Archive | 1954


Dorothy Ann Friesen, ’54

Posted on 29 June 2016 by editor

image001Dorothy Ann Friesen, 80, passed away on June 26, 2016, in Moundridge, Kansas. She was born in Newton on March 23, 1936, to Paul E. and Edna O. Tangeman Vogt. She was an active member of the Garden Community Church in rural Moundridge. On May 4, 1956, she married Norman Friesen. They farmed in rural Walton for 45 years until retiring in Hesston.

She is survived by her husband, Norman, of Hesston; sons Larry (Jeanette) Friesen and Dale (Shelly) Friesen, all of Walton; daughter Yvonne (Gerhard) Fast of Hesston; one brother, Arnold (Shirley) Vogt of Hesston; one sister, Helen (Alvin) Bergen of Augusta; five grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents and two sisters, Verna Broeckel and Betty Oller.

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Ella Reddig Berg, ’54

Posted on 02 June 2015 by editor

Ella Reddig Berg ’54 passed away January 29, 2015, at age 84 in Hillsboro, Kansas.  She was born to Karl and Bertha (Funk) Reddig in Luster, Montana. Survivors include: husband, Elton Berg of Hillsboro; sons, Steven (Sandra) of Wichita, Samuel (Lisa) of Ozark, Missouri, David of Yale, South Dakota; daughter, Deborah (Todd) Reynolds of Woodinville, Washington; 14 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

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Willie C. “Bill” Wiebe, ’54

Posted on 15 May 2015 by editor

bill-wiebe515Willie (Bill) C. Wiebe, 89, of Elbing, Kansas, son of Anna (Epp) and Herman A. Wiebe, died May 12, 2015, in Newton, Kansas.

He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Arlene (Dietz) Wiebe; his daughter, Nancy Holliday and her husband, Patrick; grandchildren Nicole Holliday, Rebecca Holliday, and Abigail Holliday; his daughter-in-law, Arleta Wiebe; and grandchildren, Andrea Wiebe, Stephanie Tester, Warren Wiebe. He also leaves two siblings, Gladys Wiebe and Richard Wiebe, along with his wife, Margaret. He was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Dorothy (Dottie) Landis Wiebe, his son, Kevin Wiebe, his parents, and six siblings.

Born on February 20, 1926, he was raised on a farm east of Whitewater, Kansas. His early years were spent working on the farm and attending a country school as well as German school.

World War II interrupted his education and he served in alternate military service. When he was 23, he finally graduated from high school in Hesston, Kansas. He then attended Grace University in Omaha, where he met his sweetheart, Dottie Landis. They were married on August 15, 1952, in Newton, Kansas. They lived on a farm in rural Furley for a few years, where daughter, Nancy, and son, Kevin, were born. They then moved to Winona Lake, Indiana.

In the late 1950s, the family moved to rural Peabody, Kansas, where Willie started farming. He enjoyed carpentry and built the house that they lived in. Bill became active in the Gideons and also filled in as pastor in a small church in Wichita.

In 1982, Bill and Dottie, took a step of faith and Bill became the pastor of a small church in Homestead, Oklahoma. He felt that he had truly found God’s calling for his life. He loved preaching the Word of God and ministering to the small but vibrant congregation. After serving for 16 years, they retired to Elbing, Kansas, to live next door to his son Kevin and his family.

During his retirement, Bill continued to serve the Emmaus Church for another 10 years as an associate pastor, and later as visitation pastor. He visited countless people in hospitals and in their homes and always ministered to their spiritual needs.

Dottie went to meet the Lord in 1997, and Bill adjusted. He knew of Arlene Dietz in Pennsylvania because Dottie had been friends with the Dietz girls. After corresponding for a few months, they discussed marriage and were wed on November 25, 2000. Arlene became indispensable to Bill in this ministry as she also went on visits to the ill and home bound. Bill always said that she kept the conversation going when he ran out of words to say.

Bill Wiebe’s passion was for God’s Word. His insights from the pulpit or in Sunday School were uniquely purposeful, and sometimes, of necessity, pointed. Many people learned from his teaching and preaching. His passion was so great that even in his last hours, he found strength to pray for his wife, his children, his grandchildren, and even his country.

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Walter Kleinsasser, ’54

Posted on 20 January 2015 by editor

Walter Kleinsasser, Grace University class of 1954,  died January 15, 2015, at the age of 92, at Salem Home in Hillsboro, Kansas.  He was born November 9, 1922, to John and Katharina (Glanzer) Kleinsasser at Carpenter, South Dakota.  He married Esther Mendel May 23, 1946, at Yale, South Dakota.  Survivors include: son, Joe (Michelle) Kleinsasser of Hillsboro; daughter, Faith (Ron) Klaassen of Newark, New Jersey; 3 grandchilden, Ryan and Nathan Kleinsasser of Hillsboro, Jonathan Klaassen of Newark, New Jersey; brother, Harold Kleinsasser of Reedley, California; sister, Edna Espenson of Windom, Minnesota.

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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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David Fast

David Fast, '54

Posted on 08 July 2014 by vunruh

David D. Fast, 92, died at Buhler Sunshine Meadows, Buhler, KS on June 23, 2014. He was born on August 12, 1921 at home, near Medora, KS to D.G. and Anna (Willems) Fast. He was a longtime Inman, KS resident also living in Hutchinson and Buhler.

He was a farmer and retired carpenter for Jost & Wiens Construction. He graduated in 1939 Zoar Academy and Bible School in Inman and attended Grace Bible Institute in Omaha, NE.

He and his wife Fran were loyal volunteers with RVICS – Roving Volunteers in Christ’s Service. He was a member of First Church of the Nazarene, Hutchinson.

On November 2, 1945 he married Frances “Fran” Steward in Charlotte, MI. She died January 25, 2012. Survivors include: her children, Timothy (LeAnn) Fast, Inman; Karen (Steve) Sites, Hillsboro; Vernon Fast, Hutchinson; David (Karen) Fast, Topeka and Leland Fast, San Antonio, TX; four sisters, Anna Kliewer, Helen Hornbaker, Rose Ratzlaff and Frieda Goertzen; 11 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by a son, Steven; his parents; two brothers, Joseph and Roy; and two sisters, Marie and Linda.

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Lavina Wall

Lavina A. Wall, ’54

Posted on 20 August 2013 by vunruh

Lavina Mae Wall, 78, went to be with the Lord on Monday, June 10, 2013 at Sunny View Care Center in Ankeny, IA.
Lavina was born April 3, 1935 to Peter and Nellie Heidi in rural Mountain Lake, MN. She accepted the Lord at an early age and was baptized upon confession of her faith. Lavina grew up and attended school in Mountain Lake, MN and later attended Grace University in Omaha, NE.

On June 13, 1958 Lavina was united in marriage to Henry A. Wall and the couple made their home in Mountain Lake, MN for over fifty years. Lavina enjoyed cooking, and was an avid Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins fan. She loved and attended all of her children’s events.

Lavina is survived by her husband of 54 years , Henry Wall; children, Connie Wall of Ankeny, IA, Steve (Lisa) Wall of Ann Arbor, MI, Doug (Martha) Wall of Chanhassen, MN, Randy (Patty) Wall of Los Angeles, CA; grandchildren, Sarah Wall, Matthew Wall, Jackie Wall, Laila Samaha, Alan Samaha. She is also survived by her brothers, Bob (Norma) Heide, Hutchinson, KS, Darrel (Susan) Heide of Highland, CA, Don (Jan) Heide of White Bear Township, MN, and Jerry (Kathy) Heide of Colorado Springs, CO; and sister-in-law, Orletta Wiebe, North Newton, KS; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Marvin Heide; and step-mothers, Elsie Heide and Sara Heide.

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Ben W Smith

Ben W. Smith, ’54

Posted on 07 March 2013 by vunruh

Ben W. Smith, 81, died Feb. 10, 2013 in Hesston, Kans.

He was born Dec. 4, 1931, near Ringwood, Okla., to Ben A. and Caroline (Thomas) Smith. On Aug. 13, 1954, he married Frances Maureen Frey at First Mennonite Church in Newton. Ben was a graduate of Newton High School in 1950, Grace Bible Institute (now Grace University, Omaha, Neb.) in 1954, and Grace Seminary (Winona Lake, Ind.) in 1956 with a Master of Divinity.

He served as a missionary with Sudan Interior Mission (now SIM USA) in Ethiopia from 1960 to 1975. From 1975 to retirement, he worked as an interim Christian Education Director, a real estate agent at Hesston Corporation and 15 years at Avcon Industries.

He was a member of Newton Bible Church, where he served on the Elder Board and taught adult Sunday School. Ben, having been baptized upon confession of faith in Christ on May 16, 1948, by Rev. D.J. Unruh, was devoted in faith and shared freely his love of Christ. He raised five children to love and serve the Lord. He greatly enjoyed spending time with his loving family and many friends.

Survivors include his wife, Frances, of Hesston; five children: Jeanine Giles (Jerry) of Branson, Mo.; Russell Smith of Wichita; Carolyn Dority (Daniel) of Bali, Indonesia; Maureen Eichelberger (Jerry) of Wichita; Myron Smith (Jami) of Wichita; nine grandchildren: Marshal Giles (Rachel) of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Tyler Giles (Gillian) of Tacoma, Wash., Micah Dority (Amanda) of Omaha, Neb., Hannah (Dority) Hoobler (Joshua) of Toccoa, Ga., Nathan Dority of Toccoa, Ga., Abigail Dority, Callie Eichelberger, Jadon Smith and Macy Smith; three great-grandchildren: Daniel, Ryan and Casey Giles; two brothers: Aaron Smith (Elisabeth) of Burrton and LaVern Smith (Marlene) of Omaha, Neb.; one sister: Lois Flaming (Melvin) of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; brothers and sisters-in-law: Emaline Smith (Melvin’s), Elda Smith (John’s), Evelyn Smith (LeRoy’s), Ted Veer (Malinda’s) and Anna Lee Smith (Will’s).

Ben was preceded in death by his parents and seven siblings: Frank, Melvin, John, LeRoy, Malinda Veer, Allen D. and Will.

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1954, Carroll L Harder

Posted on 16 May 2012 by Mel Friesen

1954, Carroll Lee Harder, 75, of Newton, Kansas passed away peacefully on Friday (May 11, 2012), surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren.

Carroll was born to Herbert H. and Helen (Wuthrich) Harder on Aug. 19, 1936. They preceded him in death.

Carroll started Harder Service with his wife in the early 1960s. The company later became known as Harder Construction. He was certified as a master plumber for the state of Kansas. He was a member of the National Guard and the Reserves and was on the Peabody Fire Department from the late 1960s through 1980. Carroll was fire chief of that department from 1975 to 1980.

Carroll was an active member of Swiss Church in Whitewater. He taught Sunday school, was a deacon, and was a member of their finance committee, as well as the building board committee. Carroll spent many hours over the last couple of years working on the Family Life Center addition for Swiss Church.

He was a model train enthusiast with an extensive collection. He owned a Model T, which he was very proud of, and he was actively involved with the Model T club “Flatland T’s Regional Group of Central Kansas.”

He previously served on the Newton Planning and Zoning Board and currently was a member of the Harvey County Planning and Zoning Commission, Harvey County Builders Association, as well as the Wichita Area Builders Association.

He is survived by wife, Verna (Chapple); sons, Randy (and Lori) and David (and Vicki); grandsons, Todd (and Jaime), Andrew (and Jamie) and Alex; and great-granddaughters, Lillian, Sophie and Allison.

A family visitation from 6 to 8 p.m. is planned Monday at Lamb Mortuary in Whitewater. The service will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Swiss Church Family Life Center in Whitewater. Burial will follow the service. Memorials may be given to the Swiss Church Family Life Center.

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Frances Elaine "Fran" Fast

Posted on 26 January 2012 by Mel Friesen

1954, Frances Elaine “Fran” Fast, 87, died Jan. 25, 2012, at her home. She was born Nov. 22, 1924, in Michigan, the daughter of Charles and Edna Blood Steward.
On Nov. 2, 1945, she married David Daniel Fast in Charlotte, Mich. He survives. A longtime resident of Inman, moving to Hutchinson in 1999, Fran and her husband were loyal volunteers with RVICS – Roving Volunteers in Christ’s Service – and the Et Cetera Shop. She was a retired package foreman for Sterling Drug and was a devoted homemaker.
Other survivors include: her five children, Timothy and wife LeAnn of Inman, Karen Sites and husband Steven of Hutchinson, Vernon of Hutchinson, David and wife Karen of Topeka, and Leland of Jacksonville, Ark.; 11 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and a great great-grandchild. She was preceded in death by a son, Steven; her parents, Charles and Edna Steward; brothers, Clair and Wayne; and sister, Irene Foltz.
Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Saturday Jan. 25, 2012, at First Church of The Nazarene, with Pastor Bones Nay presiding. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m. at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home and Crematory, Hutchinson. Memorial contributions may be made to RVICS in care of the funeral home. Burial will be in Zoar Cemetery near Inman. Please visit to leave personal condolences for the family.

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