Archive | Obituaries


Clifford E. Koehn, ’50

Posted on 03 June 2016 by editor

imageRev. Clifford Koehn was born to Frank and Dena Koehn on April 8, 1927. He was the oldest of his siblings Robert, Alfred, Art, and Larry. He was raised on a farm near Carnegie, Oklahoma, and graduated from Alden High School. He then went to Grace Bible Institute and received his training for the pastorate. He met Anna Ruth there and they were married June 22, 1950. They entered the ministry in 1955 taking their first church near Langdon, North Dakota. Because of their continuing interest in missions, they moved to Seiling, Oklahoma, in 1960 as home missionaries to the Cheyenne. In 1975, they were called to Geary, Oklahoma, to pastor the First Mennonite Church. They remained at that pastorate until the church closed in the mid-nineties. He continued to preach whenever the opportunity came and taught Sunday school. In addition to his pastorates, Clifford found time to be a Scout Master in Seiling, and he had a photography business and a painting business in Seiling and Geary.  Clifford enjoyed serving his community and his church and talking with his friends at the ASAP store and the Rusty Bucket. Clifford enjoyed volunteering after retiring. Clifford worked with meat canning for MCC and volunteered at his church. He was a past treasurer for the Senior Center and a NODA representative. He was an active member for the Ministerial Alliance for the city of Geary.

He is survived by daughter Virginia Brendemuehl and husband Collin of Westerville, Ohio; son Ronald Koehn and wife Marie of Corn, Oklahoma; and daughter Wanda Koehn of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, four grandchildren, Michael Brendemuehl, Steven Brendemuehl, Brian Koehn and Renae Koehn, two brothers, Alfred Koehn and wife Alice of Muskogee, Oklahoma, and Art Koehn and wife Jean of Topeka, Kansas, as well as many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Dena Koehn, his wife, Anna Ruth Koehn, and 2 brothers, Robert and Larry Koehn.

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Wilma Marie Friesen, ’47

Posted on 03 June 2016 by editor

1463850642Wilma Marie Friesen was born May 8, 1921, in Whitewater, Kansas, to Willie and Catherine (Wiebe) Harder. She died Friday, May 20, 2016, in Talihina, Oklahoma, at age 95. Wilma was reared and educated in Whitewater and graduated with the Whitewater High School Class of 1940. After high school she attended Grace Bible Institute in Omaha, Nebraska, and graduated in 1947. Wilma was strong in her faith and was baptized at Emmaus Mennonite Church in Whitewater. She married Peter Z. Friesen on August 9, 1955, in Aberdeen, Idaho. Wilma spent most of her working life as an Ordained Missionary for Avant Ministries. She had a variety of pastimes such as reading, cooking, sewing, and telling stories to her children and grandchildren. Above all, she was a prayer warrior and loved sharing the Lord with people any opportunity she had. Loving family members include: Husband Peter Z. Friesen of Whitewater; Daughters Winnona Brush and husband Ron of Owasso, and Lynette Hinton and husband Geoffrey of Talihina; 6 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and many adopted spiritual grandchildren. Wilma was preceded in death by her cousin and Peter’s first wife, Elsie Regier, brother, Eldon Harder, brother, Willfred Harder, sister, Catherine Crocker, Sister, Mildred Dahlenburg, and son, Virgil Friesen.

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Elsie Epp, ’51

Posted on 27 April 2016 by editor

Elsie Ruth Wiebe Epp ’51 died at age 87 on April 23, 2016, at the Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice of Via Christi Regional Medical Center-St. Francis Campus in Wichita.

She was born on February 1, 1929, in Newton, Ks., the daughter of Henry B. and Katie Enz Wiebe. The family moved to Idaho when she was a year and half old. Elsie graduated from high school in Aberdeen, Idaho, and Grace Bible Institute in Omaha, Neb. She also attended Bethel College in North Newton, Ks., Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, and later taught school four years.

She married Willard A. Epp on August 31, 1958, in Aberdeen, Idaho. To this union were born three sons and three daughters. They farmed together for 28 years in Marion, S. D., until moving to Kansas in 1986. Elsie and Willard moved to Kidon Bethel in North Newton five years ago.

In 1980, Elsie trained to be a Licensed Practical Nurse at Freeman Jr. College, Freeman, S.D. She worked as an L.P.N. for three years in Freeman, 10 months in Whitewater, Ks., eight and half years at the Kansas Christian Home in Newton. She retired from nursing in 1995.

She was baptized upon her confession of faith by the Rev. Phillip A. Wede, on September 10, 1944, in Aberdeen, Idaho, and presently was a member of First Mennonite Church in Newton. Elsie had also been involved in the Jail Ministry through the church as well as Ministers of Visitation.

Survivors include her husband Willard; sons Donald Epp of Halstead, Ks., Stan Epp and wife Esther of Newton, Bryan Epp and wife Janell of Hesson, Ks.; daughters Roselyn Parks of Nixa, Mo., Naomi Engle and husband Jess of Wauseon, Ohio, Rachel Winters and husband David of Tulsa, Okla.; 20 grandchildren; and three great grandchildren. Elsie is preceded in death by her parents; and eight siblings, Walter Wiebe, Karl Wiebe, Henry Wiebe, twins Jacob and Katie Wiebe who died in infancy, Willard Wiebe, Esther Becker, and Florence Nickel.

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Edwin Earl Haynes, Jr. ’91

Edwin Earl Haynes, Jr. ’91

Posted on 15 April 2016 by editor

IMG_4097“For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

Edwin Earl Haynes, Jr. went to be with The Lord Jesus, Whom he dearly loved, at his home in Scurry, Texas, on March 26, 2016. Edwin was born on January 8, 1929, to Edwin Earl Haynes, Sr. and Pauline Velma Baxter in Stuart, Iowa. Edwin married Virginia Helen Stull on February 9, 1947, in Veteran, Wyoming. They celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary this year.

Edwin accepted The Lord Jesus as his personal Savior in 1951, a year after Virginia, who had come to Christ from listening to Back to the Bible Broadcast radio program. Their lives were forever changed!

Edwin desired to serve the Lord and know more about the Bible. In 1952 they headed to Omaha with their two little boys so he could attend Grace Bible Institute. They “told” the Lord they would go anywhere but the foreign field. There at the close of the first Missionary Conference they had ever attended, they both went forward, each carrying a son, in answer to the call of foreign missions. After Edwin’s graduation they took a Missionary Dental Course in Pennsylvania in preparation for the mission field.

Then the next step was to go to the Gospel Missionary Union (now Avant) headquarters in Kansas City for candidate internship. They were accepted, support was raised and by April 1958 they were on a plane for Ecuador in South America.

First there was Spanish language study at the Spanish Bible Institute at the “Gateway to the Jungle” town of Shell Mera. Then they moved to the high Andes Mountains to live among the Quichua Indians (descendants of the Incas) and study their language. Ed also worked with the missionary doctor in the clinic/hospital taking care of the dental needs of the people and when the doctor was gone, he became the doctor.

In another Quichua village, Edwin shared the Gospel at his own clinic and would ride horseback to other Quichua villages with medical supplies and to share the Gospel. As Quichuas responded to the Gospel the missionary team saw the need of more Bible teaching and short-term Bible Institutes were started, one for the men and one for the women. What joy it was to Ed and Virginia to teach God’s Holy Word in Quichua!

Then the missionary doctor had the vision of a Quichua Radio Station, which the Lord brought into reality, and Ed also helped in the broadcasting and then started making radio programs in Quichua together with Virginia. They continued the Quichua radio programming up until 2015 from their home in Nebraska via the internet.

Edwin gave the life the Lord had given him to missionary work in Ecuador from 1958 to retirement from fulltime service in Ecuador in 1995, returning to teach and preach for a few months every year until the last time in 2008 (50 years).

He is survived by his wife Virginia of Scurry, Texas, Sons: Stephan and Paul of Scurry, Daughter: Debra and husband Ernest Luther of Centreville, Virginia, Grandchildren: Natasha Winkowitsch and Joel Haynes, Step Grandchildren: Gary (Becca) Luther, and Dale Luther, Great Grandchildren: Haylae Haynes and Hank Luther.

He is preceded in death by his son Dana Haynes (2006).

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Inez Clipperton, ’53

Posted on 11 April 2016 by editor

Inez Clipperton ’53, of Bellevue, Neb., died March 25, 2016, at the age of 80. She was preceded in death by siblings, Derwood Stunkel, Dale Stunkel, Nadine Sherbeck, and Betty Alexander. Survived by husband, Vernon D. Clipperton; daughter, Sharlyn Davis; granddaughter, Jennifer (Matt) Fortune; great-grandchildren, Kassidy, Emily, and Sophie; step-children, Jane (Russ) Thomas, Jim Clipperton, Dee (Rich) Haglund, and Ken (Julie) Clipperton; brother, Dennis (Judy) Stunkel; many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

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Mary Ann Wall, ’57

Mary Ann Wall, ’57

Posted on 06 April 2016 by editor

25017-Wall 2Mary Ann Wall ’57, age 78 of Omaha, Nebraska, went to be with the Lord on March 24, 2016.

She was born in Mountain Lake, Minnesota, on September 3, 1937, to Dietrich and Agnes Goertzen. She grew up, the only sister of Russell and Clayton, on a farm outside of the small town of Delft, Minnesota. She prayed with her mother to accept Christ in January 1948 and was baptized by Rev. Thomas Walker on May 13, 1951.

Mary Ann Graduated from Mountain Lake High School in 1955 and that fall she attended Grace College of the Bible where she met her future husband Marvin (Marv) Wall. They were married on June 28, 1957. 

Wherever their ministry took them – North Carolina, Kansas, Manitoba, Alberta, South Dakota, Montana and Nebraska – Mary Ann made a home and supported Marv by playing the piano, teaching Sunday School, helping lead youth groups, piloting boats, driving snowmobiles and cooking for camps, while caring for a growing family. She also led women’s Bible studies, was a Commander in the Awana program, and hosted guests for dinner or offered a place to stay. She enjoyed traveling across the United States, Canada, Israel, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

Her husband, Marv, was in pastoral roles in the church until he passed away and Mary Ann was his faithful support.  In recent years, she enjoyed joining in Bible study, prayer meetings, mentoring younger women and deepening relationships with women of her age. She enjoyed stable health with minor issues until she had a major stroke on Saturday, March 19. Her condition soon worsened and she went to be with Jesus five days later.

She is survived by five children: Marjorie Allison; Mark and Judy Wall; Marlen and Kim Wall; Marcia and Sam Kroeker andMarcel and Michelle Wall as well as 15 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She is preceded by her parents, her brother Clayton and his wife Mary, her husband Marv and her son-in-law Grahame Alison.

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Norma Evelyn (Thurston) McWilliams

Norma Evelyn (Thurston) McWilliams

Posted on 22 March 2016 by editor

162027_20160319One of Grace University’s former librarians has passed away. Norma Evelyn (Thurston) McWilliams, 87, died peacefully at home on March 18, 2016.

Born March 19, 1928, near Garwin, Norma taught school in Iowa and completed her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, her master’s degree in history from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and her master’s in library science degree from Emporia State University in Kansas.

She taught at Temple Christian Academy in Omaha, Neb., and was head librarian at Grace College of the Bible. She and Richard retired to Rochester where she was a substitute teacher for the Rochester Public School system. Norma and Richard celebrated 65 years of marriage in June 2015.

Surviving are her husband, Richard Sr.; five children, Richard Jr. (Nita), Eileen McClure (Steve), James (Karen), Jolene (Kevin) Birkett and Norene McWilliams; nine grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

– See more at:

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Christine Sue Ensz, ’70

Christine Sue Ensz, ’70

Posted on 22 March 2016 by editor

56df82781f338.imageChristine Sue Ensz ’70, age 64, died peacefully March 4, 2016, at the Hospice House in Hutchinson. She fought the good fight after being diagnosed with breast cancer. Chris was born on Feb. 18, 1952, to Rev. Elmer and Katherine (Neufeld) Ensz of Inman, Kansas.

Surviving are her daughter, Micaela (Louden) Dimitt; her brothers, Orie (Jane) Ensz of Parsons, David (Aline) Ensz of Studio City, Calif., Marion (Sandy) Ensz of Shoreview, Minn., Mark (Connie) Ensz of Corn, Okla., and Stephen (Lesa) Ensz of Garden City. Also surviving are 16 nieces and nephews as well as many cousins.

Preceding Chris in death were her father and mother, Rev. Elmer and Katherine Ensz of Inman.

Chris loved the Lord and loved to be on-the-go. She participated in music, softball, and basketball during high school at Oklahoma Bible Academy and Lustre Bible Academy. She also attended Grace Bible Institute in Omaha, Neb. Later, she was very involved as her daughter, Micaela, participated in sports at Central Christian School, where Chris was employed until 2015.

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Robert W.  Radtke, ’59

Robert W. Radtke, ’59

Posted on 22 March 2016 by editor

Robert RadtkeRobert W.  Radtke ’59 was president of his class, a former GU Trustee, pastor, evangelist and a representative for Haggai Ministries. He was born on October 31, 1929, in Butterfield Township, Minnesota. He was one of five children.  Robert met Ione at Patsky’s diner one afternoon. Robert was 15 and Ione was 13. Robert promptly went home and announced to his mother that he had met the girl he was going to marry. They were married on June 10, 1950. They were married for 65 wonderful years and had three sons: Ricky Bob, Brian Carl and Scott Allyn.  “Bob” and Ione served together as he pastored Mennonite Brethren churches in Oneida, S.D., Santa Clara and Fresno, Calif.,and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.  He received his B.A. degree from Pacific College, his Master’s degree from California Graduate School of Theology, and an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Briercrest Biblical Seminary.

The passion and commitment that Robert had toward the building of God’s kingdom has touched the lives of people all over the world.  One of his favorite passages from the Bible was Isaiah 64:8 “But now, O Lord, Thou art our Father, We are the clay, and Thou our potter, and all of us are the work of Thy hand.”

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Edna Schultz, ’47

Posted on 17 February 2016 by editor

schultzedna0215Edna M. Schultz, age 90 of Henderson, Neb., passed away Monday, February 15, 2016, in Henderson. She was born to David H.A. Schultz on July 24, 1925. She attended grade school in school district 113, Dawson County, Montana. Upon her confession of faith, Edna was baptized October 15, 1939, and became a member of Bethlehem Mennonite Church, Bloomfield, Montana. Edna graduated from Grace Bible Institute in 1947.

Following graduation Edna 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 which 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 Edna worked in the nursing home for 22 years, 14 of those years in the dietary department and 8 years in the laundry. After retirement, she was involved in volunteer work in the village. In October 2014, Edna 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.

Edna is survived by her brother Paul Schultz and his wife Myrtle of Richey, Montana, sister-in-law Frances Schultz of Oklahoma City, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; Maria Thieszen; nine brothers; and a sister.

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