’54

Posted on 11 September 2014 by vunruh

Maria (Mary) Penner of Winnipeg , MB died peacefully on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at aged 88. She is survived by her half brother John Kroeker, half sisters-in-law Ruth and Hilda Kroeker, and numerous nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

She was predeceased by her parents Henry F. and Maria (Hildebrand) Penner Kroeker, her stepfather John G. Kroeker, her sister Anne Hoeppner, brother-in-law Henry Hoeppner, half brothers Abe and Peter Kroeker, and half sister-in-law Shirley Kroeker.

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Frank Huebert Sr

Frank D. Huebert, Sr., ’57

Posted on 18 August 2014 by vunruh

Frank D Huebert, Sr. of Fairview, OK reached Heaven’s gate and was welcomed into glory on 11 July, 2014 at the age of 97.  He was born to Jacob F. and Sara (Dick) Huebert at home near Lustre, Montana on 4 June, 1917. He was the 6th of 9 children.

After graduating from the 8th Grade at Lustre Bible School, Frank helped with farming and was finally able to go to Frazer High School at the age of 21. The school Superintendent convinced Frank’s dad that he needed further education.

Following graduation, Frank spent several months in the Seattle area working in the steel foundries before joining the Civilian Public Service (CPS), an alternative service of national importance, as a conscientious objector during WWII. He worked for the Forest Service in Oregon and California. Later he was stationed in Lincoln, NE and helped with raising rabbits for food to help with expenses. He met a number of men who became lifetime friends, from as far away as some place called Fairview, OK. They became reacquainted when he and the family moved to Orienta, OK in 1963.

It was during this time in Lincoln that he was introduced to Evelyn Edna Epp by his cousin Marie Huebert. A relationship began and during this time Evie moved to Lincoln to work so they could become better aquainted. On the day of his discharge from CPS, he and Evie were married in Henderson NE. The bond remained sure until his beloved passed away in March, 2012 after 66 years of marriage.

Frank and Evelyn farmed in Western Nebraska the first seven years of marriage. Although his first passion was farming and ranching he knew God had greater things for him. God’s will was for him to be a spiritual farmer, tilling the fertile soil of man’s heart and shepherding His flock. In preparation he attended Grace College of the Bible (Grace University) in Omaha, Nebraska.

Upon graduation in 1957 they began their first pastorate in Wolf Point, Montana. In 1963 the family made a move to Orienta, Oklahoma where he pastored the Saron Mennonite Church. In 1971 they moved to Elbing, Kansas where he taught Junior High and Senior High Bible at Berean Academy. In 1978 they returned to the pastorate and served the Adams, Oklahoma Mennonite Church until 1984.

Throughout his life, Frank was a diligent student of the Word and was especially interested in prophecy. Another passion was the Old Testament tabernacle of which he made a scale model. He taught many week-long special meetings at a number of churches through the years, and following full retirement, he continued to teach Bible on Wednesday evenings.

Although he never was a man of physical wealth, he has stored up many heavenly treasures, as well as treasures in the hearts of his family and many friends. He will be missed as a brother, a father, grandpa, grospa, and a faithful friend.

Preceding him in death were his parents, 4 sisters and 3 brothers. He is survived by his sister, Anna Huebert of Glendive, Montana. Sons include Allen Huebert and wife Jackie of Bellevue, NE; Frank Jr. and wife ReNita of Fairview, OK. Twin daughters Sharon and husband John Oglesbee of San Augustine, TX; Karen and husband Ivan Penner of Peoria, AZ. There are 11 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, with two more on the way.

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Lyman Sprunger

Lyman Sprunger, ’49

Posted on 14 August 2014 by vunruh

Lyman Woodrow Sprunger was born March 2, 1916 to Selma Sprunger in Los Angeles, CA. He departed this life on Friday, June 13, 2014 at Okeene, OK. Lyman received a bachelors degree from Grace Bible Institute at Omaha, NE. He married Adeline Ensz on June 15, 1940 at Reedley, CA.

Lyman was preceded in death by a daughter, Betty Sprunger Fisher; a grandson Gregory Scott; and a daughter-in-law, Charlotte Sprunger; Survivors include his wife, Adeline of the home; daughter Joanne Sinclair and husband DeWayne of Canton, OK, son-in-law Mike Fisher and wife Sherry of Wichita Falls, TX, daughter Melody Plemons and husband Ron of Granite Bay, CA, son John Sprunger and wife Connie of Canton, OK and daughter Rebecca Whiting and husband Randy of Enid, OK; sixteen grandchildren, Doug Sinclair, Doyle Sinclair, Donnita Minton, Brad Fisher, Kevin Fisher, Jason Plemons, Jared Plemons, Larissa Kelly, Melissa Conrady, Alan McKinley, Amy Bonura, Heather Murray, Suzanne McVicker, Zack Whiting, Casandra Whiting and Cristina Whiting; thirty great-grandchildren;

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Arthur Enns

Arthur Enns, ’51

Posted on 12 August 2014 by vunruh

Rev. Arthur Enns, 86, was born March 18, 1928 in Meade, KS to Abraham and Margaretha (Wiens) Enns.  Two days after his birth, his mother died and as an infant he was cared for by his uncle Dietrich and aunt Anna Enns. They had six daughters and were glad to have a baby boy in their home. Eventually he returned to his father who had married Susie Warkentin, a wonderful and caring mother with 7 children already in the home.

Arthur was baptized at age 14 in the Evangelical Mennonite Brethren Church, Meade, KS. After grade school and high school he attended Grace Bible Institute (now Grace University) in Omaha, NE, where he received his training for pastoral work. While at Grace he met his wife Ruby Dalke. They were married June 2, 1950 and have enjoyed 64 years of marriage. After graduating from Grace, he attended Sterling College, Sterling, KS, where he received the Bachelor of Arts Degree.

In 1952 he was ordained to the ministry at the Evangelical Mennonite Church, Sterling, KS. After serving 5 years at the Sterling Church, he received a call to the Evangelical Mennonite Church in Wauseon, OH and served there 8 years. A call had come from Grace Bible Church in Omaha, which met on the campus of Grace Bible Institute. After six years of pastoring this church, and teaching courses in Bible Geography and Bible Introduction at Grace, a call came from Calvary Memorial Church, Palos Hills, IL (now New Beginnings Church). Here he had the privilege of serving 21 years, retiring in 1993, but continuing to serve the church as needed.

He is survived by his wife Ruby; three children, Nancy (Christopher) Lemons of Chicago, Phillip (Barbara) Enns of Frankfort, IL, Mark (Holly) Enns of Kankakee, IL; and five grandchildren, Dietrich, Daniel, Garrick, Jack, and Sophie. He also has two living sisters, Ruby Enns of Meade, KS, Jane (John) Thielenhaus of Norton, OH, a brother, Richard Enns of Wichita, KS; several brothers and sisters-in-law; and many nieces and nephews.

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