Archive | 1951

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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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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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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Matilda Ekeland

Matilda (Tillie) Ekeland, ’51

Posted on 05 November 2013 by vunruh

Matilda (Tillie) Ekeland, 83, died on September 24, 2013 at the Newton Medical Center in Newton, KS.  She was born on September 13, 1930 to Katie(Koehn) and Cornelius B. Unruh in Enid, OK. On September 9, 1956 she married Joseph (Joe) Ekeland in Wichita, KS. He died on April 4, 1986.

Tillie graduated from Grace Bible Institute and also earned her Registered Nurse degree. She worked in the medical field training at Wesley Hospital in Wichita, until her and Joe started a family. Tillie then stayed home to raise their three children, Mark, Marcia and Brian.

Tillie held a membership with Grace Community Church. She spent many years volunteering for the Source of Light in Newton, KS. She enjoyed writing , and had several publications within the Source of Light literature. When Tillie moved to Newton on July 4, 1997 she stayed active with leading ladies ministries as well as teaching ladies Bible study groups.

Tillie was preceded in death by her parents and her spouse, Joe; siblings, Deena Koehn, Mary Koehn, Lena Koehn, Lizzy Becker, Mabel Kauffman and Dan Unruh.

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Orlando Earl Janzen

Orlando Earl Janzen

Posted on 06 August 2012 by Mel Friesen

Orlando “Lon” Janzen was born to Hank and Elizabeth Janzen on Aug. 1, 1932, in Clyde, N.D.  He was the third child in a family of six children and grew up working on the family farm.

He was educated in Munich, N.D., and attended college at Grace Bible Institute (now Grace University) in Omaha, Neb..

While at Grace, he met Mamie Wedel. They were married August 14, 1954, in Ringwood, Okla., and made their home in Enid, Okla., where they raised three children, Randy, LaVonne and Brenda.

Lon was a gifted piano tuner for more than 40 years and enjoyed farming for many years.

As a young teen, he accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and Lord and enjoyed serving in his church as a Sunday school teacher, choir director and singing in a men’s quartet.

In 2010, Lon and Mamie moved to Reedley, Calif.  Lon was a resident of Palm Village Retirement Community when he passed from this life on Thursday, July 26, 2012.  He was a faithful husband and father and will be forever loved by his family.

Lon was preceded in death by his parents, Hank and Elizabeth Janzen; a brother, Arnold Janzen; and a sister, Alice Dick.

He is survived by his wife of more than 57 years, Mamie Janzen; three children, Randy Janzen and wife Sharon of Visalia, Calif., LaVonne Unruh and husband Tim of Shafter, Calif., and Brenda Luskey and husband Michael of Enid, Okla.; seven grandchildren, Dustin Janzen and wife Rachel, Annie Janzen, Renee Janzen, Stephanie McCaslin and husband Dustin, Travis Unruh, Sean Luskey and Andrew Luskey; one great-grandchild, Faith McCaslin; one brother, Orval Janzen; and two sisters, Leona Heppner and Betty Unruh.


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Irene (Ewert) Giesbrecht, October 11, 2011

Posted on 19 October 2011 by Mel Friesen

1951, Irene Sylvia Giesbrecht
SALEM, OREGON – On Tuesday, October 11th, 2011, a woman of intelligence, beauty and grace went home to her Lord and Savior’s arms. Irene was born April 6th, 1930 in Peking China to missionaries, August and Martha Ewert, the oldest of five children. Irene returned to the United States permanently in 1942. While attending Grace Bible Institute in Omaha, Nebraska she met her husband Alvin Giesbrecht and they were married in 1952. Over the next eight years Irene gave birth to her four children, Darrel, Hugh, Rae, and Murray. In 1966 Irene returned to college to begin work on her master’s degree.

In 1971, Al and Irene moved to Salem Oregon where Irene finished her master’s degree in Library Science from the University of Oregon and began work as Librarian at Waldo Middle School. She retired from the school after 19 years. Always active, she spent the next years on missions to Ecuador, the Ukraine, and working with the Gideons Auxiliary. During this time she also travelled to many places including Europe and returning to her birth place in China.

Irene passed quietly at home after an extended illness. She is survived by her husband, three brothers, one sister, four children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held at Monday, October 17, 10:30 AM at Emmanuel Bible Church, 8512 Sunnyview Rd NE, Salem. Arrangements by Howell-Edwards-Doerksen Funeral Home. Online tributes at In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Gideons.

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