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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

This Week's Issue:May 26, 2016 May 26, 2016


Glenda Cleo Unruh Franklin, 102

Posted 5/26/2016

Glenda Cleo Unruh Franklin moved from earth to heaven on Thursday, May 19, 2016, at age 102.  She was a resident at Schowalter Villa in Hesston. 

Glenda was born March 16, 1914, the oldest of five children, near Pawnee Rock.

Glenda experienced a calling to be teacher when she was a student in the sixth grade.  After graduating from Pawnee Rock High School in 1932, Glenda worked long hours for a family as a housekeeper and cook to earn and save money so that she could pursue her calling to be a teacher. 

She attended Bethel College for two years in the mid-thirties and earned the credentials to begin her career as a teacher, thus fulfilling her childhood dream.

Years later, Glenda completed requirements for a bachelor of science in elementary education degree at Fort Hays State University.  Many students benefited from Glenda’s passion for, and delight in teaching, whether it was in Sunday school, Bible School, or in public schools.

Early in her career, she was the sole teacher in a one room schoolhouse near Pawnee Rock named Prairie Home School. Subsequently, Glenda taught the first three grades and served as principal at Radium, before settling into her first grade classroom in Pawnee Rock. She enjoyed tutoring in her home after she retired.  First graders were her love.  Teaching reading was her passion.

Glenda married Jesse L. Franklin at Bergthal Mennonite Church, Pawnee Rock, on May 24, 1939.  At that time, she was the sole teacher at Prairie Home School, near Pawnee Rock.  A school board member introduced Jess Franklin, then a bachelor living on a farm near the school, to Glenda at a school event.  They married after a courtship of several months. 

Glenda was a true helpmate to her husband, Jess.  During many wheat harvests on their Prairie Home Farm near Pawnee Rock, she drove the truck and delivered delicious meals, including cold ice cream malts, to the field.  Her daughters, their husbands and their children enjoyed participating in the adventures of wheat harvest during the 1970’s.

Glenda and her husband, Jess, moved off the farm to Great Bend in the early 1980’s.   Jess died in 1986.  Glenda continued to live in Great Bend for 10 years, then moved into the Schowalter Villa community during the month of May, 1996, and lived at 455 Neufeld Drive, independently, until after she reached the age of 100 in 2014.

Glenda was an excellent seamstress and quilter, and an avid wheat weaver.  During her latter years, she knitted hundreds of blue washcloths, donating them to MCC for sale at various locations throughout the country.  Glenda supported mission work, particularly in Pakistan, India and Haiti.

Glenda sought God’s will throughout her life, and God richly blessed all of Glenda’s work.

During recent years, Glenda often requested a ride in the countryside so that she could see the wheat fields or a beautiful sunset and enjoy the stillness of “not a leaf blowing”.  She was a true woman of the plains of Kansas.

Preceding Glenda in death were her parents, Harry and Lena Unruh; her sisters Avis and Allene; her brother Raymond; her beloved husband Jesse and two granddaughters, Kristy Frederick Swanson and Sonja Rene Epp.

Survivors include her youngest sister, Lorrayne Pankratz (Norman) of Hesston; two daughters, Jeanette D. Frederick (Richard) of Bryant, Arkansas, and Ruth V. Epp (Gerry) of Hesston; three grandchildren: Lisa Epp Morris (John) of Austin, Texas; Ann Frederick Pierson (Rob) of Scottsdale, Arizona; Matthew Frederick (Hope) of Maumelle, Arkanas; four great granddaughters: Margo Frederick of Maumelle, Arkansas, Gabriella, Mallory and Kristy Pierson of Scottsdale, Arizona; four great-grandsons, Andrew Swanson Frederick (Amanda) of Benton, Arkansas, Conner Frederick of Bryant, Arkansas, Gus and Jackson Morris of Austin, Texas and three great-great-grandchildren, Madison, Kelsie and Ethan of Benton, Arkansas, as well as many nieces and nephews and friends.

A memorial service celebrating Glenda’s life will be held Saturday, May 21 at 1 p.m. in the chapel at Schowalter Villa, Hesston. Arrangements are being made by Miller-Ott Funeral Home of Hesston, Kansas. (620-327-2685).

A graveside service will be held, at Bergthal Cemetery, Pawnee Rock, at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 21.

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Bradner Roth Gilson, 76

Posted 5/26/2016

Bradner Roth Gilson, 76, passed away May 19, 2016, at Stormont-Vail Hospital, Topeka. 

He was born June 30, 1939, in Albany, New York, the son of Bradner Smith and Velda Elizabeth (Roth) Gilson. 

He worked as an insurance agent for Western Fraternal Life.  He had served in the US Army.  He attended Garden Community Church and was a member of the Elks Club, Colorado. 

He married Judy Caroline (Bush) Gilson on July 14, 1978, in Decorah, Iowa.  She survives.

Other survivors include a daughter, Heather Webb, Hutchinson; two sons, Matt Schutte, Hutchinson and Bob Larsen, Texas; a niece, Amy Gilson, Arizona; and a cousin, Sonya Bauer, Boulder, Colorado.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Jeff Gilson and a brother and sister-in-law, Scott and Patty Gilson. 

Cremation is planned.  Memorial services were held Monday, at the Garden Community Church, Hesston.  Family requests no flowers, instead memorials to the Garden Community Church Missions, in care of Miller-Ott Funeral Home, Hesston.

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LaVern Victor Loewens, 95

Posted 5/19/2016

LaVern Loewens passed peacefully into the Lord's presence on Tuesday, April 19, 2017, at the Schowalter Villa in Hesston, at the age of 95 - three days from his 96th birthday.

He was born on April 22, 1920, in McClusky, North Dakota, the son of Henry and Marie (Benzler) Loewens.  With step-mother Nettie (Seibel) Loewens, two stepbrothers and four stepsisters were added to the family.

On June 2, 1944, he married Amanda Klassen at the Mountain Lake Mennonite Brethren Church.

LaVern faithfully served as a compassionate, helping pastor at nine Mennonite Brethren, two Mennonite, and and Baptist Church. He graduated from Tabor College, Northwestern Seminary in Minneapolis Minnesota, and Fresno Mennonite Brethren Seminary. He was administrator at Parkside Homes for nine years. He enjoyed visiting the sick. He retired in 1984, but kept working part time at the First MB Church in Wichita. In 2000, they moved to Kidron Homes in North Newton, and in 2011, they moved to Schowalter Villa.

He was a very creative person building many beautiful items out of wood.  He tuned and refinished pianos, sang, played the violin and other musical instruments. Besides the many hobbies he was a part-time stock broker and school teacher.

LaVern is preceded in death by his parents, wife Amanda and son Timothy Loewens. He also had a brother and sister who preceded him in death.

He is survived by his two daughters, Marabeth and Allen Buseniz of West Lafayette, Indiana, and Rosemary and Richard  Prieb of Hesston;  seven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.

A celebration of LaVern's life will be held May 22 at the Hesston Mennonite Brethren Church at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Navigators, Albert Lee, Minnesota, in care of Miller-Ott Funeral Home, Hesston.


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Ruth Elizabeth (Ewert) Harder, 95

Posted 5/19/2016

Ruth Elizabeth (Ewert) Harder, 95, passed away Thursday, May 12, in Newton.

She was born in rural Hillsboro on Dec. 9, 1920, to Bertha and John Ewert.

She married Ernst Harder on Aug. 23, 1946. He preceded her in death (1995); as did two children, Karl David and Ronald Ernst; a sister, Bertha Nickel and a brother, Daniel Ewert.

She is survived by four children: Trudy Harder (Carlos Rauschert), Rich (Rosie) Harder, Margie (Ernst) Wiens, and Robert (Cindy) Harder; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Ruth attended Tabor College, Bethel College and the Mennonite Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. Together with her husband they served in the U.S.A. and internationally in Paraguay, Germany, and Uruguay.

Retirement in North Newton included active participation at Bethel College Mennonite Church, AAUW, and the quilting group. She also volunteered in the Newton schools as ESL tutor.

Ruth had a kind and caring heart, always open to listening and learning, interested in each family member and a blessing to many persons around the world.  She will be missed!

A celebration of life memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, May 23, at the Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton.

Memorials have been designated for Mennonite Central Committee and the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR) in care of Miller-Ott Funeral Home, 107 S. Lancaster, Hesston, KS 67062.

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Leota Laverne (Kendall) Chance, 99

Posted 5/19/2016

Leota Laverne (Kendall) Chance daughter of Roy Allen Kendall and Faerie Fern Brown Kendall was born east of Marvin, now Glade, March 28, 1917, and passed away Wednesday, May 11, 2016, at Showalter Villa in Hesston, at the age of 99 years.

She was united in marriage to Cloyce Eugene Chance on July 18, 1942, in the Methodist Church in San Rafael, California, where Cloyce was stationed with the 74th Field Artillery. 

To this union two children were born, Carole Fern and Gary Eugene.  She traveled from camp to camp with him until he was to be transferred overseas.

She graduated from Lone Star School District No. 9, Cowley, and from Phillipsburg High School with the class of 1935.  She was a member of the United Methodist Church.

When the children were small she taught the four-year-old class and was Cradle Roll Superintendent.  She love to embroider, work with flowers, read and bowl.  After she retired she liked to play cards at the senior centers and work with flowers.

She was preceded in death by her father, mother; one brother, Darrell; one sister, Faunie Fix; son Gary; grandson Bruce Diercks and great-grandson, Lance Jasper. 

Survivors include her daughter, Carole Diercks and husband, Dalyn, of Hesston; brother, Galen Kendall and wife, Ann, of Grass Valley, California; four grandchildren, Douglas Diercks, Michael Diercks, Debra Olsen and Christine Diercks; 10 great-grandchildren and four  great-great-grandchildren.

A funeral service, officiated by Pastor Lew Van Der Wege, was held May 14, at Olliff-Boeve Memorial Chapel. 

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